A reader throws his support behind converting Main and King to two-way traffic.
By Letter to the Editor
Published November 23, 2006
I would like to add my voice to the growing number of people who want Main and King converted into two-way streets.
This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. I've just moved to Hamilton and I have fresh eyes. The first time I took a walk around my new neighborhood (right off Queen, on Jackson st.) I was stricken dumb at the sight of these two huge five-lane gashes - Main St. and King St. - cutting across the downtown core. No wonder nobody walks around and shops, and no wonder the downtown core is dead.
I'm not telling you that this is a silver-bullet solution that will transform Hamilton's downtown into 1920s Montmartre or whatever. But taming these two monster roads is an essential step towards healing the downtown, and making it safer and more inviting for people like me: university students, bicyclists, shoppers, families, and so on.
You might be telling yourself: it's not worth it. It'll slow everything down, make things less efficient, etc. etc. But let me tell you this: the moment you make the downtown more pleasant (especially in the key area near Locke street, which in my mind could, if given enough attention, become like Ottawa's Elgin street) you won't have so much trouble attracting different types of industries with different types of folks working for them.
White collar workers need white-collar amenities. They need their downtown cafés, window-shopping, and all that. But one thing at a time. Two-laning those beastly, noisy roads is the first, essential step towards a lasting downtown renewal for Hamilton.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
MA student, McMaster University
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