By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 09, 2013
This from today's Spectator:
Starting this spring, the Queen Street hill will be closed for several months for $3.7 million in sewer and retaining wall repairs. The loss of the use of this access is a bit of a scary scenario, given the high volume of workaday traffic that uses it.
It will be interesting to see what happens. We will see several months of "gridlock" as motorists lose an option for getting up and down the escarpment? Or will traffic adjust after a few days of confusion?
If the second scenario occurs, I hope those claiming that we need all these under-capacity one-way streets downtown will take note, and recognize that the two-way conversion of Queen Street North of Herkimer should be no problem at all.
This is an excellent real-life experiment to test how flexible Hamilton's drivers are, and how much spare capacity we have in our roads.
The other thing to note is that, once again, there was no need for the residents of the affected neighbourhoods or the motorists who use the road to engage in a multi-year, councillor-supported campaign in the teeth of traffic department opposition, and press a council vote to force staff get this work done on the road - even though it is an expensive, multi-million dollar project.
The work is likely prudent, but it is very expensive, and it would be nice if the much cheaper - and also desperately needed - pedestrian and cycling infrastructure projects in the same neighbourhoods happened in the same straightforward incremental way, without the need for massive resident pressure!
There is also the matter of motorists and the Spectator looking a gift horse in the mouth: Yeah, we'll take the $3.7 million in repairs for this short section of road, but just make sure we aren't inconvenienced.
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