Arts

Motion to Close James North for Monthly Art Crawl

By RTH Staff
Published September 18, 2013

Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr plans to introduce a notice of motion at today's General Issues Committee meeting to close James Street North between King William and Barton Street for the monthly Art Crawls between May and November.

Art Crawl is an organic monthly event on James North that occurs on the second Friday of every month. Restaurants, galleries and other stores stay open late to launch exhibitions, host concerts and other special events.

Unlike the annual Supercrawl festival, in which James Street is closed to automobile traffic between King Street and Barton Street, the monthly Art Crawls take place on the sidewalks. Despite this, Art Crawls regularly attract several thousand visitors.

Farr's motion calls on the GIC to ask staff to report back on the feasibility of closing James North between 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM to support the continued growth of the Art Crawl events.

A notice of motion is generally a notice to the committee members that the councillor will introduce the motion itself at a subsequent meeting.

Following is the text of the notice of motion:

CITY OF HAMILTON

NOTICE OF MOTION

Committee Date: September 18, 2013

MOVED BY COUNCILLOR J. FARR

James Street North Road Closure for Art Crawl – Annually from May to November Whereas safety is the primary concern on City streets; and,

Whereas the numbers of people at the monthly Art Crawl event continues to increase due to its popularity and is often attended by many thousands; and,

Whereas the monthly Art Crawls are generic in nature, with no organizer or organizing committee.

Therefore Be It Resolved:

That the appropriate staff report back to the General Issues Committee on the feasibility of closing James Street North, between King William Street and Barton Street, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the second Friday of Each month between May and November for the Art Crawl event(s).

22 Comments

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By Jenny (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 10:50:50

One correction: art crawls occur on the second Friday of every month, not Tuesday.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2013 at 10:54:58 in reply to Comment 92269

Arrgh, thank you. It's fixed.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 11:11:29

York may pose a problem. Cannon too. When traffic is king it gets crazy. A barrier between Cannon and Barton would be the easiest sell. Sorry, feeling sardonic today.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 13:27:13 in reply to Comment 92271

City staff will probably recommend leaving the cross streets open.

P.S. Ryan, have you added any new words to the spam filter recently?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2013 at 13:32:56 in reply to Comment 92283

have you added any new words to the spam filter recently?

Yes. The site has been getting absolutely hammered with spam lately, and I've had to tighten the screws quite a bit to slow it to a trickle.

As always, if you register an account, your comments are not filtered for spam.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 21:11:49 in reply to Comment 92285

Thanks Ryan.

Not sure if it's Cannon or York, or some other generic word I was typing (I thought about each word and nothing stuck out as a "spam" word), but it wouldn't let me post earlier today.

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By Genre-Specific (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 11:26:59

"generic in nature"

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By Jim Street (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 11:31:37

maybe the wrong way to describe it.

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By Art Sour (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 11:33:40

I think he meant "organic in nature".

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By etym (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 13:47:22 in reply to Comment 92275

Could be both.

Organic: "of, relating to, or derived from living organisms"

Generic: "of, applicable to, or referring to all the members of a genus, class, group, or kind; general; not protected by trademark registration"

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:34:49

I meant that it is organized organically rather than managed top-down. Sheesh.

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By Art Sour (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:37:59

I was referring to Farr's motion description.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 12:56:52

This is great news; it has been such a nice change to have a councillor in Ward 2 who gets events like Art Crawl and believes in the City doing simple things to grow it.

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By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 13:20:21

whould it be better having it on Sathurday from 12pm til 9 or 11 pm

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 15:52:21

I'll play devils advocate. Whose going to pay for the paid duty officers. Even if you look just at officers at the perimeter barricades and the cross streets your at 30+, so likely 10 000 per art crawl. And if the police decided to police like supercrawl your looking at least twice that (say for a crowd of 8000). I really wish my business allowed me to tell the customer how much manpower is be required, and customer not have the authority to question my 'operational decisions' (see the ontario police act).

i'll say it should come from tourism budget.
Great idea but .....

Wait where will people park ????

Comment edited by rednic on 2013-09-18 15:53:59

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 16:32:09 in reply to Comment 92288

Why would we need any paid duty officers? There are have been car free Sundays in cities throughout France for over 15 years and there are no police officers .. they just put barricades up at the intersections. There are even now permanent holes in the pavement at some intersections to slot the barricades in, and the barricades each have a brief explanation (times of closure, reason for closure) together with a map of the closed streets.

And, in my experience, Canadians are far more law-abiding that the French ;)

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-09-18 16:32:43

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted September 18, 2013 at 18:22:39 in reply to Comment 92290

Agreed. Why would closing the street require extra-duty officers when they aren't required now? This is more of a pedestrian safety issue. Regular art crawls draw about a tenth of the audience of Super Crawl, but the sidewalks are bulging with vendors and attendees, forcing people into the street. My local beat officer tells me often that the police love the events because everyone is well behaved and happy. Sure, their may be some extra work for city employees setting up and removing barriers, but it is a small price to pay for such a positive event.

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By northend folks (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 21:29:52

We think this is a bad idea. Take away the flow and presence of regular traffic and it just becomes yet another street festival (rather like SuperCrawl is becoming), with nothing unique about it anymore. The fact that people can stumble upon Art Crawl by accident, or come around quickly to check it out, and that we all crowd the sidewalks safely WITH the presence of the people in cars nearby makes Art Crawl wonderfully vital and unique. WHY do we need this - has there been an accident? The traffic on James North goes very slowly during Crawl.

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By Lisa (anonymous) | Posted September 18, 2013 at 22:04:06

I feel like it would be a really big disservice to the one block north of Barton. Are you not aware that Bryce at You Me was one of the people who was integral in starting these crawls? And what about the new businesses here? I would be very discouraged if it only went this far. Please do us a favour and put it to Murray where it is clearly the end of the crawl area.

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By Todd @ Studio12 (anonymous) | Posted September 19, 2013 at 11:31:58

I would love to see James St. open to pedestrian traffic only for the art crawl. I don't know if it would be required for Dec, Jan and Feb. We really have not had the same turnouts over those months. Excluding the supercrawl, the attendance from May through August, is getting larger and it is really becoming hard to navigate the sidewalks, especially with more food trucks coming in. Time will certainly tell how the art crawl will grow, but I personally do not feel the need to close York/Wilson, Cannon or Barton just yet. I also think simple signage and portable barriers to stop cars from gaining access to James N would suffice for now. Policing is always a function of due diligence on the part of the city and the HPS, as any large crowd or event should have extra officers assigned.

my 2.6 cents.

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By brundlefly (registered) - website | Posted September 21, 2013 at 13:08:18

this is gonna effect my ability to speed on Cannon... isn't it.

Comment edited by brundlefly on 2013-09-21 13:09:14

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