Ward St – ViaStrada idea

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In 2010, Hamilton City Council engaged ViaStrada to produce concept drawings for a Central City Cycle Network. One of the ideas included two options for cycle lanes for Ward St. The plan was to link Girls’ High to Ward Park then provide single direction cycle lanes along each side of Ward St. What makes this different from the Stark Concept is that ViaStrada’s focus was on encouraging students to bike to and from Girls’ High school, Ward Park and the city centre. Stark’s focus for cyclists, to the west, is on cyclists coming from the Western Rail Trail.

Both concepts show that Ward St can be a lot friendlier to cyclists than it is today. However, the ViaStrada drawing doesn’t show what people do in Ward St. Many people don’t actually walk the full length of Ward St on just one side of the road; many will cross to the other side at some point mid-block. Stark’s drawing acknowledges this by proposing pedestrian crossings spaced at a maximum of 100m apart. Ward Street between Anglesea and Tristram measures just over 200m, and the concept suggests two mid-block crossings.

What both plans include is trees on the south side of Ward St. It’s OK to start by just removing some kerb and sealed surface to plant a few trees with porous surfaces around them. It’s OK to test reactions. Paint the Stark concept on the ground, then count people, listen, and watch where people walk, cross and bike. In making places attractive, sometimes a little change can make the place feel a lot nicer.

Category: News, Planning, Projects

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