Hughson Street North will be switched to two-way between Wilson Street and Barton Street East, and King William Street will be switched to two-way between John Street North and Mary Street.
By Ryan McGreal
Published August 23, 2017
The baby-steps two-way conversion of lower city Hamilton streets back to two-way traffic creeps forward this month with the scheduled conversions of three blocks of Hughson Street North and two blocks of King William Street.
Two-way conversions planned for Hughson Street North and King William Street (Image Credit: Google Maps)
Hughson Street North will be switched to two-way between Wilson Street and Barton Street East on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, and King William Street will be switched to two-way between John Street North and Mary Street on Wednesday, August 30.
Hughson Street will remain one-way northbound between Main Street East and Wilson Street. Likewise, King William will remain one-way eastbound between James Street North and John Street North. King William is already two-way east of Mary Street.
East-facing signals for westbound automobile traffic on King William at Catharine Street North
A huge swath of Hamilton streets was converted into paired, alternating one-way corridors overnight in 1956 as a way of accommodating increasing volumes of automobile traffic in the postwar era. Additional streets were converted to one-way in subsequent years.
Since then, it has become clear that the convenience of one-way streets for crosstown trips comes at a terrible cost: higher, more dangerous vehicle speeds; inhospitable, pedestrian-unfriendly streets; reduced convenience for car trips to local destinations; devastating losses to retail business; and general neighbourhood disinvestment and decline.
Despite the overwhelming evidence from cities all across North America that the mass one-way conversion projects of the 1950s were a mistake, Hamilton's political leadership has been extremely reluctant to reverse course out of fear of upsetting crosstown motorists.
While it is always welcome to see any progress in making city streets more usable and inclusive, it is impossible not to notice the slow, piecemeal and fragmentary nature of the rollout. At this rate, we should have completed the project of converting our urban corridors back into normal city streets by the end of the century.
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