Comment 113304

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted August 06, 2015 at 15:05:28

Good write-up.

For those who aren't familiar yet, see my Opinion piece in The Spectator:

A case for running two LRT lanes on King

A construction detour during LRT construction is required, which provides a perfect opportunity to do a 2-way trial, if we fail to convince the City population that doing this permanently is worthwhile.

The relevant section:

"One solution is to make Main a two-way street as the detour. Overhead electronic arrows permit three lanes towards the 403 during peak traffic. This is better than the two-lane International Village bottleneck. Instead, the village can becomes a pedestrian mall, with drivers perhaps satisfied by the free car parking deal Denninger's offers with any village receipt."

"A temporary widening of Dundurn at the plaza (leasing parking lot land for an extra traffic lane) efficiently funnels westward cars to the King 403 on-ramp. All of this will demonstrate the long-term viability of a two-way Main."

"Even if Main remains one-way initially, we keep the door open if LRT is built on King. The new generation of kids is using cars less often. Once the LRT is more popular, we can convert Main back to two-way."

Now, the more optimistic viewpoint is that we get a permanent 2-way conversion before LRT construction. We should strive for that and work towards that. But Hamilton need to make sure there is a Plan B too, if this fails to happen.

There are alternate solutions. One can actually technically live with two LRT lanes on Main street (as long as LRT lanes stay together), and tolerate automobile 1-way Main/King if we do it properly (widened sidewalks that are also brick-accented in the downtown section, barrier-separated cycle lanes, trees in middle of road, many SoBi stations). Certainly that would be palatable to me as a driver, LRT user, and a cyclist. But Hamilton may not be that visionary, and the prime focus should be on Main 2-way -- that pill is easier to swallow. However if the mountain votes for a Queens Quay treatment of the downtown section of Main Street, I won't stand in the way -- but it would be far more expensive than simply making Main a 2-way street, with less-expensive incremental upgrades. I suspect the 2-way Main is a more economically palatable route, and we need a construction detour, anyway.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-08-06 15:23:11

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