By Jason Leach
Published June 07, 2010
Hamilton: Closed for business for 54 years with no end in sight.
Just as Hamilton's small business owners and business districts were ignored back in the 1950s when they were protesting the damaging effects of one-way streets and heavy trucks being allowed to roar through the core, today in 2010 it seems nothing has changed.
Hamilton's downtown BIA's and community groups continue to ask the city to fix the biggest problem stopping business from flourishing downtown, and as they've been saying since the one-way conversion in 1956, council is responding with 'no thanks'.
The executive director of the business improvement association, Kathy Drewitt, led off the downtown speakers on behalf of 430 downtown businesses. She reported two to three trucks per minute on Main Street and pointed to "the city's goals for building the Red Hill Creek Expressway and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway" to argue that these trucks should be diverted to that highway system.
"The BIA is here again today to recommend that Main Street be taken off the truck route from Wellington to Dundurn, and that the city take whatever means available to facilitate the encouragement of trucks to use the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and the Red Hill Expressway from the 403 to points in the north end," declared Drewitt.
"We continue to believe that the truck traffic in downtown is not consistent with the city's attempt to create and attract residential and office use and to make it a pedestrian-friendly people place."
But the opening sentence of the CATCH article tells us all we really need to know about our councillors' priorities:
Pleas from business and neighbourhood representatives failed to convince last week's public works committee meeting to remove truck routes from downtown streets.
In other words, we don't care about the plight of downtown businesses or the quality of life for downtown residents. Great public service, eh?
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