Support the trail!
Please sign this petition to show your support for the construction of an asphalt multi-use trail (for pedestrians, in-line skaters, cyclists etc.) that will connect the Hamilton Cycling Network (Ontario, Canada) on the east side of the 403 highway, to the Brantford Rail-Trail/Dundas trail network on the west side of the 403 highway, using the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge to cross the 403 highway. This trail, which has been provisionally approved by both the City of Hamilton and the Niagara Escarpment Commission, has been in the planning since 2006 but is now mired in a legal process concerning its precise route and the whole project is now under threat of cancellation. The trail will provide an urgently needed safe route for non-motorists to cross the 403 highway that can be used 12 months of the year. By connecting the eastern and the western parts of the Hamilton Cycling Network, it will provide a vital link for both recreational users and people who would like to commute to work by non-motorized transport, thus encouraging more people to leave their cars at home an adopt a healthier lifestyle. The purpose of this petition is to demonstrate the widespread desire amongst the community to see this long-awaited green initiative operational as soon as possible, and so put friendly pressure on all sides to come to a quick compromise on the routing of the trail and avoid its cancellation. Note: the petition will have more impact if you put your address and leave a comment about how you and your family would use the trail. BACKGROUND: As part of its “Shifting Gears” cycling masterplan*, the city of Hamilton has proposed to build a multi-use asphalt trail that will run from the junction of Glenside & Chedoke Avenues in west Hamilton, follow the northern edge of Chedoke golf course until Studholme Road, use the Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge to cross the 403 Highway, and finish at Stroud Road (in Ainslie Wood, due south of McMaster) where it connects directly to the existing Brantford Rail-Trail (that passes through Dundas and ultimately goes all the way to Brantford.) This route was recommended by the 2005/2006 Kirkendall Neighbourhood Traffic Management Study, which was a consultation between the City of Hamilton and the residents of Kirkendall neighbourhood (which lies immediately to the east of the 403 highway). The trail will be snowploughed in winter so it can be used 12 months of the year. Currently there are only three places to cross the 403 Highway between west Hamilton and Dundas/Westdale: Longwood Road, Main Street, and King Street. These are all busy roads with fast moving traffic that are both unpleasant and dangerous to use for anyone not in motorized transport. This greatly discourages any would-be bicycle commuters let alone purely recreational use. The trail has already been approved by both the city of Hamilton and the Niagara Escarpment Commission (who are charged with “preserving the Niagara Escarpment as a continuous natural landscape”**) but protracted wrangling between the City and residents whose properties back onto Chedoke golf course concerning the trail’s precise routing across Chedoke golf course has lead to an appeal which is threatening the entire project with cancellation. By providing a safe, enjoyable and ecological*** route to get between Hamilton and Dundas/Westdale, it is anticipated that the trail will encourage many people to leave their cars at home and go by bicycle. For example, McMaster University has 23,300 full-time students and 7,500 employees. *http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/PublicWorks/TrafficEngineeringAndOperations/Cycling/shiftinggears.htm **http://www.escarpment.org ***Note that according to the City of Hamilton ecological assessment, only six trees will need to be felled to accommodate the trail across Chedoke golf course.