Comment 92479

By ScreenCarp (registered) | Posted September 22, 2013 at 21:52:56 in reply to Comment 92472

Hi Justin! I was calling out the assertion that no one here pretends to be an expert. Some folks do. I'm a big supporter of complete streets but I see the growth and intensification happening in the core and worry that two way conversion is being seen as a magic solution. Two way parts of Main and King have not seen more prosperity than the one way parts. Neither have two way streets such as Barton or Concession despite gentrification efforts, so it's just not that simple. While I support some reduction in lanes, I don't support conversion of Main/Cannon/Wellington/Victoria to two way in the core. I think King Street between Wellington and Queen would work well as a two way, but there's a chance it will get an LRT down the middle that will make it useless as a thoroughfare anyways.

I also don't believe that one way streets preclude complete streets, such as the picture in the above article. I think the current plans for Cannon are great, but Cannon being one lane each direction is terrible idea. Protected bike lanes are a great way to shelter the narrow sidewalks from the street, but in all honesty, I see very few people using the bike lanes now. Perhaps it's because they're poorly implemented, or perhaps people in Hamilton don't bike much? To answer your Ottawa and Main to James and Barton question, the obvious answer now would be Ottawa to Barton. What you're complaining about on Barton is what folks are advocating for other streets. Perhaps I'm out of touch/shape, but I don't think many people are biking an hour a day like that and those that do don't care so much about bike lanes. Cannon is getting bike lanes anyways, so it's academic.

Certainly, walking around downtown Hamilton is not a "nightmare". I do it often and as I see it, the problem is the functioning curb lanes and narrow unbuffered sidewalks. Four lanes of two way traffic does nothing to help that. Nor does it do anything for cyclists. I also find the idea of creating a problem to try to engineer a behaviour change in people somewhat distasteful. Making your citizens unhappy isn't going to build the type of neighbourhood you wish for.

Good luck to you and your wife, and I hope you do stay in the Hammer! There's a lot to fall in love with around here.

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