Comment 106781

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted December 09, 2014 at 13:21:31 in reply to Comment 106779

Hamilton is unique (as far as I know) in terms of the sheer number and density of one-way streets in the downtown core. The large multi-lane arterials (Main, King, Cannon, etc.) are dangerous and unpleasant for pedestrians because of the number of high speed lanes, narrow sidewalks and lack of street parking or any buffer. Because of this, they are also bad for street front businesses, and not pleasant places to live.

On the other hand the fact that so many streets are one way, makes way-finding difficult for motorists and cyclists, especially for visitors but also for residents. As Sean points out, this is also bad for business.

Most other cities have a few one-way arterial pairs, and sometimes a few one-way one lane streets when the road is too narrow for more than one lane. But no other city decided to make every street one-way (hundreds of square blocks!) as a matter of principle.

Two way reversion is not the only solution to make a more attractive street that serves as more than a thoroughfare for people wanting to drive through as fast as possible, but it is relatively straightforward and cheap compared with more extensive complete street re-designs (e.g. double sidewalk widths, plant trees, add cycle lanes and transit lanes). And two way conversion actually achieves many of the street calming goals on streets that are reverted to one lane in each direction with street parking.

Two-way really is a conservative compromise: change the streets more or less back to the way they were, don't reduce traffic lanes and make downtown and adjacent neighbourhoods more like similar places everywhere else (including everywhere else in Hamilton!).

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-12-09 13:25:33

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