Latest photo radar safety measure launched for collision-prone Main Street

Add photo-radar cameras to the list of fast-track safety measures Hamilton is considering for collision-prone Main Street.

The council voted in May to convert the five-lane one-way thoroughfare to two-way traffic in the face of growing public outrage over record pedestrian deaths.

This conversion won’t happen quickly, but the city has also committed to making “short-term” street safety changes.

Signs prohibiting right turns at most red lights were added last month, while work to adjust traffic light timings began on Wednesday to give pedestrians more time to cross busy and prone intersections to collisions.

Also on Wednesday, the public works committee unanimously approved a plan to designate sections of Main and King streets as “community safety zones.”

This designation means higher penalties for people caught speeding in these areas – and also allows the city to set up photo-radar cameras. The committee approved the rotation of speeder capture cameras at four locations on Main and King between January and May next year.

On Main Street, the cameras should be installed between Dundurn Street and Queen Street and between Gage Avenue and the Delta. On King Street cameras will be added between Dundurn and Locke Street and Gage and Lottridge Street.

Other short-term changes are coming to Main Street this month and before the end of the year, including:

  • repainting the widest section of Main, between Dundurn Street and Sherman Avenue, to reduce the number of traffic lanes from five to four. (Timing: that work could start next week);
  • signal timing changes and new “countdown” clocks designed to make it safer for pedestrians crossing intersections. (Duration: ongoing);
  • more painted crosswalks at crosswalks. (Period: started in July);

  • adding strategic new parking spaces on curb streets to further narrow the road and create a buffer zone for pedestrians on the sidewalk. (Deadline: may begin after ratification of the bylaw at Friday’s board meeting.)

Jack C. Nugent