Comment 51200

By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted November 05, 2010 at 13:45:51

Like too much in "The Great Hamilton Remediation Project", it's the simplest of things that will make Hamilton great.

Hamilton and especially 'Lifer' Hamiltonians are FIXATED on the mega-project. Just look at the list of mega-projects that Hamiltonians love:

  • The Linc & Red Hill Valley Expressways
  • Jackson Square
  • Aerotropolis The First
  • Stadium
  • Aerotropolis The Expansion Pack

What do all of these things have in common?

They are all bolt-ons on top of the same two fundamental problems...

1/ The commonly held image that Hamilton is a stinky, nasty, dirty, crime-ridden, filthy, armpit of a city.

2/ That you can't get anywhere in Hamilton because the streets make no sense and you're probably going to be going the wrong way.

If you want to increase innovation, do the following things:

A/ Clean up the city... not just "less Tim Hortons cups in drifting shoals near the fences" but serious stuff like "fake wood panelling from the 70s is not an appropriate street-facing material for your building - fix it NOW" -- ie: lets make the lower city look like a place where innovation can happen - there are thousands of empty storefronts where cottage industry could operate... rather than the boarded up pseudo vacant mess where it is more cost effective for the landlord to keep it empty than to rent it out.

B/ Clean up the highway facing image of Heavy Industry Hamilton... much harder to do quickly but a pedestrian bridge over the QEW is a very small contribution to the "preview of Dante's Hell" that is the north side of Burlington Street. I wish I had an easy solution to this.

C/ No More One Way Streets... if the street is physically less than 12' from curb to curb then it's a candidate for one way, otherwise, it's a two-way street. DO THIS NOW. IMMEDIATELY.

D/ Appropriate Lane Widths... Why is it that on all of our inner city highways^W one-way-streets the lines are painted at only 6" wider than the track of the 24-30 wheeled trucks that hurtle along at 60-80km/h? Have you tried to drive eastbound along Main as it crosses the 403? Those aren't lanes, they're tightropes.

Once you do those things... none of which cost as much as "The Stadium"... it will be 1000x easier to bring customers to Hamilton and it will start to change the image of Hamilton from the hellmouth to the place where hipsters innovate.

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