Comment 77080

By JPTO (anonymous) | Posted May 17, 2012 at 12:13:19

Richmond and Adelaide in Toronto are retail dead zones not because they are one way streets, but beacause they have little to no leasable retail spaces. These are streets that have until very recently been lined with office buildings, parking lots and old warehouses that take up entire blocks and have no ground level leasable space at all. Converting these streets to one way did not cause this problem and coverting them back to two ways will not solve it. Some of those parking lots have recently been developed into condos and some, but not all, of those have leasable space. Unfortunately it usually ends up as a dry cleaners or a bank adding very little to street life. Further development is the best solution.

Further, Richmond and Adelaide experience the one way expressway phenomenon because that's pretty much what they are by design. They begin/end as ramps to the DVP and there is no parking. Until last year, a long stretch of Richmond did not even have sidewalks! There was just a Jersey Barrier between the curb lane and the building.

Claims about "tons of evidence" that one way traffic kills street life seem to be simply calims that no one has ever researched. There are other arguments for converting King and Main that stand on their own. Don't fall into this rhetorical trap to weaken them. The width of the road, width of sidewalks, presence on-street parking, access to public transit and most importantly, built form of the buildings on the street each impact street life far greater than one-way traffic.

For a look at one-way done right, try Sainte-Catharine and de Maisonneuve in Montreal.

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