Comment 17095

By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2008 at 16:47:20

Some thoughts on improving downtown:

1. Convert most one-way streets to two-way. King and Main should be two way in particular. Just compare the lack of businesses on the one-way section of Main (in the core) versus the two-way sections in the west and east end.

2. Subsidized housing units and homeless shelters are not a way to revitalize the downtown. Hamilton and the core in particular seem to have more than their share of this type of housing. As a result, the downtown is dominated by people of lower socio-economic background. I know of many people who will not go downtown just for this fact alone. In addition, the downtown becomes home to only dollar-store retail.

3. Commercial and residential tax rates in the downtown should not be higher than other areas of the city.

4. The costs of doing business downtown need to be addresses e.g. how long does it take to get building permits or other approvals? I understand that red tape is a big problem in the core if not the whole city.

5. Enforce property maintenance laws. Businesses that have a real stake in the downtown will abide by them, those who won't can be pushed to sell to others who do. We only want committed business people downtown anyway.

6. Try to get rid of strip clubs and other seedy establishments. I know this may be difficult.

7. There is not enough green space in the downtown core. How about widening some sidewalks and planting some trees? Why is the front of city hall all concrete?

8. Get the buses out of Gore park. How many people want to sit at Gore park in the summer with 50 buses idling there?

9. Is anybody in the city's economic development department actually soliciting reputable condo developers to build downtown? If not why not? The former Bell building condo conversion project was a huge success and built by a reputable builder. Let's market that success to others. Same goes for commercial businesses. We can't build a downtown around government employment and call-centre jobs. We need to encourage law firms and other professional services that have left to return to the core.

10. The impact of light rail on the downtown will be negligible. Most people in Hamilton with a half-decent job owns a car. That is not going to change any time soon and people won't leave their cars at home to wait by the side of the road in the cold crappy weather to take light rail when they can drive to their destination in half the time. Best thing would be to expand buses on the crowded Beeline.

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