Comment 19277

By arienc (registered) | Posted February 25, 2008 at 16:55:15

I sent this letter to the Spec.

Naturally, as it does not promote putting automobiles over people, it didn't get published...

In the Feb 22: rebuttal to Terry Cooke's Feb 16 column, Patrick Keller makes a very clear argument for the conversion of downtown streets to two-way, despite his personal opposition to the idea.

"Since the conversion of one-way streets to two ways on John and James a couple of years ago, I avoid the downtown area completely when not driving to work, and I don't think I'm alone in this."

That's exactly the point. The downtown area's function is not to support the needs of those who are "just passing through" on their way to somewhere else. It is meant to support those who live, work and do business in the centre of the city. Fewer cars and more efficient transit options downtown makes the area more livable, and attracts more development and greater variety of businesses, which attracts more people, spending more money.

By choosing a different route and avoiding driving through the downtown area, Patrick and those like him are contributing to a cleaner, safer and more vibrant downtown. One only need look at the activity that's started to develop on James North to see the benefits this has to businesses and to people in the lower city. On the other hand, Main St. is a ghost town fronted by 5 lanes of traffic.

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