Comment 105939

By RobF (registered) | Posted November 04, 2014 at 15:58:55 in reply to Comment 105937

The issue of governance is important and explains some of the difficulties we face in Hamilton (and the rest of the GTA) in implementing our OPs and achieving good urbanism. I'm familiar with work advocating for a Toronto Charter. And yes, the positive use of the powers Vancouver has is an important distinction. Vancouver developers have learned they need to operate within the Vancouver system, and have figured out how to prosper. The glass controversy on the Sheraton Wall Centre is an illustrative example of how powerful Vancouver city planners are in relation to their Ontario counterparts.

My point was never to suggest Vancouver has nothing to offer us. I'm pretty fond of my hometown. I was born at St. Paul's on Burrard St Downtown, and my mother grew up on the western edge of what is now Yaletown, though it was not such a desirable area in the 1950s/60s when she was raised there. For me the lessons we need to learn go deeper than what we want to build or how the city should function. We need to consider how other places have achieved change ... and acknowledge the political struggles and setbacks. I didn't own a car as an undergrad at SFU and endured a 4 month transit strike in 2001. I remember walking up Burnaby Mountain to write final exams. In Toronto, the city is paralyzed if the TTC or GO stops for even a few hours, and the province quickly steps in if there is a labour stoppage. I can also remember the back-and-forth over bike-lanes on the Burrard Bridge ... the ill-fated trial and removal of them. Thankfully it seems that active transportation has won out.

And, as I've mentioned before, the other big difference is the attitude of drivers who are still far more respectful of pedestrians crossing (especially at crosswalks or uncontrolled intersections) than in Hamilton.

I couldn't agree more ... it is shocking how little regard is given pedestrians in Hamilton. I find myself warning visiting friends and relatives that if they value their lives to never assume that a crosswalk is actually a crosswalk or expect that a car will stop for you.

Comment edited by RobF on 2014-11-04 16:03:54

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