Special Report: Walkable Streets

Hamilton: Still Anti-Urban in 2012

King Street west of Bay carries 24,800 cars per day. As anyone in the area has noted, traffic flows fine with the lane closures, even during rush hour. The rest of the day it's a downright scary freeway.

By Jason Leach
Published November 06, 2012

I was perplexed to read Councillor Lloyd Ferguson's comments about traffic issues arising from a lane closure on King Street downtown, during construction.

"King Street is a very busy road. Having one lane blocked off is very inconvenient, and to have it sit for a year with nothing happening is unconscionable," he said.

I live just off King, west of Queen and can attest to the fact that there have been zero traffic delays as a result of this lane closure.

Ditto for the two-year lane closure during construction of the Good Shepherd Square a couple blocks west on King.

King Street over Hwy 403 has been down to two lanes for over a year and traffic still roars uninterrupted at dangerous speeds into Westdale.

Again, the double standard in Hamilton politics and neighbourhood safety is tough to digest for those of us who live here. Councillors and residents outside of the core would protest in the streets if they had such dangerous freeways tearing through their neighbourhoods.

There's a good reason why virtually every neighbourhood association, community group, poverty advocate, small business owner and most residents in our downtown neighbourhoods constantly send emails, hold public meetings, lobby council, write letters to blogs and papers and strategize how best to calm our streets to a safe, normal level.

We don't need more lanes here. We need fewer!

Believe it or not, crazy activists aren't paying off the world-renowned experts who pop into town every year for the Economic Summit and say the same thing - "Get rid of these urban freeways. Now."

It's common sense. And it's long overdue.

Traffic Flows Fine

King Street west of Bay carries 24,800 cars per day. As anyone in the area has noted, traffic flows fine with the lane closures, even during rush hour. The rest of the day it's a downright scary freeway.

Lane closed in front of 275 King Street West (RTH file photo)
Lane closed in front of 275 King Street West (RTH file photo)

Last Thursday, while I was walking home along King, a car sped past everyone in the north curb lane well over 100 km/h in order to cut back over a lane ahead of traffic.

It was incredibly scary for those of us on the sidewalk mere feet away. Some people were frozen in fear as this car wildly shot past.

No street should be engineered in a downtown core of a city with speeds like this possible during the early evening. I realize some nuts may pull stunts like this off anywhere in the middle of the night, but the fact that Hamilton still has timed lights to accommodate high speeds is unconscionable.

Golf Links Road in Ancaster carries 26,600 cars per day. Why is there no public outcry to rip out the treed median and replace it with an extra vehicle lane, so the street can be converted to a five-lane, one-way street with timed lights?

Last time I checked, traffic wasn't gridlocked on Golf Links. It's two lanes each way with bike sharrows, and it works just fine.

Double Standard

Why is one quality of life and street design acceptable in certain areas of the city, but not others? Does this have something to do with the fact that almost every residential care facility in Hamilton is continually located downtown, while being completely banned in Ancaster?

The double standard in this city is horrendous. I expect our elected officials to lead.

It's amazing to see how anti-urban Hamilton still is in 2012. Despite the entire world understanding that the new economy is an urban one, we are clinging to 1950s planning principles that fly in the face of having a successful economy in the future.

New York City is removing traffic lanes at a rapid pace and replacing them with trees, street parking and separated bike lanes.

Hamilton would be wise to learn from cities that are light years ahead of us, instead of allowing parochial politics and flat out wrong information to guide our development practices.

Redesigned 9th Avenue in NYC (Image Credit: Gothamist)
Redesigned 9th Avenue in NYC (Image Credit: Gothamist)

9th Avenue was reduced from five live car lanes and two curb parking lanes to three car lanes with parking on both curbs and safe, protected bike lanes. New trees and pedestrian crosswalks were included. The distance for a pedestrian to cross the street was cut almost in half.

Vibrant and Interesting

Head in the sand isn't an acceptable excuse anymore, Hamilton. Our own Chamber of Commerce published a report highlighting the great importance of safe, walkable streets to the new economy.

As a local realtor said recently in an interview, Hamilton needs to be exciting and vibrant if we really want to see the momentum pick up of residents and businesses moving here from Toronto.

Cheap and exciting works. Cheap and boring doesn't. King, Main and Cannon scream 'cheap and boring'.

Despite our recent success in seeing a crop of new business moving here from Toronto, we run the risk of stifling the growth, or even missing out entirely on another generation if we don't get our act together.

There's a reason businesses and young creative types are paying top dollar for any basement or 'down the long hall, upstairs, around the corner space they can find on Queen West in Toronto.

Vibrant and interesting are far more attractive than cheap.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 10:19:50

There's a good reason why virtually every neighbourhood association, community group, poverty advocate, small business owner and most residents in our downtown neighbourhoods constantly send emails, hold public meetings, lobby council, write letters to blogs and papers and strategize how best to calm our streets to a safe, normal level.

Yup, and that's why some of us are quite happy about this recent turn of events. Misters Vranich, as a downtown resident and pedestrian, please take as much time as you need in closing those lanes and developing your properties. If downtowners get our act together over the next year, perhaps those lanes will just stay closed forever.

Dreaming of wider sidewalks, trees, bike lanes. Whatever makes living (as opposed to driving through) downtown more desirable.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2012 at 10:32:24

To be fair, the lane closure for Vranich's construction on Main Street has affected rush-hour traffic. It's not crippling and traffic still flows well, but the affect on main-street is noticable. Now, you can argue that it would be worth it to lose that lain permanently (which it absolutely is) and that any respectable city should have a bit of congestion at rush-hour, and that's okay. But let's not pretend there's zero impact.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2012 at 10:38:34 in reply to Comment 82603

I shot the following video mid-day this past September at the corner of Main and Caroline, where a lane is closed next to the old Revenue Canada building:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA875DjK...

The excess lane capacity is palpable and frankly an embarrassment.

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 11:12:55 in reply to Comment 82605

In fairness, Pxtl said 'rush-hour traffic'. Mid-day is not rush-hour. As a commuter who deals with both of these lane closures, I have to agree that they do have an impact on traffic. It's awful. My commute takes 45 seconds longer due to being caught in an extra light cycle. Sometimes.

As he says, the question should be, 'Is it worth it?'. And again, I have to agree with him - it is.

More concerning to me is not the effect this has had on vehicular traffic, but the effect it has had on pedestrian traffic. I'm honestly surprised Jason didn't pick up on that. When a sidewalk is closed for as long as these have been, there really should be some sort of provision made to allow for pedestrian traffic.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2012 at 12:16:09 in reply to Comment 82608

Fair enough. I shot the video at that time on specific request from a commuter who was saying that the lane closure was impacting midday traffic flow.

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By RPMoran (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 10:41:37

While I certainly agree with your article. I think the Councilor's quote jointly touches on two points, the one you discuss here, and another that you don't that IS actually completely valid.

The building that is causing the lane closure on King, west of Hess, has now sat derelict and damaged since 2003. With the lane closed as if something is going to happen for roughly a year now. I believe (or, at least, hope) what what the Councilor is referring to as being unconscionable is that in all the time that this building has sat empty and in disrepair, its owners have thrown up, and are throwing up, big stucco boxes mere blocks away (at the furthest). And even have the resources to deconstruct, and then build in its place, half the former federal building on King, Caroline, and Bay.

It is unconscionable that this development firm has not been taken to task on their questionable practices and neglect (instead, in some cases, some members of City Hall have openly supported them), when clearly they have had, and continue to have, the resources to restore that building.

Of course, this does also question what the above Councilor has done to resolve this.

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 11:23:35 in reply to Comment 82606

Work has been ongoing at the King St. site. A load of bricks were being dropped off this morning. In fact, I regularly see vehicles delivering product there.

Without being privy to what kind of problems they ran into related to permits, asbestos abatement, structural issues, or any of the other problems that come from renovating an old building, I don't know that it's really fair to complain about how long the construction has continued. I agree that the building sat empty for far too long. However, I don't believe Vranich has owned the building for the entire duration.

For sure, it would have been far faster to tear the whole thing down and put up a stucco box in its place. But he didn't, and I'm not going to complain about how renovating an old building takes so long. It just does.

Comment edited by jonathan on 2012-11-06 11:24:16

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By RPMoran (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 12:39:16 in reply to Comment 82610

I think it is completely fair, being that I do believe that they have owned it since prior to 2003, and thus, left it sitting for nine years.

Meanwhile, the combination of that neglect, and other questionable forms of neglect that have lead to the deconstruction of other properties they own (property that is now RokBar, Federal building and contents that were found within), in favour of stucco boxes, points to either a very unfortunate series of coincidences, or a marked trend of neglect with deliberate goals.

And given that long term ownership, those series of coincidences and/or deliberate trend, I see no reason to be apologetic of, or lenient, on them.

This is aside from other properties, that were/are older, and/or larger, and in far worse states of disrepair being renovated and restored with proportionately less resources, in far less time.

It is perfectly fine and fair to complain about this, the real question though is complain to who, and about who.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2012 at 11:08:56

I generally respect Ferguson - but in this case he is wrong. The City already has a permit system in place for lane closures. I know this because I needed to block a lane on my road to use a crane to put in a hot tub. I cannot remember the exact bylaws - but there are two forms of lane closure - one is a temporary closure - where the lane is only closed temporarily and flagging is used, the other is if the lane is physically blocked for more than quick in and out. There is also a provision for how much of a lane can be blocked.

Both required permission from the City - with the long term closure carrying an application fee of over $1000.

So if Vranich (and other developers) have a lane closed - the City has issued a permit for them to do it. If the terms of the closure have been violated, or if they do not have a permit - the City has the same recourse to enforce their bylaws as with any other bylaw - in this case a stop work order and fines.

Or is this just another case of the City letting developers get away with whatever they want, while residents are forced to comply with rules and regulations - simply because they don't have the resources to ignore the City with impunity?

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 11:16:16 in reply to Comment 82607

Permits were certainly issued, but the permits do not carry a time limit. I believe THAT is what Ferguson is taking issue with.

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By Simon (registered) - website | Posted November 06, 2012 at 13:09:11 in reply to Comment 82609

No - the permit does have a time limit - as part of the permit you have to specify how long the lane is going to be closed - it is part of the terms of the closure.

I suspect that Vranich just dropped the traffic control barriers one morning and the City has sat on its hands ever since.

There are also other legalities - especially if these are unapproved closures. If the City has not enforced its own bylaws - which would also enforce traffic control standards (commonly referred to as MTO Book 7) - the City would be open to liability.

If there has been a spike in traffic collision - this is easy pickings for lawyers to sue the City for negligence. Of course the developer could be sued too - but the City is a much fatter chump.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 11:52:28

I certainly can't speak to the legalities of closing a lane, and whether things are happening properly here. Which is why I zeroed in on the comments making it sound like traffic is a nightmare now due to these closures.
It's simply not true.

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By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 12:01:52

My read on this is that Councillor Ferguson is looking to put greater pressure on developers who are slow to restore structurally unstable buildings. Charging for lane closures is one way to apply that pressure and force the work to get done sooner rather than later. Anyone who cares about revitalizing the downtown core can't be happy with eyesore properties that aren't being renewed & restored. It's been 9 years since the building at King & Hess was damaged in a fire. It could and should be a prime piece of residential and/or commercial real estate.

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By amandap (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 12:25:35

It's amazing how quickly the stretch of Caroline between King and Main was approved to two-way conversion. Maybe if we all pool our money together and put it towards constructing a million-dollar hotel chain, our opinions will matter.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:12:01 in reply to Comment 82614

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:13:24 in reply to Comment 82633

Democracy fail.

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 12:33:41

I could not agree more with you Jason ... Ancaster counselor should shut it up about our down town .... if he lived in the core and walk around he whould have a different thing to say ... they whant the core to be friendly and we have these High ways going into it ..... City councel get it wright for once ...2 WAYS PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:14:22 in reply to Comment 82615

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By LOL@LOL (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:47:33 in reply to Comment 82635

Great, where do you live? I vote to make your street one way so you can experience it first hand. Maybe then you'll have a bit more compassion and less selfishness.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 09, 2012 at 00:09:21 in reply to Comment 82642

I have lived on one way streets. Used to live on Cannon Street matter of fact. What is your point?

Did you move into a residence on a two way street and then in the middle of the night it somehow mysteriously became one way? No probably not. You moved where ever you moved for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons was price and one of those reasons was location. Now after you have made the move you decide you don't like it so sell and move someplace you do like. I doubt anyone is holding a gun to your head forcing you to stay where you are.

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By clarity (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 18:12:54 in reply to Comment 82690

So you actually know and believe that the one way streets are terrible for these communities, but because you realized this and bought a house somewhere else, they should continue to deteriorate because it's so convenient for you to drive through them. Your comments make so much more sense now.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 09, 2012 at 06:52:56 in reply to Comment 82690

You're right. No one should ever try to learn about what makes a healthy neighbourhood or build relationships with their neighbours or try to introduce changes to make their community more humane, more safe and more welcoming.

Instead, if you can afford it, just cut the cord and bounce to some other place that is already better, and to hell with everyone else.

Because that's the kind of world we want to live in.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 09:14:46 in reply to Comment 82693

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By z jones (registered) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 21:05:12 in reply to Comment 82737

I actually hope you're just trolling for the lulz, because if you actually believe the things you're writing you're a truly shitty human being.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 18:08:51 in reply to Comment 82737

Don't forget, it's all about me!

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By Jay Robb (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 14:52:34 in reply to Comment 82615

What if the Councillor is trying to fix the problem of buildings that are in disrepair with no sign of renovations and restoration on the near horizon? I'd argue that vacant and derelict buildings being ignored by developers and property owners are as much a challenge for the downtown core as 1-way streets.

And once again, the whole downtown vs. the rest of Hamilton argument serves no one well. I don't live in the core but I'd like a vibrant downtown that's a great place for everyone to live, work and play.

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By blabla (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 18:37:46 in reply to Comment 82618

"I don't live in the core but I'd like a vibrant downtown that's a great place for everyone to live, work and play."

That's commendable and I hope it's what most people feel but that's not what the vocal part of the suburbs has been saying. Read the Spec letters, seems like many people in the suburbs think we should just take a wrecking ball to the downtown so they can get through it quicker. Living downtown, it's kinda hard not to take it personally when people say downtown is a basketcase full of lowlifes.

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By Core-B (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 22:10:09 in reply to Comment 82622

I do live in the core and sadly, I think what you say is spot on. Sad but true.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:15:30 in reply to Comment 82626

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By enough trolling already (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 09:46:55 in reply to Comment 82636

IGNORE

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 22:57:00 in reply to Comment 82626

all of us who live downtown agree with those statements. Imagine if the roles were reversed and lower city councillors regularly came out publicly with ideas that were devastatingly bad for the quality of life in the suburbs? They'd be crucified in the media and at city hall. The same people wearing t-shirts supporting a new residential care facility in Corktown would be rioting in the streets if it was proposed in Ancaster. I have no problem calling out this double standard. It has to stop.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:18:36 in reply to Comment 82629

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By interesting point (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 09:52:09 in reply to Comment 82637

Spoken like a true shut in. Have you ever been to lower Hamilton? I mean other than blasting down main and cannon in your car?

Compare this to your dream neighbourhood at west 5th and mohawk:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=118098

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 09:19:27 in reply to Comment 82646

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By it's all about you (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 17:55:38 in reply to Comment 82738

Thank you for clearing up the basis of your opinions. We can basically append each and every message of yours with the signature "After all, it's all about me".

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By CatGotUrTongue? (anonymous) | Posted November 10, 2012 at 08:19:19 in reply to Comment 82646

LOL - where are you? Many of us are awaiting your clever response to this.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 18:06:34 in reply to Comment 82618

What if the Councillor is trying to fix the problem of buildings that are in disrepair with no sign of renovations and restoration on the near horizon?

Why would we assume that when his comments were about a lane closure? If his issue is with vacant buildings, he should say so, and do something about it. Not my intent at all to get into a 'downtown vs everyone' discussion, but the double standard is glaring, blatant and fine with 3/4 of the city. Presenting evidence of the double standard in a polite, well-reasoned manner is absolutely necessary if we are to open the eyes of those who have zero interest in the quality of urban life in Hamilton. That's all I'm trying to do here.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-11-06 18:07:06

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 21:28:51

As anyone in the area has noted, traffic flows fine with the lane closures, even during rush hour

That isn't true. I noted an example where traffic was HORRIBLE when there was a lane closure. Cars and buses were backed up for a long time. The exact details are in my previous post but I think it took me around 10 minutes to go 500 meters.

So, although, there may be examples when traffic is "fine" when there are lane closure, that is most definitely NOT always true.

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By FastMan (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 10:21:58 in reply to Comment 82624

Sorry, I have to agree with this one too. Living on Aberdeen, with a lane closure heading east at Dundurn...I have seen cars backed all the way to the Golf Course and this could happen til 6pm, 7pm. And if you look at the traffic heading west, there are days I feel the house shake due to the incessant need for those to drive at ridiculous speeds on Aberdeen. Reminds me of Bronson Street in Ottawa. People speeding along a mostly family centric street. Damn shame.

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By goldilocks (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 10:50:44 in reply to Comment 82650

so... you don't want the traffic moving slowly. But you don't want it moving fast?

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By FastMan (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 12:20:56 in reply to Comment 82652

You are right, I was not clear with my original post. I am for slowing down traffic on Aberdeen as a whole. As a resident who lives on Aberdeen, it is of my opinion that west bound traffic travels at greater speeds than the east bound traffic. I am all for traffic calming measures, but not in the form of construction trucks and dump trucks taking up an entire lane. I think that causes more hazards from both a physical standpoint and an environmental.
Hope that clears it up~

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 08:21:46 in reply to Comment 82624

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By TnT (registered) | Posted November 12, 2012 at 08:22:55 in reply to Comment 82638

Come on Alan, give it a rest.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 06, 2012 at 22:54:12 in reply to Comment 82624

obviously there was a different circumstance that led to this particular slowdown. If it was the lane closure, it would happen every single night. It'll be really slow during blizzards too.

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By Sky (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 11:03:37



We need to stop the US vs THEM discussions...

You have a ‘non-urban’ Councillor trying to have a problem addressed and still it is a fight on Urban vs. Sub? (Regardless of how he posed the concern; it is a concern that affects pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.)

There are plenty of our Residents that live in the ‘rural’ area; “with ideas that were devastatingly bad for the quality of life”. The new ROP will obviate thousands of businesses ‘out here’. Most are keeping their mouths shut because if they are known as ‘legal non-conforming’ and apply (with thousands of dollars) to become ‘legal’; they will not conform and be SHUT DOWN.

BALANCE is the answer to our ever growing dismay with City Council and Staff...

“Our 'old City' is the heart...our surrounding 'rural' areas are the arteries...until the heart is pumping strong ~ the arteries will not flourish.” (my response in the Hamiltonian re: Aerotropolis)

We need to applaud all of our Councillors who do point out when there is something wrong;~because~ United we stand, divided we FAIL.

Have an awesome day everyone!!!

Danya

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 09:21:23 in reply to Comment 82653

The reason it's a them vs us mentality is the money. The core is a money pit. The burbs is where the money is and we have a right to determine how it is spent.

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By bad math (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 17:53:45 in reply to Comment 82739

Can we see your calculations that prove this? I'd like to know what the tax income per square foot of infrastructure is in your neighbourhood versus downtown. If you think that the answer to our tax rates is further support of suburbs you are less capable of logic than I'd expect even from an internet troll.

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By Megan (registered) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 13:14:26 in reply to Comment 82653

I was surprised that no one has made a point of the sidewalks also being closed during extended blockages and what that does to walkability. Thanks for pointing out that it's not just cars that are affected.

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By g. (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2012 at 22:50:03

i was talking to a gentleman who works for a local concrete company who was telling me about the problems the builders of the new structure on cannon at park are having. the city refused to allow them to close a lane of traffic on cannon street during construction. for one day. nor would they allow them to pump concrete from the parking lot directly west of the site. apparently there are two sets of rules; one for those who know the mayor and another for those who are trying to do things the honest way.

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By mainstreet (anonymous) | Posted November 09, 2012 at 05:11:44

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 09, 2012 at 06:59:30 in reply to Comment 82692

In case you are not just trolling...

Your ideas about what will make for a prosperous downtown Hamilton are exactly the opposite of all the evidence about what makes for lively, prosperous downtowns in cities all around the world. In fact, Hamilton has been doing precisely what you recommend for more than half a century, and the result is the neglected, underinvested, underperforming downtown we find today.

Healthy downtowns everywhere are characterized by very pedestrian-friendly environments, high population densities, a variety of mixed uses in close proximity, high quality transit, and continuous networks of bicycle lanes. Cities that deform their downtowns to accommodate easy motoring end up looking like, well, Hamilton.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 09:26:41 in reply to Comment 82694

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By Evelyn Woodhead (anonymous) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 16:27:39 in reply to Comment 82740

You need to check your comprehension. This little thread has nothing to do with one-way streets specifically. It's about car-centric planning. Hamilton's vibrancy died when the car began to trump all other forms of transportation downtown. This was started back when we were chasing a dream that would never exist.

Unfortunately for us, our leaders (and the citizens who rely on the downtown as a part of their daily highway commute) have not caught on to what thousands of cities around the world now understand. The key to bringing this vibrancy back is building for people instead of cars.

If you need to drive THROUGH Hamilton every day, I suggest you move to the other side of town. The rest of the city can no longer afford to support your commute through our neighbourhoods.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted November 11, 2012 at 20:50:11

you want to buy a crappy house in a crappy neighbourhood and then have the people who have made something of themselves pour their hard earned tax dollars into your street so you can reap the rewards. It's our tax dollars and we have a right to say how it's spent.

There's a taxonomy of ad hominem attacks against people who voice the opinion that our inner-city neighbourhoods need to become more liveable.

  1. You don't live in the inner city, so you have no legitimacy speaking on behalf of people who do. If you really cared, you'd live there, but you don't, so shut up.
  2. You live in the inner city and either rent your principal residence or live in a house with a modest assessment. Therefore, you don't pay enough property tax for your opinion to count. After all, the only opinions that count are those of rich people.
  3. You live in the inner city and pay enough property tax that your opinion "should matter". However, no self-respecting person would choose to live in the inner city if they could avoid it. Therefore, you are self-hating, neglectful of your kids, and/or appropriating the voice of REAL inner-city people. Oh, and the only reason you live in the inner city in the first place is to speculate on property. Because neighbourhood activism is CLEARLY the most efficient way to make money in Hamilton.

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