Comment 89289

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted June 03, 2013 at 20:55:23 in reply to Comment 89284

Well, first highway 8 which is the major tourist route for Southern Ontario. Keeping it intact and flowing, and not clogged like it is around Queenston is a way to get people going through the city, instead of around it via the Red Hill.

Second, it is the only effective east west thoroughfare through lower Hamilton. Burlington St is not effective, it's one of the worst streets in the country and is plagued by heavy industrial traffic, doesn't link up to the 403 and can't without ruining Bayfront park. This is the point you said wasn't enough, so lets move on.

Third, several of the most successful major urban areas this site so frequently espouses have similar configurations that have large, car centric through fares right through or near their downtown cores, similar to Hamilton's Hwy 8 & Linc Configuration.

Toronto and the DVP/Gardiner and 401, Portland and the Banfield Expressway as well as Interstate 5 and 405, Seattle Hwy 5, Hwy 90 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Aurora Rd, Hwy 405, San Fran Dwight D Eisenhower, The El Camino Real and New York...with too many expressways to name.

In these cases though, total separation is typical and in most cases are full on highways, with slower traffic is routed to multiple other streets which brings us to four. Cycling and pedestrianization initiatives are more successful on streets which boast smaller amounts of car traffic, particularly on smaller three lane roads and not four/five lanes. Also traffic isn't going to be eliminated through two-way conversion. It might be reduced via LRT and better mass transit, but that is years away, and is a discussion that can be had after it's implementation.

Five, congestion is a real economic problem that needs to be avoided. Toronto is crippled by it right now, and they have an incredibly efficient mass transit subway system. Congestion has caused a massive economic problem in their city, that has only been kept at base by their insane housing market that looks like it's about ready to burst.

Thankfully, Hamilton has avoided this, because of it's excessive car centric street design. It is excessive, there's no question and there is ample room for conversions to happen, hence why I fully advocate for the conversion of the rest of the street scape. York, Charlton, Aberdeen, Cannon, Barton and the overwhelming majority of north/south routes save for possibly Wellington and Victoria which would require major, costly overhauls the the entire Clairmont access. This leaves ample room for both forms of traffic to flow, independent of each other, and maybe even in the extremely far future, a consideration to conversion if will still are not suffering congestion issues after what will hopefully be a decade of smaller two way conversions, but I have severe doubts on that one and certain isn't a risk I would want to take by an en mass conversion, vs a more progressive conversion of other streets and reassessing.

Sixth, traffic conversion in Hamilton has not been as important initiative to recovery as increased density has been. The successful areas in the lower city have almost always been a direct result of nearby population density, regardless of streets nearby. Hess St is a resounding success, especially in terms of pedestrianization and it's one way and surrounded by one way streets. Just about every St. Locke intersects with is one way. James St. North has a couple one ways in King, King William and Canon. Conversely, Westdale has barely any. Westdale has barely any one way presence except King and Main and Augusta barely anything nearby one way.

This is why, as great as Ottawa St. is, it's two way area pales in comparison to the other locales. This is why the similarly configured two way Barton Village is still in a state of stagnation. This is why Kenilworth leading up to Centre Mall is a mess. This is why after you leave International village and the high rise drops off, more dereliction seems to occur. They lack population density within effective walking distances.

Seven, public opinion needs to be heeded in a democracy. The majority of Hamiltonians want King/Main left alone. That being said, there is an appetite in Hamilton for testing out and performing other conversions, whose success may one day alter public opinion. Making sweeping radical changes based on the evidence of the times is what happened when Victor Copps was in office, and look how that turned out. Building a case based on other conversions and evidence that restricting traffic flow of the busiest streets in Hamilton after Upper James will not cause congestion after other streets have been converted is far more prudent, far more politically possible and far more capable of our ponderously slow bureaucracy.

As a side note, if we walk to talk about the East, can you honestly say that the unconverted sections of Canon along the crown point neighborhoods and Barton St East have fared even remotely better then King and Main?

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