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Showing posts from June, 2013

Parking Plots

If we are going to have parking lots in the vicinity of water, why not engineer a lot that protects that water from the toxic leaking of cars?


The Hamilton Harbour has become a tourist destination and as McMaster University's Geography and Earth Sciences Professor J. M. Waddington has pointed out, they have done a nice job with their parking.

The non-scientific description is they basically make parking pods that are physically separated by vegetated buffers. These ones include river rocks on the bottom with marsh plants and other species adapted to the conditions. Water run-off is collected in these buffers, rather than discharging directly into the waterway or into the combined sewer catch-basins.

Compare to the design of most massive parking lots at malls (and McMaster University) and you will see the beauty of the design. The alternative looks like this.

From 20m in the air:


Impervious?

It's all floods in the news today.

All that rain with no place to go. Too much pavement means rain can't soak back into the earth but must be channelled over asphalt, through catch-basins and into pipes, which then places too much pressure on the water/sewage treatment facility, which then means raw sewage gets discharged into our waterways, in creeks, bay, lakes.

Depaving seems like something to be seriously considering, especially in areas that once were floodplains (Lot M) or marshes (Cootes Drive) etc. don't you think? Let the earth do what it is supposed to be doing?

Sparsely Populated Parking

As time goes by, we hope that demographic shifts away from single-occupancy car use, higher order transit (Hamilton Light Rail) and a McMaster Transportation Demand Management Plan will combine to assist with efforts to return this former floodplain to its proper natural function.

The short video shows the lot in the evening, can you spot the deer trekking across the paved former floodplain?

Push to Protect

Thursday, December, 20, 2012 - 1:01:11 PM
Push is on to protect McMaster Forest By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News There is apparently no existing plan to develop on a 115-acre woodland owned by McMaster University bordering Dundas, Ancaster and west Hamilton – but a group advising the university president wants to make sure it stays that way. Wayne Terryberry, chair of the president’s advisory committee on Cootes Paradise, said the property also known as “McMaster Forest” on the east side of Louise Drive off Lower Lions Club Road in Ancaster connects to the Ancaster Creek watershed. “It’s a pretty ecologically diverse area,” Terryberry said. “We’re hoping to make sure that area is conserved.” The committee recently enjoyed a success when McMaster University announced plans to move ahead with a project to create the 30-metre buffer recommended by the Hamilton Conservation Authority between Ancaster Creek and an existing parking lot on the west campus. While that change will remove som…

Connecting Corridor?

How big were McMaster's expansion plans in the 1960s? We know they agitated for and received just under 160 acres of Royal Botanical Gardens property in 1963 for a total of $240,000.00 (and much regret from the RBG directors), the two almost equal parcels being the land where the Sunken Garden was located, now the Hospital site, and the other Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary, now the West Campus parking lots.

Around the same time, McMaster also acquired two parcels of land totalling about 115 acres accessible off Lower Lions Club road. It is also accessible on foot from McMaster Lot M parking following official and unofficial trails, and some sidewalks and the parking lot of University Plaza.

An unconfirmed report by a long-time McMaster employee holds that McMaster was planning a satellite campus at the second location that would be linked by extending a roadway (a McMaster road known as Westaway Road) up the river valley. Thankfully, this never happened, and it sounds like th…