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'My son was turning blue': Emergency vehicles held up at bollards on Fellowes Crescent

City plans to take bollards out, but some residents want them to stay put
A Hamilton Police vehicle does a three point turn after following a GPS route down the wrong side of Fellowes Crescent.

The City of Hamilton Public Works Commitee says it's time for the bollards on Fellowes Crescent to come out of the ground. 

The committee has approved a recommendation to take the bollards out. 

Transportation director for the city Carolyn Ryall said the conditions have been met to open the road, which has been blocked off by three metal poles for almost eight years, making both sides of Fellowes Crescent dead ends. The city wants the bollards removed to improve upkeep to the road and make it safer for snow plows and city vehicles to turn around. 

And, most important to resident Kensey Garlick, to make sure emergency responders have access to both sides of the road. 

Last January, Garlick’s husband had a seizure on their front lawn on the east side of Fellowes Crescent and emergency responders entered the wrong side of the street with an ambulance and firetruck, which got stuck turning around. 

And it wasn’t the first time. 

Garlick’s children have both had febrile seizures, she said, and the ambulance was stuck on the wrong side of the bollards again. 

“My son was turning blue,” she said.  

“If we’re saying that this is a wonderful thing, it may be wonderful for traffic, but for the folks living on this side over here, something bad is going to happen.” 

When FlamboroughToday visited Fellowes Crescent on Wednesday, a Hamilton Police vehicle delivering a court summons entered the wrong side of the crescent and had to park their car and walk the rest of the way. 

Neighbours concerned open street will bring heavy traffic

The bollards have been up since 2016, as a way to keep traffic from the housing developments on the new part of the street off of the crescent. 

Ward 15 Coun. Ted McMeekin said the issue is “a tough one”, with the community in Waterdown divided over bollards in the middle of the residential street. 

“At the time they went in, it made sense to do, because there were heavy construction sites there and the like. Now it’s by and large a normal residential community,” he said. 

Steven Oliver with a map of his neighbourhood, where he has outlined ways heavy traffic could be avoided.  Cara Nickerson

But some residents on the street want them to stay put, including Steven Oliver, who delegated at a Public Works meeting on Monday (May 13) to keep them. 

“Seventy out of 79 homes support the bollards to remain,” Oliver said at the meeting, adding that the main concern is increased traffic when the city starts work on Parkside Drive. 

Garlick agreed that having less traffic on the street has been a positive, and that she would have liked it better if Fellowes Crescent and Lupo Drive, which her side of the road connects to, would have been kept separate roads. 

Oliver said he and other residents are used to having the double dead end now. 

“What’s happened over the eight years is that it's become a lifestyle and a quality-of-life issue that people want on both sides,” Oliver said.

In the original motion to put the bollards in, the city had three conditions for the bollards coming out. 

The residential construction on the east side of the street needs to be finished, Parkside Drive needs to be widened and have its construction completed, and the Waterdown Bypass between Dundas St. and Parkside needs to be finished. 

While the city considers the section of the bypass and the residential construction complete, the upgrades to Parkside Drive still haven't begun. 

Those conditions have been a sticking point for Oliver, who said there needs to be a compliance officer to make sure city staff follows motions that are passed. 

He said Ryall told him the transportation department is self administered, when it comes to following motions. 

“I think it’s a conflict of interest, because clearly someone wants the bollards out, and that’s the department of transportation,” he said. 

Fellowes Crescent is the only residential street in Hamilton with bollards in the middle of the road, city staff said at the meeting, but Oliver argued that maybe that should change. 

McMeekin said he understands many of the village's communities would probably enjoy a dead end street as a traffic-calming measure. “But if we were to do that, then I can envision a new computer app. An ‘avoiding the bollards app,’” he added. 

Ryall said the city will look at other traffic-calming measures for the area. One of those measures would be to put a speed cushion where the bollards now sit.

Bollards have separated these two sides of Fellowes Crescent for almost eight years. Cara Nickerson


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Cara Nickerson

About the Author: Cara Nickerson

Cara Nickerson is a reporter for FlamboroughToday, covering the news that matters most to our community.
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