The City of Hamilton has been designated a Silver WALK Friendly community in 2013 for its commitment to walkability and pedestrian safety. Tanya Stuart, Canada Walks Communications Facilitator, outlines some highlights from Hamilton’s application.
Hamilton has developed a city-wide plan to address the needs and interests of pedestrians – the Pedestrian Mobility Plan. The plan establishes a 20-year framework, to 2031, to provide pedestrian environments that are safe, attractive, and accessible to community institutions, employment and retail services, thereby increasing the opportunity for walking as a mode of transportation. The plan also recognizes that a commitment to and investment in active transportation improves community health and economic vitality.
Hamilton is harnessing the power of social media to engage residents in active transportation. The City launched a free mobile transportation app, Travelwise, designed to get residents to where they need to go using sustainable transportation.
The app provides instant access to information on getting around by transit, walking, cycling, carpooling, car share and taxi.
Hamilton is also piloting a traffic calming project. A 30 kmh speed limit has been introduced in a neighbourhood of about 5,200 residents. The project will be monitored to assess its impact on pedestrians, cyclists, and the overall well-being of residents.
GCC’s WALK Friendly designation recognizes municipalities for their commitment to making their communities safe, easy, and enjoyable places to walk. To participate, municipalities complete an online application that benchmarks where they stand on more than 200 walkability indicators. Indicators include sidewalk policies, safe crossings, attractive public places, and citizen engagement, with a particular focus on Planning and the five Es: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation
Intake is now open for the next round of WALK Friendly Ontario applications. Deadline is 30 September 2014.