By Jason Leach
Published March 01, 2009
An interesting piece in the weekend Toronto Star talks about plans underway to remove a lane of traffic on Jarvis St in Toronto in order to make the street more livable and less of an inner-city highway.
Reading pieces like this is a healthy reminder of how far behind Hamilton is when it comes to putting priority on those who live and own businesses on our own vast network of inner-city highways.
With all due respect to the author, Toronto urbanist Christopher Hume, Jarvis as it is today would be downright welcoming and friendly as a replacement for many of Hamilton's downtown streets.
Kudos to that city for resisting pressures from "neighbours to the north", as Hume puts it. Revamped properly, Jarvis could become another Toronto street filled with people and businesses instead of just speeding cars.
Similarly, let's hope that here in Hamilton, Council resists pressure from "neighbours to the south" and continue calming other streets in a similar manner as James, John and now a small portion of York will be.
Recent reports out of city hall have stated that traffic staff are looking for ways to speed up traffic again on James and John.
Let's hope local businesses, councillors and citizens (the ones who live near those streets, not 20 minutes to the south) will mount a fight against such backward thinking and demand more positive changes to build on the success of those two-way conversions recently, instead of taking another giant step back into the 1950s.
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