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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 4:58 AM
Millstone Millstone is offline
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Let's talk about one-way streets

Would you like to see two-way traffic return to downtown? On what streets?

Would turning King two-way between Wellington and Bay be a good idea? How about individual lane controls that change with traffic volume or time of day, like they use on border crossings?

How about two-waying smaller downtown streets like King William, Hughson, or Rebecca?
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 11:31 AM
mishap mishap is offline
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Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
Would you like to see two-way traffic return to downtown? On what streets?

Would turning King two-way between Wellington and Bay be a good idea?
My "master plan" would be based on the mixed one-way, two-way model the city has proposed, but with some changes. It's a little like Calgary's setup, with a wide one-way pair and a transit corridor down the middle. The short version:

- Main remains one-way eastbound, but only four lanes with off-peak parking, and traffic lights re-synched to slow the speed of the "green wave".

- King's one-way traffic gets shunted onto Cannon at Scott Park. King becomes a two-way street all the way through Westdale. The LRT line uses King from Wellington to McMaster (eastward routing TBD). This becomes the people street in the core. It would also be a safer route for cyclists. The ramps to the 403 would be removed.

- York/ Wilson goes two-way from Hess to Sherman. It becomes a local street except around Copps, where it's more of a destination street.

- Cannon goes one-way westbound from the "shunt" at Scott Park to Sherman. Sherman to Queen stays basically the same. However, extend Cannon across the 403 and tie in to Paradise or Longwood. Highway 403 crossings are a vulnerable point in the lower city network, and it would be more so with the "downsizing" of King. Ramps to the 403 would have to be built to replace the King St ramps. While an expensive undertaking, it would be hundreds of millions of dollars cheaper than building the Perimeter Road.

There is some flexibility. Main and Cannon could also work as two-way streets in this plan. You could keep the Cannon extension, but allow access to/ from Hwy 403 for both streets. Through traffic would not have to cross the core north-south.

As for the Perimeter Road corridor, hang on to that for a future LRT line. There are people here that would love to see a Barton LRT line someday. While Barton is a little narrow, the Perimeter Road strip is only two short blocks away.

I like to be different. This way, I can draw fire from the one-way and two-way advocates.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 1:38 PM
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Dorothy Turcotte
The Hamilton Spectator

(May 2, 2008)

It has been interesting to read comments about Hamilton's controversial "new" two-way streets.

I was born in Hamilton, and worked downtown in the days before streets went from two-way to one-way.

Current downtown dwellers will immediately say, "Yes, but things were different back then." In some ways they were, but they were also the same.

Back in the 1950s, everyone went downtown. There were no malls on the outskirts with free parking. No matter who you were, you ended up downtown, arriving by bicycle, car, bus or on foot.

Many citizens travelled by streetcars that ran right down the middle of James, King and Barton streets.

Downtown Hamilton in those days was the hub of the city. There were no empty stores. In addition to the T. Eaton Company, G.W. Robinson, Woolworths and Kresge's, there were several smaller department stores -- The Right House, C.J. Eames, Northways, Finch's and Zellers. All the major banks were downtown, and so were a few smaller ones such as Huron and Erie, and Canada Permanent Trust.

Popular shops were Birks, Herbert S. Mills China, British Knitwear, the Java Shop, United Cigar Store, Levinson's Shoes, Powell Camera, Heintzman's Music, Laura Secord, Raphael Mack, Madame Sekeshon.

At lunch time, the Chicken Roost, the Jet and the Silver Rail were packed. John Street had a block-long Chinatown with little shops and restaurants. No matter what your business, no matter what you wanted to buy, you went downtown.

So in those days, too, there were traffic problems. My father worked downtown and drove his car. Often, he had to park it so far from his office he said he might as well have left it home.

I rode my bicycle. I had no problem parking, although I had to carry the bike up a flight of stairs, but traffic made navigation risky at rush hours.

When one-way streets were suggested, most Hamiltonians thought the idea was extreme. While everyone wanted the traffic congestion remedied, most people were skeptical about one-way travel.

It didn't take long, though, for us to discover it was a boon to the city.

We soon learned making a left turn no longer involved crossing a lane of oncoming traffic. It was just as easy as making a right turn. If you were searching for a parking space (you could park just about anywhere in those days) or an address, you could make four right turns or four left turns and come around the block to the same place. Traffic moved more smoothly for everyone.

Those who believe two-way streets will slow down traffic are absolutely right. But there is a tradeoff.

The frustration of driving on two-way streets does not encourage motorists to pull into a parking space (if one can be found) and visit one of the businesses along the way.

Instead, it just makes them want to get out of the city as quickly as possible, and never come back.

Travelling on James Street is now such a frustrating experience that we avoid downtown entirely. We used to go frequently to the public library, the marketplace and Head-of-the-lake Historical Society meetings.

Now only urgent business will take us to downtown Hamilton.

It may not take 50 years for citizens to ask for their one-way streets back, but I guarantee that history will repeat itself.

Meanwhile, I'll look fondly at my hometown from afar.

Dorothy Turcotte is a local historian, author and freelance writer who now lives in Grimsby.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 1:58 PM
highwater highwater is offline
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By continuing to publish evidence-free arguments for one-way from people who never come downtown (or who live in other cities!), the Spec might actually be doing the two-way argument a favour. Don't tell them that, though.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 2:01 PM
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exactly. Who cares what someone in Flimsby thinks.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 2:09 PM
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Too bad Florida didn't say something about the damn one-way streets.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 2:29 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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She states about one-way; "it was a boon to the city". Huh, all those stores she mentioned, and many of the buildings are now gone.

I think she's confusing a boon for car travel in the city, with a boon for the city. Her letter (article) makes that perfectly clear. At least to me.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 2:50 PM
Millstone Millstone is offline
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exactly. Who cares what someone in Flimsby thinks.
What? This woman has an impeccable memory of the conversion of two-way to one-way and you're writing it off because she lives in Grimsby? She has a lot of good points, maybe you should start listening.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 3:10 PM
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What points exactly? Yes she has a wonderful memory of the old downtown, but then she makes the completely unsupported leap from there to asserting that one-way streets were a 'boon' to downtown. Now I realize that one-way streets aren't the only thing that killed downtown, but you'd think she would have noticed that all the wonderful businesses she catalogues disappeared not long after conversion. Nowhere does she site proof that one-ways were a boon to anything but cars.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 3:12 PM
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Originally Posted by highwater View Post
What points exactly? Yes she has a wonderful memory of the old downtown, but then she makes the completely unsupported leap from there to asserting that one-way streets were a 'boon' to downtown. Now I realize that one-way streets aren't the only thing that killed downtown, but you'd think she would have noticed that all the wonderful businesses she catalogues disappeared not long after conversion. Nowhere does she site proof that one-ways were a boon to anything but cars.
... and parking lots. Yet she has difficulty find a place to park. When was the last time she was downtown?
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  #11  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 3:26 PM
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It was a combination of one-way, Jackson Square and and the suburban explosion that killed downtown. This writer may correctly remember days of prominence in the core after the one-way conversion, but fails to make the connection with what happened over the next 50 years.

The solution must address all major issues. The complexity of downtown renewal is often understated. Here are 3 basic steps the city can take to address each of the core issues:

1. Convert back to 2-way for major commercial streets.
2. Renovate Jackson Square and City Centre to face outwards. Add upper floors of mixed use along the streets.
3. END SUBSIDIES TO DOWNTOWN KILLERS including zoning changes and infrastructure.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 3:39 PM
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You forgot LRT. IMO LRT and reversion to two-way would have the greatest impact. Do that and the other things will follow.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 4:10 PM
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You're right. I meant simple steps with little cost, things that are more about correcting the backward steps of the past than taking new forward steps. Though technically LRT isn't new, it's just the logical continuation of century-old technology.
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Old Posted May 2, 2008, 4:35 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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I just wrote my first letter to the editor of The Spec, regarding this opinion article. I decided I had to, while reading her article on the GO Train this morning.

I'll let you know if it gets published.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 7:04 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
What? This woman has an impeccable memory of the conversion of two-way to one-way and you're writing it off because she lives in Grimsby? She has a lot of good points, maybe you should start listening.
yes, her memory serves to prove my point.
1-way streets KILLED the downtown she so accurately remembers.
And, yes, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I have NO INTEREST in people's opinions who by their own admission NEVER come downtown.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 7:27 PM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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Here is my opinon: (takes a deep breath)

I don't like them too much because they create traffic elsewhere, and are an easy way out of dealing with traffic instead of building Mass Transit, and at the same time, sticking to Automobile transportation.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 7:31 PM
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If we get LRT than I would support keeping Main St as one way, as long it's reduced down to at least 3 lanes. Right now it's 5 lanes so one lane for LRT, 3 lanes for cars and the rest for sidewalk improvements.

For King St that's tricky, from Wellington to John keep the same expect take away one curb side parking for LRT lane. Really I would keep the streetscape design from International Village for King W instead of two way but if not I wouldn't oppose two way for King St W as well, just keep a lane for LRT.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 7:36 PM
FairHamilton FairHamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
If we get LRT than I would support keeping Main St as one way, as long it's reduced down to at least 3 lanes. Right now it's 5 lanes so one lane for LRT, 3 lanes for cars and the rest for sidewalk improvements.

For King St that's tricky, from Wellington to John keep the same expect take away one curb side parking for LRT lane. Really I would keep the streetscape design from International Village for King W instead of two way but if not I wouldn't oppose two way for King St W as well, just keep a lane for LRT.
Where would you put bicycles?
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Old Posted May 2, 2008, 7:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
If we get LRT than I would support keeping Main St as one way, as long it's reduced down to at least 3 lanes. Right now it's 5 lanes so one lane for LRT, 3 lanes for cars and the rest for sidewalk improvements.

For King St that's tricky, from Wellington to John keep the same expect take away one curb side parking for LRT lane. Really I would keep the streetscape design from International Village for King W instead of two way but if not I wouldn't oppose two way for King St W as well, just keep a lane for LRT.
I really can't see any rational municipality wanting to divide the LRT between two roads. The cost does not justify it and the service is not as good.

I think realistically for a well designed system is to have LRT in both directions on a raised curb down the center of Main Street. Convert Main Street to two ways with two lanes heading east and one lane heading west. Allow periodic street parking on the extra east lane.

Leave King Street as is with two lanes heading west and one lane of street parking.

This way there is an even split between east and west traffic lanes and no modification is necessary to King.



To
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  #20  
Old Posted May 2, 2008, 8:02 PM
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Where would you put bicycles?
Cyclist can share the transit lane.

The old streetcars always used the Main/King loop around the city so the city wants to return that loop with the LRT. I'm fine with that as the gap between King and Main isn't far.
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