Opinion: Half shelters are no shelter at all

New shelter at Hamilton GO Centre Platform 18 | Photo by Jason Nason

Just before Hamilton felt the full force of winter the HSR transit shelters were removed from the Hamilton GO Centre. The shelters were for HSR service on Platform 18 and left the stop without any shelter for nearly three months.

While the timing of the removal and resulting sidewalk work was dubious at best, a large brand new shelter was installed in late February. In fact the new shelter is one of the new “B-LINE” style shelters which have been installed strategically along the 10 B-LINE EXPRESS and 20 A-LINE EXPRESS routes, as well as at the Mountain Transit Centre and the Mohawk College Transit Terminal.

The only problem with the new shelter is that it’s only a half-shelter.

The shelter has a partial glass wall on the south side, half walls on the east and west sides, and no protection on the north side. The shelter provides little to no protection from the elements. Coupled with the fact that the south side partial glass wall is directly adjacent to a concrete wall, it is redundant and provides little in the way of protection.

Half-shelters in general are mostly useless.

An example of another new shelter that is not very useful is a smaller half-shelter which was installed in late 2016 at the eastbound stop on BARTON at WENTWORTH.

This shelter has a glass wall facing the street to the north and is open faced on the south side. The unfortunate location of the shelter has the open side looking down Wentworth Street. Standing huddled in the half-shelter is akin to standing in a wind tunnel. The openness of the shelter does nothing to protect from the elements and most stand about five metres from the shelter in a doorway, which actually provides protection from the wind and rain.

The shelter is also directly beside a concrete hydro pole which blocks the view down Barton Street. This means that if anyone were to stand or sit under the shelter it is nearly impossible to see if the bus is coming.

These two examples of failures in shelter design and location makes one wonder if there was any real world thought put into their placement. Was anyone who actually stands on this corner on a regular basis, who would have some insight into the realities of waiting here, consulted on the placement of the shelter?

Some would argue that any shelter is better than no shelter, but is a shelter that is not being used really useful?

About Jason Nason
I'm the editor of Hamilton-Today.com and I love the city of Hamilton. From sports to entertainment, local events and the politics of the city, I will try to bring it here to you!

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