Special Report: Walkable Streets

84 Letters for Councillors on Two-Way Implementation Team

Of the 84 letters residents submitted to today's General Issues Committee meeting, 80 fully support Councillor McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team and only three oppose it.

By RTH Staff
Published September 06, 2012

Councillors received 84 pieces of correspondence [PDF] from residents with respect to Councilor Brian McHattie's motion to establish a two-way streets implementation team at today's General Issues Committee meeting.

Of the 84 letters, 80 fully support Councillor McHattie's motion, one argues that Main and King should be left one-way, and three are opposed. The GIC is meeting today to consider McHattie's motion among several agenda items.

Letters

Here is the text of the 84 letters.


Ms. Biggs,

I am writing to declare my strong support for Councillor Brian McHattie's proposal to establish a committee to implement the conversion of one-way streets to two-way. The lack of progress on this important improvement to hamilton's livability, walkability, and small business development is distressing. I encourage the council to take action now to improve the quality of life downtown with this simple plan.

Best wishes,

Tina Fetner


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

As a citizen of Ward 1 and a former citizen of ward 2 I want to formally express my support for the Motion that will be presented by Councillor McHattie on August on September 6th, 2012 at the General Issues Committee. The motion addresses the need for a drastic change in how Hamiltonians approach their streets. Streets should not solely be focused on moving cars and other motorized vehicles through the city, but should focus on growing vibrant communities where all users of the street are safe and have access to convenient methods of transportation.

Furthermore streets should not only focus on safety in transportation, but on thriving for the entire community (home-owners, small businesses, and visitors). I hope that you as members of the General Issues Committee will support this motion and help our city move forward.

Respectfully submitted,

Willem de Ruijter


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee:

I would like to voice my support of the conversion of Hamilton's one way streets to two way streets. As a downtown resident, this will make the streets I use more walkable and bikeable - more like the streets they should be and less like the freeways for cars only that they are now. I understand that it might mean that it will take cars a little longer to travel across the city, but I do not believe that to be the goals of these streets anyways - rather that goals should be that all modes of transportation are safe and usable.

I heartily approve all movement to make this change happen in Hamilton as soon as possible.

Ward 1 resident,

Crystte Numan


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I would like to formally express my support for the motion put forward by Councillor McHattie to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

I believe that two-way conversions will benefit local business by increasing the walkability of the city. Supporting walkability in our neighbourhoods will improve the quality of life in Hamilton and encourage vibrancy and connectivity. It will also demonstrate a recognition of the intrinsic value a positive pedestrian experience has on the overall quality of life and success of a our city.

Thank you for accepting my feedback.

Best regards,

Anne Cibola


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I write as a homeowner and resident in Beasley Neighbourhood to express my support for Councilor McHattie's motion regarding the Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

One-way streets serve the interest of a single group: long-distance motorists. They are detrimental to all other users of our roads, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and short-distance motorists. They make our neighbourhoods less appealing places in which to live, work, and play. They encourage high-volume, high-speed traffic with its attendant risks of air pollution and traffic collisions.

There are hardly any one-way streets in wards 4-15, and the residents of those wards do not want one-way streets in their neighbourhoods. It is time to recognize that the residents of wards 1 and 2 do not want them in ours either. I urge you to support Councilor McHattie's motion to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. John Neary


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee As a resident and property owner in Ward 1, I fully support the motion scheduled to be introduced by Brian McHattie on September 6th to establish a One-Way to Two-Way Implementation Team for both Wards land 2.

It is my belief that the time has come to work towards building 'complete streets' that, when converted to two-way traffic, will positively impact safety, promote more active forms of transportation, benefit local businesses and improve the overall quality of life in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

]hank you,

Andrew Maas


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I am writing to express my strong support for Councillor McHattie's motion for the Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

I have lived in the Durand neighbourhood of Ward 2 for over 14 years, and have seen first-hand the damage that the extensive network of one-way streets is doing lo this and other neighbourhoods of Ward 1 and Ward 2. Fast one-way streets are not comfortable or attractive for residents, drive away businesses, make it difficult for motorists to reach destinations downtown and are dangerous for vulnerable road users such as children and seniors.

I have also seen how successful the two-way conversion of Caroline, Hess, James and John has been in calming and re-vitalizing these streets. We need to follow-up these successes! We do not need further studies or delay. This move follows the advice we've heard from the many planners, architects, national commentators and business people that Hamilton should be converting these streets now! Since almost all our one-way streets are in Wards 1 and 2 it makes sense for the local Councillors, residents and businesses to take the lead in making this positive change.

I urge you to join the residents of Wards 1 and 2 in supporting this important and overdue motion.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Nicholas Kevlahan


Dear Chair and members of the General Issue Committee. I wish to express my support for Councillor McHattie's up coming motion to establish a 1 Way to 2 Way street conversion team. As a father raising his child downtown, I believe that the countless 1 way streets in the core do nothing to contribute to Hamiltons stated goal of being the best place to raise a child. As well as making streets safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians it also will help create more vibrant neighbourhoods. Look no further than the improvements on James St and John St as an example.

Thanks for your time.

Jon Davey


Dear Ms Biggs, City Clerk (cc Councillor Farr)

As a resident of Ward 2, I would like to express my full support for the motion to establish a One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team. Please indicate my support to the Chair and Members, General Issues Committee.

Regards,

Brandon Nelson


To Chair and Members, General Issues Committee: ! have already emailed my support to my councillor, but I want to formally express my support for this motion.

Hamilton has taken great pains to make sure that traffic options around the city are in place with the LINC and the Red Hill Expressway. There are many ways for people to move quickly from one end of the city to the other. Now is the time to turn our attention to the people living from Westdale to Parkdale and to make sure that things are in place for them to live better lives. Increasingly, experts, activists, and residents are coming together to support the idea that a highway through the city is bad for the inhabitants. I've seen this first-hand, as have you. Please support Brian McHattie and Jason Farr in their quest to make Hamilton a better city to live in.

No one needs five lanes of traffic racing through Hamilton when there are many other options that we have all paid dearly to put in place.

And please, let's do a good job of it, and not a half-hearted, in-name-only nonsense affair like what was done on York Street. I see that it's two-way, but in name only. Let's do it and do it right.

Respectfully,

Julie Twyford


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

As a homeowner in the Durand Neighbourhood, I support the motion by Councilor McHattie's motion regarding the Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team. This is a much-needed, progressive first step in the process of creating liveable, walkable neighbourhoods in the lower city. As I'm sure many of you are aware, the one-way streets in Hamilton inhibit pedestrians and cyclists and reduce enjoyment in our urban settings. Businesses cannot thrive beside expressways and expressways do not belong in the centre of cities. The commuter culture of the 1950's and 1960's has changed. More people want to enjoy an urban lifestyle, there are fewer jobs in the industrialized areas along the waterfront and therefore less need for fast-moving through traffic. The ring roads around our city can handle long-distance commuting and can serve those constituents driving from one end of the city to the other. Please vote for this motion to proceed with a plan to bring a new walkability and liveability to our city streets.

Frances Murray


The Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee

Re: Councillor McHattie's Motion for a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team

Dear Sirs and Mesdames,

I am writing to you in support of Councillor McHattie's motion to create an Implementation Team to encourage and speed the conversion of one-way streets in Wards 1 and 2 to two-way, in keeping with the City's Transportation Master Plan.

[ have long been a supporter of more two-way conversions. Having been a longtime resident of Ward 1 (and before that Ward 2) and having spent many years working downtown, I have seen the devastation to our neighborhoods, the impact to our businesses, and the safety of our citizens that come from an excessively one-way street network. There are a great number of issues that tie together around this particular item of planning that negatively impact our city. I am hopeful that an Implementation Team will help get more of these conversions past the talking stage and into reality.

I am an avid pedestrian and cyclist, and our family is also a driving family and we love our downtown, especially my kids. I really think that the coming renaissance of our downtown is contingent on malting these changes effective. I have seen so many accidents, so much menacing driving activity, and seen the problems of newcomers to the city (or those who rarely venture downtown) trying to navigate visits to the core and to this area. There can be no doubt that the one-way network is optimal for the purposes of people getting through downtown on the way to somewhere else. There can be equally little doubt that it is entirely suboptimal for people who want to get downtown to visit our fine city.

The motion has my total support.

Yours Sincerely,

Craig Burley


Hello,

I would just like to send my support for this Two Way Conversion Panel. It is about time that Hamilton moves forward with this. Let us breathe life and walkability into our downtown. Here is hoping to full LRT as well.

Kind regards,

Robert DeRosa


Attention: Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

I am writing to you in support of the Motion: Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team. I've lived in Hamilton all my life and am a strong supporter of complete streets. This motion is a step in the right direction and is an important one, considering it will only help to continue the implementation of the Transportation Master Plan. I commend Councillors McHattie and Farr for their desire to work towards more liveable streets and healthier communities.

Thank you,

Maria Topalovic


Good Afternoon,

As a Downtown Resident for the past 9 years, the majority of that time living in the Corktown neighborhood, I have seen the conversion of James & John streets help my neighborhood and the surrounding areas thrive.

Therefor, I am writing today to express my support for Councillors McHattie & Farr's motion to implement a One-Way to Two-Way Streets Implementation Team in order to speed up the process of two-way conversions.

I moved from Upper Stoney Creek to the Corktown neighborhood at the age of 20 and haven't looked back since! The majority of my time living downtown - approximately 8 of the last 9 years - has been in Corktown. I have seen new business flourish amidst the implementation of two-way streets along both John & James South, with more bars/cafes/restaurants opening up, specifically around the popular Augusta Street area, as well as more residential recently built, and more currently planned. I can only assume that the slower traffic, due to two-way traffic flow along those streets, has allowed for a more comfortable atmosphere for consumers/ residents alike to enjoy a leisurely stroll, or a patio without having to compete with the loud and often distracting sounds of traffic zooming by as it did before the conversion, specifically northbound vehicles down John Street.

I applaud Councillors McHattie & Fan" for their efforts and wish the best for our downtown Wards, however I would really like to see Councilor Morelli of Ward 3 join in on this Implementation Team as well in order to ensure a seamless transition through each lower-city ward which currently houses the bulk of one-way streets.

Thank you again for your time, I truly hope we can speed up the process of two-way conversion in order to bring Hamilton into the 21st Century today!

Cheers,

David Couture


Dear Ms Biggs,

I am writing you to express my support for Councillor McHattie's motion to, establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-way to Two-way Street Implementation Team. I believe having more two-way streets in Hamilton will iprove our communities through better walkability, safety and commerce. As Council is aware, many cities around the world have taken this same direction over the last 25 years. I look forward to Hamilton being a great place for cars and also pedestrians and cyclists!

Kind Regards,

Simon Geoghegan


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I'm writing to express my support for the motion submitted by Councillor Brian McHattie, "Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team". I'm keenly interested in seeing these long-awaited two-transformations take place, not just because I'm a Ward 2 resident who would directly benefit from having some of these streets made two-way (such as Queen), but also because I strongly believe they will have a beneficial impact on the city as a whole.

The evidence suggests that two-way streets are better for children, better for communities, and better for business. And as anyone who has walked along Main Street can attest, they are much better for pedestrians.

Sincerely,

Adrian Duyzer


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. Listen to what the experts keep telling us: our fast, wide one-way streets are hurting the communities they cut through and need to change so that the lower city can flourish again.

The case against one-way streets is compelling:

* Children are 2.5 times more likely to be injured and killed on one-way streets, according to a peer-reviewed study published in 2000 and based on Hamilton collision data.

* The fast, loud traffic on one-way streets deters pedestrians and hurts neighbourhood cohesion. Pioneering research by Donald Appleyard found that people have fewer friends and acquaintances and are less connected to their neighbourhoods when they live on streets with fast, high volume traffic flows.

* Street retail suffers on one-way streets, due in part to reduced storefront visibility and a hostile pedestrian environment. Hamilton business owners were already complaining about declining sales and lost customers just months after conversion, and our one-way thoroughfares are still marked today by empty storefronts and block-busting gravel lots.

* One-way traffic even hurts drivers who are trying to go directly to a destination on a one-way street. Visitors are routinely lost in our city because it is harder to make a mental map of a place when you cannot backtrack.

We need to stop letting a fear of congestion stop us from making progressive improvements to our streets. Quite simply, we have *far too much* automobile traffic capacity on our urban thoroughfares. Major lane reductions on Main, King and Cannon over the past year have produced no gridlock and only minimal slowdowns. We can convert our streets to two-way *and* make room for bike lanes, attractive sidewalks and dedicated LRT lanes.

Notwithstanding our downtown secondary plan, which is titled "Putting People First", city policy continues to prioritize fast automobile traffic flow over every other use of the street: not only walking, cycling, socializing and commerce but even driving to local destinations.

Cities all across North America converted their streets to one-way in the 1950s. Many of those cities have since given up on the experiment after having decided that the cost in danger and lost vitality was not worth the slight convenience of a faster drive. They did this despite facing the same opposition that two-way conversion faces in Hamilton. The vast majority have experienced significant positive results in terms of business and community growth.

The voices opposed to the two-way conversion of James and John streets predicted gridlock, mayhem, failing business and carnage. They were completely wrong. James North has absolutely flourished since conversion, but James South and John have also experienced new business investment and improved fortunes as livability has increased.

This, incidentally, is what happens every time a city converts streets back to two-way: detractors predict gridlock and chaos, but gridlock and chaos do not occur and it quickly becomes clear that it was the right thing to do.

This is what we keep hearing from a steady stream of traffic engineers and planners: Dan Burden, Donald Schmitt, Richard Florida, Storm Cunningham, Christopher Leinberger, Richard Gilbert, Bronwen Thornton, Paul Young, Denis Corr, Dave Cieslewicz, Peter Lagerwey, and Ken Greenberg, among others.

It is also what we have been hearing from the International Village BIA and Downtown BIA and from the various neighbourhood associations - Durand, Central, Beasley, Corktown North End Neighbours and Stinson - that suffer the worst brunt of our one-way thoroughfares.

Similarly, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce recently commissioned a study finding that walkable streets are "economic infrastructure that attract employment and should be invested in accordingly."

It is time to stop making excuses. It is time to stop prioritizing a few minutes' convenience over the livelihood and well-being of entire communities. It is time to stop living in the past and clinging to failed transportation models.

Let's join Berkeley CA, Calgary AB, Cedar Rapids [A, Columbus OH, Crystal City VA, Danville IL, Denver CO, Fort Collins CO, Greensboro NC, Iowa City [A, Jacksonville FL, Louisville KY, Milwaukee WI, Minneapolis MN, Oklahoma City OK, Oregon City OR, Rochester NY, Sacramento CA, San Francisco CA, St. Catharines ON, St. Petersburg FL, Texarkana AR, Vancouver WA, Wichita KA, and Wyandotte MI in reclaiming our city streets for everyone and taking part in their renewed success.

Respectfully,

Ryan McGreal


Good Morning Carolyn;

As someone Who lives on Pearl Street North, I emphatically agree with this motion, and believe it will do nothing but good things for this city.

It is my opinion that one of the factors that lead to this city's rapid decay and overall downfall was the conversion on Main St West and King St West into one-way streets. Local businesses cannot compete with the average commuter who just wants to get home. And we will not be able to entice quality businesses into the downtown area until we can offer then a fighting chance at success. I truly believe this Conversion Implementation Team is the first great step.

This will be difficult; at some times, frustrating and painful. But a great city deserves great change, and every inch will be a step in the right direction.

Thank you,

Lauren Barnett


Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I am a downtown resident and would like to offer my support for the motion by Councillor McHattie surrounding two-way street conversions.

I have lived downtown for 11 years by choice and am raising my family here by choice. Despite the bad image our downtown may have to outsiders, as residents here we have only ever had one major complaint since the day we moved here: the one-way freeways. They are life-sucking, business-killing and extremely dangerous to children, families and the elderly. What should be a simple 5 minute walk to the shops of Locke St involves crossing 10 lanes of roaring traffic that is nothing more than an extension of Hwy 403. This should not be the case in 2012 when we talk about grand goals of getting kids outside, walking and playing in their neighbourhoods.

As far as I can tell, almost every one-way street in Hamilton is downtown in Wards 1-3. I have never once heard a resident or councillor start a campaign or petition to bring one-way streets to any neighbourhood in Wards 4-15. In other words, they don't have any and don't want any. We don't either.

Downtown has come so far recently in spite of a hostile environment to pedestrians and business. The creative class has led the charge to save downtown and as we know from world-wide research, they will come in droves to a city with a high quality of life in 2012, which means bike lanes, calm traffic, street trees, LET, sidewalk patios and historic buildings. Hamilton can offer all of this, and more. We simply need the leadership to make it happen.

Portland, Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Fran, NYC and Ottawa have all made huge strides in their urban quality of life regardless of climate, city size or economic hardship. Each city has had one consistent means to make it happen: Leadership. I urge you to lead Hamilton into the future by listening to it's residents of the future.

The things that worked in 1960 don't work today. Even major planning and consulting firms understand this.

I find it ironic that the majority of residents and councillors who oppose two-way street conversions live in neighbourhoods with no one-way freeways.

It's time to allow downtown Hamilton the same opportunity for success that we offer the rest of the city, including our bustling downtowns in Ancaster, Dundas and Stoney Creek. I wouldn't wish one-way streets on any neighbourhood in our city, including my own.

Sincerely,

Jason Leach


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I am writing to express support for the leadership that Councilors McHattie and Farr are providing in addressing Downtown Hamilton's quality of place.

I can't provide a better or more eloquent case than Ryan McGreal of Raise the Hammer, but I wish to add my voice. As a resident of Downtown Hamilton, I believe that no action will be more cost-effectively transformative for the entire city than to restore two-way streets downtown. All city-building experts agree and we have our own positive experiences to provide ewidence that further progress should be embraced.

Thus, the only things that our standing in our way is inertia and the cries of alarm from people who's only use for downtown is as a place to travel through as quickly as possible. That's not a good enough defense of the status quo.

Regards,

Keanin Loomis


Hi Carolyn,

I am a resident of Strathcona neighbourhood and I bike as one of my primary means of transportation. I am writing to support Brian McHattie's proposal that Hamilton convert more one way streets in Hamilton to two way streets.

Implementing two way traffic on Queen, James, King and other stretts would make the streets much safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Best,

Suzanne Mills


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I write as a taxpayer, mother of small children, and resident living in Ward 2 to express my support for Councillor McHattie's motion regarding the Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

One-way streets serve the interest of a single group: long-distance motorists. They are detrimental to all other users of our roads, including pedestrians, cyclists, Iransit users, and short-distance motorists. They make our neighbourhoods challenges places in which to live, work, and play. They encourage high-volume, high-speed traffic with its attendant noise, danger, air pollution and collisions.

Indeed, for example, traversing these streets with two small children and a leashed dog makes the routine process of crossing the street exceptionally stressful as a single misstep could be fatal due to the wall of traffic flying by. I urge you to support Councillor McHattie's motion to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team to better serve all of the residents of the City, especially those living near these dangerous streets.

Sincerely,

Catherine Ahem


Dear Councillor:

As a resident of Ward 2, I am writing in support of Councillor McHattie's motion (seconded by Councillor Farr) that a one-way to two-way street conversion implementation team for Wards 1 and 2 be established in order to hasten these conversions where justified. I believe that conversions will improve connectivity in these wards for motorists and all other users of the street grid.

The present street hierarchy, which has the effect of reserving some streets almost entirely to high volumes of traffic moving at high speed is detrimental to all other users.

Flattening the current hierarchy to facilitate travel on all streets by many modes of transport will allow all users, including motorists, to travel in greater comfort and safety. This in turn will increase the attraction of Wards 1 and 2 for prospective residents and retail business people.

Please approve the McHattie/Farr motion, and send a strong signal to staff that you are in favour of continuing positive change in our downtown.

Respectfully

Shawn Selway


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I am writing in support of Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

I own and operate a business downtown. My first location was on Cannon Street at James North. Despite the success of James, I was constantly frustrated by the negative impact on my business caused by the speed of traffic on Cannon Street. I eventually decided to move.

A year and a half ago, I relocated to John Street North. Despite being on a block with very little retail activity, and despite being located across from a horribly managed methadone clinic (which dissuades casual shoppers from walking down our block) my business has grown and thrived. I believe that part of its success can be attributed to the fact that it is more comfortable to drive, cycle and walk on John Street due to moderate traffic speeds. It is also easier to access my business by car because customers can come from both directions and can easily slow down to look for address numbers and parking spaces without worrying about the speed of traffic approaching them from behind.

In addition to being a business owner, I am a resident of downtown. I witness first hand the negative impact of one way streets every day. The major arteries are horribly uncomfortable for anyone not moving 50-70km!hr in a car. The one-way side streets feel safer than the major streets but they make it very difficult to get to a destination. Even worse, they create major frustrations for visitors.

There are enormous financial costs associated with the maintenance of our wide freeway-style streets. The social costs are also huge. The citizens who benefit most from our one-ways are the ones who live at the outskirts of the city (and beyond), and who rely on our neighbourhoods as a short cut. Yet only a fraction of the cost of upkeep of this unnecessary lane capacity is shouldered by these beneficiaries. The majority of the cost is subsidized by residents who never use these streets, or who live near them, rely on them daily and who would prefer calm usable streets over maximum throughput. We cannot afford to continue providing these thoroughfares to short-cutting drivers.

We need to start building our city to attract new residents and to put on a good face to visitors (who may one day become residents). The only way we are going to be able to afford our increasing infrastructure costs is to grow our tax base. The most affordable place to grow our tax base is in the lower city, where we have the capability to increase density without building new infrastructure.

The only way we will accomplish this is by creating a lower city that is a desirable place to live. This means that we have to start treating wards 1, 2 and 3 as neighbourhoods rather than freeway bypasses. Changing our one-way grid is the first (And easiest) step towards a more livable downtown.

Surely we have great challenges ahead of us, but unless we take this important first step, all of our other endeavours will be less likely to succeed.

Fhank you for your time,

Sean Burak


Hi Carolyn,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I support two-way conversions. I think they would help to make our downtown a more inviting place for residents and visitors alike.

Fhanks,

Jennifer Calder


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee:

I would like to express my personal support for the establishment of a two-way conversion implementation team. I believe rather than simply accepting the status quo of high-volume one way expressways in our lower city, we do need to thoroughly study the issue and decide what is in the best interests of the many people who live, work and play in the downtown and the lower city. As a pedestrian, I would hope council will develop our city in a way that not only accommodates car traffic, but creates complete streets to accommodate all modes of transit.

Thank you

Matt Jelly


I am in favour of converting most one way into two way, except Main and King. But to do that, there has to be a law that one must stop for pedestrians at Crosswalks, along with more Cross Walks, seeing it's hard to see cars coming the other way.


I live in downtown and support the 2 way conversions as I don't like feeling that I am walking on thoroughfares. It is often scarey trying to cross some of these streets, as well as the noise from the speeding vehicles does not make for a pleasant walk or living on or near these streets.

Thank you,

Cathy Swenson


Dear Brian,

I just wanted to write and indicate my very strong support for your motion to establish a process for implementing street conversions as per the city's master transportation plan. As a Ward 1 resident and someone who lives on and near oneway streets, this conversion is an important piece of revitalizing the lower city and making neighborhoods walkable and safe. While I acknowledge that this particular initiative is not 'a silver bullet' for all of downtown's problems (one 'rationale' given by the mayor to delay), it is crucial nonetheless. I thank you for your continued progressive leadership in our community.

All the best

Stephanie Ross


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I am writing to voice my support of the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a oneway to two-way implementation team. Data and anecdotes from other cities have made it clear that having large one-way highways through the middle of our cities does much more damage than good, and that the return to two-way streets in no way results in the gridlock and general chaos that detractors claim. Our own James St. is a great example of this. Fantastic shops and restaurants on King and Main St. sit empty because these areas are ugly, inconvenient, or downright terrifying) to traverse as a pedestrian. Please give your full support to this motion.

Thank you,

Sean Roberts


Carolyn,

I am writing to express my unqualified support for the idea of two way street conversion in downtown Hamilton. As councillor McHattie's motion states, the vast majority of these streets are in the downtown, and for some peculiar reason we have allowed residents in the suburbs and exurbs to place a higher value on speed and efficiency, than we are allowed to place on quality of life, or indeed life itself.

The one-way expressways that cut my old neighborhood of Strathcona in half, and leave me tightrope walking my way down a ribbon of sidewalk on King/Main on the way to the GO bus are not only strangling activity and vibrancy on our streetscapes, but are literally killing people.

Enough is enough. The Transportation Master Plan clearly identifies this need, as does every single urban renewal expert to visit Hamilton in the last five years. The foot dragging needs to stop. We know what to do to make downtown Hamilton a vibrant and safe place again, we just need to shut out the ill-informed protests of those who would never, ever agree to have the same situation in their neighborhoods. We just need to do it. Now. Please relay my wholehearted support for this motion to council.

Sincerely,

Jason Allen


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I am delighted that Counciller McHattie and Counciller Farr have brought this motion before council. As a business person who has operated in downtown Hamilton for the past five years I cannot emphasize enough how much of a problem these one way streets pose for me. People continually cannot locate my office, and the emptiness on the streets due to the high volume of traffic and low number of pedestrians has made my area a burglar's delight. My office has been broken into three times since we've been here. In contrast the entire time we had office space at Queen and Spadina in Toronto, there was not one incident.

There are wonderful streets in downtown Hamilton, all two-way of course, and I enjoy walking down them and shopping at them. They are a large part of what drew me to this city and keeps me here. If we want to attact more offices like mine - I would say I fall into the creative business catagory - we need more streets like James North and Locke Street. Filled with people, bustling, and inviting. Where you don't wait gingerly on the corner hoping that once the light has turned you'll be able to dart across the street before the next onslaught of cars.

Sincerely,

Noelle Allen


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I am watching, with great interest, how our city council handles the issue of conversion of one-way to [wo-way streets. I live on the mountain but I have, in the past, worked in the downtown. I can tell you that there were many times when I was crossing major arteries that I feared for my life, due to the volume and high speed of the traffic on Main and King. I also witnessed several close calls.

It has been proven that one-way streets, combined with synchronized traffic lights, serve only those that are looking to move through the area quickly. Two-way streets slow traffic and put less emphasis on moving as many cars through as possible, making it much safer for pedestrians.

According to an article in the National Post, the consulting firm, Urban Strategies, stated "Two-way roads would help to 'normalize' the streets, by slowing traffic, creating a greater choice of routes, improving wayfinding, creating a more inviting address for residential and commercial investment and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists". (The next line in the article stated "In 2005, even Hamilton, Ont., began to end its addiction to fast-flowing urban streets by cutting the ribbon on two-way traffic on some of its most prominent thoroughfares" which did make me chuckle.)

I urge you to support Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a One Way to Two Way Street Implementation Team.

Kind regards,

Lori-Ann Cunningham


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee:

As a small business located at the comer of Queen St. and Charlton Ave, only one block away fi'om where Queen St becomes 2-way, I am in favour of 2-way conversion of Queen St. It would be of significant value to our business, a Mortgage Brokerage with parking available for clients, to have access to the building from both directions. Our storefront plays a large part in attracting clients and would be all the more successful if traffic would slow down - most traffic on Queen Street is speeding through the light at our corner at 70 lÿn/h and we have witnessed many accidents as well. I'm sure traffic reports would confirm that this comer is particularly dangerous and that speed plays the largest factor.

What's more, Queen Street South is ripe for development and gentrification, similar to Locke S, James S and Dundurn S and would thrive after 2-way conversion. Please consider the big picture potential for neighbourhoods like Queen Street S and Main St W in your discussions at Council - these are neighbourhoods that used to be mostly residential and have only become what they are today because of the highway traffic that drives through them.

In addition to my role as a business, I also live in the Strathcona N neighbourhood at Ray Street N and Barton, so I will also be affected by the change at home. I am certain that the number of trucks using Cannon to Queen, Queen to King and then King St to the 403 would be affected by 2-way conversion, however; my daily walk to work would be all the nicer if I wasn't breathing in exhaust from heavy-duty trucks, so I am doubly affected by the conversion for the better.

Best regards,

Steve McKay


I WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT COUNCILOR McHATTIES Implementation Plan to turn more one way streets to two way streets. I feel they are much gentler for community, pedestrians and in the end, drivers. Create a great day and thank you for the work you do.

Michael Hampson


Dear Councillors,

I fully support the conversion of downtown streets from one way to two way. This is a step in the right direction and can only have a positive effect on this city as a whole.

We should ask ourselves: Do we want a downtown that is pedestrian and cyclist friendly, safe for kids, and bustling with vibrant small business - the kind which truly reflect the cultural nuance of this great town? Or do we want our city's core to be a noisy thoroughfare, catering to those who only pass through on their way somewhere else?

Let's do the right thing for this city. Let's take this very basic step towards building a better downtown which people from all ends of the city can appreciate and enjoy.

Yours very truly,

Ned Nolan


Dear Ms. Biggs,

I support Councillor McHattie's motion to convert major one-way thoroughfares to two-way travel.

I ride my bicycle everywhere in the lower city. I never ride on sidewalks; I drive safely and I follow all other traffic laws. I could take shorter routes by riding off and on the roads but I do not. The temptation is there because getting from place to place makes for more circuitous routes due to the prevalence of one-way streets.

I think that more people would bike on the streets, instead of taking over the sidewalks, if our traffic plan included two-way conversions. I agree that traffic would calm down, as well, making it safer and less stressful to travel on King or Main, for example.

Fhank-you for your time and consideration,

Leslie Szamosvari


Carolyn,

! was informed that I should write you a short note showing my support for converting more one way streets downtown to 2 way streets. I believe that this will aid in the revitalization of the downtown. In my opinion the conversion of James and John was quite smooth and has not caused any serious traffic issues. People will get used to anything and while you may have the complainers (Hamilton residents do seem to hate change) they will get used to it in time. I purposely bought a house downtown (north of Cannon) because I enjoy being able to walk to he various amenities and I saw the revitalization occurring. If Hamilton proceeds correctly we could really have a great downtown.

Regards,

Valerie VanLandschoot


Dear Ms. Biggs,

Please do what ever you can to stop this silly wast of money and resources on converting streets from 1 way to 2 way. This great city grew and thrived for years with the wonderful system of one way streets that we have. The decline of the core has absolutely nothing to do with whether the streets are 1 way or 2way. The city has so many needs and wants and so little money that to spend money on this foolishness would be criminal.

Sincerely,

Helmut Axthelm


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I am writing to show my support by the motion put forward by Councillor McHattie and seconded by Councillor Farr to establish a committee to convert one-way traffic to two-way.

My wife, Teresa Devries and I own and operate Mixed Media at the corner of James St. North and Cannon inside a century-old building we bought almost 4 years ago. We have been part of this burgeoning community since 2005, renting a pace just a block away. Back then, there were a handful of creative pioneers located here because they felt this was a place with potential. A village feeling with beautiful architecture and old-world charm. That is until you got close to the major intersections of Cannon and Wilson (when it was one way) - loud, fast traffic rules here. Cannon Street is to be avoided. To walk it is a test of endurance.

'Pedestrians not welcome here" is what the street tells us on a daily basis. When we had the opportunity to buy the building we are currently in - we jumped at the chance to further contribute to the renewal of James St. North. Even though most of it resides on Cannon - we wanted our art shop to be located here. Two storefronts flank either side of us. Chaise Musicales, a vintage furniture shop that specializes in interesting and hard-to-find movies for rent and sale on James Street. Relish, a cute little shop that focuses on refinished furniture, home accessories and handmade goods. Everything old is new again on James North and businesses are filling in the holes left from years of neglect. All three shops are in constant defense mode against a noisy, inhospitable street environment. Customers often jump when a transport truck passing byshakes the building. When it is nice outside - the obvious thing is to open the door to welcome passing sidewalk traffic. But with the noise and dust outside - I keep the door shut. Losing opportunities to connect with potential customers. Cannon Street as it currently stands is bad for my business and will keep downtown from reaching its full transformational change.

I look forward to seeing a rejuvenated Beasley neighbourhood. Bustling Asian markets and restaurants on Cannon West. Creative and innovative businesses on Cannon East. Safe and walkable complete streets. This will only happen if we have the vision to convert our out-of-date one way traffic routes to two-way. Future generations of Hamiltonians will thank us for having the guts and foresight to make this happen.

I ask you to please consider this proposal as a first step to changing Hamilton for the better.

Sincerely

Dave Kuruc


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. As someone who lives downtown and whose main mode of transportation is either on foot or bicycle I support the conversion of one-way streets to two-way.

I moved to Hamilton from Toronto because of affordability and its transformative possibilities to facilitate a walkable downtown lifestyle. I am a homeowner in the downtown core whose home is sandwiched between two one-way streets. In terms of my property value and successful community and business development hat I see possible for the area I only see the benefits of transforming streets like Hunter, Main, King, Hughson, Cannon, John, Queen and Bay Streets into two-way roads.

I have read and have heard expert after expert state the obvious.., to revitalize the core, increase livability, walkability and investment into the core one-way conversions to two-way need to occur.

Thriving neighbourhoods do not have one-way thoroughfares cutting through them. Pedestrians feel safer on roads that are not one-way highways. When pedestrian traffic increases so does opportunity for heathy communities, and businesses to flourish. Downtown could become a destination instead of something people pass through as quickly as possible.

I hope you see the optimistic potential that many Hamiltonians envision for the downtown core. There is something happening in this city's core that is positive and grassroots driven! The city needs to work in partnership with those people and business that are choosing to be downtown and invest in it. We want beautiful, walkable, safe communities with storefronts that are not vacant and we want the city to support further positive development of the core and its surrounding neighbourhoods. The conversion of one-way streets to two-way would only help to revitalize the downtown.

Respectfully yours,

Seema Narula


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

I ask that you please support Councillor McHattie's motion regarding 2 way street conversions. As with most people, it's a matter of "what's best for me". Admittedly, converting all city streets to two way would be "best for me". In reality, I think we should be thinking about what's best for the city in the long term.

Using James St. as an example (as everyone wants to do), it is painfully clear that two way is an improvement. I go there on a regular basis now after decades of avoidance. I'm not a business person but I ask: are Main and King Streets a good place to setup shop? Apparently not.

One way streets are good for one thing only; expediency. Everything else about them is a detriment. The evidence is overwhelming that almost all one way streets are dinosaurs and need to be pushed to extinction.

Regards,

Bob Berberick


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

I am writing to express my strong support for the motion by Councillor McHattie to establish a two way street implementation team.

As a resident and business owner downtown, I have witnessed first hand the destruction to city life that is caused by one way streets like King, Main and Cannon which move traffic at high speeds. These streets are dangerous and inhospitable to pedestrians, which is why businesses continue to struggle. I have also witnessed the positive effects of complete, pedestrian friendly streets.

I opened a business on James Street North, which used to be a one way street moving traffic south. Around the time it was converted to two way, very few businesses remained and many buildings were vacant.

This street has been properly converted and now features ample sidewalks and street parking. Traffic moves slowly, but I have never seen gridlock conditions, which many had claimed would occur. Most of my customers are pedestrians, and those who are driving are able to slow down and park. I firmly believe that I would not have been able to succeed in opening a business on this street if it were still configured as a fast one way street.

There is no reason other streets should not be given the same chance to succeed. My shop is three doors down from Cannon Street, which is four lanes of fast moving traffic. Heavy trucks roar down this street traveling well over the speed limit. I have seen three accidents right outside my shop in as many months of business. One time, a cyclist was hit and injured. Cannon Street hasmostly developed as low density, automotive uses which stands in stark contrast to the mixed use development on James. Nonetheless there are businesses on Cannon which open to the street and would benefit from two way conversion and traffic calming. There are empty and underutilized lots which would be given a chance at development if the street were not so utterly bleak and inhospitable.

Likewise, King Street suffers from fast one way traffic flow. The heart of our city, Gore Park, is cut off from the street by a metal fence separating parkland from four lanes of traffic. No matter how much money is spent on superficial aesthetic enhancements, the Gore will not function as it is intended until traffic is slowed down and the pedestrian is given their rightful place, it is not enough to create a pedestrian zone and keep it fenced off from traffic. Parks and public places need to blend into each other and be surrounded by a variety of uses, business and residential, to be used and appreciated. Hamilton's failure to recognize this has led to so many wasted spaces and often, traffic is what is blocking them off from their surroundings.

As someone who is active in community groups and the business community, I can attest to the fact that a great majority of downtown residents and business owners are supportive of two way street conversion and traffic calming. The current one way street configuration only moves traffic through the downtown at the expense of business, safety and livability. Downtown refuses to be used as a traffic conduit between suburbs. I urge you to support this motion and give our downtown the same respect given to other wards.

Thank you

Jon Dalton


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee'

Councillor Brian McHattie's efforts to push forward with the conversion of one way streets in Hamilton's downtown core, while sure to be controversial, comesat a time of unprecedented shift in public opinion towards the concept of livable streets. Residents' associations, business owners, urban studies experts and planners alike have recognized the need to make our streets more oriented to the pedestrian and to local access rather than through traffic.

Perhaps this is why, time and again, year after year, experts in the field of transportation planning have exhorted Hamilton council to move ahead quickly with the conversion of our downtown streets from fast, one way, synchronized throughways to slower, safer, two way streets more conducive to pedestrian activity. In representing one of Hamilton's oldest and most prestigious neighbourhoods, the Durand Neighbourhood Association applauds the efforts of Councillor McHattie and Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr in bringing this issue to Council. Although two way conversion dates back to the Downtown Transportation Master Plan of 2002, progress has been excruciatingly slow and some of the most harmful one ways streets were completely omitted from the process.

In 2002, our neighbourhood association worked with the City on a traffic study that resulted in the conversion of Hess Street South and Caroline Street South to two way. The results were predictably good, with nearby residents reporting slower traffic speeds and less collisions on those streets.

Despite such success, the process of a traffic study cannot be relied upon to produce appropriate actions from Public Works staff, who continue to prioritize through vehicle traffic over pedestrian safety and mobility. For example, requests from Kirkendall residents to install a pedestrian crossing light on Aberdeen Avenue were denied on the basis that not enough pedestrians crossed there to justify it - despite the fact that in its current state it is illegal to do so!

McHattie's suggestion to begin conversions with Queen Street and Cannon Street is particularly noteworthy because it is those high volume streets which the refuses to address, despite the fact that they are the most harmful to neighbourhood life. Queen Street, dividing the Durand and Kirkendall neighbourhoods, contains few traffic lights and can be difficult to cross. Pedestrians must wait for a gap between waves of high speed traffic, or else walk to the nearest crossing.

Several years ago, we were told by a traffic planner that Queen Street could not be made two way because the side streets do not line up, and there would be a reduction in on-street parking. Such waffling by Public Works simply underlines a deep rooted bias towards the supremacy of the automobile, and it will not be accepted.

The strength of an urban neighbourhood is in its walkability. There is a growing North American trend towards the inner city following decades of suburban flight, as transportation costs and commuting times rise. Downtown life is attractive in that it offers proximity to work and leisure. Higher real estate prices are quite often endured as travel expenses and even car ownership itself is reduced. We have seen this trend in Hamilton with the construction of new condos with reduced parking, bicycle storage and on-site car sharing facilities.

The market has shown a demand for quality urban living, and the City must respond with the appropriate changes in policy and infrastructure.

For those who express concern about the impacts of two way conversion on automobile traffic, it is important to understand the historical context of our one way streets. There are some key differences between the Hamilton of 1956, when the entire street network was converted to one way overnight, and the Hamilton of today, or even that of 20 years ago.

In 1956, there were no divided highways surrounding Hamilton. The QEW Skyway Bridge and the 403 through the Chedoke Valley had yet to be constructed. The Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway and the Red Hill Valley Parkway were plans for the distant future. For decades, the route through Hamilton from east to west was Highway #8, otherwise known as Main Street. A crosstown expressway was considered to alleviate traffic congestion on east / west streets, but engineers ultimately decided to reconfigure the existing streets in such as way as to maximize traffic throughput.

Today, with the completion of the Red Hill Valley Parkway, Hamilton has a comprehensive perimeter highway system. Traffic may bypass downtown Hamilton by means of the QEW, 403, LINC and RHVP. In addition, Burlington Street allows fast passage from east to west between Wellington Street and Centennial Parkway, where it connects to the QEW. While some motorists, and especially truckers, may find utility in our one way system, saving mere minutes by cutting through town rather than accessing the highway at the nearest point, there is simply no longer any justification for a crosstown expressway, which our paired one-way streets still constitute.

Downtown Hamilton in the 1950% was a thriving business centre. While suburban expansion was underway, downtown was still the destination for shopping and entertainment. Flagship stores such as Eaton's, Robinson's, The Right House, Kresge's and Woolworth's drew scores of people downtown every day, and hundreds of independent shopkeepers flourished on the overflow. Only the most forward thinking critics like Jane Jacobs could imagine the destruction soon to follow as suburban expansion coupled with misguided downtown expropriation took its toll.

Nonetheless, downtown merchants felt the effects of the one way street system almost overnight, at times packing Council Chambers in protest. Business declined as customers could no longer park, or even slow down, on King Street. Narrower sidewalks and speeding traffic discouraged people from walking when it could be avoided. The main business supporters of one way conversion were the large department stores with parking facilities; even they ultimately did not survive.

Today, pockets of revitalization aside, the main strip of our downtown remains a shadow of its former self. No amount of superficial aesthetic improvement or treat-the-symptom policing can give back to downtown business what traffic and poor planning took away. The streets must be restored to fully functional and safe pedestrian environments, promoting local access over through traffic, for business to succeed.

Finally, the industrial heart of the city in the time of one way streets was the lakefront. When the steel mills employed tens of thousands, and other industries many thousands more, in the city's north end, mobility to and from this area was vitally important. The prosperity of Hamiton's inner city industry afforded many workers the opportunity to own a vehicle and a house in the newly developing suburbs. Traffic to the industrial areas had to be accommodated at peak times and this meant excess capacity was needed. Thus, the one way street network once served an economic purpose.

Today, however, Hamilton's industry has declined in pace with its downtown retail activity. The number of commuters to the north end at peak times no longer justify the excessively wide roads built to accommodate them.

Vehement, knee-jerk opposition to two-way conversion on the basis of traffic concerns is sure to be generated by recent attempts to effect change. However, this is as predictable as it is unfounded in fact or credible argument. Hamilton has 7.2 kilometers of highway or arterial road per person, the highest among all cities in Ontario. Against this fact, no honest claim can be made that converting to two way streets would greatly harm mobility by car.

Converting to two way would, however, greatly increase mobility by foot and by bicycle. It would make our streets safer, especially for children and the elderly. It would appreciate property values in some of the most depressed neighbourhoods. It would encourage more active transportation choices, helping us achieve goals set out in the Transportation Master Plan, GRIDS, and Vision 2020. It would result in more people moving downtown, helping fulfill intensification goals to which we are committed under provincial Smart Growth legislation. It would encourage more downtown residential and commercial development, helping to ease the burden on taxpayers.

The world is changing around us, and Hamilton can no longer remain with its head stuck in the sand. The fact that fast, synchronized one-way streets remain only in Wards 1, 2 and 3 betrays cynical contempt for downtown and its neighbourhoods. They must be eliminated to make way for safe, 'complete' streets that serve the needs of the residents and business that live and operate around them.

This cannot be done over decades of studies and lost opportunity; too many decades have already been wasted. These changes need to be voted on, funded, designed and implemented, and this is why we, with great enthusiasm, support the efforts of Councillors McHattie and Farr in simply moving forward with this vitally important work.

Durand Neighbourhood Association


Kudos to Councillors Brian McHattie and Jason Farr in bringing forward the issue of conversion of one-way to two-way streets in the lower city.

I have owned my home in downtown Hamilton for 14 years. 80% of my transportation is as a pedestrian. I use Hamilton Car Share and taxis as needed.

Four lanes of high-speed one- way traffic traversing neighbourhoods with mixed residential, small retail / commercial operations and schools creates an inordinate amount of noise and other vehicular pollution. Noise alone is a huge deterent for anyone thinking of opening a store, boutique or restaurant along a street such as Cannon - never mind trying to take a walk!

The conversion of James Street North and South to 2-way has made both pedestrian friendly and led to an increase in commercial activity along that corridor. We do not see the same development happening along Main, King, Cannon and Bay. Newcomers, visitors and tourists have a difficulty simply "going around the block" to locate their destination - especially when one ends up 6-8 blocks away due to illogical one-way streets!

According to an article in the National Post, the consulting firm, Urban Strategies, states "Twoway roads would help to 'normalize' the streets, by slowing traffic, creating a greater choice of routes, improving wayfinding, creating a more inviting address for residential and commercial investment and improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists". As a pedestrian there are streets that I avoid completely. One is Bay Street with its recently re engineered wider sidewalks with improved lighting. Few walk along it - it's like a freeway - noisy, dirty and absolutely nothing in the way of shopping or restaurants. Another to avoid - Main Street for the very same reasons!

I live a residential street slated for conversion to 2- way - MacNab Street North. I support this conversion providing we do not lose any of our on street parking as most of us don't have driveways. This shouldn't be an issue as MacNab is currently 3 lanes wide - 2 for one way north bound traffic and 1 lane for parking. Over the past summer we've noticed, on the section between Barton and Stuart, an increase of illegal 2 way traffic anyway - most likely because of the increased attractions & interest in the waterfront and poor signage from side streets. I urge the committee to support the creation of One Way to Two Way Street Implementation Team immediately. Let's not put this aside for any further study. And I would like to see Cannon Street put high on the list for implementation ASAP.

Sincerely,

Donna Reid


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

I am writing to lend my full support to Councillor McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

A little about myself: I am a ward 1 resident. I own a downtown business on Wilson at James. I co-own two commercial buildings in ward 2, one on James N. and one on Cannon E. I travel from to and from Westdale to downtown everyday. Often by car, sometimes by bike or transit. On occasion I've even walked my dog. I think I have a keen understanding of the effect of one-way traffic.

Biking on Main, King, or Cannon is dangerous. Cars fly by at great speed in narrow lanes. There is no way for cars and bikes to effectively share a lane.

Walking presents it's own perils. The lack of a barrier makes pedestrians feel unsafe, and should you be walking in a direction opposite to the flow of traffic, cars turning onto those streets do not see you, as they are looking only in the direction of oncoming traffic.

Driving is usually quick. Although with one-way streets, it only takes one accident to snarl traffic for hours, as there are limited detour options, especially when traveling over the 403. It's a miracle that more accidents aren't caused with the 403 traffic merging onto Main. I'm more than willing to give up a few minutes of my 'commute' if it contributes to a more vibrant downtown core by way of LRT, safe bike lanes, and increased pedestrian traffic.

I have personally witnessed two-way conversion on James North and York/Wilson. James North is like a different street. Investment is flowing in, as is foot traffic. York and Wilson have some design flaws but the street is still light-years better than it was previously.

Cannon is a nightmare. Between the narrow lane and truck traffic, it's frightening. We already have the 403, Linc. and Red Hill. Why are we treating King, Main and Cannon like highways, when they should be the focal points of thriving downtown neighbourhoods?

Regards,

Keith Stinson


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

As a building owner on King Street East I would be more inclined to purchase additional investmentproperties if the streets were 2 way. It would also be much easier to attract ground floor tenants with a 2-way street. The urban core is attractive when it is vibrant and busy. Traffic is slower with two-way conversion creating a safer environment. Parking and congestion are issues that can be solved quite easily with mass transportation (LRT) and updated zoning along arterial cores.

Children are 2.5 times more likely to be injured and killed on one-way streets, according to a peer-reviewed study published in 2000 and based on Hamilton collision data.

The fast, loud traffic on one-way streets deters pedestrians and hurts neighbourhood cohesion. Pioneering research by Donald Appleyard found that people have fewer friends and acquaintances and are less connected to their neighbourhoods when they live on streets with fast, high volume traffic flows.

Street retail suffers on one-way streets, due in part to reduced storefront visibility and a hostile pedestrian environment. Hamilton business owners were already complaining about declining sales and lost customers just months after conversion, and our one-way thoroughfares are still marked today by empty storefronts and block-busting gravel lots.

One-way traffic even hurts drivers who are trying to go directly to a destination on a one-way street. Visitors are routinely lost in our city because it is harder to make a mental map of a place when you cannot backtrack.

Similarly, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce recently commissioned a study finding that walkable streets are "economic infrastructure that attract employment and should be invested in accordingly."

Drew Hauser, Hons. Vis. Arts, B.Arch., OAA, MRAIC, Intern CAHP


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

As a resident/property owner of ward 1, there is nothing more exciting than the opportunity to re-establishing a walkable city and the experts are all suggesting it starts with a more attractive walking space. One way streets are just plain dodgy for walking or cycling. The level of traffic and speed of travel is actually insane. I even find myself guilty when driving through on one ways streets/fast streets that I pay very little attention to the surroundings/environment and I live here and know my environment. What would outsiders think?

Gen Y's like myself want to identify with a core of the city and further want to share and be proud. I was elated when the news broke out about a new grocery store opening up in Jackson Square. I shared it with everyone I knew. A grocery store in Jackson Square people replied ? They thought I was crazy person suggesting this was coming to fruition.

As a positive spin on the "change" occurring here, it's just plain exciting. We have a huge opportunity to transform our downtown core to something really special. I think there are enough young people around to support a city that identifies other methods of modern transportation (such as using our own feet, and a bicycle). From Costner's 'Field of Dreams' "if you build it, he (they) will come". But truth be told we are already here, so let's just build it.

Thank you,

Christopher Horrocks.


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

We write to express the Beasley Neighbourhood Association's strong support for Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

One-way streets are a great detriment to Beasiey. Unidirectional flow on major streets such as Cannon, King, Main, and Wellington promotes high-speed, high-volume traffic which makes the streets inhospitable to all users other than motorists. Cannon Street in particular divides our neighbourhood in half, with residents on either side of Cannon finding it difficult and unpleasant to walk to destinations on the other side. Main and Wellington Streets act as barriers to pedestrian and bicycle traffic between Beasley and the adjacent neighbourhoods of Corktown and Landsdale. The safety of children who must walk across Cannon and Wellington (and Victoria) streets to reach Dr. J. Edgar Davey School is a particular concern.

On neighbourhood streets such as Hughson, Catharine, Mary, Rebecca, and King William, one-way traffic makes it difficult for cyclists and motorists to navigate to their destinations and encourages motorists to travel at inappropriately high speed. As a result, our neighbourhood is made a less attractive place in which to live and to do business.

Almost all of the one-way streets in our city are in Wards 1-3. The residents of the remaining wards do not want one-way streets in their communities, and they have not been compelled to accept them. We ask for equal treatment in our own neighbourhood and through the rest of Wards 1 and 2. (We would support an extension of this project to Ward 3, should one be proposed.) Please support Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Borrelli Sylvia Nickerson David Miller


Dear Chair and Member, General Issues Committee,

I'm writing to express my support for the motion submitted by Councillor Brian McHattie, "Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team. I moved into Corktown in Hamilton (downtown Ward 2) three years ago. I love being so close to the downtown and to many amenities and not having to own a car to get around. However, I strongly dislike being so close to a 5-lane highway (Main Street). My wife and I are weeks away from having our first child, and I fear the day when they are old enough to cross Main Street on their own. It is just plain scary, dangerous, and intimidating to be anywhere near that street on foot or bicycle.

Having lived or travelled to 20+ countries (including various places in Europe & Japan) prior to moving to Hamilton, I can honestly say that I have never seen a successful city turn its historic core into thruways. It seems like a "Hamilton-only" solution, and I believe that the downtown suffers in terms of livability and vibrancy because of it.

I would also like to suggest that - regardless of whether Two-Way streets get implemented anytime soon - that the speed limit is lowered OR the lights are "untimed" immediately on King and Main Streets. Simply lowering the speed limit or "untiming" the traffic lights would be relatively simple early solutions to making the roads less intimidating and dangerous for walkers and cyclists.

Thank you for your time,

Steve Newberry


Hello Carolyn,

i would like to state my support of establishing a two-way implementation team. I believe two way streets will only enhance the downtown area. As someone who works but does not live in the core, I witness how fast people drive on one way streets with synchronized lights, it scares me and I'm not walking. Hamilton seems to think we have traffic issues and only one way street will solve them, we barely have traffic jam (see Toronto), I would gladly give up arriving to work 10 minutes early for safe, walkable street.

Thank you

Shirley Molinaro


To whom it may concern,

We have lived on Cannon Street for 12 years, just near the corner of Victoria Avenue. Both of these streets are fast, dangerous truck routes and thoroughfares for non-local traffic. We also run a small business at the corner of Cannon Street and Mal7 Street - Mary Street is a quiet residential street and yet, it is still one-way. Perhaps most importantly, our daughter (4 years old) attends school at Dr J. Edgar Davey Elementary and she (and many of her classmates) must walk along or cross Cannon Street East on their way to and from school. There are many, many reasons why the current traffic flow and street design is unfavourable to children - indeed to all pedestrians.

The short list: the sidewalks are too narrow; the left lane of traffic is directly next to the sidewalk; smaller streets (eg: West Avenue) have no crosswalks and traffic exiting these streets often pull out very quickly to match the speed of Cannon Street; highway-style driving (ie: cutting in and out, overtaking, no regard for speed limits, absolute disregard for residents); unacceptable amount of accidents occurring at Cannon and Victoria; lack of on-street parking and bike-friendliness; truck noise.

The bottom line is this - these streets should be usable for everyone, but they should primarily be usable for the people who live and work on them. The priority should not be given to people who use our downtown streets as highways.

Thanks for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Tim and Tanya Ritchie.


As a resident of Ward 1 and a long-time pedestrian and cyclist in the city, I want to write in support of my Councillor Brian McHattie's motion to establish a One-Way to Two-Way Implementation Team for Wards 1 and 2. I have been thrilled to see Hamilton taking steps in recent years to make the lower city a more viable and vibrant place to live and work. The conversion of James and John Streets have certainly been a part of this. Since their conversion, both of these streets have seen businesses and neighbourhoods flourish, not only on James St. N, but also around St. Joseph's hospital.

Cycling in this city is not only incredibly frustrating but also, at times, terrifying. Riding down Main, King or Cannon with traffic moving at 70+ km/hr does not make for a safe or pleasant commute, to say nothing of the inevitable moment when you need to make a left hand turn and must either merge through four lanes of traffic or hope for an empty sidewalk corner where you can cross with a pedestrian crossing. And yet, as a non-car owner (by choice), these are the trips I am forced to make on a daily basis. Trying to take side streets is no less difficult. I'm often frustrated by a two-way street suddenly becoming one way and am left with the option of riding down the sidewalk (which is illegal and dangerous to pedestrians) or trying to cross two or three massive arteries to find another one-way street moving in the same direction I am going. I would love to see the conversion of these highway-sized roads into mixed used spaces with wider, safer sidewalks, continuous bike lanes and dedicated transit or light rail lanes. If Hamilton offered a less imposing network of cross-city roadways, I am certain more people would make the decision to ride, rather than drive.

In its current configuration, Hamilton presents itself as a city to be moved through as quickly as possible on the way to some other destination. This is unfair. Hamilton has the potential to be an amazing and vibrant city, much more affordable than Toronto, more diverse than the surrounding suburbs and with unmatched access to nature in the form of the Bruce Trail, mountain brow, Princess Point and waterfront. In fact, these kinds of vigorous communities already exist in Hamilton and have for years, but they are bisected and stunted by highways masquerading as city streets. There is no way that Hamilton will become the place so many envision unless City Hall takes steps to address its inhuman traffic system and foster a hospitable environment for pedestrians, cyclists and visitors of all kinds.

1 fully support Brian McHattie and those working to implement this conversion plan.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Veldstra


Hi Carolyn,

Matt Jelly has asked us to send you an email in support of a two way implementation team. I count Matt and several other of the "progressives" in this city as friends, I have a lot of respect for them however on this subject I think they are so wrong.

On the argument that two way streets will create community - look at Barton street as a control group - I don't see much difference between community on Barton and community on Canon, King and Main except there is more prostitution on Barton.

The argument that "they did it overnight" referring to the implementation of one way streets back in the 50's - no they didn't, those civil engineers did a masterful job of dealing with traffic flow - compare Lower Hamilton to any other city in Southern Ontario - The engineers who designed our traffic flow made a design that has stood the test of time. There is probably twice to three times as much traffic now as there was then and we can still get across this town in 10 minutes - those guys were good!

The destruction of community is not related to one way streets as the progressives would have us believe, it's all about the economy and lost blue collar jobs. No one has any money to spend.

There is little free parking for those who would stop to buy something.

I spent time in Sudbury, it's downtown was devastated when the big box mall opened outside of town. Free parldng, cheaper prices, everything people need in one spot. There are many factors contributing to the "depressed" state of lower Hamilton - One way streets is not one of them. Turning our main streets into two way will not bring prosperity, it will simply slow traffic and create anger, frustration, and a lot of gas burning idling cars on our streets.

The progressives I know either don't drive, don't drive much or drive short distances. Their anticar sentiment is misplaced in North America (due to distances between cities, commutes ect) And when the decline of Age of Oil dictates we can't afford to burn gas, we will still be in cars using another fuel (likely electric I would think). I make full use of our main streets several times a day taking me from the east end to the core (YMCA, James North, Jackson Square, Hill St dog park, Shopping on Dundurn) and I fully appreciate being able to do that easily and quickly, I'm grateful.

I recommend that all those against the one way traffic flow be asked to drive to Toronto and then to leave that city at rush hour via Spadina Avenue. (recently took me a full hour to travel from King to Front (1 block) on Spadina at 5pm) The progressives need a comparison and need to see what kind of disaster they would create, and how good we have it here now.

We still live in the age of the car and those of us who do have to drive for work or other reasons or simply want to drive should have every bit as much of a voice in any changes to traffic flow in this city as anyone else, in fact I think we should get more say than someone who doesn't drive.

I vote absolutely not

Thank you for reading Carolyn - appreciated

If you think to, please let me know if there is a Town Hall or a debate on this issue

Don Grunsten


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee:

I support the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. I am a Hamilton taxpayer with a house in the downtown Corktown neighbourhood. I believe that one-way streets are damaging to the culture and profitability of Hamilton's downtown core, and I ask that you support initiatives to convert them to two-way.

Thank you,

Ania Szado


This note addresses the discussion about establishing a two-way implementation team for Hamilton streets. While I think some of the arguments for two-way conversions are well-meaning, I don't agree that this will achieve the results people hope for, and in fact I think removing the one-way streets will be counterproductive.

The biggest complaint about both Main and King Streets in particular seems to be the speed at which cars travel. If the lights were timed to encourage drivers to stay at a desired speed in order to avoid stopping, the speed is controlled. There will always be those drivers who drive faster than the limit whether on a one-way or two-way street. At busier times of day, cars and cyclists can travel across Hamilton without traffic flow being affected. Speaking from experience, in Toronto for example where two-way main streets become parking lots at rush hour, drivers become irritable with one another, follow too closely and cause accidents.

When traffic bogs down on two-way or one-way streets, drivers race through intersections when there is a break in traffic, placing cyclists and pedestrians in peril. (I have experienced what it is like from all three standpoints). There is also a discussion about whether or not two-way conversions would improve economies. The key things missing on King and Main for businesses is convenient parking for customers. Downtown there are fewer clusters of stores where people can park and spend time; retail is more of a specialty or destination shopping experience unless you go to Jackson Square and/or James Street North. Shoppers tend to go to areas like Ottawa and Locke Streets and malls, both big box and the enclosed malls where there are larger numbers of stores to choose from, close together. And at the malls, parking is free and abundant. I like to support local businesses and buy locally produced items, food and services, as much as possible.

And then there is the argument that two-way streets will improve or create neighbourhoods. Barton Street is a neighbourhood with major issues for its residents. It is not a good model for a main two-way street creating a cosy, safe environment. Neighbourhods are created through communication, effort, caring and hard work, not streets.

Thank you for your consideration,

Karen Walker


Chair and Mtembers, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian IVlcHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. The experts continue to tell us that our wide and fast, one-way streets stunt the growth of the communities they cut through. And change is necessary if we hope to have a vibrant lower city again. As a Ward 2 resident, who can now say he lives in the "arts district" of Hamilton, I can't express strongly enough, the need for safer, pedestrian-friendly streets. I do own an automobile but choose to cycle and walk, when possible, because it's healthier and more enjoyable. I encourage my friends and family to do the same. But when I'm told that walking down many of Hamilton's one ways streets is not a pleasant experience, I have to say that I agree. Fast, highway-like traffic is not conducive to pedestrian and vendor activity.

I've seen firsthand the transformation of James Street North into flourishing cultural and community destination. Let's give the entire downtown a fighting chance to emerge as a model of good urban development.

Thank you,

Darren Kaulback


Dear Chair and Member, General Issues Committee,

I'm writing to express my support for the motion submitted by Councillor Brian McHattie, "Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

My husband and I moved to Hamilton seven years ago. We lived previously in Durand and now reside in Kirkendall. We enjoy walking and cycling in our neighbourhood. However, when cycling to reach downtown, it can be quite stressful navigating the traffic and the speed of cars. Walking along King St or Main St, I have found it to be loud and uncomfortable and sometimes frightening with the high-speed, high-volume traffic.

While we aren't affected on a daily basis by the larger one-way streets downtown, we do feel its effects when going down to the monthly art crawls or visiting the great shops along James Street North. We live on a four lane two-way street but I don't fear crossing it the way the larger one-way streets downtown, either on foot or bicycle.

Hamilton is a great city. It would be wonderful to see it become even greater by making the roads friendlier to all commuters, not just drivers.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jen Hsieh


Chair and Mlembers, General Issues Committee,

I am a resident of Ward 2 and I am writing to whole-heartedly support Councillor Brian McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. I will not re-iterate all of the arguments here, but as a resident who lives just off a busy one-way street (Queen St.) on a busy block of another one-way street. (Charlton Ave) the conversion of such streets would greatly increase the livability and walkability of my immediate neighbourhood. Beyond this selfish reason I believe (as do countless experts) that one-way high-speed streets are neighbourhood killers. The evidence from our own city is convincing with the conversion of James and John bringing new life to these previous "through" streets.

I recognize the need to move people around the city efficiently but we now have a complete network of ring highways, and in any case rapid transit through the middle of the city should not be prioritized above the safety and quality of life of city residents. Everyone in Hamilton will benefit if we have a vibrant walkable downtown. Our current network of one-way streets is not working in Ward 1 and 2 and I hope that we have the courage to make some significant changes to make a better city core for all of Hamilton's residents.

Thank You,

Dr. Laura Parker


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

Please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

As a member of the Strathcona community who is a pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist in the downtown core, I eagerly await the day that our streets are safe and usable by everyone, regardless of their mode of transportation. Two ways streets are the way to go! Two-way streets improve business, as seen in the revitalization of James North. Please put your support behind Councillor McHattie

Sincerely,

Ryan Price


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee

I will not bother to reiterate the many eloquent statements that have been made by many to argue for two-way conversion, and simply wish to encourage you to give support to the McHattie motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. Hamilton has so much potential and the downtown has been improving steadily. Making the downtown more pedestrian friendly, bike friendly and livable has to take a higher priority than taking people through it quickly.

I love to live downtown, but would love it even more if our streets were safer.

Best

Kari Dalnoki-Veress


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee City of Hamilton

Please accept this letter in support of the motion by Councillors Brian McHattie and Jason Farr to establish an implementation team for the transition of one way to two way streets in Wards 1 &2.

It is my hope that council will lend its support to this timely motion that will go a long way in fulfilling the promise of both the Downtown Secondary Plan 'Putting People First' and the City's Transportation Master Plan, The implementation of the two way conversion is an important piece of the puzzle which is downtown renewal and the revival of safety and vibrancy in the neighbourhoods and communities which is the core of the City of Hamilton.

Sincerely,

Christopher Cutler


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I'm writing to express my support for the motion submitted by Councillor Brian McHattie, "Establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 - One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team". As a life-long resident of ward 1 I am keenly aware of the effect that one-way streets have on our city. In particular, Main, King and Cannon streets have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of nearby residents and businesses. These are like giant gashes through our neighbourhoods that act as artificial barriers and impediments to vibrancy and growth. They are prohibitive to walk on or across, and create foreboding, dismal, unsafe spaces within many parts of the lower city. The price that area residents pay for the convenience of others has become much too great.

I look forward to seeing these streets evolve into complete streets for all users.

Thank You,

Dan Jelly


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee:

I am writing in support of Councillor Brian McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team. Since our family re-located from Toronto to the lower city of Hamilton 12 years ago, we have found the one-way streets downtown to be terribly inconvenient for navigating downtown neighborhoods, an indication that they have been largely responsible for the economic decline of Main and King Streets. Drivers who are in a hurry to pass through the lower city do so with disregard for speed limits and pedestrian safety. The conversion from oneway to two-way traffic at least on King and Main is long overdue - twelve years has been too long a time to wait for the economic revival of our city, and for an improvement in pedestrian safety.

Yours truly,

Michelle Martin


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

I am a downtown resident and would like to offer my support for the motion by Councillor McHattie surrounding two-way street conversions.

My wife and I moved downtown 3 years ago. Our home is located on Herkimer Street (an astbound one-way), just east of Queen Street. We moved downtown by choice and are now raising our two infant sons here by choice. We love our neighbourhood and our city but feel that dangerous, pedestrian-unfriendly, business-killing one-way streets are holding our city back from reaching its potential.

We have witnessed the danger of these streets firsthand. In the three years that we have lived here there have been at least a half dozen accidents between the intersections of Queen and Herkimer and Hess and Herkimer. These accidents are a direct result of fast moving traffic heading northbound on Queen being 'sling-shotted' onto Herkimer as Queen becomes one-way Southbound.

My concern for the safety of our streets increased recently with the birth of our twin sons, Archer and Henry. As an able-bodied 27 year old, I will admit that I have no problem navigating our city's streets by foot or bicycle. However, navigating our narrow sidewalks next to fast moving one-way traffic with a double stroller has made it painfully apparent that our streets are unacceptably dangerous for children, families, the elderly, and other vulnerable Hamiltonians.

As my sons become more mobile, I'm sure my concerns will only grow. I respectfully ask that as you consider this important motion, you consider it from the perspective of our most vulnerable citizens, particularly those who don't have a voice themselves.

Sincerely,

Kyle Slote


Dear Chair and Members of the General Issues Committee,

We write to express the Beasley Neighbourhood Association's strong support for Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team. One-way streets are a great detriment to Beasley. Unidirectional flow on major streets such as Cannon, King, Main, and Wellington promotes high-speed, high-volume traffic which makes the streets inhospitable to all users other than motorists. Cannon Street in particular divides our neighbourhood in half, with residents on either side of Cannon finding it difficult and unpleasant to walk to destinations on the other side. Main and Wellington Streets act as barriers to pedestrian and bicycle traffic between Beasley and the adjacent neighbourhoods of Corktown and Landsdale. The safety of children who must walk across Cannon and Wellington (and Victoria) streets to reach Dr. J. Edgar Davey School is a particular concern.

On neighbourhood streets such as Hughson, Catharine, Mary, Rebecca, and King William, one-way traffic makes it difficult for cyclists and motorists to navigate to their destinations and encourages motorists to travel at inappropriately high speed. As a result, our neighbourhood is made a less attractive place in which to live and to do business.

Almost all of the one-way streets in our city are in Wards 1-3. The residents of the remaining wards do not want one-way streets in their communities, and they have not been compelled to accept them. We ask for equal treatment in our own neighbourhood and through the rest of Wards 1 and 2. Please support Councillor McHattie's proposal to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 One-Way to Two-Way Street Implementation Team.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Borrelli & Sylvia Nickerson Co-Presidents, Beasley Neighbourhood Association


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I would like to voice my absolute support to the motion being raised by Brian NcHattie to establish a Ward 1 and Ward 2 one-way to two-way implementation team. This will be a great opportunity to investigate where we can reduce inner city highways, improve the quality of life for the nearby communities, support a nurturing environment for local businesses, and improve walkability. I truly see this as a key initiative in support of the revitalization of our downtown, as do so many Hamiltonians. In fact, experts in the field of urban planning point out that the traffic calming effect of two-way streets vs one-way urban highways is a key to developing a people-friendly downtown.

I would like to thank both Brian McHattie and Jason Farr for bringing forward this initiative, and urge all council members to suppport this motion and do the right thing for Hamilton.

Respectfully,

Peter Scott


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I am in strong support of Brian McHattie's motion for the establishment of a Ward 1 and Ward 2 one-way to two-way street implementation team.

McMaster University was what first drew me to Hamilton, but as I begin my seventh year living here it is the city that holds my heart. After so many years of exploring, you can see that this city has the keys to be great. Students with open minds and fresh perspectives; long-time natives with a sense of the history and heritage of what came before; the arts; amazing nature; waterfront access that is our privilege of location by the Great Lakes; and most of all, residents who are passionate about their city and the neighbourhoods they want to build.

But with all of these wonderful things, they are disconnected. Two-way streets would change this.

I can attest firsthand to the challenges that new residents face, especially those without access tocars. Especially for a city that hosts the student populations of three post-secondary schools, those who wish to discover these great, separated elements of the city face challenges in aavigation of the one-way streets and busing, accordingly, in addition to the high-speed traffic if they choose to bicycle. I moved to an apartment in Strathcona last year, and immediately responded to the strong sense of community present in my neighbourhood. I feel fortunate to live in one, since before I had to travel to Locke St. S. or James St. N. for a taste. However, the one-ways still create a strong barrier to the walkability and my feeling of safety, as they roar past while I go about my daily life to the library and grocery store.

Please let those who live in these neighbourhoods make the decisions regarding how we want to build our communities. We care about these places, and know what we are asking for is possible. When you live day to day near construction projects that for months remove up to 2 lanes of traffic, changes in flow are obvious. And for the Good Sheppard building at Pearl, and the King Street bridge, and the apartments near Hess, those changes were not there.

Those lanes were not needed.

Let them be reclaimed by those who do; those who live there, who cycle there, who walk there, even those who drive there and wish for better navigation in both directions rather than a highspeed road out.

Sincerely,

Robin Yee


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

As a resident on Hess St S., I firmly support the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to implement two-way streets in Ward 1 & 2. I am particularly pleased that the motion has targeted Queen St. and Canon St, two streets with fast flowing traffic which deters pedestrians and cyclists and subsequently hurts businesses.

Hamilton is in desperate need of complete streets. Time and time again we seem to have plans which focus on making the city more pedestrian-friendly (Vision 2020, DTMP, etc.). Sadly, these plans never seem to come to fruition.

We need to stop talking about it and start implementing the plans that we have all agreed on.

Yours,

Kelly Foyle


Dear Councillor McHattie,

I am writing to support your motion to make one way streets two way. In particular Cannon, King, and Main Streets. I have been nearly hit twice at James and Cannon because Trucks are too big for the lanes on Cannon.

As someone that travels either via wheelchair or e-bike, I know how fast the traffic goes on those streets and how little care is shown to bike riders or pedestrians. The pollution that Trucks add, makes walking along those side-walks unbearable. This becomes obvious as soon as you try to walk along them.

the grit that blows, the smell, the diesel fumes, and the danger are all good reasons to get Transport Trucks off those roads. Not to mention the amount of road up-keep that is needed by the abuse of speed and weight. The Trucks are there because they are "going through" the City. Before the one-way ideas, all Trucks had to come in on Burlington Street and back out on Burlington Street. Trucks belong in the industrial corridor not on Residential streets. These one ways are inner City free-ways with no concern for local Retail business, nor pedestrians. One ways have made residences in our City more polluted. I am old enough to see and feel the difference.

Bring sanity and safety back to our City.

Fhank you Brian for your motion. Tell those that argue, to take a walk on Main Street facing the traffic. Or King Street with Transports racing up behind you only a couple of feet from your body.

Take a walk then try to tell citizens that one ways are a good idea. l"ime for them to get on board with other Cities that have woken up.

Sincerely

Maggie Hughes


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

As a resident and property owner in ward two, I urge you to provide full support to Councillor McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

Performing one-way conversions will add life to the core while acknowledging the other users of the streets. The fast moving traffic puts preference onto cars and trucks without respecting the local residents. Walking along these streets can be unnerving, navigating them on bicycle is hazardous.

Long gaps are often observed between waves of cars on Cannon, Main and Bay. This suggests the current configuration is due for revision. I support the need to establish a working group to finalize a conversion strategy.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ryan Bukoski


I am writing in support of the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establis

Thank You,

Tim Potocic


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

As a business owner in downtown Hamilton, as well as someone who lives downtown, I am writing to support Councillor McHattie's motion to establish a one-way to two-way street implementation team. It's time for our city to begin taking key steps to successful city building, and this is a great start.

Sincerely,

Jane LaBatte


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

As a resident of downtown Hamilton, I would like to voice my support of the motion by Councilor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way street implementation team. This change will make our city more livable for all residents, encourage development and help downtown businesses thrive once again.

Thank You,

Robert Iszkula


Hello Ms Biggs,

I am writing this letter in support of converting Hamilton's network of rapid, one way roads to two-way, neighborhood building streets. I genuinely feel that this is one of the most significant issues facing the downtown of the city I live in and love, and would like nothing moe than to see streets like King and Main become areas where businesses and public space are prioritized rather than the current system which prioritized rapid movement of automobiles.

Hamilton is a beautiful city. There is little that I enjoy more than walking around it's various neighborhoods, entering the shops along the way and talking with my fellow hamiltonians. The one area where I cannot do that as easily is the one where I should want to be the most, our downtown core. The streets are noisy, the sidewalks narrow and the businesses often closed because people are so concerned with getting through downtown that they don't take the time to stop and enjoy the businesses that are there. The case for 2 way streets has been made time and again by academics, urban planners and BIAs, so I'm not going to go into that here. What I am going to say is that I travel around Hamilton by bike, on foot and in my car, and I would gladly sacrifice a few minutes on my car commute if it meant that I had access to a street where I feel safe cycling alongside traffic and where I would want to spend time walking, shopping and enjoying all that our great city has to offer. It's time to stop building roads through our downtown and start building streets which all users can enjoy.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely

Justin Jones, MA.


hello,

as a business owner on James Street North I have seen first hand how two way conversion has drastically improved the street. I can only imagine how the conversion of Canon street, which is now a pedestrian hazard and a dead zone of investment could transform the whole core. I strongly hope the Councillor McHatties long overdue motion is listened to and adopted.

best

Jeremy Greenspan


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

I have been living in Hamilton for a decade now. When I first moved here, I took my role as a citizen seriously and attended public consultations on the transportation master plan, the cycling master plan, as well as consultations involving transportation planning in my neighbourhood and along my commute to work, such as the planning on Longwood and in Kirkendall.

When you participate as a member of the public, you obviously understand that the final plans will not always reflect your views, but you do expect that your commitment will be honoured by council taking those plans seriously. Yet, in many cases, I have found the time I have spent informing such processes has been wasted, because the final report has been shelved, or has had its implementation pushed far into the future, or made conditional on the whims of local ward councillors.

I am therefore supportive of the motion to create an implementation team to put into place plans to return a number of streets in the city from one-way to two-way. To the extent that it allows us to move from the plans to action, this is a very useful step. It enables the city to realize the balance of goods that our planning processes promote, rather than have the well-being of downtown neighbourhoods heavily discounted in favour of unhindered vehicular movement. I believe Ryan McGreal's submission to council is eloquent in making this point. I would simply add that in implementing two-way conversions, it is important not to make a fetish of two-way streets. The cycling master plan must not be compromised in the process, nor should the broader guiding vision of building "complete streets" that seems to be emerging from the city's work around making a pedestrian friendly city (with all the benefits that entails).

In sum, I heartily encourage you to support this motion.

Yours truly,

Peter Graefe


Chair and Members, General Issues Committee,

There are many reasons put forth to support the conversion of Hamilton's major roads to oneway streets. I'd like to focus here on the cognitive maps created by Hamilton's users, and the role of one-way streets on a city's legibility. For the reasons outlined below, please give your full support to the motion by Councillor Brian McHattie to establish a one-way to two-way implementation team.

As major cities around the world make efforts to increase the legibility of their cities, Hamilton should not be moving in the other direction.

London made a major effort in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics with their 'Legible London' initiative. Toronto began a major wayfinding initiative late last year. Also last year, New York city began a major wayfinding initiative aimed at reducing information clutter, and creating a more legible city. Vancouver made major wayfinding efforts before the 2010 Games. Los Angeles has made major wayfinding efforts recently to make the city more usable to pedestrians and cylists. The Ontario Ministry of Tourism released a report in 2009 stating the importance of wayfinding efforts in helping users navigate and create cognitive maps of a city.

Many other cities and regions have realized the importance of wayfinding - the mental process of navigation between origin and destination. A user's ability to understand a city plays a major role in how they use a city. A city that is easier to use has several economic benefits. A simple benefit might be from an increase in the pedestrian-driven sales at small businesses not easily accessible to vehicles along current routes. Another benefit is having citizens increase their likelihood of interaction - vital in any city aiming to increase its appeal to creative industries.

One-Way streets are problematic in that they conflict with the cognitive maps created of a city. Cognitive maps are the mental representations created by users of any space - they are not direct maps of a space, but are created and modified by each person's understanding and experience of the space. With a network of one-way streets, users cannot take direct paths to destinations, and routes vary widely amongst transportation methods. The path for a pedestrian is very different from that of a driver. This leads to a user having to learn their city multiple times in order to confidently navigate it, forever balancing a load of several conflicting cognitive maps. It is a deterrent to a city's users when they cannot accurately judge the distance and time associated with a city destination.

One way streets artificially create distance between aspects of our city. They distort the cognitive maps of both our citizens and visitors - and not in a positive manner. They help create cognitive maps of a city that present it as inaccessible, with incredible friction of mobility.

As other cities realize the importance of wayfinding and navigation of their streets, Hamilton should aim to make the changes necessary to increase its usability by reducing the friction of mobility for all its users. In an effort to get people to the city rather than through, let's lead the way.

Respectfully,

Dwayne Ali


To the General Issues Committee,

I am writing in support of Councillor McHattie's pending motion regarding the conversion of one-way streets.

In order to meet our intensification targets and rejuvenate our downtown we must provide the basic infrastructure for hospitable neighbourhoods. Fundamentally, we need streets which are comfortable to walk on, to socialize on, and to live and shop on.

I live by the corner of James Street North and Canon Street East. This intersection is a fascinating study in contrasts. James North is widely recognized as providing a first-rate pedestrian experience; Cannon is unpleasant and indeed frightening to walk beside. The redevelopment of buildings (including residential units) along James North, which has taken place quite swiftly since James went two-way, has not taken place on Cannon even within the immediate blocks beside James North. Anyone who has been on Cannon on foot knows why this is the case: the noise and rumbling associated with high-speed traffic greatly affect the quality of living inside buildings on Cannon -- and spending time outside of these buildings is simply out of the question.

I believe that a conversion of Cannon East to two-way traffic would immediately address the barriers to economic redevelopment on this street. This street is perfectly positioned in terms of proximity to both the bayfront and the downtown core and in my view it is the highway-like street situation, only, which has resulted in an economic development desert along Cannon, right in the heart of the lower city.

Thank you for considering my input,

Kieran C. Dickson


Good morning,

As a resident of ward 2, I wanted to voice my support for Brian McHattie's motion to establish a one-way street to two-way street implementation team. The traffic flow from the current oneway system has created a negative impact on the downtown core, which the construction of our ring highway system was designed to alleviate.

Regards,

Jon Clark


Hamilton City Council,

I'm writing in support of the motion being introduced by Councillors Brian McHattie and Jason Farr regarding the creation of an implementation team to develop a two-way conversion implementation plan to include street priorities, resource allocation (financial and human), implementation schedule, progress review schedule, impact assessment, etc..

I'm a downtown resident, living in Ward 2, and operating a gallery on ]ames Street North. As a result, I spend considerable amounts of my time in and around downtown. I live on a one-way street (Aberdeen) on a very residential street, and I work on a twoway street (James North) on a very commercial street. The dichotomy says a great deal about how we treat the urban fabric of our communities.

While I'm pleased to see the results of the two-way conversions that have taken place already, I am disappointed with the extraordinarily slow pace of additional conversions. In addition to the slow pace, I am dismayed at the piecemeal implementation of some conversions, most notably the recent conversion of Caroline between Main and King. As a result of this apparently poorly integrated execution, I feel it's time for an integrated, high-priority, implementation plan for the conversion of many more streets throughout Wards 1, 2, and 3..

I think Councillors Farr's and McHattie's initial focus on Queen and Cannon is an excellent start, however there are many more streets we need to consider much sooner rather than later.

I encourage all members of Council to work with Councillor Farr and IVlcHattie to ensure the social and economic momentum Hamilton is experiencing currently is further enhanced and expanded through ensuring our urban quality of life reflects the goals of a modern city. A city that, through its vision, states citizens, innovation, and economics are essential pillars of our success, and a city that, wisely, puts raising children as its first strategic goal.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Graham Crawford


Complete streets, neighbourhood equity and an aging population: important considerations for the proposed two-way streets implementation committee The Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton has an interest in urban design issues because of their impact on equity between neighbourhoods and the health of residents. Two-way streets are one tool at Council's disposal to improve quality of life in Hamilton's neighbourhoods, and the proposal being debated at the General Issues Committee this week is an opportunity to do so for residents in wards 1 and 2.

The two-way street debate is also a time for the city to explicitly acknowledge a more holistic vision of street design, such as "complete streets", into the city's street planning initiatives.

Our chosen modes of transportation are fluid, not fixed

The traditional model of street design and planning needs to be flipped on its head. Hamilton, as with most cities across North America, has approached street design with cars as the main users. Then more recently the city integrated cycling within the transportation master plan, and adopting a cycling master plan to acknowledge their use of the road and need for safety. A third set of users, pedestrians, will soon be more explicitly accommodated in street design when Hamilton's pedestrian master plan in completed in the coming months.

This siloed approach to planning does not reflect the reality of how residents use our city's streets. People are at time pedestrians, other times drivers, passengers, transit users, or cyclists; we are not simply each one single category of user. Our transportation needs and preferred modes change with our age, our life stage and family situation, with the seasons, the day of the week, and even the time of day.

Complete streets is gaining momentum

A more integrated approach to street design, one that takes into account all users at all times, is being adopted in other cities and is called "Complete Streets". Transport Canada explains that complete streets are "designed to be safe, convenient and comfortable for every user, regardless of transportation mode, physical ability or age." Our neighbour Waterloo was the first city in Ontario to adopt a complete streets policy within its transportation master plan in 2011. Here in Hamilton, a complete streets forum was held this spring with positive support from City of Hamilton staff from many departments. Some of the complete streets approach is seen in the city's new urban official plan (not yet in force) with principles such as a "balanced transportation networks that offer choice so people can walk, cycle, take transit, or drive".

A complete streets policy is designed to be applied to all projects, including new construction, retrofit and maintenance projects. One of the key features of a complete streets policy is that there's a clear procedure for exceptions to the policy to ensure accountability for decisions on any roads where a complete street approach is not feasible. A complete streets policy also has a robust implementation component that includes steps to turn the policy into practice.

Complete streets improves equity between neighbourhoods

One important effect of a complete streets approach can be to increase equity between neighbourhoods. So far, many of the Hamilton neighbourhoods that have seen increases in walkability and cycling features have been in more affluent areas of the city such as Durand, Kirkendall, Ancaster and Westdale. On the other hand, Cannon Street, which crosses many of Hamilton's lowest income neighbourhoods and is one of the top priorities in the city's cycling master plan has not yet been selected for planning or design work.

Due to simple economics, it is often in Hamilton's lowest income neighbourhoods where more people commute to work by foot, bike or bus. For example, in 2006 males in the McQuesten neighbourhood near the Red Hill Valley cycled to work at three times the average rate for the city (4% vs. 1.8%), not counting all the non-work cycling trips taken by residents in that neighbourhoods.

Residents in Hamilton's lower income neighbourhoods have as much right to safe streets as anyone else, even if residents may not be as vocal about it. The city has a moral obligation to ensure that planning decisions level the playing field between neighbourhoods. If improvements are made in higher income neighbourhoods before paying attention to the needs of other neighbourhoods, the existing disparities between neighbourhoods are made even worse. A complete streets approach makes sure streets in all neighbourhoods are examined for improvements, not just where residents are most outspoken.

Complete streets approach addresses the needs of an aging population The Social Planning and Research Council is a member of the Hamilton Age-Friendly Collaborative, which aims to improve the city by taking into account the needs of an aging population. Street-level improvements for seniors has the added benefit of improving quality of life for residents of all ages. The Hamilton Council on Aging has been taking leadership in conducting walkability studies of Hamilton's neighbourhoods and bringing together transportation planners and seniors to find ways to improve streets and transportation options'for older adults. A complete streets model is entirely compatible with a vision for an age-friendly city.

Complete streets directive from council is needed

Explicit support from City Council for the integration of a complete streets approach into the two-way implementation committee's mandate would be very helpful to ensure that the committee's decisions improve neighbourhood equity and help the city adapt to an aging population. A complete streets approach for this committee would also ensure that the momentum of this initiative is not stalled and gains consensus as one that takes all road users' needs into account. Such a directive could also be the catalyst to the eventual development of a longer-term and city-wide complete streets policy that would help to improve quality of life in all our neighbourhoods and for all residents of all ages.

Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton


Dear Chair and Members, General Issues Committee.

As a 51 year old, lifelong resident of Hamilton, all in the lower city (Gage Park area and King & Nash Rd. area) I've always had the strongest interest in our city and downtown, having worked there for 25 years, my wife even longer at the Ellen Fairclough bldg.

We are drivers, and drive our two vehicles everyehere within the city. Thankfully we do not have to commute to leave our city.

We both have always been supporters of the one way, timed apsects of King and Main streets, for its ease and convenience. However, upon experiencing James St North's renaissance and seeing John South and James South slowed down and calmed, we have done a fair aount of reading and research on the subject, particularly the experiences, both successful and failed of other cities, and we are now firm beleivers in both LRT and the two way conversion of both Main and King.

We apprecaite that this might slow us down a few miniutes, but seeing that as a smal price to pay for the potential benfits is a no brainer for us. We have been using the IINC, RHVP and Burlingto Street as our East/West corridors for a while now and they work! The LINC and RHVP are relativley new, while Burlington St is underutilized as the industrial employment numbers have plummeted since the 80s. it was built for volume that just isn't there anymore, there no Ilonger is a need for main and king to be the expressways they ahev ebbn for the last several decades.

AI throughoutt out Canada a common trend is emerging. A resurgance to downtown urban living and condo development. It makes sense to plan for this and not be left behind as a city that isstuck in the 60s and 70s, especially by other communities within the GTA.

We have been atteding the information sessions and charettes by our city planners in regards to the B-Line corridor planning along with the nodes and corridors approach the city has adopted, and we are convinced that these fine people know exaclty what they are doing.

Please, fully back the two way conversion, LRT and its assicaotied land use planning. I cannot for the life of me see any other way to transform our older sections of the lower city. This requires vision and committment, something that is emerging form our elected officals and staf as eveidenced by Navistar, Maple Leaf foods, Innivation Park etc.

No more hesitant and reluctant baby steps as with the wonderful Gore Park pedestrianiztion. Let's take the bull by the horns and allow staff to implement positve and visionary city policy.

Bob Manojlovich

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 17:19:46

Heavily amended - and carried

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 18:03:08

At the request of Councillor Morelli, Ward 3 was added to the amended motion to "study and report" on conversions to two-way streets.

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 18:38:44 in reply to Comment 80645

Thank you, Councillor Morelli, for requesting the addition of our ward to the motion.

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By Steve (anonymous) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 07:07:29 in reply to Comment 80648

He knew it was a dead motion. He's no friend of 2way conversion.

Just look at the committment to 2-way conversion with the King Street repaving. Yesterday I noticed on Sanford they built a bump out on the northwest corner to prevent cars from passing through the intersection. Cars in the west (left) lane are now required to turn onto King Street and the bump out makes future 2-way conversion more difficult.

But I guess that we really need Sanford to be 1way to get people home to their cool condos at Sanford Ave school or the old Westinghouse building, or get to work on time at Siemens. Oh wait, none of those things exist....

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By TDR (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 18:18:39 in reply to Comment 80645

Hooray!

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 18:12:14

If we were 80 residents sending in letters to oppose a perfectly legal condo building in Dundas, council would side with the local rep and send it back to staff. If we were 80 residents sending letters complaining about noisy air conditioner units in Ancaster, council would side with the local rep and send it back to staff.

City Hall functions under the premise of the local councillors being given priority when it comes to issues in their wards. Ferguson says he wasn't consulted on the proposed two-way conversions. None of us were consulted on the multi-million renovation of Wilson St in Ancaster.

Tom Jackson said his residents ask him if he's lost his marbles when he supports a two-way conversion. He needs to ask them if they lost their marbles when they fled the lower city for a ward with NO one-way streets. Unless there's the odd tiny one, I can't find any large one-way streets in his entire ward. In other words, ALL of these so-called residents asking him this question LIVE and DRIVE on two-way streets. Is it so hard for a councillor to show leadership instead of letting someone with such flawed logic dictate how we vote on crucial issues that have ALL the experts on one side, and all of his two-way street dwelling residents on the other?

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 20:16:42

This was a pathetic display of local democracy failing us. 80 letters for and 4 against, and all of the councillors outside of lower hamilton basically said that they "appreciated" where we were coming from and "support" the local residents but were unwilling to support the motion because of some made up anecdotal citizens' opposition. If there was true citizen opposition, then the other 12 wards of the city should easily have generated 81 negative responses.

Clark was especially obtuse with hyperbole and hearsay "evidence" of a paramedic telling him that they have been delayed getting to hospitals because of the two way streets. And some garbage about CEOs hating two way streets. This from a councillor who is generally very particular about accuracy and fairness.

I'm tired of people from winona telling me what the street I live on should look like.

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By Steve (anonymous) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 06:56:47 in reply to Comment 80651

Sean get with the program,will ya.

CEO's count, others don't and people who live in the suburbs have a higher likelihood of being delayed on emergency runs to the hospital.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 22:34:59 in reply to Comment 80651

especially when all those people in Winona are living on safe, two-way streets. The speeding, dangerous traffic downtown is one of the reasons they would never dream of raising their family down here.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 21:36:05

City Hall - You have to admire their ability to cause the illusion of movement, even if in actuality they accomplish almost nothing.

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By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 23:15:57

So we commissioned a study, chose a course of action, committed tentatively, let a number of years elapse, committed tentatively again, let a number of years elapse, reported on tepid progress, let a number of years elapse, and now commissioned a study again. Next step: Take the findings to another consultant, water down the preferred option and carve up the capital budget so that things don't move too fast.

Not for nothing is there a choke chain on our flag.

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By rrrandy (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 23:23:14

They did the same hatchet job to bike lanes, giving ward councillors a veto over city-wide bike network, and Marbleless Jackson was the first to kill lanes in his ward. Sheesh, the nerve.

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By ThisIsOurHamilton (registered) - website | Posted September 07, 2012 at 05:47:51

I'd been there yesterday for the Santucci delegation presentation, but that was disquieting enough for me to have lost my ardour -if not my stomach- to stick around. So I wasn't at Council Chambers for the one-way reversion part of the proceedings.

After lengthy debate, councillors approved a watered-down version of McHattie’s motion that included much less aggressive language. “Implementation team” was changed to “study group,” while the group’s mandate to “systematically plan and implement” two-way streets was softened to “study and report on possible one-way conversions in the downtown area.

There's nothing surprising here. Not to me. Nor is the approach that some councillors took regarding 'what they're hearing/not hearing in their wards'. This was the same tack taken during the ward boundary review interlude. And it will continue ad nauseam on future issues. (I think we all know where this effort will end up; at best pushed back to the 2014 term.)

Still, I do believe there is another approach to be considered, one that includes a proposal I got a brief whiff of last night after a long conversation with the manager of the Corktown.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

Comment edited by ThisIsOurHamilton on 2012-09-07 05:48:18

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