Comment 19161

By jason (registered) | Posted February 22, 2008 at 19:01:21

Gump...I hear what you're saying, and I agree that two-way streets don't automatically create demand. What they do, however, is help to create an ambiance and vibe that is pleasant for people. Old builidngs can be renovated and turned into lofts or apartments, cafes and restaurants can open more people come to live in the area, the critical mass grows - more services, shops and dining along with more residents. So, in fact, two-way streets do play a critical role in helping to create this pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Look at James North. Only 1 thing has changed down there in the past decade - the two-way conversion. I'm only 30 so I don't remember the booming days of the mid 1900's. In my lifetime, the number of new galleries, restaurants and cafes that have opened in the past 5 years along with new lofts, offices, studios and apartments constitute the biggest boom I've ever seen on James North. The hope is that there is much more to come.

This might be a better analogy to use - look at Locke Street, Hess Village, downtown Dundas or Concession Street....all successful shopping/entertainment districts in various parts of the city. Now, take the 2 lanes that exist on each street (only 1 in Hess) and substitute it with the 5 lanes of Main Street. Or the 4 lanes of Cannon. Have timed lights, narrow sidewalks and instead of directing trucks to use our freeways (like every other normal city on the continent), allow them to use these city streets as signed, legal truck routes. I guaruntee you that shops and restaurants would close down so fast your head would spin. Residents would move to other, more enjoyable streets leaving upper level apartments to lose their value and become "bottom of the barrel" units that can only be rented to people with no other options.

Successful retail districts like Hess or Locke would fold up like a cheap tent simply due to this one change.

Perhaps one more angle to share with you - why is it that all of Hamilton's successful street retail districts are on streets with 1-lane each way and street parking? Dundas, Locke, Ottawa, Concession, dowtown St Creek, James North etc.....

And why hasn't the bustle and vibrancy of Locke or Hess spilled around the corner onto Main Street? I think the answer is pretty clear. Cheers

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