Got a question? Email email@example.com and we’ll include your answer next month.
Resident K.M. asks:
I wanted to speak to you about compost pick up for the businesses downtown. Composting is a huge part of any green initiative, reducing up to 75% of waste management as well as reducing methane production, a serious threat to our environment. Many other cities, such as Barrie, now do collections for the businesses in the downtown core as it is an easy win and they actually save money in other waste management areas longer term. I am sure this topic has come up in conversations/initiatives before. I would be interested in understanding the status and Burlington’s perspective. I would also be very happy in getting involved to help make this happen.
Downtown composting is a great idea. Our current challenge is to ensure there is enough capacity at the composting facility to ensure all Green Cart material collected from residential properties can be properly handled and composted to the required standards. Halton Region, which handles waste management, is currently implementing Green Cart collection at multi-residential complexes across Halton. Before Green Cart service to the business community can be implemented, the Region needs to complete implementation of the program to multi-residential locations and assess our capacity needs.
The Region currently has an agreement with the composting facility owned and operated by the City of Hamilton to receive organic waste material collected from residential households via our Green Cart program. This facility is near their allowable capacity and we are in frequent discussions with them to determine future capacity needs and any changes to processing procedures to conform to Ministry guidelines for quality.
The Minister of the Environment for Ontario also recently introduced Bill 151, the Waste-Free Ontario Act. The purpose of the Act is to introduce extended producer responsibility to ensure sufficient handling and marketing of waste material in an effort to decrease the demand on raw materials to make new products, manage costs associated with end of life products and to enhance waste diversion. A component of the Act is to also develop an Organics Action Plan to address considerations associated with organic waste from food processors, grocery stores and the restaurant and food service sectors. We welcome the Ministry developing a strategic action plan that can be useful in creating the resources, infrastructure and means to expand the collection and processing of organic waste.
In our new contract agreement for waste collection services in the downtown and Business Improvement Area locations across Halton, we did identify a potential Green Cart collection pilot project to be conducted during the term of the agreement. A pilot project would be helpful in determining estimated quantities and the type of material that would collected. While we do not have a plan in place to initiate a Green Cart pilot program for businesses, an opportunity may be more viable following approval and implementation of the proposed Act (expected to become legislation in 2016).
For more information contact: David Miles, Manager, Waste Planning and Collection Phone: 905-825-6000 ext. 8288, Email: David.Miles@halton.ca
Public parking on the Beach Strip
Resident J.P. asks:
This morning I went for a walk along the Beach Strip Lakefront Trail and was amazed to see there were approximately 150 vehicles parked in the parking lot for the Burlington Beach. They stretched from the hospital end of the lot all the way to the Beach Rentals Building. All I assume are construction workers employed on the new extension to the hospital. Seeing this posed several questions:-
First and foremost, what happens in the late Spring and Summer when the beach is used by local residents? Will access be blocked for these residents by the construction crew’s parking?
Are these construction workers parking in this area with the blessing of the City of Burlington staff? If so, are they paying the city for the privilege? If not, why are they allowed to use this area without being ticketed since I would assume there is a time limit on the length of stay?
Is the new parking garage at the hospital unable to accommodate them? I believe permanent employees of the hospital i.e. nurses, orderlies have to pay for parking. Why should the construction workers be any different? If they are not being charged, then I see it as a missed opportunity for either the city or the hospital to make money.
The short answer is that there is no time limit for parking in city parking lots. The time limits only apply to on street parking. In addition, the city cannot discriminate on who uses the parking space. It is first come first served. The parking lot is free, therefore there is no opportunity to charge revenue to any users.
That said, in the downtown we have on occasion closed a parking lot to all parkers before a certain time of day – 9am for example – which required construction workers to find other arrangements because they needed to park before that. Then the spaces were available to the general public.
City staff are continuing to look at a range of options to keep the public parking in this area available to the public, including communicating with the hospital about the concerns related to employees and construction workers. Watch this space for future updates on how parking can be best managed here.
Resident R.L. asks:
I regularly encounter two sets of traffic signals that are not operating properly, causing unnecessary delays for motorists, one of which is at Lakeshore and Pearl. Lakeshore often gets a red light when there is no traffic on Pearl St. Can this be addressed?
The intersection of Lakeshore Road and Pearl Street is currently set up to provide a minimal green time during each cycle because the side street detector loops have been damaged during construction and are presently not operational. City field technicians are aware of this issue and will be replacing the damaged loops once the construction is complete and the asphalt pavement is resurfaced.
Staff are hoping to have the detector loops in place before the end of summer. The replacement of the loop detector is tied with other signal modification related with the development in the area.
Contact Mohammed Ansari for more information: Mohammed Ansari. Traffic Signal System Analyst. 905 335 7600 Ext 7768, Mohammed.Ansari@Burlington.ca
Lakeshore Pedestrian Island
Question (from Bridgewater public meeting): Will the pedestrian refuge islands on Lakeshore in front of the 360 on Pearl be put back in once the Bridgewater project is complete?
Yes. There will be at least one island, with the design and location yet to be finalized.
Turn lane at Brant & Maplewood
Resident D & A.G. ask:
I am writing about a traffic concern of my own that has resulted in several results for me and my family. We live on Edinburgh Drive and our primary access to our community is through Maplewood Drive, just south of the Brant/Fairview intersection. Since most of our access to the city is from that intersection, to return home we turn left onto Maplewood off of Brant to get home.
There is a left turn lane there for us, but it is only paint on the road, so we find it constantly blocked by Northbound traffic trying to turn left on Fairview. This results in our vehicle blocking southbound traffic in the left lane, when everyone knows the right lane ends in a few hundred meters, causing back ups into the intersection and more than one close call of almost being rear ended by inattentive drivers.
Also, when we can actually get into our turn lane, we have narrowly avoided several head-on collisions with drivers wishing to go into the left turn lane for Fairview, and not realizing that we are there until the last moment. This happened three times this Saturday alone, prompting my letter.
For the time being, especially when the kids are in the car, we are going to be using the already heavily overloaded Prospect and Brant intersection, or Ghent and Brant, but this is not ideal as Prospect often takes us three or more lights to turn left and Ghent has its own problems with the narrowing of Brant street.
Is there anything the city can do to make this intersection safe? Perhaps a reflective post barrier like they have in downtown Waterdown??
I am certainly sympathetic to the safety concerns, and if you are making a left turn Southbound from the lane of traffic on Brant onto Maplewood, you have to cross three lanes of traffic at a busy time. Staff are committed to reviewing options here.
Staff have determined that the option to add flexible bollards on Brant Street is not feasible and will interfere with snow plowing operations. Therefore, staff is considering other options but need to collect physical traffic data. Staff will be collecting the required data in the Spring. Once staff has completed their review in a few weeks we will get an update on the results.
For further information contact: Brent Jefferson, Traffic Technologist, Transportation Services Department, 905 335-7671 ext. 7760, Brent.Jefferson@burlington.ca