Staff at the City of Hamilton have apologized for keeping a damaging report hidden with respect to surface conditions of the Red Hill Valley Parkway. But will they now release the other reports and data that remain hidden?
CIMA is a well-known municipal defense engineering firm that has been retained by the City. While the news media are quoting heavily from its February 4, 2019 report, no one has asked how many times CIMA has been retained on the plaintiff side on a roadway assessment case. If CIMA does work primarily to defend municipalities would it not seem prudent to report its findings with caution?
Furthermore, in their February 4, 2019 report CIMA indicated that it had filed “reports” to the City of Hamilton including a report of 2015 where they “made a number of recommendations regarding the safety of the RHVP”. The CIMA report referred to a January 2014 Golder Report that contained the road surface testing data. CIMA indicated “The Golder report was not part of the materials available to CIMA when completing the above-mentioned reports”.
Not available? How much sense does that make? CIBA completes a comprehensive report on the safety of the RHVP in November 2015 but it does not have access to the Golder report that was prepared almost 2 years earlier? Both Golder and CIMA were supposedly retained by the City of Hamilton but CIBA was not given access to the Golder report?
Will the staff of the City of Hamilton release the contents of the 2015 CIBA report to the public?. Certainly the taxpayers paid for that report. If not, why not? What other details are contained in that CIBA report that have not been revealed to the public?
In March of 2016 Gorski Consulting conducted a survey of impacts to roadside guardrail terminals along the RHVP and these results were uploaded via a March 12, 2106 article entitled “ET-Plus Terminal Impacts – Evaluation of Their In-Service Performance”. Concerns were expressed regarding the performance of these terminals along several locations of the RHVP.
In a January 2, 2016 news article we discussed the results of an incident the Queenston Road ramp of the RHVP where a vehicle became impaled by the guardrail terminal.
In a further news article of May 7, 2017 entitled “Red Hill Valley Parkway Crashes in Hamilton Remain a Topic of Non-Discussion”, Gorski Consulting discussed several safety issues that appeared to be ignored.
There was no indication whether the City of Hamilton was aware of some of these developments.
The problem that exists now is not so much about the specific road surface data for the RHVP, but that the report and data were kept from the public’s awareness. What the public is not aware of is that this sort of manipulation is not just related to the staff of the City of Hamilton. The hiding of safety-related roadway problems occurs on a regular basis, throughout Ontario and this hiding has been occurring for many years. It occurs when police fail to document that a safety-related issue with a roadway was a factor in the cause of a collision. It occurs when road crews remove a safety problem before it can be documented as relevant to the cause of a collision. It occurs when police supervisors give instructions to their staff about what kinds of incidents will be investigated and how they will be documented. It occurs when high-priced experts are retained to defendant municipalities and those experts have a biased relationship with those defendants. It occurs when the courts turn a blind eye to factors that may have influenced the cause of a collision in favour of punishing the driver who made a mistake or who was obviously negligent is some manner. These are all issues that are not being addressed.