Comment 77140

By Depanneur (anonymous) | Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:09:42

AFAIK, the two-way sections of King and Main represent the majority of those streets. The benefits of two-way have not really expressed themselves in increased residential densification, commercial activity or walkability, even in the presence of populations such as McMaster.

Nor is two-way capable of dictating the quality of development when it has occurred.

I am an advocate of two-way but we might want to soft-pedal the "miraculous power to unleash latent urban potential with the flick of a switch" tact (an over-simplification of a simplification, but indulge me).

The conversion of James, for example, was coincident with a number of other synergistic investments within a decade of conversion.

Pre-2002, there was the residential rebirth of the Pigott Building (1996), the restoration of the TH&B Station (1996) and the restoration of LIUNA Station (2000). 2002 seems to have been a high water mark for downtown development.

The Hamilton Downtown Residential Loan Program that launched in 2002 culminated in a 2005 RFP that drew 14 proposals for the construction of ~700 units (est. value $120 million), leading to post-conversion residential developments at Annex Lofts and Chateau Royale.

Then there's the high-profile retrofit of the Bank of Montreal for Gowlings (2004), along with substantial civic investment in the Farmers' Market and Central Library, and of course the platinum level "game changer" of the Lister Block , all of which involved some level of public money.

All in, downtown residential builds in 2002 exceeded those of 2003 and 2004 combined, while non-residential builds in 2002 were roughly equal to 2003-2005 combined.

But then the latent potential of an area might not express itself for decades, just as Aaron Newman suggests that the atrophy ascribed to one-way (and not any of a host of other factors one might summon up) have taken decades to be felt. In converting to two-way, we are allowing an additional degree of freedom, but it is folly to think that we know where that freedom will lead, or that we can do a back-of-napkin tally to show the resultant value.

It might just be that the calculus is a little more complex than adding a yellow line to a ribbon of black.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools