By Kevin Werner, News Staff
It may cost upwards of $600,000 to transform Cannon Street into two ways, and adding bi-directional bike lanes fromSherman Avenue to Bay Street.
Public Works General Manager Gerry Davis said if the city hired a consultant, and fast-tracked the project, the cost could reach $600,000. But if the city did the work itself, the cost could be up to only half a million dollars. The idea is to get the roadway, described by residents as a speedway at times, ready for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Still, councillors at their Sept. 5 government issues committee meeting agreed to the three-year pilot project to convert Cannon Street to two-way traffic, add the bike lanes, and eliminate one lane of traffic. It’s an idea that has been promoted by Cannon Street residents at least since the 2010 municipal election in an effort to promote a safer and healthier neighbourhood. A group Yes We Cannon was created to promote the idea of the two-way conversion and adopting bike lanes for the roadway. Farr adopted the idea as part of his election platform in 2010, and proposed the motion at the meeting. A study group looking into the transportation of the area also recommended converting the roadway to two ways.
“This is a very significant issue for Cannon Street residents,” he said.
City Manager Chris Murray said the conversion signals to other municipalities that “there are a lot of good things happening at the grassroots (of Hamilton).”
Murray also pointed out that Gil Penalosa, executive director of the non-profit group 8-80 which promotes vibrant urban cities, talked about making streets more pedestrian friendly during a recent one-day seminar held at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
“It will translate into transportation and health benefits,” said Murray.
City staff will provide politicians with design and cost estimates for the project within four to six weeks for approval.
The cost for the project will be shared from the wards one, two, and three budgets.