Comment 104396

By YHMDesigns (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2014 at 18:17:38 in reply to Comment 104390

Charles, I will respectfully suggest that was then and this is now. This is not a one-variable equation (i.e. your implication that one-way streets have played a significant role in improving traffic safety). Is Toronto inherently unsafer than the lower city? Heck, is the Mountain inherently unsafer than the lower city? I don't remember a drive along Upper James to be fraught with peril.

Also, if congestion were that much of a dissuasion, people would be fleeing Toronto (or London, or Hong Kong) rather than continuing to squeeze in. Clearly, the opportunity (in their minds) outweighs the inconvenience. If Hamilton becomes more prosperous at the expense of additional traffic congestion, then folks will deal with it.

Hamilton has many one-way streets configured for a time long past. Yes, the economy has changed, but suggesting that keeping the streets one-way will stimulate growth (or at least reduce decay) doesn't fly. Perhaps the one-way streets are a causal factor in the economic decline and that's the wrong to be righted.

Also, while this excess capacity is sweet from a driver's perspective, it comes at the expense of pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as liveable streets. If you're going to stake the moral high ground and ask us to put safety first, then you have to take all these factors into consideration -- otherwise your argument is specious.

And this excess capacity isn't free. Hamiltonians are paying for it in care and maintenance. If shown the bill, I would think minds would start to change.

All you've given us Charles are youthful anecdotes about trolley-incited "chaos", a blanket suggestion that one-way streets are key driver of road safety, and an apocalyptic vision of interminable bottlenecks. Not good enough.

Of course switching a large portion of the grid back to two-way will bring its compromises, but let's discuss it in an informed and rational way. On the subject of fear, I am fearful we will side with the automobile and place ourselves on the wrong side of history.

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