Comment 62369

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted April 16, 2011 at 11:08:47

Without getting into the usual 'pedestrian vs driver', 'don't we want a pedestrian-friendly city?' back-and-forths, maybe it might be worthwhile...even in an ancillary way...to take a look at how 'getting somewhere as expediently as possible in an urban setting' reveals about how we live our lives. What it has to do with the manifestation of Self, how we tend to use our cars to effectively validate our existences, etc.

I know for many, this is a worthless, even annoying examination; they don't want to examine anything, they just want to be able to do what they want to do. And yet I'm not sure that without looking at 'the reasons behind the reasons', much is going to be accomplished.

I believe that if it were possible, regular users of many of our main Hamilton roads...and I'm thinking Main Street especially...would be happy, even gleeful at an increase in speed limit. 60...70...80... WHEEEE!!! But often, when I've been standing at the bus stop near Queen and Main, I've found myself shaking my head at the indisputable 'thoroughfare' nature of this strip of road as it's contrasted with its name: 'Main West Esplanade'. (As if this is a place for people. It should be known as the 'Main West Expressway'.) I watch drivers booting it five, ten percent over the speed limit and I think 'You do realize that there's nothing worthwhile you're speeding your way to...' And then, the next time I'm driving my dad's car heading east on this very strip, I'm thinking 'You do realize that you're behaving just as 'they' are...' LOL

Even though I may be seen as a contrarian with some of my comments (almost always predicated on a criticism of the approach to a better result, not the proposed result itself), I still see this whole discussion as madness. There is nothing pleasant about so many of our Hamilton streets. As a born-and-bred Hamiltonian, they turn my stomach. Because as an indicator of lives lived, they're nothing to crow about. Ditto for some of the reactions to wanting to reduce speed limits and enhance the pedestrian experience; it's funny, but I'm often reminded of the obdurate, splenetic Second Amendment adherents in the US. Or of this recent ad campaign:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHlN21ebe...

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