The city's Public Works Agenda [PDF] for this week contains a lengthy, but excellent read on the various transportation improvements happening downtown.
Take a few minutes to browse through this document. It's becoming clear to see that our city is finally on the right track to bringing a balance back to our transportation system that has been exclusively about cars for several decades.
Here are a few highlights.
We at RTH have long advocated this welcome move. I'd like to strongly suggest that the Dowtown BIA take a page from the merchants of James North who have successfully breathed life back into their district with events like the Art Crawl and Makers Market.
Closing the south leg of the Gore is a good step, but if the BIA does nothing (as has been the case for too long) with the space, there won't be much of an incentive for people to come and enjoy the Gore.
Check out the charts showing the travel times and accident rates on James and John Streets before and after their two-way conversion. Hold onto your hats, but shockingly the "mass congestion" and "hysteria" predicted by local media and suburban residents hasn't happened.
Of course, anyone paying attention knew that would be the case beforehand. It's pretty tough to cause mass congestion in a city with a hugely overbuilt road capacity.
Also, in this document the authors ask the question about what may happen to traffic on York Blvd if it is converted to two-way. You'll find your answer on James and John. Traffic is like water Â it always flows to the path of least resistance.
We've been downright giddy at RTH about the high-speed planning process being undertaken by the city for our future LRT lines. If all goes well, we could see shovels in the ground, or tracks in the road, in the next five years.
As has been the case all across North America in the past couple of decades, this would be transformational for our city - not only in how we travel, but also in patterns of economic development and investment.
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