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Red Hill Valley Parkway Update: Hamilton City Council decides to pursue judicial inquiry

HAMILTON, ON – Today, Hamilton City Council directed outside legal counsel and the Interim City Manager to prepare the necessary documents to initiate a judicial investigation into the Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) report matter pursuant to the Municipal Act and Public Inquiries Act. 

On February 13, 2019, Council approved a motion that directed the Interim City Manager and City Solicitor to bring back to Council further information about the process to initiate an external investigation pursuant to the Ontario Municipal Act and Public Inquiries Act.

Council received and considered a report provided by external legal counsel (PDF, 959 KB) who provided three available options for external investigations.

In consultation with external legal counsel, the City will take the necessary next steps to request the Chief Justice of the Superior Court to appoint a justice to act as commissioner and investigate the issues raised by Council. The terms of reference for such a hearing will be brought back to council as soon as possible.

Background

In February, the City released three reports about the RHVP including a 2013 friction testing report by Tradewind Scientific, a December 2015 report completed by external traffic engineering experts CIMA (which was also made public at that time) that summarizes a 2015 safety analysis of the RHVP, and a roadside safety assessment completed on the RHVP in October 2018, also completed by CIMA.

Already implemented traffic safety recommendations from the safety reviews include the installation of oversized speed limit (80 km per hour between Greenhill and the QEW in both directions), slippery when wet (including flashing beacons), merge, bridge ices, digital feedback and speed fine signs, Q-end warning system, reflective markers on guiderails, recessed pavement markers (cat eyes), upgraded guiderail and end treatments, and the trimming of vegetation to improve sight lines. The remaining recommendations will be implemented with the resurfacing of the RHVP this spring. 

The City and Hamilton Police Service (HPS) also launched a new education campaign targeting speeding drivers as part of the Vision Zero Action Plan. Over the month of March, the education campaign focuses on promoting safe speeds, reminding motorists that “There is no such thing as speeding a little – speeding is speeding.” Additional traffic safety campaigns under the Vision Zero umbrella will begin later in 2019, and will include a focus on distracted driving, back to school safety, pedestrian crossovers and roundabouts, seatbelt safety and more.

The City’s external traffic engineering experts recommended the Parkway remain open for use, but that motorists be cautioned about speeding. The posted speeds are maximums. Drivers should reduce speed appropriately, particularly for wet road conditions.