Bollards, bump-outs now fixtures on misaligned Hamilton intersection after cars hit buildings

Photo of bollards placed near the Poke Co restaurant on Ottawa Street North at Cannon weeks after a vehicle damaged a section of the restaurant in an overnight crash. Global News

New safety improvements promised by a pair of councillors have now been installed at an East Hamilton intersection that’s endured multiple car crashes over the past year.

Bollards are now a fixture at the misaligned intersection on Ottawa Street North at Cannon where buildings have been damaged by vehicles that have inadvertently driven into them.

“The intersection is pretty well known that it’s just an odd sort of structure, it’s not straight through,” local BIA chair Michael Carruth explained. “I think a lot of people just miss it … especially in snowy and slippery conditions and we’ve seen the results of that with buildings on both corners being hit multiple times.”

Crosswalks at the intersection have also been redesigned with the timing of traffic signals, targeting conflicts between vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, having taken effect in early November.

Ward 3 Coun. Nrinder Nann told Global News last month even years before she became a councilor in 2018, the area had been “very  distinctly” flagged by the community as an “intersection of concern.”

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“I think all of the four buildings in the intersection, three of them have been struck by vehicles,” she recalled. “The United Church, the current Cannon and Poke Co. have all had vehicles smash into their buildings.”

A photo of new bollards and road bump-outs installed in December 2023 to improve safety at a misaligned intersection in Hamilton. Ont. Global News

No serious injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

Geometric changes and the addition of concrete bump-outs are now also a part of the roadway after consultation with a safety specialist to reduce the possibility of vehicles driving up and onto sidewalks.

In 2024, more intersections could see similar treatment following a comprehensive safety review in Q3 of 2023 by the city’s Transportation Division.

Ward 4 Coun. Tammy Hwang eluded to “more motions” at future public works committees as council and transportation staff go through a “neighbourhood by neighbourhood” safety audit to seek out other roads of concern.

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Hwang said the audit would likely work off the premise of one “large development” plan in a “holistic” approach connecting roadways and avoiding creation of problems in other sections.

“We don’t want to do things piecemeal, so we’re trying to ground everything in data and to ensure that while we’re trying to create the best safe environment for all of our residents, we’re doing this in a very mindful sort of way,” she said.

Carruth says many in the Ottawa Street BIA members are grateful for the change at the Cannon intersection and hopes further council actions will eliminate large truck traffic and add more crosswalks.

“The bump outs have slowed the traffic down on the street because it’s down to one lane,” Carruth shared. “So people aren’t whipping up and down here quite as fast because there is more traffic  … but still, I think more needs to be done.”

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