Comment 41277

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2010 at 11:52:26

jason: "Hamilton's successful shopping districts are also more proof - Locke, Ottawa, Westdale, Concession etc..... why is Locke booming while King and Main at their intersections with Locke seem desolate?"

Just as you point to the complexity of Barton Street's plight, I wouldn't presume to pin the business fortunes of those areas exclusively on two way streets.

Relative proximity to high-income earners helps considerably in the case of Westdale and Locke South; niche marketing, well-rounded community assets and geographical isolation/captive population helps considerably in the case of Ottawa and Concession, but both see that prosperity clustered. Almost all have undergone peaks and valleys in prosperity.

Locke South of Main has ben two-way for ages and the renaissance is finite -- when people refer to Locke they're typically using shorthand for the five blocks from Herkimer to Hunter. Ottawa North has also been two-way for ages but was largely dormant until Locke rents inspired an exodus and Centre Mall underwent reconstruction. There are often a multitude of factors contributing to the success or failure of a given area. Proof? Kenilworth North doesn't seem to benefit in the same ways as Ottawa North, for example, despite being relatively similar in many superficial ways. Ditto for Dundurn vs. Locke.

One snag that King and Main and Barton face is that they're longer than four or five blocks, so the successes and investments are spread out over a longer distance. Two way streets are helpful and old-timey streetscaping is nice and all, but those are only two components in a complex socioeconomic puzzle.

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