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highwater
Mar 19, 2008, 5:11 AM
It's all stoogy, buttkissing baby boomers.

That's 'stodgy' to you, young man!

raisethehammer
Mar 19, 2008, 11:19 AM
lol....my bad.

chris k
Mar 19, 2008, 8:16 PM
Thats quite saddening

I'm, surprised no one was like "i cant go through downtown now because if i stop at a light my car might get stolen and now i have to lock my door until i get past wellginton or queen"

Like wake up people, beleiving that propaganda:poke:

raisethehammer
Mar 24, 2008, 12:54 PM
this letter today is a beauty.

http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/LettertotheEditor/article/343806

at least he identifies himself as from the mountain.
He'd also be wise to do a bit of research before wasting space in our daily paper (how they allow such unfactual letters to be published over and over is really remarkable and shows how much they're controlled by the sprawl builders).
Firstly, NOT all Hamiltonians want council to waste our taxes on fixing potholes. Like someone once said "nobody goes to Paris to see their smooth roads and highways". Guys like this would have us living in city so ugly that old Soviet towns look like paradise.
Secondly, there already is free parking and dirt cheap parking downtown. One of the cheapest in the entire country to park in.
Free parking exists from 6pm Friday to 8am Mondays on ALL street meters downtown. Not a single major retailer has arrived, even with all this 'free parking'. Shocking.
Finally, even if we had no meters and all parking was free, guys like this wouldn't come downtown anyhow. Him and his type are content to live between the big boxes and plazas on the Mountain. More power to you. Get off your high-horse thinking you can hold back the rest of the city even though you NEVER come down (except for hockey games).
People like this are amazing, and so Hamilton. They want to be able to sit in the living room and yap about how crappy downtown is. Any attempts to fix it and they show up screaming and yelling. Not because they ever come down or ever will come down, but because slagging downtown is part of the culture here. This guy won't have so many easy conversation starters once downtown is booming again. Ah well, more time for TV.

DC83
Mar 24, 2008, 2:16 PM
^^ The guy is simply ignorant, rth. And obviously content with that fact. He comes downtown every now-and-then for a Bulldog's game, parks directly across the street (paying a big chunk for parking on a 'special events' night), does not bother to look for free parking (he could park free between CIBC & Pigott after 6pm), and would not contribute to any spinoff effect (ie: eating at a local resto b4 the game, etc).

Altho I must agree w/ him regarding the state of our roads. I don't drive, I take Public Transit and yet the roads after this winter are HORRIBLE! I've seen potholes that engul 3/4 of a tire when the car goes over them.
These road conditions don't only affect drivers, but busses, cyclists and yes, even pedestrians (ever been on the sidewalk when a car goes thru one of those slush/mud/water filled potholes? not fun! haha)
Get Ottawa to fork over their % of the gas tax, use that money to fix the roads WHILE converting them to two-way... and there we go. A win-win situtation for Urbanists and Mountain-Boy up there!

raisethehammer
Mar 24, 2008, 2:47 PM
I agree...and don't get me wrong, potholes need to get fixed. we're closing in on our all-time snowfall record in Hamilton and the recent batches of milder air and sunshine have really taken their toll on the roads. It's a Canadian problem, not Hamilton. For someone to suggest they are content to spend all our money on the winter-induced potholes in insane. He should be firing off a letter to MP's demanding that the feds start sending money our way to fix our overall infrastructure. that's a totally separate issue from one-way/two-way.
These guys in the burbs always want every cent of tax money spent on them, and nobody else. It's as selfish as can be.

Millstone
Mar 24, 2008, 3:00 PM
It's a Canadian problem, not Hamilton. Hamilton has the worst roads I have ever seen, regardless of winter potholes.

HAMRetrofit
Mar 24, 2008, 3:21 PM
^ I have experienced worse roads all over Southern Ontario than in Hamilton. Hamilton's roads are fairly good. The worse roads I have seen are in Kitchener.

I noticed that some people living above the mountain in Hamilton are really a group of corn fed red belly imbeciles. They really have an elitist thing going on and I have no idea where it comes from. Do they think that their 1960s bungalow is somehow better than the 1900s Victorians found downtown?

LikeHamilton
Mar 24, 2008, 4:22 PM
Potholes are a fact of life in Canada!
Every winter we get them. Some winter like this one, there is more potholes because it is a terrible winter.
Every year they interview the weather office and they say the same thing. It is our weather that causes pothole. I have seen them in new roads!
Every year people complain about the road conditions in Hamilton. As someone who drives and gets driven around a lot and in Hamilton and in many other cities, Hamilton’s roads are no worse than most and they are better, a lot better than a lot of municipalities.
The people who complain are the ones who never go anywhere. They have a sheltered life. They are the same ones that say there is nothing in the lower city but squallier! They drive to the same mall and the same job the same way every same day.
Potholes come and they fix them. Next year they will come back in a new location.
Interesting fact is the people who complain the most about potholes and other problems in the road, will drive into them day after day and just complain. They will call into a talk show or right a letter to the editor at the first sign of a problem. But they will not just get on the phone and call 905-546-CITY (2489) and tell them the problem. The city crews cannot be everywhere. We could not afford that. Just after the last big snow droppings, people where complain how long it was taking the city to fix potholes. The city said everyone was out moving snow and they only had one crew doing potholes. They need to be told where the problems are so they can save time looking for them. In the past I have called the city on a variety of problems around my house. They came almost immediately! One time the sidewalk at the side of my house started to heave. I called them and within a week they had replaced that section with a new sidewalk. I have never had a problem with the road; sidewalk, trees and water to my house and have not gotten almost immediate and reasonable attention.
Sorry I had to vent. I am tired of the people complaining when a lot of the problems can be solved by a phone call or two.

raisethehammer
Mar 24, 2008, 4:58 PM
yea, I'd put Hamilton in the middle of the pack.
Toronto has the worst roads by far IMO.
Of course, they spend their taxes on building a real city. Our city hall has acted like nothing more than a glorified road crew for the past 30 years...spending an insane percentage of our tax base on roads while completely ignoring massive hunks of the existing city (King/Barton from Wellington to Sherman - does city hall even know that this area exists??).

HAMRetrofit
Mar 24, 2008, 5:12 PM
^ You are right RTH Toronto's roads are in terrible condition as well. Snow removal is the slowest out of any city that I have lived in. The city highways (DVP, Allen, and Gardiner) are worse than ever.

FairHamilton
Mar 24, 2008, 5:26 PM
Hamilton has the worst roads I have ever seen, regardless of winter potholes.

I see you’ve haven’t drove the 401 collector lanes both eastbound and westbound at Markham Road lately……. In fact they’ve stripped the top layer of asphalt off the highway on the westbound collector stretch of the highway from Markham Road to Warden Road.

I think potholes and bad roads are indicative of current infrastructure all over our area. Bad, potholed roads are certainly not exclusive to Hamilton.

flar
Mar 24, 2008, 5:51 PM
The RHVP is nice and smooth.

JT Jacobs
Mar 24, 2008, 7:54 PM
I sure hate to break up this fascinating discussion of potholes, but I wonder if someone on the list might want to fire a rebuttal to this letter which appeared in today's Spectator:
_____

March 24, 2008
James Christman
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton
(Mar 24, 2008)

Re: 'End in sight for many one-way restrictions' (March 18)

Plug you ears -- I need to scream something from the top of Hamilton Mountain: "What is wrong with our city council?"

First, they waste our tax money rebuilding City Hall instead of permanently taking over the old Eaton Centre. Now, they want to spend money like drunken sailors on converting one-way city streets to two-way streets. Stop wasting tax dollars!

Here is a news flash for all of you at City Hall -- the people of Hamilton would rather that you concentrate on fixing the potholed, beaten and worn streets of Hamilton, instead of wasting money on two-way conversions of one-way streets.

There is nothing wrong with one-way streets. Converting them will not make the average person more likely to shop downtown, it will have the opposite effect. If it takes me longer to navigate downtown, I will be less likely to shop there. You want more people shopping downtown? Provide free parking and give tax breaks to entice companies to the core.

The only trips I look forward to downtown are Hamilton Bulldog games. Two-way street conversions are not what the city needs to focus on.
_____

I would reply, but the Spectator rarely publishes my out-of-town perspectives, and I recently hounded the editorial brass to add comments links to their local-coverage articles (apparently in the works).

It's certainly important to refute these claims, though, otherwise people assume that this is the mainstream consensus, and things are much slower to change.

Any takers? A collaborative effort, perhaps? The more signatures, the more argumentative force, after all.

Goldfinger
Mar 24, 2008, 8:03 PM
It's unfortunate, but alot of taxpayers feel this way in Hamilton. In the grand scheme of things, the capital expenditures for road repairs, two way conversions and a new city hall are nothing compared to what we spend on Social services and Policing.

Hamilton has to carry a bigger load for a smaller and declining tax base to cover increasing social services and police budgets.

Millstone
Mar 24, 2008, 8:37 PM
I see you’ve haven’t drove the 401 collector lanes both eastbound and westbound at Markham Road lately……. In fact they’ve stripped the top layer of asphalt off the highway on the westbound collector stretch of the highway from Markham Road to Warden Road.

I think potholes and bad roads are indicative of current infrastructure all over our area. Bad, potholed roads are certainly not exclusive to Hamilton.

I didn't mean potholes specifically, but Hamilton's roads are chock full of cracks, bumps and sloppy repairs.

RePinion
Mar 24, 2008, 8:42 PM
It's unfortunate, but alot of taxpayers feel this way in Hamilton. In the grand scheme of things, the capital expenditures for road repairs, two way conversions and a new city hall are nothing compared to what we spend on Social services and Policing.

Hamilton has to carry a bigger load for a smaller and declining tax base to cover increasing social services and police budgets.

This is absolutely correct. Hopefully, though, the tax base will grow rather than decline, but this isn't likely to happen as Hamilton's exceedingly large elderly population grows poorer and in greater need of social assistance.

markbarbera
Mar 24, 2008, 9:28 PM
It's unfortunate, but alot of taxpayers feel this way in Hamilton. In the grand scheme of things, the capital expenditures for road repairs, two way conversions and a new city hall are nothing compared to what we spend on Social services and Policing.

Hamilton has to carry a bigger load for a smaller and declining tax base to cover increasing social services and police budgets.

We will have to watch tomorrow's budget to see if the unfair burden of social services costs forced on Ontario cities by the Harris government almost a decade ago will finally be reversed. It would be nice to see an end to the annual mayoral trip to Queen's Park, tin cup in hand.

raisethehammer
Mar 29, 2008, 12:42 PM
absolutely great letter today....she is bang on! these people are so arrogant, it's disgusting.


Two-way streets best for downtown

Susan Labelle
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton
(Mar 29, 2008)
Re: 'Planning a two-way road to nowhere' (Letters, Mar. 25)

I have read, with a personal interest, the ongoing discussion about converting the remaining one-way streets to two-way. The gist of the conversations is "please don't do it," the collective letter writers seem to say, don't take away our right to speed through downtown as quickly as possible. I have a slightly different perspective. I live downtown.

Please -- first convert the roads to two-way, then reduce and enforce the speed limit. I watch daily as cars whiz by, slamming on the brakes when a pedestrian dares to get in their way. I watch a constant stream of accidents at the corner of John and Robert streets, because, I assume, waiting until it is safe to merge/cross, simply takes too much time. Trying to park is a bit of an interesting challenge.

There are few driveways on our street, so we must park on the street. If I want to parallel park, I must stop and wait for numerous cars to speed around me (the honking and one-finger salutes, tend to give a nice carnival flavour to the exercise), simply because I dare to slow down their "right" to zip through the core.

I look at the passengers in these vehicles -- young, old, families. I look at the vehicles -- young, old, sedans, vans, SUVs. The ones I find the most interesting are those without a flake of snow on them only a couple of hours after a snowfall. I surmise they have the luxury of parking in a garage.

I have but one question for those people. What if we, the residents of downtown, drove through your neighbourhood, every single day, at excessive speeds, honking our horns, swerving to avoid pedestrians and your children because, we believe our time is far more important than the health and safety of your neighbourhood.

So I, as a municipal taxpayer and resident of the downtown core, say to those people -- why on earth do they believe they and their families are more important than we are?

matt602
Mar 29, 2008, 1:42 PM
Very well said.

LikeHamilton
Mar 30, 2008, 2:43 AM
I watch a constant stream of accidents at the corner of John and Robert streets, because, I assume, waiting until it is safe to merge/cross, simply takes too much time. [/I]

Well I am not too sure about this one. I am familiar with this intersection and it’s accident rate and they are very rare if at all! It is not even close to being in the ballpark and on the high collision intersection list. In that area the only intersection that has a high accident rate in John and Wilson and it has a camera. It only averages one every couple of months.

coalminecanary
Apr 1, 2008, 6:51 PM
Maybe the "Accidents" she is referring to are the ones happening in pedestrians' pants each time a car goes by and practically smashes them into oblivion....

block43
Apr 1, 2008, 7:58 PM
Maybe the "Accidents" she is referring to are the ones happening in pedestrians' pants each time a car goes by and practically smashes them into oblivion....

HAHAHA

raisethehammer
Apr 1, 2008, 10:10 PM
Lol!

coalminecanary
Apr 3, 2008, 3:25 PM
April 03, 2008
(Apr 3, 2008)

Re: 'A message to anti-two-way Mountain people' (Letters, March 27)

The letter writer notes "the success of James and John since both became two-way streets." What proof is there of that and to what extent is it attributable to which way traffic flows?

I have read in The Spectator for years how area BIAs insist one-way traffic hurts business. Their theory, I presume, is that cars move freely through the streets where they are located and, as a result, do not stop. Following that logic, changing the streets to two-way traffic slows people down just enough that suddenly they want to visit these businesses.

Huh? I try to avoid congested routes. I recently travelled James Street from Barton to the Mountain access. I hit red lights at Cannon, King , Bold , Herkimer, seven metres later at St. Joseph's Drive, and again around the corner at the foot of the hill. John Street is worse.

All this congestion increases costly fuel consumption and adds significantly to noise and air pollution. Hamilton city council is obviously giving in to pressure from small business groups and we all get to sit in traffic as a result. This is progress?

Man... another through traffic advocate. Isn't it time we stopped listening to these outsiders telling the downtown merchants and residents "how it should be"? I just don't get this god given right that people think they have to drive through the downtown neighbourhoods as if they are freeways. I don't go up the escarpment and complain that all of the mountain roads shoudl be one way highways.... is it just me or is it totally nonsensical? I'm trying to be unbiased but maybe I'm missing something....

Here is my letter to the editor, cross your fingers:
http://hammerboard.ca/viewtopic.php?p=659

raisethehammer
Apr 3, 2008, 3:33 PM
the spec should be shamed for printing this thing.

look at the headline they gave it: 'two-way can drive away business'.

Yet the letter complains that these streets are going two-way at the request of local businesses.
which is it?? good for business or bad??

it's one thing to disagree, but to have no facts or common sense and still get published shows how trashy the spec is.

People don't need to 'guess' whether this has been good for business. walk down James. it HAS been. period.
email the spec your displeasure at this rotten journalism.

HAMRetrofit
Apr 3, 2008, 3:50 PM
What a freaking nimrod. How can such sloth be published?

That editorial should have stayed on that napkin next to the toilet in the Spec's washroom where it belonged.

coalminecanary
Apr 3, 2008, 4:11 PM
i sent my letter in (link to a copy is in my other post), hopefully others will do the same. even my mom who just moved to dundas from flamborough understands how stupid the one way freeways are. she tried to bring my sister to the library and just about got reamed by a car for having the gall to slow down and parallel park.

FairHamilton
Apr 3, 2008, 5:36 PM
Huh? I try to avoid congested routes. I recently travelled James Street from Barton to the Mountain access. I hit red lights at Cannon, King , Bold , Herkimer, seven metres later at St. Joseph's Drive, and again around the corner at the foot of the hill. John Street is worse.

Perhaps everyone on the two-way side should use a different tack on this one. You are never going to convince those who think one-way streets are better than two-way to change their minds. You'll only prolong the "butting" of heads.

My suggestion is to change the landscape/rules/game and make it about properly timed signal lights not two-way vs. one-way streets.

His problem (and I'm sure many others) isn't the two-way direction on streets it's that he (they) hit all those red lights. Suggesting timing lights to eleviate congestion will be understood and can agreed upon by all.

That's my suggestion.

DC83
Apr 3, 2008, 5:46 PM
It's not congestion at all.
I can see the corner he's talking about from my balcony/dining room. Yes, there ARE more than 4 cars waiting in line at the light (during rush hour, I've seen probably about a dozen or so waiting... that's the worst) YET all cars get through the signal.

In essance, these people don't want to wait at a light. They couldn't care less about the environmental implications this loser (Kenneth Ames) tries to suggest as a negative to two-way streets.

I bet Mr. Ames doesn't mind spending 3 mins waiting in a Tim's drive-thru, but cires "Climate Change!" when he has to wait at a traffic signal for 30-60 seconds!

matt602
Apr 3, 2008, 6:01 PM
In cities there is traffic. Get used to it. Stop whining. If you don't like the high gas prices, don't drive a freaking SUV.

That entire letter just pissed me right off.

oldcoote
Apr 3, 2008, 6:11 PM
I just don't get this god given right that people think they have to drive through the downtown neighbourhoods as if they are freeways.

I think this is the crux of the argument.

Many people do not consider the downtown core to be a neighbourhood. Perhaps the city should spend some energy educating the citizens that it is indeed.

raisethehammer
Apr 3, 2008, 8:12 PM
Perhaps everyone on the two-way side should use a different tack on this one. You are never going to convince those who think one-way streets are better than two-way to change their minds. You'll only prolong the "butting" of heads.

My suggestion is to change the landscape/rules/game and make it about properly timed signal lights not two-way vs. one-way streets.

His problem (and I'm sure many others) isn't the two-way direction on streets it's that he (they) hit all those red lights. Suggesting timing lights to eleviate congestion will be understood and can agreed upon by all.

That's my suggestion.

no thanks.
if they want timed lights or freeways, they can use highways. Not my downtown retail streets and heart of our city. this guy is a moron. It takes like 5-6 minutes to get from Barton to St Joes hospital. It takes about 3 minutes to make the same trip up Queen or Wellington. What does he want??? 1 minute??
people like this need to do us all a favour and stay on the Mountain and do 80km down Mohawk Rd the rest of their lives. No worries about businesses or pedestrians there.

Millstone
Apr 4, 2008, 2:57 AM
i sent my letter in (link to a copy is in my other post), hopefully others will do the same. even my mom who just moved to dundas from flamborough understands how stupid the one way freeways are. she tried to bring my sister to the library and just about got reamed by a car for having the gall to slow down and parallel park.

My problem is trying to get to Locke St from King. Why was Locke made one-way from Main to King anyway?

I have to go all the way to Dundurn to circle around instead of the next side street because the speeding 5 lane Main St won't let me get over to the other side in time!

raisethehammer
Apr 4, 2008, 3:14 AM
Lol...I'm familiar with that. I live on Strathcona so I'm a pro at zipping across all 5 lanes. Walking is easier (although more dangerous).
The plan for Locke is to make it 1-lane northbound with 2-way bike lanes on that stretch between King/Main. That'll suit me fine.

FairHamilton
Apr 4, 2008, 3:19 AM
no thanks.
if they want timed lights or freeways, they can use highways. Not my downtown retail streets and heart of our city.

So you are saying two-way streets with timed lights is not an option. Are you saying, if streets are going to be changed to two way it's a necessity to have un-sequenced lights?

this guy is a moron.

I'm sure he'd have the same sentiment towards you. Good luck with the continued butting of heads. Compromise for change doesn't seem to be an option from your point of view.

BCTed
Apr 4, 2008, 3:27 AM
So you are saying two-way streets with timed lights is not an option. Are you saying, if streets are going to be changed to two way it's a necessity to have un-sequenced lights?



I'm sure he'd have the same sentiment towards you. Good luck with the continued butting of heads. Compromise for change doesn't seem to be an option from your point of view.

Easy now, FairHamilton. raisethehammer knows what is best for all of us.

raisethehammer
Apr 4, 2008, 1:26 PM
So you are saying two-way streets with timed lights is not an option. Are you saying, if streets are going to be changed to two way it's a necessity to have un-sequenced lights?

I'm sure he'd have the same sentiment towards you. Good luck with the continued butting of heads. Compromise for change doesn't seem to be an option from your point of view.


Timed lights like we currently have should never be an option. I understand traffic management and lights working in conjunction with other nearby streets/intersections. But not this nonsense where you can fly along for several kilometers and have the lights change for you without slowing down.

I'm not calling him a moron because of his opinion...it's because of the absolute lack of common sense and facts in this letter. it's more deserving to be printed in a tabloid then the Spec (which is fast becoming one).

In this letter the guy says "what proof is there that two-way contributed to James/John success?" Get out of your car and take a walk. A more hospitable environment lends to a better business environment. Why are Hamilton's most successful urban retail strips all two-way and with slow/calm traffic??? it's not rocket science.

People like this guy always yell and scream about the "empty buildings downtown" etc.... I can walk him along james and john and show dozens of buildings that have been restored and reno'd since the two-way conversion.

It shows the real bias in the writer...he doesn't care about downtown. He cares about shaving 75 seconds off his trip through downtown.
People who live,work,play and spend money downtown are top of the priority list. Some whiner from the burbs who doesn't spend a dime downtown has no basis for giving an opinion. It would be like me fighting for Upper James to go one-way. which, by the way, if it's such a great idea downtown let's do it up there too.

The title of his letter says "two-way can drive away business". The end of the letter says "council is giving into pressure from small business groups".

Which is it?? Good for business or bad?? He doesn't know and he doesn't care. He's a selfish suburbanite who should just stay home, shut-up and watch american idol. Leave the urban revitalization to those who actually know what they are doing and care about Hamilton's success over personal, selfish issues.

I'm guessing I'm not the only who noticed all these inconsistencies and lack of fact, reasoning or common sense in this guys letter. If someone wants to write a moronic letter for the whole city to read, they deserve to be called one.

FairHamilton
Apr 4, 2008, 2:09 PM
I agree timed lights in the current one-way set-up creates urban "freeways" of fast moving traffic which is a detriment to the quality of street life. I work at on Adelaide at Spadina in Toronto so I'm totally aware what one-way street life is like. I walk and transit it every work day.

My problem with your position is that you have automatically assumed that timing lights in a two-way setting is going to be exactly the same as the timed lights in a one-way setting. But they aren't. Timing lights in one direction, impedes traffic in the opposite direction, so there is an ebb and flow in the traffic patterns on the streetscape, not a full out two-way freeway.

In the timing you can change the direction of the timing to match the daily traffic patterns i.e. morning and afternoon rush hour, and no or limited timing during the day, evenings and weekends. Traffic moves, but not unregulated and not in a full throttle method.

Now you may think he’s a ‘moron’, but I’ll argue if you call anyone a moron they’ll dig in their heels and be 100% resistant from modifying their position even a little. I wouldn’t call him a moron. Misguided yes, insulting him by calling him a moron, no. Show him some guidance, work to educate and modify his opinions (and all others) in a way that doesn't anger or frighten him (them), i.e. sitting longer in traffic frightens them, downtown not having business/street life doesn't.

Remember those in favour of the one-way streets have the upper hand because they have what they want in place and status quo is easily maintained. So those who want change are in a weaker position (no matter if it's a better solution, or not) and have an uphill battle to get the status quo changed.

markbarbera
Apr 4, 2008, 2:26 PM
The current timing patter that allows for cross-town traffic flow should be redesigned. Ideally I would like to see it dove-tailed into two-way conversion. After two-way conversion, lights can be timed to allow flow into the core during morning rush hour. In other words, westbound lanes east of the core can have the light timing synchronized to optimize flow into the core Eastbound lanes west of downtown should be timed in the same manner. Come afternoon rush hour, synchronization is reversed to favour flow out of the core. Outside of the rush hour, no synchronization is necessary.

FairHamilton
Apr 4, 2008, 4:23 PM
The current timing patter that allows for cross-town traffic flow should be redesigned. Ideally I would like to see it dove-tailed into two-way conversion. After two-way conversion, lights can be timed to allow flow into the core during morning rush hour. In other words, westbound lanes east of the core can have the light timing synchronized to optimize flow into the core Eastbound lanes west of downtown should be timed in the same manner. Come afternoon rush hour, synchronization is reversed to favour flow out of the core. Outside of the rush hour, no synchronization is necessary.

Thank-you markbarbera that is my point exactly. And as with any successful negotiation that would result in a win - win outcome.

Those that want two-way streets get them, and those who want easy access via car have that too. The travel time won't be as quick as with the one-way, but also won't be stagnant which is what the one-way proponents are frightened about.

Slowing down traffic won't help anyone (downtown business or car drivers), changing the traffic patterns and accomodating different wants will.

markbarbera
Apr 4, 2008, 4:32 PM
Moreover, timed signals applied in this manner improves traffic flow in and out of downtown during rush, targeting the downtown as a destination point, rather than the current application of timed signals which just expedites cross-town traffic at all hours. That kind of traffic really belongs on the highways.

DC83
Apr 4, 2008, 5:10 PM
My problem is trying to get to Locke St from King. Why was Locke made one-way from Main to King anyway?

I have to go all the way to Dundurn to circle around instead of the next side street because the speeding 5 lane Main St won't let me get over to the other side in time!

Turn left on Margaret Street, one street west of Locke. You can access Main St from it.

raisethehammer
Apr 4, 2008, 5:34 PM
I agree timed lights in the current one-way set-up creates urban "freeways" of fast moving traffic which is a detriment to the quality of street life. I work at on Adelaide at Spadina in Toronto so I'm totally aware what one-way street life is like. I walk and transit it every work day.

My problem with your position is that you have automatically assumed that timing lights in a two-way setting is going to be exactly the same as the timed lights in a one-way setting. But they aren't. Timing lights in one direction, impedes traffic in the opposite direction, so there is an ebb and flow in the traffic patterns on the streetscape, not a full out two-way freeway.

In the timing you can change the direction of the timing to match the daily traffic patterns i.e. morning and afternoon rush hour, and no or limited timing during the day, evenings and weekends. Traffic moves, but not unregulated and not in a full throttle method.

Now you may think he’s a ‘moron’, but I’ll argue if you call anyone a moron they’ll dig in their heels and be 100% resistant from modifying their position even a little. I wouldn’t call him a moron. Misguided yes, insulting him by calling him a moron, no. Show him some guidance, work to educate and modify his opinions (and all others) in a way that doesn't anger or frighten him (them), i.e. sitting longer in traffic frightens them, downtown not having business/street life doesn't.

Remember those in favour of the one-way streets have the upper hand because they have what they want in place and status quo is easily maintained. So those who want change are in a weaker position (no matter if it's a better solution, or not) and have an uphill battle to get the status quo changed.


feel free to read my post before responding.
I said very clearly that I have no problem with traffic management and lights being coordinated with other lights and intersections nearby.
what I DON'T want is the synchronization like we have now for a never-ending parade of green lights.

FairHamilton
Apr 4, 2008, 5:45 PM
RTH, I understand what you are saying, though in your original post you dismissed the suggestion outright. Water under the bridge now.

Also, when you sync them all in one direction the other direction is not sync'd, so if nothing else you have an ebb and flow on the street existing at all times.

raisethehammer
Apr 4, 2008, 5:51 PM
I think we're on the same page...I'm using Hamilton as my reference point. Not proper cities all over the world that do things normal.
In Hamilton when someone suggest 'timed lights' they are suggesting Main St. I certainly have zero use for that setup.

FairHamilton
Apr 4, 2008, 6:02 PM
I think we're on the same page...I'm using Hamilton as my reference point. Not proper cities all over the world that do things normal.
In Hamilton when someone suggest 'timed lights' they are suggesting Main St. I certainly have zero use for that setup.

Yeah, pretty much on the same page.

Though in a two-way setting I'd have no problem with Main Street being timed at rush hours with 3 - 5 light sections synchronized (alternating east and west depending on traffic flows) and rotating 2 - 3 light sections sync'd at other times.

I think that would make a good compromise in moving from one-way to two-way. But I'll leave all that configuration to greater minds than mine.

HAMRetrofit
Apr 4, 2008, 6:14 PM
The current timing patter that allows for cross-town traffic flow should be redesigned. Ideally I would like to see it dove-tailed into two-way conversion. After two-way conversion, lights can be timed to allow flow into the core during morning rush hour. In other words, westbound lanes east of the core can have the light timing synchronized to optimize flow into the core Eastbound lanes west of downtown should be timed in the same manner. Come afternoon rush hour, synchronization is reversed to favour flow out of the core. Outside of the rush hour, no synchronization is necessary.

I think that this sounds very sensible. I would like to see a lot more dedicated street parking as well.

SteelTown
Apr 4, 2008, 6:59 PM
Gotta remember though with BRT or LRT King and Main will have signal priority.

coalminecanary
Apr 8, 2008, 4:43 PM
What a freaking nimrod. How can such sloth be published?

That editorial should have stayed on that napkin next to the toilet in the Spec's washroom where it belonged.

More mindless drivel in the letters today:

http://thespec.com/Opinions/LettertotheEditor/article/351178

April 08, 2008
Ronald Berenbaum
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton
(Apr 8, 2008)

Re 'Two-way traffic can drive business away' (Letters, April 3)

I agree that two way traffic on James Street creates more congestion, pollution and energy waste and that many drivers (myself included) avoid James Street. This cannot be good for businesses. Many parking spaces were removed to accommodate two-way traffic. This must have frustrated customers.

I doubt it was "business owners" who lobbied for conversion to two-way traffic.

There have been letters and articles by anti-automobile fanatics who blame the decline of downtown on one-way streets. For some reason, city council bought into this ludicrous argument and initiated the change.

If taxpayers and motorists don't complain, we will wake up one morning to find the city has spent millions more to convert King and Main Streets to two-way traffic, creating unimaginable traffic jams in the core. City council should cancel the planned two-way street conversions and spend the money to fix the potholes.

He "doubts" it was "business owners" who lobbied for two way conversions? He should talk to some business owners on James and see if they'd prefer to go back to one way or if they like the new system. The spec should get off their asses themselves and interview some business owners on these streets and get some actual downtown opinion to put on the page facing these letters.

HAMRetrofit
Apr 8, 2008, 5:11 PM
That is most idiotic piece of toilet scratch I have ever read. Someone needs to educate the masses. I can't fathom how such nonsense is published in a major paper. I could understand if there were some coherent basis for the argument but please.

FairHamilton
Apr 8, 2008, 5:11 PM
LOL, if this person is so upset/concerned about "pollution and energy waste" they should purchase a bicycle and a HSR pass.

I say that not as an "anti-automobile fanatic", but as someone who owns a bicycle, a transit pass, and a Buick..........

DC83
Apr 8, 2008, 5:31 PM
^^ I don't read The Spec unless the article is posted on here, but have their been any arguments FOR two-way conversion published recently? It's kind of sickening that The Spec will let these slack-jawed yokels speak their mind yet shut out the voice of reason. I said it last time, and I'll say it again... I bet Mr Ronald Berenbaum doesn't mind waiting in a Tim's drive-thru for 3mins, so what's 30sec at a stop light?

FairHamilton
Apr 8, 2008, 6:07 PM
^^ I don't read The Spec unless the article is posted on here, but have their been any arguments FOR two-way conversion published recently? It's kind of sickening that The Spec will let these slack-jawed yokels speak their mind yet shut out the voice of reason. I said it last time, and I'll say it again... I bet Mr Ronald Berenbaum doesn't mind waiting in a Tim's drive-thru for 3mins, so what's 30sec at a stop light?

There was a pro two-way letter published in The Spec that was posted on this forum the other week.

SteelTown
Jul 11, 2008, 11:08 AM
:uhh: :uhh: :uhh: :uhh: what the hell?!?!

Downtown plans stall on road conversions

July 11, 2008
Nicole Macintyre
The Hamilton Spectator

The plan to convert several downtown one-way streets to two-way is on hold.

Council threw out the city's downtown transportation master plan yesterday in a contentious split vote that sent staff scrambling. They reversed their decision moments later to allow more debate at a later meeting.

Several councillors say they don't want to kill the entire plan, which was approved in 2001, but can't agree to planned road conversions.

The plan calls for the conversion of York Boulevard and Wilson Street, Park and MacNab streets, Hughson and Hess streets, and King William and Rebecca streets.

Councillor Terry Whitehead said he doesn't support York Boulevard being converted as part of the renovation of the central library and the farmer's market.

The street must be replaced anyway to fix underground services, but the two-way conversion will cost upwards of an extra $750,000.

The planned streetscape may look nicer, but it won't generate new tax dollars, said Whitehead.

"We're making big investments and getting nothing in return."

But Councillor Bob Bratina argues businesses won't relocate to the street as long as it is a "freeway."

He noted if one-way streets are such a benefit, he'll request they be installed on the Mountain.

"Let's make Upper James one way."

He was outraged council originally shot down the entire plan, which would have stalled several downtown initiatives, including removing buses from Gore Park. Each street conversion was planned to generate economic and neighbourhood benefits, added Bratina.

"This is a carefully developed plan."

But councillors, who opposed the conversions, say they felt they had no option but to oppose the entire plan.

Councillor Brad Clark said more research and time is needed to determine if the conversions on John and James streets have been successful.

raisethehammer
Jul 11, 2008, 11:34 AM
unreal!!
Once again the idiots in the burbs strike!! I can't believe this.
Hey Clark...based on your ever-increasing waist size, you must love to eat. Let's go for a stroll along James and John and you can stuff yourself at all the new restaurants that have opened up since the two-way conversion.

What a complete idiot...I want to know how this vote went. Stuff like this drives me nuts about living in this 'megacity'.

flar
Jul 11, 2008, 12:03 PM
What's wrong with these fools? I thought maybe the city's politicians had started to turn a corner but it seems they're as incompetent, indecisive and destructive as ever.

Of course, word on the street, at least among people who rarely go downtown, is that the James and John conversions have made driving through downtown a nightmare. Those same people have not went downtown to check out the new businesses that have opened on those streets because they believe they will be shot if they stroll James North.

BCTed
Jul 11, 2008, 12:25 PM
unreal!!
Once again the idiots in the burbs strike!! I can't believe this.
Hey Clark...based on your ever-increasing waist size, you must love to eat. Let's go for a stroll along James and John and you can stuff yourself at all the new restaurants that have opened up since the two-way conversion.

What a complete idiot...I want to know how this vote went. Stuff like this drives me nuts about living in this 'megacity'.

I do not like reading these kinds of posts. Brad Clark is not an idiot. His waist size is not relevant to this thread.

FairHamilton
Jul 11, 2008, 12:52 PM
I really love the "more research" tactic. They are killing me with always wanting research. Come on already, just make a decision and move forward.

I'm all for 2 way streets, and those of us who pay taxes near the one-way streets need to be more vocal about our wants and needs!!!

Those on this board should write a Letter to the Editor at The Spec. I'd do it, but one of my letters is published in today's paper (2nd in last two months), so they won't put another one from me in so soon. Who's up for writing one?

Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

raisethehammer
Jul 11, 2008, 1:00 PM
more info at RTH:

http://raisethehammer.org/blog.asp?id=1056#comment-25886

I've had enough with Clark.
I really thought he might be a viable option for mayor until this past month. He's just as slimy and useless as DiIanni and a whole host of Hamilton politicians we've had over the years.
He lets politics get in the way of proper decisions.
what a crock this council is.

coalminecanary
Jul 11, 2008, 1:22 PM
Does anyone know how the votes went down? I'm writing a letter to all of the "nays"

raisethehammer
Jul 11, 2008, 1:36 PM
I'm wanting to find out the same info.
I'm going to attach the Spec piece from earlier this week about the street racing problems in the lower city too. Even the Spec was too sissy to mention the real culprit. We all know - one ways with timed lights.

SteelTown
Jul 11, 2008, 1:36 PM
I'm really disappointed with council, I take more of the blame towards Mayor Fred. He should take the leadership to glide council and not have so many spilt votes. Clearly he's just letting councilors decide on their own.

Now the whole York streetscape will likely be delayed.

I can't believe council nearly killed this whole plan that's been in the works since the city amalgamated. I like to see councilors threaten to kill off Dundas or Ancaster's master transportation plan.

raisethehammer
Jul 11, 2008, 1:49 PM
yes, it's quite remarkable. shows how clueless they are. Even working downtown everyday they are simply blind to what's been going on.
They drive into their stupid little lot, walk through JS staring at their crackberries and then drive back home.
bunch of hicks.

LikeHamilton
Jul 11, 2008, 2:52 PM
As someone who has worked on John Street for more that 30 years I was sceptical about the conversion to two-way streets. At certain times of the day it is now absolute gridlock, but I have figured out ways to get around it. I found I did not need to drive on John or James to get to where I wanted to go. But that gridlock at other times of the day has added excitement to the streets. I have noticed more life on the street, more businesses opening up and spreading out to the sidewalk and adding to the neighbourhoods.

I have changed my mind on two-way streets. I have observed and I believe them to be an outright success!

I like what I have seen! I also believe that you cannot paint everything with the same brush or colour, not all streets can or should be converted to one-way. I believe the plan does have some streets still run one-way due to their size. King can go to two-way from the Delta to Wellington Street but stay one-way to the 403, but narrowed in certain sections. Main can go two-way from 403 to the Delta with more lanes eastbound than westbound. I believe this would be a balance between the need to move traffic and slowing traffic down.

This would also allow a better flow of traffic to and from events in the core. I now avoid going to events in Toronto due to the impassable gridlock downtown. It can take more than two hours to get out of Toronto after a show on the weekend. As the driver I do not see anything as my eyes are glued to the road and the stress is almost unbearable. I have not been to any event in Toronto for over 2 years. I have been to events in Hamilton, Kitchener, and Niagara-on-the-Lake and even Buffalo (a show that had played in Toronto and I waited until it played in Buffalo).

I would like to suggest that someone or some group invite the outside blind Councillors for a tour of James Street North and South to see the changes that have come from two-way streets. Maybe they should be invited to an art crawl and see all of the upscale intelligent people that come to James Street North! Maybe this is a job for the BIA’s.

(I have also posted this in Raise the Hammer)

:2cents:

FairHamilton
Jul 11, 2008, 3:39 PM
I'm wanting to find out the same info.
I'm going to attach the Spec piece from earlier this week about the street racing problems in the lower city too. Even the Spec was too sissy to mention the real culprit. We all know - one ways with timed lights.

Write the letter The Spec and reference the piece from the other week about the drag strip in my neighbourhood. And cc, every councillor with the Letter to the Editor, not just the ones that voted 'nay'.

It's important to let those who voted 'yea' they have support (everyone likes positive reinforcement), so they don't get as easily influenced to change their minds in the future.

JT Jacobs
Jul 11, 2008, 4:03 PM
I really love the "more research" tactic. They are killing me with always wanting research. Come on already, just make a decision and move forward.

I'm all for 2 way streets, and those of us who pay taxes near the one-way streets need to be more vocal about our wants and needs!!!

Those on this board should write a Letter to the Editor at The Spec. I'd do it, but one of my letters is published in today's paper (2nd in last two months), so they won't put another one from me in so soon. Who's up for writing one?

Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Indeed, this is a crucial point: we can rant and rave in easily ignorable anonymity here, but to get the attention of policy makers effectively, we must use the time-honored public forums like--yes, sadly--the Hamilton Spectator, among others.

I would write another letter to the Spec but they don't publish mine anymore because I don't live in the 905 full-time (yet).

Once Council observes that constituents are unhappy with their latest mindboggling decision, they'll reconsider. And, like Lister, there is still time as this decision has been tabled.

So, who's up for a letter?

adam
Jul 11, 2008, 4:36 PM
There is a lot wrong with getting councillors on the Mountain voting for happenings downtown. They live a completely different lifestyle than downtowners. Us downtowners want diversity in the places we shop. We want to be able to walk along a peaceful street stopping in at various shops to do all our errands. We want culture.

Mountain folk want to be able to drive to a mega superstore with plenty of parking and do all their shopping at one place so they can quickly get back to their paradise away from the rest of society. On average, they probably watch a lot more TV than downtowners and are perfectly happy living their lives from their family rooms. They would never dream of going somewhere without stepping into their car.

Gurnett71
Jul 11, 2008, 5:04 PM
Mountain folk want to be able to drive to a mega superstore with plenty of parking and do all their shopping at one place so they can quickly get back to their paradise away from the rest of society. On average, they probably watch a lot more TV than downtowners and are perfectly happy living their lives from their family rooms. They would never dream of going somewhere without stepping into their car.

That's a pretty big brush you are painting (approximately) half of Hamilton's population with. :rolleyes:

SteelTown
Jul 11, 2008, 5:18 PM
Mountain councillors tend to support Lower Hamilton a lot, especially Jackson and Duvall and sometimes Whitehead. They all agree on improving the waterfront.

It's the Dundas, Ancaster, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek councillors that tend to stall progress for the downtown core.

highwater
Jul 11, 2008, 5:44 PM
Whitehead's against two-way conversion. Don't know how the rest voted.

Just fired off an LTE and copied it to the Mayor and Council, FWIW.

markbarbera
Jul 11, 2008, 6:09 PM
Don't kid yourselves, this is petty tit-for-tat politics. Whitehead and Clark were pissed that the city earmarked the provincial infrastructure funds for mostly downtown roads and now want to get even. Perhaps they think if they cause a sufficient delay (money must be spent this year), then the funds will have to go to their wards. This is not the kind of city-building decisions any councillor with a vision would make.

raisethehammer
Jul 11, 2008, 6:17 PM
yup...I'm glad Brad Clark is spending a term on council before eyeing the mayors job.
No way in heck would I vote for him now that I know what he's all about - petty politics and immature behaviour.
What a loser.

adam
Jul 11, 2008, 9:18 PM
That's a pretty big brush you are painting (approximately) half of Hamilton's population with. :rolleyes:

I've been to Meadowlands and alternatively Upper James on many a weekend. There is not a single soul who is not in a car trying to hurry there way to get the best parking spot at their favourite all-purpose box store. Am I wrong?
Now contrast this with what is happening downtown on the weekend with many pedestrians along Main St W, Locke St S, Westdale, James St N, etc etc etc

waterloowarrior
Jul 11, 2008, 9:24 PM
yeah the people I know who live near meadowlands will drive the equivelant of one or two city blocks to Jack Astors ;)

BCTed
Jul 11, 2008, 9:51 PM
As someone who has worked on John Street for more that 30 years I was sceptical about the conversion to two-way streets. At certain times of the day it is now absolute gridlock, but I have figured out ways to get around it. I found I did not need to drive on John or James to get to where I wanted to go.


"Absolute gridlock" is not something that I want to see. Deliberate inconvenience does not make sense to me.

highwater
Jul 11, 2008, 10:00 PM
Deliberate destruction of the quality of life and commerce on our city streets doesn't make sense to me. Minor inconvenience of pass-through motorists in order to reverse this makes perfect sense.

rousseau
Jul 12, 2008, 1:18 AM
"Absolute gridlock" is not something that I want to see. Deliberate inconvenience does not make sense to me.
You know, BCTed, in the past I've often supported you and your "lone voice in the wilderness" railing against the tide, but even I have to say that the contrarian act is getting old. Either you're turning into a troll, or you really are this obtuse. The new urbanist mantra about turning downtown neighbourhoods into places where pedestrians, mass transit, alternative forms of transportation, local shops, local life and density are valued above the convenience of other forms of motorized traffic is being proven to be a good thing again and again and again. Yes, the mantra has turned into something of a cliche, but jeeze louise, cliches are literary, while in the real world the mantra is working.

No one here expects you to fully embrace it, but on the other hand you don't have anything substantive to say against it. Thoughtful criticism is always needed, but you're not giving it.

JT Jacobs
Jul 12, 2008, 1:56 AM
You know, BCTed, in the past I've often supported you and your "lone voice in the wilderness" railing against the tide, but even I have to say that the contrarian act is getting old. Either you're turning into a troll, or you really are this obtuse. The new urbanist mantra about turning downtown neighbourhoods into places where pedestrians, mass transit, alternative forms of transportation, local shops, local life and density are valued above the convenience of other forms of motorized traffic is being proven to be a good thing again and again and again. Yes, the mantra has turned into something of a cliche, but jeeze louise, cliches are literary, while in the real world the mantra is working.

No one here expects you to fully embrace it, but on the other hand you don't have anything substantive to say against it. Thoughtful criticism is always needed, but you're not giving it.

Entirely well said and perfectly reasonable, from my perspective, Rosseau.

BCTed
Jul 12, 2008, 2:13 AM
You know, BCTed, in the past I've often supported you and your "lone voice in the wilderness" railing against the tide, but even I have to say that the contrarian act is getting old. Either you're turning into a troll, or you really are this obtuse. The new urbanist mantra about turning downtown neighbourhoods into places where pedestrians, mass transit, alternative forms of transportation, local shops, local life and density are valued above the convenience of other forms of motorized traffic is being proven to be a good thing again and again and again. Yes, the mantra has turned into something of a cliche, but jeeze louise, cliches are literary, while in the real world the mantra is working.

No one here expects you to fully embrace it, but on the other hand you don't have anything substantive to say against it. Thoughtful criticism is always needed, but you're not giving it.

My "act" may be contrarian on this board most of the time, but most members of council voted to hold off on the conversion plan, which is the same thing that I would have done. I also can't see how what I am doing is an "act" when I believe that I am correct on here more often than I am incorrect. As I have stated a kazillion times, I tend to stay quiet when I agree with the majority of people on this board and often only pipe up when I disagree (I certainly don't post in the vast majority of threads in the Hamilton forum) --- if that makes me look like a troll or a deliberate "lone voice in the wilderness", then so be it.

On the whole, I am definitely against the conversion of one-way streets to two-way (this is nothing new) and one of the main reasons for that is that I do not want to see hindered traffic flow. Artificial congestion does not jive with me and when I see someone mentioning "absolute gridlock" in any context, it sets off alarm bells --- sorry.

As for thoughtfulness, I can't write a Pulitzer-winning post every time I hit the "send" button. The first post that I responded to in this thread this morning repeatedly referred to members of council as "idiots" and made fun of one guy's big belly, and nobody but me seemed to object. I can't imagine that the BCTed post you quoted was any less thoughtful --- it was certainly less harsh.

Gurnett71
Jul 12, 2008, 2:18 AM
I've been to Meadowlands and alternatively Upper James on many a weekend. There is not a single soul who is not in a car trying to hurry there way to get the best parking spot at their favourite all-purpose box store. Am I wrong?
Now contrast this with what is happening downtown on the weekend with many pedestrians along Main St W, Locke St S, Westdale, James St N, etc etc etc

Adam, I would wager that many of the pedestrians/shoppers that you mention seeing on Main, Locke, in Westdale and James Street are from the mountain.

You cannot just arbitrarily say as you do in your earlier post that ALL residents of the mountain ONLY shop at Slimeridge, Mountain Plaza or the Meadowlands. That's ridiculous. I would think that a fairly healthy percentage of shoppers at the mountain retail nodes are frequented by "downtowners", such as yourself.

I just do not agree with your generalizations about us "mountain folk" being unsociable or the insinuation that the entire mountain population is lazy. Such comments are not constructive in this thread, and could easily be applied to the lower city as well.;)

adam
Jul 12, 2008, 3:09 AM
Councillor Whitehead says that 1 way conversion costs too much with very little tax returns... but how about the Redhill Expressway? Did businesses ever open up beside it as promised? Not that I am aware of... and how much did that cost? We are talking peanuts here.

We have to be sure to remember Whitehead's response about costing too much when he proposes any improvements in his ward.

adam
Jul 12, 2008, 3:18 AM
Adam, I would wager that many of the pedestrians/shoppers that you mention seeing on Main, Locke, in Westdale and James Street are from the mountain.

You cannot just arbitrarily say as you do in your earlier post that ALL residents of the mountain ONLY shop at Slimeridge, Mountain Plaza or the Meadowlands. That's ridiculous. I would think that a fairly healthy percentage of shoppers at the mountain retail nodes are frequented by "downtowners", such as yourself.

I just do not agree with your generalizations about us "mountain folk" being unsociable or the insinuation that the entire mountain population is lazy. Such comments are not constructive in this thread, and could easily be applied to the lower city as well.;)

Look the point I'm trying to make is that making our downtown pedestrian friendly is one of the keys to attracting street life and consequently business and consequently revival of the downtown as a whole. Perhaps I should have used the term "mountain councillor" as they are the main proponents of keeping our downtown streets 1 way. Unfortunately they are only around for commutes and don't see how drivers treat these streets when they are empty. An empty highway, anyone? Its just human nature to go extremely fast... makes it hard for us downtowners to live here.

Gurnett71
Jul 12, 2008, 3:42 AM
Look the point I'm trying to make is that making our downtown pedestrian friendly is one of the keys to attracting street life and consequently business and consequently revival of the downtown as a whole. Perhaps I should have used the term "mountain councillor" as they are the main proponents of keeping our downtown streets 1 way. Unfortunately they are only around for commutes and don't see how drivers treat these streets when they are empty. An empty highway, anyone? Its just human nature to go extremely fast... makes it hard for us downtowners to live here.

And I entirely agree with your point of making downtown more pedestrian friendly by converting the highways that intersect downtown to more sedate streets.:cheers: Hopefully, the mountain (or suburban) councillors will see the light and reverse their shortsighted decision. Some mountain residents like to head downtown every now and then as well, and would welcome a more pedestrian friendly environment there, rather than try to navigate the horrendous Meadowlands by foot (impossible!).

As a side note: there was an interesting contrast I noticed while on a Ghost walk of downtown Hamilton last week. While the tour stopped at several locations around Gore park, the guide had to stop his narrative several times until much of the very loud traffic had moved along. However, while touring some of the ghost sites along or near James Street, not once did the guide have to pause. Not scientific, but seemed to me that James was more suited for a nice stroll with few cars/trucks/motorcycles thundering by.

The Ghost Walk guide also pointed out the location of many former grand buildings/facilities that once existed downtown. I lament the loss of so much of our rich architectural heritage. I highly recommend this tour...was facinating.

adam
Jul 12, 2008, 4:56 AM
right on :righton:

rousseau
Jul 12, 2008, 5:06 AM
On the whole, I am definitely against the conversion of one-way streets to two-way (this is nothing new) and one of the main reasons for that is that I do not want to see hindered traffic flow. Artificial congestion does not jive with me...
See, here's where my accusation of obtuseness comes in. Did you notice the report that deaths from motor vehicle accidents are going down owing to the reduced traffic on the roads due to the sky-high price of gas? No?

The paradigm is shifting. The idea that traffic flow through downtown is the ultimate good and overrides any other concern to do with quality of life was borne of a 20th century suburban mindset nurtured on cheap oil. There is nothing in the least "artificial" about the greater congestion that's occurring on two-way streets, nor is there anything "artificial" about the positive changes that are occurring partly due to the conversion to two-way streets.

Let's set up a simple hypothetical construct involving a person living near Gage Park needing to drive to McMaster Hospital and a person living above a shop on King West near Hess Village. Why does the driver's desire for a trip to take 20 minutes on a fast one-way street instead of 30 minutes on a slower two-way street take precedence over the quality of life of the apartment dweller who would appreciate slower traffic and all of the concomittant benefits that that would entail? We can sit down here and list the pros and cons of each "side" in this construct, including their respective impacts on the community, and it's clear no matter how you slice it that slowing down traffic on downtown streets wins. It's just overwhelming. You have to be wilfully obtuse not to see that.

North American life is changing due to the high price of oil. Many of the ideas espoused by urban enthusiasts who frequent forums like this are seeping into the mainstream of society. Downtowns are slowly coming back to life. Back in 1970 the holy grail for Hamilton's urban planners was how to get cars in and out of downtown as quickly as possible, especially seeing as how the Hammer was going to be populated by over 1 million people by the year 2000. While you cannot blame those bastards for all of the destruction visited on downtown, as larger forces were obviously at work, they certainly did their share. The idea that cars need to get in and out and through downtown as quickly as possible regardless of the consequences is over. It's over. The view you share with certain city councillors on one-way streets is not just patently wrong, it is an anachronism.

BCTed
Jul 12, 2008, 12:39 PM
See, here's where my accusation of obtuseness comes in. Did you notice the report that deaths from motor vehicle accidents are going down owing to the reduced traffic on the roads due to the sky-high price of gas? No?

The paradigm is shifting. The idea that traffic flow through downtown is the ultimate good and overrides any other concern to do with quality of life was borne of a 20th century suburban mindset nurtured on cheap oil. There is nothing in the least "artificial" about the greater congestion that's occurring on two-way streets, nor is there anything "artificial" about the positive changes that are occurring partly due to the conversion to two-way streets.

Let's set up a simple hypothetical construct involving a person living near Gage Park needing to drive to McMaster Hospital and a person living above a shop on King West near Hess Village. Why does the driver's desire for a trip to take 20 minutes on a fast one-way street instead of 30 minutes on a slower two-way street take precedence over the quality of life of the apartment dweller who would appreciate slower traffic and all of the concomittant benefits that that would entail? We can sit down here and list the pros and cons of each "side" in this construct, including their respective impacts on the community, and it's clear no matter how you slice it that slowing down traffic on downtown streets wins. It's just overwhelming. You have to be wilfully obtuse not to see that.

North American life is changing due to the high price of oil. Many of the ideas espoused by urban enthusiasts who frequent forums like this are seeping into the mainstream of society. Downtowns are slowly coming back to life. Back in 1970 the holy grail for Hamilton's urban planners was how to get cars in and out of downtown as quickly as possible, especially seeing as how the Hammer was going to be populated by over 1 million people by the year 2000. While you cannot blame those bastards for all of the destruction visited on downtown, as larger forces were obviously at work, they certainly did their share. The idea that cars need to get in and out and through downtown as quickly as possible regardless of the consequences is over. It's over. The view you share with certain city councillors on one-way streets is not just patently wrong, it is an anachronism.

I did hear about the study relating the inverse relationship between traffic deaths and gas prices, but obtuse old me fails to see the exact relevance here. If anything, the study's results suggest that increased gas prices will lead to decreased traffic congestion and emptier streets, while two-way street conversion aims to achieve the opposite. Are we going to have to go to three-way streets to compensate? Also, I am not convinced that two-way traffic is not more dangerous for pedestrians than is one-way traffic.

"Artificial" may not be the exactly appropriate word, but one or more of "contrived", "manufactured", "forced" may be what I am looking for.

In your example, I don't know that the Hess Village dweller's quality of life is being severely hampered by the one way traffic. King Street has a fair bit of traffic congestion east of Bay Street as things stand now and is not exactly a freeway west of it. The vast majority of drivers on one way streets travel at reasonable speeds and those who do not will be dangerous drivers under any kind of street setup.

What if the Gage Park guy has a medical emergency and needs an ambulance to get to his stated destination of McMaster Hospital? Which route will the ambulance take? Will the ambulance be able to reach its goal just as quickly as it would have under the one-way scenario? Are we trying to bisect the city and segregate East Hamilton from West Hamilton?

My examples are a bit on the extreme side, but let's get very extreme. Let's say that every street in Hamilton is converted to two way and the move turns out to be a roaring success, creating huge residential density and glorious "absolute gridlock" everywhere. In that event, do we switch back to one way streets?

adam
Jul 12, 2008, 4:01 PM
Using this same logic, we should immediately turn Upper James and West 5th into 1 way streets... if I have to get to the other side of the mountain, the 1 way streets will help shave off 5 minutes of my travel time. Who cares about the difficulty visitors will have in planning a route and visiting destinations along these routes? As far as I'm concerned, those businesses can close down and we can board up the buildings along my travel routes. My desire to get to the other side of the mountain in 5 minutes less is of paramount importance. And think of all the reduced pollution because I'm driving faster! Also we'll have a lot fewer accidents so our hospitals won't be so stressed. :jester:
See how ridiculous that logic sounds?

BCTed
Jul 12, 2008, 4:19 PM
Using this same logic, we should immediately turn Upper James and West 5th into 1 way streets... if I have to get to the other side of the mountain, the 1 way streets will help shave off 5 minutes of my travel time. Who cares about the difficulty visitors will have in planning a route and visiting destinations along these routes? As far as I'm concerned, those businesses can close down and we can board up the buildings along my travel routes. My desire to get to the other side of the mountain in 5 minutes less is of paramount importance. And think of all the reduced pollution because I'm driving faster! Also we'll have a lot fewer accidents so our hospitals won't be so stressed. :jester:
See how ridiculous that logic sounds?

We can keep Upper James and West 5th as two-way.

SteelTown
Jul 12, 2008, 5:27 PM
So you disagree with traffic calming measures as well?

Personally I think one way streets can work and King William is a good example. Bay Street is a good example too, nice streetscape with flowers and less lanes to make way for bigger sidewalks.

But I believe all these two way street recommendations should be approved as it's been studied for nearly 8 years already. All these streets being proposed to be converted two way are roads that aren't used much by cars anyways. The only main road is York Blvd, but two way conversion would be from Bay to James, a tiny little section. This should be approved to help improve the Farmers' Market. After that they would install a bike lane on York from Dundurn to Bay, makes perfect sense to link up the current bike lane on York from 403 to Dundurn.

Millstone
Jul 12, 2008, 5:51 PM
Using this same logic, we should immediately turn Upper James and West 5th into 1 way streets... if I have to get to the other side of the mountain, the 1 way streets will help shave off 5 minutes of my travel time. Who cares about the difficulty visitors will have in planning a route and visiting destinations along these routes? As far as I'm concerned, those businesses can close down and we can board up the buildings along my travel routes. My desire to get to the other side of the mountain in 5 minutes less is of paramount importance. And think of all the reduced pollution because I'm driving faster! Also we'll have a lot fewer accidents so our hospitals won't be so stressed. :jester:
See how ridiculous that logic sounds?

I would like to see Fennell and Mohawk turned into one-way couplets, and remove all traffic devices from Concession to create a sort of demolition derby.

DC83
Jul 12, 2008, 7:06 PM
So you disagree with traffic calming measures as well?

Two-Way coversion is the best way to slow ultra-fast one-way streets. Even if you don't convert to two-way, traffic calming is a MUST and actually works.

Perfect example: International Village. Since they narrowed their lanes back in the late 90's, so much has happened here. More restos, cafes, residential, Ti-Cats moved in, and most importantly STREET LIFE has returned.

Living Downtown for years, I've seen the slow (but obvious) turn-arounds of John St including (and most importantly) more and more people walking along the street. On an avg nice day, say 3 years ago, there'd be maybe half a dozen people walking between Charlton & King. In 2008, on an avg day, I usually come across at least a couple dozen people walking up & down, not counting the Main & John multi-HSR stop.

Traffic Calming works!!! If that means two-way conversion, PERFECT --Even better for our visitors!! If that's not possible; narrow lanes, add streetscaping, give people driving thru something to look at and then come back and tell me traffic calming doesn't work (directed at Squelchers, not you Steeltown) haha

raisethehammer
Jul 12, 2008, 7:51 PM
I gotta be honest, the street life on King East in IV isn't as good as James or John.
Two-way is still better. Calm one-way is better than crazy, freeway hell one-way.

markbarbera
Jul 12, 2008, 11:36 PM
What if the Gage Park guy has a medical emergency and needs an ambulance to get to his stated destination of McMaster Hospital? Which route will the ambulance take?

If the Gage Park guy has a life-threatening medical emergency, I am sure the ambulance would be driving to Hamilton General and not McMaster. The route would be Gage to Barton then Barton to Victoria - a seven minute drive... on two-way streets.
If he's conscious enough to direct to an alternate site, then it's not likely a life-threatening emergency and he can enjoy the lengthened ride.

But seeing as Mac is going entirely pediatric, this is really an extremely academic exercise on all levels. So, what you are really saying is, if there is a non-life threatening emergency at rush hour immediately following conversion of King Street to two way traffic , and the patient is a minor, and the pediatric patient expressly requests one HHS site three times further than the closest HHS site, and the pediatric patient's legal guardian agrees, then yes his choice may result in a transfer that takes a bit longer post two-way conversion. No wonder this requires further study.

FairHamilton
Jul 13, 2008, 1:33 AM
Ambulances move pretty good on two-way streets in other cities, I can't imagine Hamilton is so different.

I'm 100% behind conversion of most one-way streets to two-way. BTW, my wife and I attended our first Art Crawl on James North last night and she kept repeating "This isn't the James I grew up with, it used to be creepy and my mother told me to stay away from it.....".

James North has good bones, but I'm confident conversion to two-way allowed those bones to resurrect.

raisethehammer
Jul 13, 2008, 2:46 AM
glad to hear that about your wife FairHamilton. I agree. I'm 31. That isn't the James North I grew up with either.
And watch out...in the next month you'll hear some pretty big announcements coming from James North. Lots of action.

flar
Jul 13, 2008, 12:10 PM
glad to hear that about your wife FairHamilton. I agree. I'm 31. That isn't the James North I grew up with either.
And watch out...in the next month you'll hear some pretty big announcements coming from James North. Lots of action.

I'd love to see something happen in the Wilson to Cannon stretch, there are some beautiful buildings there that could use some work.

raisethehammer
Jul 13, 2008, 12:24 PM
Lol...well, stay tuned then. You'll like the announcements coming next month.

drpgq
Jul 13, 2008, 4:41 PM
Councillor Whitehead says that 1 way conversion costs too much with very little tax returns... but how about the Redhill Expressway? Did businesses ever open up beside it as promised? Not that I am aware of... and how much did that cost? We are talking peanuts here.

We have to be sure to remember Whitehead's response about costing too much when he proposes any improvements in his ward.

Does the Leon's count?

drpgq
Jul 13, 2008, 5:16 PM
Two-Way coversion is the best way to slow ultra-fast one-way streets. Even if you don't convert to two-way, traffic calming is a MUST and actually works.

Perfect example: International Village. Since they narrowed their lanes back in the late 90's, so much has happened here. More restos, cafes, residential, Ti-Cats moved in, and most importantly STREET LIFE has returned.

Living Downtown for years, I've seen the slow (but obvious) turn-arounds of John St including (and most importantly) more and more people walking along the street. On an avg nice day, say 3 years ago, there'd be maybe half a dozen people walking between Charlton & King. In 2008, on an avg day, I usually come across at least a couple dozen people walking up & down, not counting the Main & John multi-HSR stop.

Traffic Calming works!!! If that means two-way conversion, PERFECT --Even better for our visitors!! If that's not possible; narrow lanes, add streetscaping, give people driving thru something to look at and then come back and tell me traffic calming doesn't work (directed at Squelchers, not you Steeltown) haha

I live near John St as well, but I'm not convinced that the two way has been that smashing a success. There doesn't seem to be that many new stores, and the stretch between King and King William is still disappointing (I wish Addiction Services would go somewhere else). Between Rebecca and Wilson, it is still parking lots. I don't disagree with the two way conversions, but I'm not willing to drink the Koolaid that the conversions will solve all our problems. I think it really depends on the street. For John south of Main, I almost would rather they kept it one way, but ripped out a lane or two on the East side to streetscape it and allow some patios. Sometimes I think it is not just the one way two way issue, but the raw number of lanes of traffic.