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Where did the water go? Art action in Lot M Parking

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McMaster's Parking Non-Problem Problem.

Looking at McMaster University 's plan to build a $12-million dollar parking garage at the site of current Parking Lot K, west of Cootes Drive. The University Planning Committee minutes from March 18, 2020 cite the need to replace their 490-stall Ward Avenue parking lot by 2024. That's the only reason given. Let's do some math: $12 mil/490 spaces=$24,489.00 per stall, which is in line with rough pricing per stall in parking structures. In McMaster's 2011 Campus Master Plan (CMP’11), they identified lot K & 4 other campus sites for potential “Academic, research or residence *above parking structure* & Lot i as a “parking structure” site. Now it looks like Lot K loses the " Academic, research or residence" part and becomes just a "parking structure." But wait! The more recent Facility Services Capital Plan Update 2021/2022 has a $17-million price tag for the structure. That's almost a 42% increase on the March 2020 UPC’s $12 million. This p

McMaster's Parking Problem: Next Level

I'm sharing a recent article published in the Dundas Star News about McMaster's plan to build a - get this - $17-million dollar parking structure. Seventeen million. Yes, $17,000,000.00 That's a lot of money to provide temporary shelter for vehicles of people who choose to drive to campus. We will be following this closely. Here's the article.  Cootes Drive six-storey McMaster University parking garage under review Variances or amendment to zoning bylaw expected to permit parking structure Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Friday, March 5, 2021 Zoning bylaw variances, or amendments, could be required for a planned six-storey, 567-space McMaster University parking garage west of Cootes Drive, and north of Thorndale Crescent. University spokesperson Michelle Donavon said the $17-million structure on parking lot K at Westaway Road will help ongoing efforts to re-naturalize parts of the west campus, by moving some surface parking into the structure. “These plans will increa

Turtle Treks

Turtles move slow but they can cover a lot of ground. When the weather warms in the spring, male and female turtles start to roam, with female turtles seeking nesting sites to lay eggs. They are busiest during May and June, but will be making their rounds anytime between April and October ( Source ).  The babies hatch later in the summer or early fall and are born into a world of danger, with predators being a top hazard, but roads play a role in reducing the hatchling's survival rates.  Less than 1 in a hundred turtle eggs laid will hatch and grow into an adult turtle. ( Source )    Turtles take a long time to reach sexual maturity, meaning that maintaining a robust population requires protection. Adult snapping turtles, for instance, have a 99% survival rate in the wild, but road mortality tips the scales against them. The loss of a fertile adult female creates a huge deficit in the survivability of the species in a region.  A good source for information on turtles is  https://on

It only takes a minute to save Turtles on Cootes Drive

Please help us raise awareness of the simple thing drivers (and passengers) can do to avoid killing at-risk turtles and other wildlife on Cootes Drive between Dundas and Hamilton. TAKE OUR PLEDGE: ProtectTurtlesCootes   (takes less than one minute to complete) Alternative routes between Dundas and Hamilton exist, and taking these routes will only add a minute to most drivers reaching their destination. Often you might not even be aware you've hit a young turtle, or a snake, for example, yet in the case of turtles, each death means this at-risk group is one death closer to extirpation. Turtles take a long time to reach maturity, and most hatchlings never make it to adulthood so you can see the dilemma. Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully, you will join them! Thanks in adv

Design for nature not cars in McMaster west campus

Monday, January 20, 2020 Rethinking McMaster's West Campus Floodplain and Simple I really hope that the vision for west campus does look to rehabilitate the floodplain under McMaster Parking Lot M. In these times of global climate emergency, what better contrast than cars parked on top a coldwater wetland. One is a source of our current predicament, and the other is a part of the solution to mitigate the issues we face. Meanwhile: Trail to Trespass McMaster still has to come to terms with the fact they won't allow people currently parking in the west campus to use the perfectly lovely remnant of the former Royal Botanical Gardens nature trails to access campus. It's very odd that it was easier to get hundreds of parking spaces removed to create the required 30-metre buffer to the coldwater creek there than it is to get McMaster to stop blocking access to the trail. I'm hoping to open (another) conversation with McMaster about this trail. In the mean

In the beginning

I've sometimes wondered how certain plants started growing in our yard. I'm guessing seed dispersal: the wind floats some through the air, sticky burrs caught on a racoon's fur drop as they pass through at night, a nuthatch drops some seeds from its tail-end while searching for bugs on the side of a tree. The methods of delivery are varied, but the process of growth continues with time and the right conditions - rain, sun, soil -  and the wind, the racoon, the nuthatch are forgotten like the seed itself. We see goldenrod, sumach, dogwood, and it appears as though nothing preceded this moment, this forest stands inexplicably before our eyes. This is the way too with social or environmental change. Generations of germination and growth. The fruits may come after the planter has long disappeared. Like a monarch butterfly migrating - it's the generation that begins the journey that makes it possible for the next generation to arrive. I feel a little of this with the