Dedicated bike lanes on Queensdale on the north end of Hamilton mountain will not happen. The project has been vetoed by Tom Jackson, the councillor for the ward in which the lanes would have been set up.
The lanes would have been set up along with the reconstruction of the roadway, which is in desperate need of resurfacing. It's inclusion is necessary to ensure continuity in the cycling network as identified in Shifting Gears, the city's cycling master plan.
Queensdale Ave is by no means a busy arterial roadway whose traffic would be impacted by bike lanes. This isn't Mohawk Rd or Main St. The road is an east-west road that spans about 4km between Upper Ottawa St and West 2nd St and the bike lanes would have covered 3.2km of that run.
The power to veto the bike lanes seems foolhardy. Whereas a stop sign installation, community centre, zoning change or any number of other issues going before council may primarily affects Jackson's ward, this issue affects the city as a whole in the entire cycling community.
If the issue of the lanes is not argued before council again there is an alternative path, though potentially more costly to implement. Brucedale Ave runs parallel to Queensdale on Hamilton mountain. This roadway is not nearly as trafficked as Queensdale and would likely not need dedicated bike lanes, but merely be converted into a 'signed' bike route. The increased cost to implement arises due to the lack of signalized intersections at Brucedale and the major cross streets this route would take.
Crossing a busy, four-lane road without the aid of traffic signals can be difficult. It is for this reason that another mountain signed bike route will be altered this spring. Queensdale Ave has traffic signals at every major intersection. Brucedale, with the exception of the Upper Ottawa intersection, has none. For safety reasons pedestrian-controlled signals should be added to such intersections if Brucedale was chosen as an alternative.
It remains to be seen what will happen with this veto to Queensdale bike lanes. Hopefully, for the sake of the cyclists in the city (of which I am), a suitable alternative is chosen.