Residents' groups gear up for meeting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Opposition, concern and mistrust are mounting as residents in east and south Waterdown maintain their vigil of new road plans that will affect their residential neighbourhoods.

"Everyone here is disheartened and feels betrayed," east Waterdown resident Steve Oliver said last week. About 100 residents of the east Parkside Drive area have signed a petition to show their discontent with a preferred route option that would see a nearby section of Parkside Drive widened to handle increased traffic resulting from a proposed new subdivision in north Waterdown, west of Centre Road and Parkside Drive.

Residents feel that a modified route identified in a road study seven years ago hasn't been fairly assessed by the City of Hamilton, which has come up with a preferred route that brings the traffic from the proposed west-east route southward onto an expanded Parkside Drive just east of Churchill Avenue. The modified route, named as the recommended option just prior to Flamborough's amalgamation with Hamilton in 2001, dropped off the radar during recent studies connected with the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan. It was basically a bypass that would see the west-east route continue to run north of Parkside Drive east of Churchill Avenue, traversing Robson Road before heading southward to Dundas Street East.

A group of Parkside Drive East residents prefers the earlier option, arguing that it will be a less circuitous route than that currently proposed by transportation study engineers. It will also be less costly and result in less wetland disruption.

Oliver said he and other residents are becoming increasingly frustrated in their efforts to get their message across to city public works employees.

"We don't want to see this route (the study's preferred option) approved," he said.

If the city doesn't like the option supported by the Parkside Drive East Citizen's Group, which represents about 35 homeowners, it should start the planning process over again, Oliver said. He complained that not a single resident from the Parkside Drive East area is represented on the 16-member Stakeholders' Advisory Committee (SAC) that is providing input to city staff and project consultants about the new road network.

Oliver also suggested that the SAC was responsible for setting the weightings or points system for assessing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of transportation routes under study. However, Mary Lou Tanner, manager of strategic and environmental planning with Hamilton's public works department, said the SAC was just one of the groups asked to help set the weightings. Members of a technical advisory committee, including representation from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and "the broader public" were also consulted for input and all were consistent in the numbers they assigned to the various impacts, she said.

Tanner explained that the SAC is an advisory group that provides information to the project team "from their perspective as residents and business owners." The group's makeup was determined after conversations with Flamborough councillors Margaret McCarthy and Dave Braden and on the basis of the project team's knowledge about community groups in the area, she said.

Besides the east-west road, a new north-south transportation route is also being proposed which will mean widening Waterdown Road and Mountain Brow Road to four lanes and building another north-south road through the proposed Waterdown South subdivision to connect with Dundas Street East (Hwy.5).

The transportation study is a joint project of the cities of Hamilton and Burlington and the Region of Halton. The new roads are being proposed to meet the traffic demands that Waterdown will face with the proposed addition of 6,500 homes over the next 10 years.

The preferred route options have met with opposition from Oliver's group as well as from the Waterdown South Residents' Association, which opposes the use of Mountain Brow Road as part of the north-south route.

Last week, Alex Bielak, a resident of the Mountain Brow Road area and a member of the SAC, expressed concerns about a recent suggestion that the City of Burlington is looking at the potential closure of both Kerns and King roads near the escarpment as a means of cutting down on road maintenance costs. Both roads had been considered as possible north-south routes but were abandoned primarily for environmental reasons.

Bielak's concern springs from the fact that "the north-south route was predicated on the need for two extra lanes" and now it appears Burlington plans to cut off two roads; he wonders what that will mean in terms of traffic on Waterdown Road, or in the event traffic must be re-routed because of an accident on Waterdown Road.

Tanner said the road closures are "an option" identified in the draft Phase 2 report of the study. In the case of King Road, in particular, the escarpment crossing is "challenging" and closing the road at the brow would mean that expensive safety improvements wouldn't be needed, she said.

Members of the residents' groups from Parkside Drive and Waterdown South plan to register their concerns when a staff report about route options is presented February 20 to the city's public works, infrastructure and environment committee. Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy will chair the meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Bohemian Banquet Centre, Waterdown.

Several delegations are expected to address the committee. The Review has obtained a copy of questions that will be raised by residents of South Waterdown. These include clarification about the possible closures of Kerns and King roads and how traffic volumes will be impacted by the planned big-box developments at Clappison's Corners and other commercial developments, such as a proposed shopping complex in southeast Waterdown near Dundas Street East. Other questions will centre on funding arrangements between Burlington and Hamilton to cover the cost of the roads and total project costs that have already risen once and are expected to climb even more.

Tanner said Tuesday that the estimated cost is $52 million, up from the $51.3 million estimate of last September. An addition error on a spreadsheet accounts for the increase, she explained.

Oliver and residents of the Parkside Drive East area plan to ask the committee why the SAC, which has eight representatives from Burlington, should have anything to say about an east-west route that doesn't run through any part of Burlington.

The staff report about the preferred route options will be available on the city's website (www.myhamilton.ca) next Friday (February 17). It will be included in the online agenda for the February 20 meeting.

Residents' groups gear up for meeting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Opposition, concern and mistrust are mounting as residents in east and south Waterdown maintain their vigil of new road plans that will affect their residential neighbourhoods.

"Everyone here is disheartened and feels betrayed," east Waterdown resident Steve Oliver said last week. About 100 residents of the east Parkside Drive area have signed a petition to show their discontent with a preferred route option that would see a nearby section of Parkside Drive widened to handle increased traffic resulting from a proposed new subdivision in north Waterdown, west of Centre Road and Parkside Drive.

Residents feel that a modified route identified in a road study seven years ago hasn't been fairly assessed by the City of Hamilton, which has come up with a preferred route that brings the traffic from the proposed west-east route southward onto an expanded Parkside Drive just east of Churchill Avenue. The modified route, named as the recommended option just prior to Flamborough's amalgamation with Hamilton in 2001, dropped off the radar during recent studies connected with the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan. It was basically a bypass that would see the west-east route continue to run north of Parkside Drive east of Churchill Avenue, traversing Robson Road before heading southward to Dundas Street East.

A group of Parkside Drive East residents prefers the earlier option, arguing that it will be a less circuitous route than that currently proposed by transportation study engineers. It will also be less costly and result in less wetland disruption.

Oliver said he and other residents are becoming increasingly frustrated in their efforts to get their message across to city public works employees.

"We don't want to see this route (the study's preferred option) approved," he said.

If the city doesn't like the option supported by the Parkside Drive East Citizen's Group, which represents about 35 homeowners, it should start the planning process over again, Oliver said. He complained that not a single resident from the Parkside Drive East area is represented on the 16-member Stakeholders' Advisory Committee (SAC) that is providing input to city staff and project consultants about the new road network.

Oliver also suggested that the SAC was responsible for setting the weightings or points system for assessing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of transportation routes under study. However, Mary Lou Tanner, manager of strategic and environmental planning with Hamilton's public works department, said the SAC was just one of the groups asked to help set the weightings. Members of a technical advisory committee, including representation from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and "the broader public" were also consulted for input and all were consistent in the numbers they assigned to the various impacts, she said.

Tanner explained that the SAC is an advisory group that provides information to the project team "from their perspective as residents and business owners." The group's makeup was determined after conversations with Flamborough councillors Margaret McCarthy and Dave Braden and on the basis of the project team's knowledge about community groups in the area, she said.

Besides the east-west road, a new north-south transportation route is also being proposed which will mean widening Waterdown Road and Mountain Brow Road to four lanes and building another north-south road through the proposed Waterdown South subdivision to connect with Dundas Street East (Hwy.5).

The transportation study is a joint project of the cities of Hamilton and Burlington and the Region of Halton. The new roads are being proposed to meet the traffic demands that Waterdown will face with the proposed addition of 6,500 homes over the next 10 years.

The preferred route options have met with opposition from Oliver's group as well as from the Waterdown South Residents' Association, which opposes the use of Mountain Brow Road as part of the north-south route.

Last week, Alex Bielak, a resident of the Mountain Brow Road area and a member of the SAC, expressed concerns about a recent suggestion that the City of Burlington is looking at the potential closure of both Kerns and King roads near the escarpment as a means of cutting down on road maintenance costs. Both roads had been considered as possible north-south routes but were abandoned primarily for environmental reasons.

Bielak's concern springs from the fact that "the north-south route was predicated on the need for two extra lanes" and now it appears Burlington plans to cut off two roads; he wonders what that will mean in terms of traffic on Waterdown Road, or in the event traffic must be re-routed because of an accident on Waterdown Road.

Tanner said the road closures are "an option" identified in the draft Phase 2 report of the study. In the case of King Road, in particular, the escarpment crossing is "challenging" and closing the road at the brow would mean that expensive safety improvements wouldn't be needed, she said.

Members of the residents' groups from Parkside Drive and Waterdown South plan to register their concerns when a staff report about route options is presented February 20 to the city's public works, infrastructure and environment committee. Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy will chair the meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Bohemian Banquet Centre, Waterdown.

Several delegations are expected to address the committee. The Review has obtained a copy of questions that will be raised by residents of South Waterdown. These include clarification about the possible closures of Kerns and King roads and how traffic volumes will be impacted by the planned big-box developments at Clappison's Corners and other commercial developments, such as a proposed shopping complex in southeast Waterdown near Dundas Street East. Other questions will centre on funding arrangements between Burlington and Hamilton to cover the cost of the roads and total project costs that have already risen once and are expected to climb even more.

Tanner said Tuesday that the estimated cost is $52 million, up from the $51.3 million estimate of last September. An addition error on a spreadsheet accounts for the increase, she explained.

Oliver and residents of the Parkside Drive East area plan to ask the committee why the SAC, which has eight representatives from Burlington, should have anything to say about an east-west route that doesn't run through any part of Burlington.

The staff report about the preferred route options will be available on the city's website (www.myhamilton.ca) next Friday (February 17). It will be included in the online agenda for the February 20 meeting.

Residents' groups gear up for meeting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Opposition, concern and mistrust are mounting as residents in east and south Waterdown maintain their vigil of new road plans that will affect their residential neighbourhoods.

"Everyone here is disheartened and feels betrayed," east Waterdown resident Steve Oliver said last week. About 100 residents of the east Parkside Drive area have signed a petition to show their discontent with a preferred route option that would see a nearby section of Parkside Drive widened to handle increased traffic resulting from a proposed new subdivision in north Waterdown, west of Centre Road and Parkside Drive.

Residents feel that a modified route identified in a road study seven years ago hasn't been fairly assessed by the City of Hamilton, which has come up with a preferred route that brings the traffic from the proposed west-east route southward onto an expanded Parkside Drive just east of Churchill Avenue. The modified route, named as the recommended option just prior to Flamborough's amalgamation with Hamilton in 2001, dropped off the radar during recent studies connected with the Waterdown-Aldershot Transportation Master Plan. It was basically a bypass that would see the west-east route continue to run north of Parkside Drive east of Churchill Avenue, traversing Robson Road before heading southward to Dundas Street East.

A group of Parkside Drive East residents prefers the earlier option, arguing that it will be a less circuitous route than that currently proposed by transportation study engineers. It will also be less costly and result in less wetland disruption.

Oliver said he and other residents are becoming increasingly frustrated in their efforts to get their message across to city public works employees.

"We don't want to see this route (the study's preferred option) approved," he said.

If the city doesn't like the option supported by the Parkside Drive East Citizen's Group, which represents about 35 homeowners, it should start the planning process over again, Oliver said. He complained that not a single resident from the Parkside Drive East area is represented on the 16-member Stakeholders' Advisory Committee (SAC) that is providing input to city staff and project consultants about the new road network.

Oliver also suggested that the SAC was responsible for setting the weightings or points system for assessing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of transportation routes under study. However, Mary Lou Tanner, manager of strategic and environmental planning with Hamilton's public works department, said the SAC was just one of the groups asked to help set the weightings. Members of a technical advisory committee, including representation from the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Hamilton Conservation Authority, and "the broader public" were also consulted for input and all were consistent in the numbers they assigned to the various impacts, she said.

Tanner explained that the SAC is an advisory group that provides information to the project team "from their perspective as residents and business owners." The group's makeup was determined after conversations with Flamborough councillors Margaret McCarthy and Dave Braden and on the basis of the project team's knowledge about community groups in the area, she said.

Besides the east-west road, a new north-south transportation route is also being proposed which will mean widening Waterdown Road and Mountain Brow Road to four lanes and building another north-south road through the proposed Waterdown South subdivision to connect with Dundas Street East (Hwy.5).

The transportation study is a joint project of the cities of Hamilton and Burlington and the Region of Halton. The new roads are being proposed to meet the traffic demands that Waterdown will face with the proposed addition of 6,500 homes over the next 10 years.

The preferred route options have met with opposition from Oliver's group as well as from the Waterdown South Residents' Association, which opposes the use of Mountain Brow Road as part of the north-south route.

Last week, Alex Bielak, a resident of the Mountain Brow Road area and a member of the SAC, expressed concerns about a recent suggestion that the City of Burlington is looking at the potential closure of both Kerns and King roads near the escarpment as a means of cutting down on road maintenance costs. Both roads had been considered as possible north-south routes but were abandoned primarily for environmental reasons.

Bielak's concern springs from the fact that "the north-south route was predicated on the need for two extra lanes" and now it appears Burlington plans to cut off two roads; he wonders what that will mean in terms of traffic on Waterdown Road, or in the event traffic must be re-routed because of an accident on Waterdown Road.

Tanner said the road closures are "an option" identified in the draft Phase 2 report of the study. In the case of King Road, in particular, the escarpment crossing is "challenging" and closing the road at the brow would mean that expensive safety improvements wouldn't be needed, she said.

Members of the residents' groups from Parkside Drive and Waterdown South plan to register their concerns when a staff report about route options is presented February 20 to the city's public works, infrastructure and environment committee. Flamborough councillor Margaret McCarthy will chair the meeting, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Bohemian Banquet Centre, Waterdown.

Several delegations are expected to address the committee. The Review has obtained a copy of questions that will be raised by residents of South Waterdown. These include clarification about the possible closures of Kerns and King roads and how traffic volumes will be impacted by the planned big-box developments at Clappison's Corners and other commercial developments, such as a proposed shopping complex in southeast Waterdown near Dundas Street East. Other questions will centre on funding arrangements between Burlington and Hamilton to cover the cost of the roads and total project costs that have already risen once and are expected to climb even more.

Tanner said Tuesday that the estimated cost is $52 million, up from the $51.3 million estimate of last September. An addition error on a spreadsheet accounts for the increase, she explained.

Oliver and residents of the Parkside Drive East area plan to ask the committee why the SAC, which has eight representatives from Burlington, should have anything to say about an east-west route that doesn't run through any part of Burlington.

The staff report about the preferred route options will be available on the city's website (www.myhamilton.ca) next Friday (February 17). It will be included in the online agenda for the February 20 meeting.