Comment 114030

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted October 02, 2015 at 11:42:17

This is EXACTLY what happened to James Street North.

(More an "inclusive street" now than a Complete Street, but very close)

If Google Street View existed over a 30 year time period, we'd see equally dramatic view changes for James Street North.

Back in the depressed days -- James Street was a wide 1-way artery with cars racing almost twice as fast as today, many crumbling buildings, consecutive sections of boarded-up storefronts (worse than some sections of Barton today!!), with "Detroit" and "Armpit of Canada" connotations. And made worse from the difficulties after the 1991 recession, the Steel cuts, the Eaton Centre bankruptcy, it was extremely bad. Very bad.

Now look at James St N today.
Night and day, just like many of the versus photos (predates Google Street View). Our own example!

And Supercrawl became one of the Top 100 events for Ontario!

Many residents were also very mad about James St. Strongly against the James St revitalization. It took time. Now many residents have warmed up to it, and are more proud of the area. Of those people formerly anti James 2-way, most sheepishly agree that they're now glad it happened.

I feel the same thing can happen to several sections of Main and King Streets within 10 years of LRT opening (i.e. 20 years from now: Our kids). LRT alone cannot do it alone by itself. But LRT concurrent with many initiatives enabled/encouraged/forced by the LRT, it can be a genesis to a major revitalization for the area. An LRT on King and a Main 2-way with vibrant businesses, mixed income developments, reopened businesses, residents spending more time on the streets and spending money on our local businesses. Even Barton will benefit too, as it spreads west of James and northwards of Main-King.

Even the car-owner in myself has to concede & point out -- as I do have Mountain friends too -- there are now many crosstown routes in Hamilton, and we also have RHVP/LINC (with enough median room to permit 6 lanes without widening the freeway, during a future safety upgrade). When these bypass freeways was finally fully linked less than 10 years ago, Main-King traffic fell significantly. Obviously, not everyone takes RHVP/LINC to go from Stoney Creek to Dundas area, but enough of them did. Understandably, Main-King traffic is climbing back up, but traffic modelling provides solutions that prevent chaos.

I understand this opinion is not shared by everyone -- not all pro-LRT people (even in the LRT advocacy, some of us residents disagree, even if we're otherwise united behind the LRT). It takes many years.

We have to keep an open mind.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-10-02 11:58:24

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