'There is no greater obstacle to the success of businesses within our core, and no single issue that could be fixed more easily' than conversion to two-way streets.
By RTH Staff
Published November 14, 2012
After extensive discussions with its member businesses over several months and careful consideration, the International Village BIA has formally released a position statement in support of two-way streets. The text of that formal position follows:
We, the board of management of International Village BIA, feel that the existing system of one-way streets is detrimental to the success of our BIA and of Hamilton as a whole.
In spite of tremendous success stories in areas that have returned to two-way traffic, there is still some reluctance to address the next logical step: the conversion of Main and King Streets to two-way traffic. We feel this is an idea whose time has come; to allow the city's core to break free of this failed experiment of a bygone era.
The perpetuation of one-way streets has bred a culture in this city where the needs of the car outweigh those of the pedestrian, the cyclist and the community. Where businesses are allowed, even encouraged to fail in favour of high-speed traffic and timed lights. Where the safety of our citizens and our children are of lesser import than the perceived right of motorists to maintain highway speeds at all times.
We have allowed the economic and cultural destiny of the city's core to be subverted to serve the interests of those who want nothing from our downtown but to pass through it, and it is time for this to end.
The notion that turning every major artery on our roadways into a de facto highway would provide a fast-track to prosperity must have once been an appealing piece of "common sense". Viewed objectively after decades of application, however, the idea can only be considered to have failed utterly, here and elsewhere.
In the process of chasing that fantasy, we have moved away from the walkable city of neighborhoods that makes for a vital, prosperous urban core.
There is no greater obstacle to the success of businesses within our core, and no single issue that could be fixed more easily. We are thrilled to see this issue being discussed with renewed vigor and passion and are filled with hope that this discussion may help to foster a transformation in our community of which we may all be justly proud.
The International Village BIA represents 113 businesses in an area that encompasses Main Street East, King Street East and King William Street between Mary Street and West Avenue.
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