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Showing posts from September, 2014

This Is Peak Parking at McMaster?

I know from previous information provided by McMaster Parking that the busiest parking time was 1pm on Tuesdays. That data was from 2011. Work is underway to study the parking situation to develop a Transportation Demand Management plan and those people will have access to parking data, but still I felt the need/desire to go look for myself.

Right now McMaster has agreed not to repave a section of Lot M (would hold about 200 cars) after some professors made a plea to use the redundant parking area as an outdoor laboratory to study and practice wetland rehabilitation. McMaster left it as gravel, painted some yellow parking stalls, and have it for peak/overflow parking. The argument to keep it as parking is pretty weak, as you will see, so hope for McMarsh remains strong.

I set out on my bicycle to check out the parking lot at peak. As I crested the hill at about 1:05pm the lot looked busy, but as I got closer any fears I had that the overflow lot was busy evaporated.

There was one car t…

Turtles and Trees

I am happy to report Restore Cootes has been a successful broker for two recent developments in the former Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary:

A local company was looking to the Hamilton Naturalist Club to find a place where their employees could volunteer for a day planting trees. The offer was strengthened by the acknowledgment that the type of trees/shrubs could be chosen by the host. I suggested McMaster's newly created buffer zone on Lot M - and happily it was all made possible with the help of professor Susan Dudley, Jen Baker of the Naturalists club, Zanita Lukezich of Evergreen, and the folks at Canon who will be helping. So on Thursday, October 9, 150 native trees and shrubs will be planted on what was, until recently, a parking lot. There is room for a few McMaster volunteers, so let me know if you want to help.As the planting discussion was unfolding, I read a news article about The Royal Botanical Gardens' efforts to protect turtles in the vicinity of nearby Cootes …

Looking Back

September 23, 1960
Campus Construction creates parking dilemma - should we pay? As part of an ongoing construction project on campus, parking spots were blocked off rom the middle of 1959 until this story printed. When construction ended, the University decided it would not build any new lots as Dr. Gilmour, the President at the time said "we are not going to make this a cement campus." He added, "Many students think that it is the obligation of the university to subsidize their transportation by providing them with parking space....I am sure if you charged them for it, most students would park half a mile away and walk from there!"

(Above, The SIL, Vol. 85, Issue 4, Thursday, September 11, 2014, originally published in the Silhouette as Space Even Scarcer for Student Vehicles)

Ghost Hike Wednesday

Ghost Hike into West Campus. Part of OPIRG's MAKING CONNECTIONS week Sep 10 2014, 10:00am - 11:30pm (new time 10am-11:30am)

Walk back in time and explore the founding of McMaster University in Hamilton, the relationship between McMaster and the Royal Botanical Gardens' properties, Canada's first modern highway, electric railways, pioneer cemeteries, lost ponds, and "ghost" trails.

This roughly one hour walk through west campus will also focus on changes to the parking area to create a naturalized buffer between the asphalt lots and the beautiful Ancaster/Coldspring Creek that passes through McMaster's property.

There is no cost for this popular hike, bring a friend and explore the campus in a new way.

Your guide is Randy Kay of community group RESTORE COOTES

Meet at the OPIRG Office in room 229 McMaster University Student Centre.

OPIRG welcomes all to participate in this event, if you require an accommodation to make this event more accessible for you plea…

The Bad News Turtles

RBG asks city to help protect Cootes turtles Hamilton Spectator By Matthew Van Dongen

The city is being asked to cut speed limits and erect wildlife fences to help save rare turtles from death-by-motorist along Cootes Drive and Olympic Drive.

The Royal Botanical Gardens has spent five years working on a recovery plan for turtles around Cootes Paradise and area marshes.

An estimated 1,500 turtles remain there.

Dozens have been killed along Cootes Drive and Olympic Drive over the last several years, according to a map presented by RBG natural lands head Tys Theysmeyer at the public works committee Tuesday.

The city can help head off those deaths, he said, by reducing the speed limit along Cootes Drive to 60 km/h from 80 and setting up wildlife fences to "redirect" turtles intent on heading from the marsh to high ground to nest.

"We think it would make a significant difference," Theysmeyer said after the meeting. "Slowing down at least gives you (the motorist) a chan…