Hamilton’s bike plan 1988

The quoted information in this post comes from a 1988 report, Cycling in Hamilton, by C.J. Boyt, Chief Design Engineer. Library ref: 711 720 993 115 1 HAM

The “Data for this report was conducted … during the period 1980 to 1985” (p10). “The study set out to – find out who cycles, to where, and when” (p12). There were ‘Central Area Cordon Counts’ which were intended to measure the “volume of cycle traffic entering and leaving the central city area at peak times and to identify any trends in usage” (p14); these were still being done a few years ago. There were also ‘School Surveys’. “The school survey involved interviewing all of the school children in Hamilton. This involved 19,346 pupils attending 48 schools in the city” (p15). The 2018 census counted 34,410 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 years, with 61 schools in the city.

In the 1980s, 6,133 pupils used bicycles to go to school, compared to the late 1960s when ‘more than 13,000 trips were made to and from school by bicycle, almost half of which occurred in the morning peak hour’*. According to the 2018 Census, 8,721 people bicycled to an educational institution (includes university and Wintec).

*How to suppress biking – Brief history from Hamilton


In the Community Needs survey, respondents were asked to state whether the Council should spend money on the provision of certain services, one of which was cycleway facilities: 80% responded in the affirmative to this question (p22), and many saw ‘the need to provide separation between cyclists and motorists’.

“Cycle Routes off City Streets – There are a number of opportunities for developing cycle-ways through recreation reserves so as to provide more direct connection from main routes to schools. The director of recreation and Welfare has indicated his support for such cycle paths in recreation reserves as appropriate.” (p31)

Donny Park

“The Special Case of the Younger Cyclist – The young cyclists, particularly those under 10 years old, are particularly at risk when cycling on the road. This is a national problem rather than one simply for local authorities … One suggestion that has been canvassed widely is that the young cyclists be allowed to cycle on the footpath … They also still need to negotiate road crossings at intersections in a potentially more hazardous position.” (p39)

“It is proposed that the development of the cycle route network should be carried out over a period of five years with the goal to improve facilities for the safety and convenience for cyclists within Hamilton City.”

Lastly it states “The education of the young cyclists is a matter of great importance” (Page 33).

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