Comment 2323

By rusty (registered) - website | Posted November 24, 2006 at 13:20:20

Hey Jason,

I have to disagree with some of the points made here. The argument seems to be, 'I need to get downtown (or through downtown) in a hurry so don't go slowing down the traffic too much' One post mentioned the risk of slowing down transit.

While I understand the need to manage traffic properly and get people around quickly, we have to acknowledge that one way streets have no place in a downtown neighbourhood - or any neighbourhood. They facilitate high speeds (whatever else you do to slow things down) and confuse motorists (how many times have I got stuck in downtown Hamilton? I have a friend who swears he'll never come back because he keeps getting lost...). Evidence shows us this again and again.

There are other ways to move people around quickly - dedicated bus lanes, rapid transit and so on. And traffic through downtown can be reduced and spread out as Ryan has suggested in his posts. Yes, Toronto has a Gardiner to get through town but there is no east west expressway between the Gardiner and the 401, and north south there is nothing between the 427 and DVP. The downtown is 'clear'.

Hamilton's east west expressways are the QEW at the bottom and Linc at the top. North south we have Red Hill and 403. Isn't that enough? It has to be.

I remember seeing a documentary about New York - La Guardia's era of massive highway development ripping apart the downtown neighbourhhods. It featured residents lamenting how they could no longer visit friends on the 'other side' (of the freeways) and explaining what an impact the roads had had on their community. There is no place for highways splitting apart our neighbourhoods.

The issue is traffic management. When we advocate 2-ways streets and traffic calming of course we are saying slow down through traffic. But we are also saying IMPROVE transit effiency, REDUCE car usage and use alternative routes. This benefits everybody and creates a REAL climate for economic development.

Don't forget that Cannon and York are also residential neighbourhoods, and Main could be a wonderful downtown shopping district (this takes some vision... it's a bit like University Ave in Toronto...). So come on - don't be so quick to advocate selective one way streets. They don't work!



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