Lift Bridge Safety Plan.

scotto

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#1
Lift bridge safety plan
Burlington city staff supports spending $120,000 to build walkway under span
By John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator
BURLINGTON (May 10, 2005)
Dennis Heming was shocked at how fast trucks travelled along Eastport Drive when he went to see where his cousin died two years ago.

"I couldn't believe it, how dangerous it was for anyone trying to cross from the trail (through Beachway Park) to the sidewalk on the lift bridge," he said yesterday.

Richard Heming, 58, of Burlington, died Aug. 27, 2003, when he tried to walk his bike across Eastport. A truck hit him on the Burlington side as he crossed from east to west.

The only sidewalk is on the west side of the bridge. It's the only way of crossing the span and connecting with the Lake Ontario trail on the Hamilton side.

Now Burlington parks and recreation staff are recommending the city spend $120,000 to build a walkway under its side of the bridge and back up to the sidewalk on the west side of Eastport Drive.

If the plan is approved by the city's community and corporate services committee tonight and city council May 24, the trail extension could be in place this summer.

"That would be good," said Dennis. "My wife and I took our bikes down there a while after Richard died and the trucks were rolling through there so fast it was dangerous for anyone to cross."

Richard Heming, a retired construction worker, became an avid recreational cyclist after suffering a heart attack. He was walking his bike across Eastport Drive at about 4:45 p.m. when he was struck and killed by a northbound transport truck which had just crossed the lift bridge. There were no charges.

Burlington staff believe the connection under the bridge provides the most timely and cost effective way to safely get people from one side of Eastport Drive to the other.

The preferred solution would be another sidewalk added to the east side of the lift bridge. But that would involve rebalancing the lift bridge and spending about $1 million. Finding funding for that might be difficult because the federal government wants to divest itself of the structure.

Pedestrian activated signals on Eastport just north of the bridge were also considered, but there were concerns about the volume of traffic affected as the road is the only alternative route should the Queen Elizabeth Way be shut down or restricted.

In his report, parks manager Rob Peachey notes the connection under the bridge is not as direct as other options and there is concern users may continue to cross Eastport. However, the link can be done quickly and within budget.

For its part, Hamilton has been looking at installing a tunnel under Beach Boulevard from the east side of the road to the west to eliminate the need for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road there.

jburman@thespec.com

905-526-2469
 
Dec 1, 2004
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#2
Why are trucks permitted to cross the Beach strip when there is a very nice bridge available on the QEW? There really is no excuse for heavy vehicles on the Beach. Before the Skyway there was no option and we were quite happy when the bridge was knocked into the canal. For a few months there was peace on the strip. Then the Skyway was built and peace reigned again until the tolls encouraged traffic to return to the Beach. Why not agitate for a truck ban?
 

scotto

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#3
Crawfish said:
Why are trucks permitted to cross the Beach strip when there is a very nice bridge available on the QEW? There really is no excuse for heavy vehicles on the Beach. Before the Skyway there was no option and we were quite happy when the bridge was knocked into the canal. For a few months there was peace on the strip. Then the Skyway was built and peace reigned again until the tolls encouraged traffic to return to the Beach. Why not agitate for a truck ban?
Crawfish;
Thanks for the concern, but there aren't any heavy trucks using the boulevard, unless they are doing business here. They do use the Lift Bridge though because Eastport Drive is the secondary road for the QEW and Beach Blvd is now only connected to Eastport Dr.
We also have truck companies setting up shop on Eastport and they also use the Lift Bridge. Hope I explained that correctly, just in case I didn't, attached is a picture taken about a month ago from the top of the Lift Bridge tower.
Scotto
 
Dec 1, 2004
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Longueuil, Quebec
#4
Thanks for the education, Scotto. Eastport drive is new to me. I now see the situation but the problem with the awkward pedestrian/cycle crossing of the bridge does need rectification. Hope something works out soon.
 

scotto

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#5
Crawfish said:
Thanks for the education, Scotto. Eastport drive is new to me. I now see the situation but the problem with the awkward pedestrian/cycle crossing of the bridge does need rectification. Hope something works out soon.
I will see if I can get a copy of the future plan for the Path near the Lift Bridge.
 

Kellins

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Feb 22, 2005
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#6
Years ago, when the amusement park was still around, there was a pedestrian bridge near the old Angus Inn. That was long before the Blvd was widened. Too bad they tore it down. Of course, it was too small for the now Eastport Dr. but another one might have worked again. :tbu:
 
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scotto

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#7
Kellins said:
Years ago, when the amusement park was still around, there was a pedestrian bridge near the old Angus Inn. That was long before the Blvd was widened. Too bad they tore it down. Of course, it was too small for the now Eastport Dr. but another one might have worked again. :tbu:
I remember that bridge(stairs on both sides), but the traffic wasn't too bad then and no one really use it after the Skyway was built. Back then not as many poeple used bikes and rollerblades were an idea of the future. The new plan will use the same idea, just on a bigger scale.
 

scotto

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#9
Collings said:
That bridge at the Angus Inn was the coolest place to hang out..check out the girls....spit on cars driving underneath....
Ah the good old days. :D
I have attached a picture from Gary Evan's book Prints Along the Beach that somewhat shows this bridge. It's not the best picture, so if anyone has a better one, please share. :wink:
 

Collings

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Dec 24, 2004
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#10
Thats a good foto...it is taken from the lake side looking east - so the Angus Inn is on the left side of the picture - hidden by the trees..the picture taker was probably in front of the change rooms building...
 

scotto

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#11
Collings said:
Thats a good foto...it is taken from the lake side looking east - so the Angus Inn is on the left side of the picture - hidden by the trees..the picture taker was probably in front of the change rooms building...
Yes, the Angus Inn was just past the over the road bridge and hidden by the trees, but the Bath House was directly across from the Bingo Hall.
BTW GO MANITOBA MOOSE :rock:
 

scotto

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#12
By John Burman
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 19, 2005)
Hamilton and Burlington officials will try the political route to get a new bike path on the Lake Ontario side of the canal lift bridge.

Both cities, the Hamilton Port Authority and the Hamilton Waterfront Trust will petition area MPs for a new path on the bridge to make a safe connection between lakefront trails on both sides of the canal.

There is only one sidewalk on the bridge now, on the bay side, and pedestrians and cyclists must cross traffic on Eastport Drive and Beach Boulevard to use the trails.

Burlington councillors Jack Dennison and Joan Lougheed met with Hamilton Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins, who was instrumental in getting the Hamilton portion of the trail built, as well as port officials and waterfront trust officials last week to push for a safe trail link.

"Everyone agrees a safe link is needed," Dennison said after the meeting.

The federal Public Works Department, which wants local authority to take over the bridge, has said a new path on the bridge would cost at least $1 million because the lift structure would have to be rebalanced.

If the port authority does not assume control of the bridge, the stakeholders would petition Ottawa to have Public Works maintain the bridge in a safe manner.

Dennison convinced the community and corporate services committee last Tuesday to wait 30 days before approving a looping trail under the north end of the bridge as the way for cyclists and pedestrians to safely cross Eastport Drive to gain time to put pressure on Ottawa.

Richard Heming, 58, of Burlington, was killed Aug. 27, 2003, as he walked his bike across Eastport Drive from the east to west side just north of the lift bridge.

Heming was trying to use the single sidewalk on the west side of the lift bridge, cross the canal and continue riding along the Lake Ontario trail on the Hamilton side of the beach.

Dennison said he believes a trail under the bridge coming up to join the sidewalk on the west side of Eastport Drive will not stop people cutting directly across the road.

He said spending $120,000 on a looping path under the bridge is "a waste of money."

Burlington and Hamilton have about $250,000 set aside between them to solve the problem and Dennison wants to see what Ottawa and the port authority are willing to do.

City staff told the committee a new path on the lake side is the best solution but would cost about $1.2 million.

They also said Ottawa's desire to have local authority control the bridge could create delays getting such work done.

That is why they believe a connection under the bridge provides the most timely and cost effective way to get cyclists and pedestrians safely from one side of Eastport Drive to the other.

Bron Tregunno, chair of Burlington cycling committee, said the city must keep pushing for a path on the lake side.

jburman@thespec.com

905-526-2469
 

scotto

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#13
I guess the City didn't seem to want me to see the official plan just yet and Burlington at this time had no comment also, so I have started my own. The first attached picture shows an aerial veiw of the Lift Bridge and the Path. I drew a black line to show the proposed(for now) link to the Burlington side. The second one shows the underpass that will be used if the plan goes ahead. I think there will be more later on this one.
 

scotto

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#15
Kellins said:
if that underpass is already there, what is the problem beside red tape? What is it used for now?
It now is only used for road access to the pier and incase heavy equipment is needed on the east side of the Bridge. As you in the last Spec article, the new loop won't be used because it is still easier to just cross the road. When government gets pressure from special interest groups, plans sometimes change. :sure:
 

Kellins

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Feb 22, 2005
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#16
The loop may be a bit of a hassel, but then so is a funeral. There is always someone who will take the faster way but the majority will take the safer rout.
 

scotto

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#17
Kellins said:
The loop may be a bit of a hassel, but then so is a funeral. There is always someone who will take the faster way but the majority will take the safer rout.
True and many ride on the road and still will, walkway or no walkway.
 

adamfrancis

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Jan 13, 2005
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right on the beach
#18
Why did the City put a guard rail on the Burlington side where you cross over to get to the Burlington Path? It makes no sence, now people are stuck luging there bikes over the stupid rail, theres now a better chance of being hit!
 

scotto

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#19
adamfrancis said:
Why did the City put a guard rail on the Burlington side where you cross over to get to the Burlington Path? It makes no sence, now people are stuck luging there bikes over the stupid rail, theres now a better chance of being hit!
The City of Burlington was trying to stop the Path user from crossing Eastport Dr there, so they added that guard rail and a sign. That was the area where the cyclist was killed by a transport truck last year. Big problems at that bottle neck for everyone.
 

scotto

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#20
Burlington Side Update

The shovels are not in the ground just yet, but the City of Burlington was nice enough to sent us a drawing of what is to be expected once their side of the Trail is connected. Maybe this will get some some of the people off of Eastport Drive and make the area a little safer for everyone. Thanks to Becky Ellis, M.L.A. Landscape Technician, Parks and Recreation, City of Burlington. :tbu:
 
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