Revitalization

Two-Way Traffic This Week on York/Wilson and Park Street

By RTH Staff
Published December 07, 2010

Effective this week, York Blvd/Wilson Street between Bay St. N. and Ferguson Ave. N. will be converted to two-way traffic. Park Street between York and Cannon will also be converted to two-way.

Sections of York/Wilson and Park Street being converted to two-way
Sections of York/Wilson and Park Street being converted to two-way

The City issued a press release calling on drivers to "exercise caution while driving through this area and be aware of new signs and pavement markings indicating the flow of traffic. Please also watch for pedestrians."

Beyond Ferguson, Wilson Street is slated for two-way conversion as far as Victoria Ave. N. in the summer of 2011.

This change comes as part of the York Blvd Streetscape Master Plan renovations, which began in May. In addition to two-way conversion, the renovation includes sidewalk widening, bicycle lanes and other streetscaping and detailing to make the stretch more attractive to pedestrians.

The work also coincides with the Central Library/Farmers' Market renovation, which is scheduled for completion in mid-December, with the Farmers' Market moving back in January.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2010 at 21:53:02

Now there's just that bit of broken continuity for bikes on York Blvd...Bike lane west of Dundurn, sharrows to Locke, nothing between Locke and Queen, then new bike lane heading through James. (see http://bit.ly/dWLaGK) If the city really wants cyclists on the road, leaving broken links like this don't help.

Comment edited by rrrandy on 2010-12-07 20:54:38

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2010 at 22:00:42

I contacted the City to ask when they are planning to connect the bike lanes on York west of Dundurn with the bike lanes on York east of Bay. I was told there are no plans at this time to do that. Presumably the intended cyclist will drop out of the sky at Bay, ride over to Ferguson and then get airlifted past that point.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 07, 2010 at 23:31:27

looks like a step in the right direction.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 01:43:24

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By dt (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 08:12:10

Don't worry "Big Guy", we don't need ya!

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By George (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 10:06:35

bigguy1231 wrote, "Thanks for the information. Just another area of the downtown to avoid."

Does that mean you also avoid the entire mountain, Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Creek because their roads are two-way?

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By futureisfriendly (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 10:11:13

A step in the right direction (no pun intended)! And now that Rob Ford wants to make Toronto a freeway, watch the people who enjoy pedestrian-friendly downtown centres visit Hamilton's core more and more in the coming years. Sorry "Big Guy"... keep driving - right out of town because we definitely don't need ya! :)

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 11:40:09

"Presumably the intended cyclist will drop out of the sky at Bay, ride over to Ferguson and then get airlifted past that point."

York isn't that bad of a street to bike on. Just take your lane through that stretch and you'll be fine.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 12:25:15

I'm tempted to go out at night and paint the few block connecting lane between Locke and Queen. The lane width is identical as the stretch between Dundurn and Locke. The city could paint this tomorrow (if someone doesn't beat them to it overnight)

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 12:52:41

Thanks for the information. Just another area of the downtown to avoid.

I'm not concerned with these types of comments anymore. If there is something worth doing down here which is worth your time and the slight inconvenience of slower traffic, you will come downtown. If not, all the speedy thoroughfares your heart desires will not entice you to visit.

Changes like this will make a better experience for those who live, work or shop here. Those who just drive through, seriously, can get bent.

I will refer the haters to my post on the excessive parking thread: http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2011/...

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 22:12:16

For safety's sake it is reasonable for cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane to avoid getting sideswiped in the stretch where there is no bike lane.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 08, 2010 at 23:20:20

I'm all for cyclists. I wish more people would cycle. I cycle, for enjoyment, myself.

Although riding in the middle of a lane is sometimes safer and appropriate, that is not always appropriate or the safest thing to do. It is important for drivers and cyclists to be courteous towards one another and to work together to help improve each other's safety. Sometimes this means a bike being in the middle of a lane, sometimes it means being off the side.

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2010-12-08 22:20:38

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted December 09, 2010 at 02:33:11

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2010 at 06:31:18

Sometimes this means a bike being in the middle of a lane, sometimes it means being off the side.

Absolutely - but on a busy street like York with narrow lanes and one-way traffic, lane-blocking is the only way for cyclists to stay safe. I rode this route on a bike daily for a number of years, and through sheer trial-and-error I settled on lane-blocking as the best strategy to coexist with motorists. In fact, I had almost no altercations at all with motorists while lane-blocking, whereas I faced a number of close calls, honks and aggressive driving when I tried to hug the curb.

I'll note also that the Ontario Government's Guide to Safe Cycling states:

In urban areas where a curb lane is too narrow to share safely with a motorist, it is legal to take the whole lane by riding in the centre of it.

It also states:

You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never compromise your safety for the convenience of a motorist behind you.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-12-09 05:37:59

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2010 at 09:41:15

Thats the problem we have with the downtown now. It cannot survive without people from other parts of the city using the it. If you make it more difficult to get there or get around people will not go. Without people and their money businesses will not survive.

Actually the problem we have with the downtown now is that the density of people actually living in the core is too low. But it is already growing, and it will continue to grow faster, and your viewpoint will become obsolete.

Yes, downtowns in general did start to "need" visitors from the'burbs when suburb living was the best-thing-going. But younger generations are stepping out against suburb living and returning to the city. It is this influx of residents that will breathe new life into the core, not the occasional trip in by outsiders.

If slowing down a street or adding a bike lane or installing a pedestrian crossing causes one "passer-through" to stop coming down, but causes one potential resident to move in, then that measure was a resounding success.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 09, 2010 at 14:57:20

just had a look at the final design of this conversion and once again we are over-engineering a two-way conversion. Turns are severely restricted from James to York. You can't even turn right from James southbound onto York. Are we intentionally making these conversions complicated in order to create more public backlash??

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2010 at 17:54:04

For pity's sake, no right turns? Are you kidding me? How is it we're getting a system where "the streets are one-way, in alternating directions" is actually simpler?

You know, I take back my "you can't cross here, go somewhere else" complaint about how the city is only uncreative about their solutions to traffic challenges when it comes to pedestrians. They're perfectly capable of grossly inconveniencing and annoying drivers with ridiculous prohibitions too.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 09, 2010 at 17:59:14

to make matters worse, the no 'right turn' sign in on southbound James at York. That would be one of the logical routes someone from the north end or northeast part of the city would take to the new market district.
ditto for james northbound. no lefts onto York either.
Is it so hard to just have normal intersections downtown like we have ALL OVER the rest of the city??!!!

To think they converted all these streets to one-way in a single night in the 50's. Have we really become such a stupid society incapable of even the most minor of changes?
Think about it. In the 50's the ENTIRE city was two-way. There were no one-ways in Hamilton. Yet they successfully converted everything in one night. Now, we are merely converting a small portion of our one-ways into two-ways, AND the rest of the city and almost everywhere that Hamiltonians drive is two-way, yet we are being treated like we are seeing two-way streets for the first time in human history.
Memo to city hall: WE'LL FIGURE IT OUT.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted December 09, 2010 at 19:46:12

Are you sure the "no right turn" signs from southbound James to westbound york aren't left over from before the conversion and will be removed tomorrow?

If you can't turn right from James to York what was the point of the conversion in the first place?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 09, 2010 at 21:34:39

the signs are posted up on the new street light posts and were uncovered today. I think the temporary signage is at ground level. Unless they plan on climbing up tomorrow and taking down the no right turn signs...it sure looked permanent though.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted December 10, 2010 at 09:38:52

Maybe it's a no-right-on-red sign and the on-red part is partially obscured?

/end wishful thinking.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:24:57

It's now 10:20 and the official procession is making it's way westbound past the library.
Man, we treat this like we've just split the atom. It's a two-way street people. Stay right of the yellow paint just like you do in the rest of the country.

Also, just saw two pinko kooks ride by on their bikes. They must be commies.

http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/arti...

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By james north (anonymous) | Posted December 11, 2010 at 13:57:14

i think the intent with the no right turn from james onto york is that there is nothing to get to that you cant get to from turning right at vine and left on macnab. with the number of pedestrians crossing on the east and west sides of james at wilson/york it could actually mean only two cars get through the intersection south bound per light cycle if cars were turning left and right at the same time.

i don't think this is that big of a deal considering. i'll take a couple of turn restrictions over one way streets any day. congratulations hamilton, one more step towards getting back to a baseline of normal city streets!

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 11, 2010 at 14:37:51

i'll take a couple of turn restrictions over one way streets any day

Great point...agreed!

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 14, 2010 at 09:20:58

the craziest thing happened last week when York was switched to two-way. The world didn't end and there hasn't been a hint of gridlock.
And here's the real shock - people are actually driving on the right side of the yellow line!! Who knew that human beings in Hamilton could figure out how to drive on a two-way street?!

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 28, 2011 at 15:20:50

Two-way traffic on Wilson extending to Victoria Avenue

HAMILTON, ON – June 28, 2011 – Next week, the City of Hamilton will extend the two-way conversion of Wilson Street further east to Victoria Avenue. In December 2010, the two-way conversion was implemented on York/Wilson from Bay Street to Ferguson Avenue. Effective the morning of Tuesday, July 5th, the portion of the road between Ferguson Avenue and Victoria Avenue will also be converted to two-way traffic. Motorists are advised to exercise caution while driving through this area and to be aware of new signs and pavement markings indicating the flow of traffic. Please also watch for pedestrians.

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