Yes We Cannon is a local, grassroots movement, gathering Hamiltonians to petition City Council to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety in the lower city by taking one simple step.
The mission: create a bi-directional bike lane, running the full length of Cannon Street, by 2015.
In order to acheive this vision, we need to send a loud, clear signal to Hamilton City Council. We need the support of thousands within our community when we present the petition to Council this fall!
It's past time for Hamilton to join the dozens of cities across North America that are converting their downtown streets back to pedestrian-friendly two-way traffic and enjoying renewed investment and revitalized neighbourhoods.
One-way streets are great at funneling large volumes of automobile traffic but terrible at sustaining lively businesses and healthy neighbourhoods. Fast traffic scares away pedestrians, and destinations on one-way streets are more difficult to reach by automobile.
On the other hand, a study by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce recently found that pedestrian-friendly streets attract new creative businesses and concluded, "walkable environments should be viewed as economic infrastructure that attract employment and should be invested in accordingly."
More important, Hamilton's own traffic collision data shows that one-way streets are 2.5 times more dangerous for children than two-way streets. One-way streets allow for much faster vehicle traffic, and vehicle speed is the biggest risk factor for pedestrians: the rate of pedestrian fatality on being hit by a vehicle is 5% at 32 km/h but jumps to 85% at 64 km/h.
Hamilton City Council needs to affirm that children's safety, business development and community vitality are more important priorities than fast automobile traffic through city neighbourhoods. Now is the time to put our one-way highways behind us and transform our streets into the people friendly, business friendly neighbourhood centres they should be.
Local residents are petitioning the City of Hamilton to request a Pedestrian-activated stoplight at the corner of Kent and Aberdeen Streets. Councillor Brian McHattie (Ward 1) and the Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association support this.