Comment 52711

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 06, 2010 at 19:53:12

I find it misleading to say that Hamilton's one-way streets are 2.5 times as dangerous for children as Hamilton's two-way streets. This "fact" is brought up over and over here on RTH in an attempt to suggest that Two Way streets are safer than One Way streets. Actually, it's not even presented as a suggestion. It is usually presented as an indisputable fact. The real fact is that whether one way or two way streets are safer is very much open to debate.

Because I am interested in what is best for Hamilton, I think it's important to present the facts in a non misleading way. The same study which is so often used here at RTH also says:

"Finally there is higher volume of traffic on one-way streets in Hamilton, a variable associated with up to a 13-fold increase in injury risk".


"In the end, it might be, as Zeeger describes, that it is necessary that one-way streets are safer in some situations and two-ways streets in others".

If one wanted to be misleading, they could use the study to say that Hamilton's one way streets are 5.2 (13 divided by 2.5) times safer than two way streets. That isn't true though. The study does not conclude that Hamilton's two way streets are 2.5 times more dangerous than it's one way streets. It concludes that "one-way streets have higher rates of child pedestrian injuries than two-way streets in this community". And by rates they mean per km of road, not per amount of traffic.

So yes, while it is true that the one way streets here are 2.5 times more "dangerous", the reason for that increased danger is anyone's guess. As the authors of the study point out, the higher number of cars on our one way streets could be one of the causes.

In general, I'm not for one way streets and I'm not for two way streets. I don't think that, in the big picture, one is better than the other. I believe that each has it's pluses and minuses. I think that, for the most part, Main and Cannon serve Hamilton, as a whole, at least as well in their current one way set up as they would in a two way set up. When I say as a whole, I mean considering all our tax payers, pedestrians, drivers, shop owners, productivity etc.

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