Dundas cycling link fills gap between Cootes Drive and Hatt Street

Dundas cyclists William Oates and Michelle Chin at Cootes Drive and Dundas Street – where the existing Cootes Drive multi-use path ends. A planned project will extend that route west along Cootes Drive and down Baldwin Street to connect with the Hatt Stre

A consultant is developing preliminary design of on-street bike lanes and a separated multi-use path connecting Hatt Street bike lanes to the existing Cootes Drive multi-use path, along Baldwin Street and Cootes Drive to Dundas Street.

City of Hamilton active transportation project manager Danny Pimentel said the consultant is working on five multi-use path projects across the city. They hope preliminary designs are completed within two to four months so some of the projects can be implemented this year.

Dundas resident and Hamilton Cycling Committee member William Oates said he rides Baldwin and Cootes regularly and the plan provides direction to a safe route for cyclists from Dundas Street, where the existing separated path alongside Cootes Drive ends.

“At Dundas and Cootes, it’s not clear where to go,” Oates said. “You’re on the trail, all of a sudden you’re on the sidewalk.”

Road markings will direct cyclists across Dundas Street where the new multi-use path will continue to Baldwin Street.

Dundas resident and cyclist Michelle Chin said it’s difficult when a cycling route suddenly stops, and users must become a pedestrian until they find a route.

Cycling committee chair Chris Ritsma called the area at Cootes and Dundas “awkward.”

Ritsma said having a directed route all the way to Hatt Street, where bike lanes connect to Governor’s Road via Market Street and Creighton Road, will particularly help out-of-town cyclists travel throughout Dundas.

Oates said a problem to address is the intersection of Baldwin and York, where the new route will connect with Hatt Street, which he called a ‘pinch point’ for cyclists.

“The consultant will look at that intersection,” Pimentel said.

Ritsma noted the planned route currently includes a one-way stop sign on Baldwin at West Street – which would require bikes to stop on the cycling route, but not vehicles traveling on West, creating potential conflicts. He suggested a four-way stop, moving the one-way stop to West Street, or using the intersection to test a mini-roundabout.

“Different options are superior, in my opinion, than stop signs,” Ritsma said.

Oates said it is confusing to have only a one-way stop on Baldwin, and noted the traffic coming in and out of McDonald’s restaurant at West and Baldwin.

A feasibility report states the project is 240 meters long. It suggests Baldwin Street will be a “bicycle boulevard” using signs and pavement markings to indicate a cycling route, while a three-meter wide bike path adjacent to the sidewalk is suggested for the south side of Cootes, between Baldwin and Thorpe streets.

No stopping would be formalized along the north curb of Baldwin beside Mediacom Park. Curb cuts will be required to transition from the end of Baldwin onto Cootes.

The report indicates some private parking along Cootes between Baldwin and Thorpe encroaches into the right-of-way and needs to be removed for the multi-use path.

The existing sidewalk in front of 50 Cootes Dr., the vacant former Canadian Tire property, will be removed. A new multi-use path, shared by pedestrians and cyclists, will be installed with a grass boulevard and nine new trees.

The report suggests removal of vehicle access to 50 Cootes from Cootes Drive when the site is redeveloped.

“Baldwin Street is a direct connection between the existing multi-use path on Cootes Drive and downtown Dundas via Hatt Street,” the report states. “The proposed new segment of cycling facility on Cootes Drive (separate from the roadway) is justified due to existing volumes on Cootes and direct connectivity to existing facilities on the south side.”

Pimentel said there is not much detail for Baldwin, as the consultant is still developing preliminary design.

“We’re not sure what that will look like,” he said.

Contacts for the project include Pimentel (danny.pimentel@hamilton.ca) and pedestrian and cycling engineer Bakir Fayad (bakir.fayad@hamilton.ca).


STORY BEHIND THE STORY: We wanted to learn impacts of a planned cycling link on Baldwin Street and Cootes Drive.

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