Comment 114682

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted November 06, 2015 at 09:20:16

Way back, almost 15 years ago, City planning staff produced the first formal plan for the Downtown Core. Ironically enough, it was entitled "Putting People First" (as opposed to car traffic).

Even the City's own staff "got it" ages ago.

But much of Council seems impervious to expert advice (especially from their own staff), examples from many other cities around the world, and even actual evidence from Hamilton itself. Too often they resort to anecdote and their own feelings about what they think residents want (rather then looking to the results from surveys and public meetings).

Maybe they should look at the example of the new Liberal government who clearly stated they would make evidence-based decision using good data, rather than on ideology!

Progressive change to really Put People First (as opposed to car traffic) gets bogged down in endless studies, objections about even very minor cost, and is the subject of hours long Council debates (e.g. Cannon Street Bike lane). Even then, the change is criticized and Council gives themselves easy ways to kill the project.

On the other hand, spending tens or hundreds of millions on road construction passes, usually without comment, and always without any study of the costs of alternatives.

That has been bad for Hamilton and Hamiltonians. However, now that Hamilton is beginning to attract billions in investment (including a $1 billion investment in LRT from the Province) it becomes vital that Council educates themselves about what makes a CITY successful and attractive! And it is not the ability to roar through the core on a green wave unencumbered by crossing pedestrians or distracting, interesting businesses!

(Note that when Beckett Drive was re-built it didn't require a massive citizens campaign, anguished debate at Council and it did not involve any attempt to make it inclusive street, even to the extent of adding a sidewalk or a crosswalk at the Bruce Trail crossing point. In fact the hashed out painted centre median is space that could have been used to make a sidewalk or bike lane. Instead it makes it easier to speed ... narrower lanes slow traffic!)

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-11-06 10:26:09

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