Special Report: Walkable Streets

Cannon Street in Pictures

These photos show how dysfunctional Cannon Street is today. There is no good reason not to convert Cannon into a balanced, complete street right now.

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 09, 2013

Today, Cannon Street is a four-lane, one-way highway carrying clusters of high-speed traffic amid stretches of emptiness and desolation. Traffic engineers may congratulate themselves on how effortlessly automobiles race down the street, but in all other respects Cannon is a spectacular failure of public space.

Given current traffic volumes on the street, there is absolutely no traffic-related reason why Cannon cannot become a complete, two-way street that balances driving with walking, cycling, local street life and neighbourhood livability.

Later this month, Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr and Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie are going to lead residents on a walking audit of the street, looking at opportunities and challenges involved in converting Cannon into a complete, two-way street.

The following photos of Cannon Street, taken by Mike Goodwin on a recent photo tour, really capture just how dysfunctional Cannon Street is today.

Cannon Street: four lanes of high-speed, one-way traffic
Cannon Street: four lanes of high-speed, one-way traffic

The street is inhospitable and few pedestrians dare walk along it
The street is inhospitable and few pedestrians dare walk along it

Cannon has excessive lane capacity
Cannon has excessive lane capacity

There are regular stretches with no moving cars for blocks
There are regular stretches with no moving cars for blocks

The conflict between Cannon and walkability is especially obvious where it crosses James North
The conflict between Cannon and walkability is especially obvious where it crosses James North

All this lane capacity is needless overkill
All this lane capacity is needless overkill

No moving cars in sight for several blocks
No moving cars in sight for several blocks

Pedestrians have a long distance to cross on Cannon
Pedestrians have a long distance to cross on Cannon

Seriously - where are the cars that justify this vast expanse of concrete?
Seriously - where are the cars that justify this vast expanse of concrete?

The legacy of Cannon's design is desolation
The legacy of Cannon's design is desolation

More empty sidewalks
More empty sidewalks

Timed lights mean the cars that do drive on Cannon move in groups
Timed lights mean the cars that do drive on Cannon move in groups

At $1.25 a litre for gas, driving is getting less affordable
At $1.25 a litre for gas, driving is getting less affordable

Here is one of the clusters of high-speed traffic, including heavy trucks, that punctuates the desolation
Here is one of the clusters of high-speed traffic, including heavy trucks, that punctuates the desolation

It's either a famine or a raid on Cannon
It's either a famine or a raid on Cannon

A stampted concrete sign is not enough to make Cannon welcoming to pedestrians
A stampted concrete sign is not enough to make Cannon welcoming to pedestrians

The green wave of timed traffic moves at 50-60 km/hr, four lanes wide
The green wave of timed traffic moves at 50-60 km/hr, four lanes wide

After the wave of traffic, the street returns to desolation
After the wave of traffic, the street returns to desolation

What an enormously inefficient, destructive use of public space
What an enormously inefficient, destructive use of public space

Cannon could be a safe, balanced, welcoming complete street if we did not prioritize moving cars above every other purpose
Cannon could be a safe, balanced, welcoming complete street if we did not prioritize moving cars above every other purpose

These photos were originally published on Mike Goodwin's website, and are used here with permission.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 16:37:10

Can council reallocate funds from within the roads envelope?

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By Jesse (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 16:51:00

Is it four lanes of traffic, with no parking lanes? How do those businesses stay open without any curbside parking?

The first fix would be to restore curbside parking. That alone will make the street more inviting to pedestrians, because there will be a protective barrier of parked cars between the sidewalk and the moving traffic. Then, since parking lanes are narrower than driving lanes, you could probably get three lanes out of the remaining space: one in each direction, plus a shared center left-turn lane. Or if you don't need a turning lane, maybe two traffic lanes plus bike lanes?

If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend the book "Walkable City" by Jeff Speck. He basically explains all the things that are well known to destroy walkability, and the relatively simple and inexpensive ways to fix them.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 09, 2013 at 23:57:27 in reply to Comment 87763

I highly recommend the book "Walkable City" by Jeff Speck.

Seconded! I've currently got about four books on the go, and Speck's Walkable City is one of them. I made reference to Speck in this blog post, and his book helped inform my recent Spectator op-ed.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:48:46 in reply to Comment 87780

One big discussion at the Stadium Precinct meetings has been Cannon Street re-design. Although it's already two-way with curbside (not dedicated like Barton between Wentworth and Victoria which is a design much more preferred mind you), but the neighborhood seemed to sway towards re-design that would keep curbside parking, add bike lanes, and 3 lanes of traffic. Something to that affect anyway. Not sure if that's planned to end at Sherman where one-way begins but there seems no reason why they couldn't at least start by continuing bike lanes. Streetside parking does continue on but making it dedicated into downtown would also be a good starting point.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted April 09, 2013 at 18:16:49 in reply to Comment 87763

How do those businesses stay open without any curbside parking?

They have their own parking lots, or they don't.

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By Greg Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 20:19:41

I work in a old cotton mill at 270 Sherman. I'm constantly caught by trains that can create a 5-7min delay. I have never heard mention of this as a complaint from the trucking interest. I only hear that business will grind to a halt if two way traffic is imposed and the timed lights are removed, yet for all the lane capacity in the world if you're stopped by a train you aren't moving! In fact the only bridge between Ferguson and Kenilworth is Birch, which is one way. Would you not think these truck would prefer to have the option a two way street would offer?

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 21:22:02 in reply to Comment 87772

one thing we all learned years ago - the trucking industry doesn't care about Hamilton's economy or business health one bit. Just their own. I'd like to know how many of their CEO's and managers live in the lower city near one-way streets.

Comment edited by jason on 2013-04-09 21:23:16

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 21:48:39

Ryan,

Well done article. The same could be said for Main Street especially.

While I know that many of you folks were against the RHVP I think that the RHVP helped reduced the need for one-way streets in the lower city. Time for council to take action here.

Most east-west lower city streets can go back to two-way. The dt looks very dead and unwelcoming (especially at night) when one is staring at an empty, dark stretch of road.

By the way, by two way, I mean an equal number of lanes going in the opposite direction. What they did on York street was completely useless. Very few cars go west on that dt stretch - what was the point of it?

Capitalist

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By Agreed (anonymous) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:20:52 in reply to Comment 87774

Yes. The York two way conversion was horribly implemented. It currently offers little improvement over the old design. The street should have two lanes going in each direction. The west bound lane should not stop at Bay but keep going westward. One should be able to turn west bound onto York Strret from James North.

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By David88 (anonymous) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 01:45:23 in reply to Comment 87774

The shelved Perimeter Road would do wonders for downtown and greatly reduce the need for the Cannon, King and Main St expressways. I 've always felt that cancelling this road was one of the worst mistakes that Hamilton councils ever made. We need to put this road back on a priority list!

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 14:10:56 in reply to Comment 87789

would do wonders for downtown? Is that why Boston, Portland and Pittsburgh got rid of their waterfront/downtown freeways at huge expense, and Toronto is considering doing the same? Doesn't sound like waterfront/downtown freeways have 'done wonders' for those cities.

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By robf (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 20:29:04 in reply to Comment 87796

Boston, Portland, and Pittsburgh have eliminated minor sections of their urban expressway systems. In Boston's case they buried the expressway at great expense. They hardly "got rid of" their waterfront/downtown freeways as you imply. I'm not a fan of urban expressways, road expansion, or the current configuration of Cannon, King, and Main, but we should try to represent what other cities have done accurately.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 15, 2013 at 12:56:32 in reply to Comment 87808

Boston, admittedly, did not remove its inner city highway but merely pushed it underground, to the tune of $15 billion. While the impact at street level has been enormous - it is possible again to walk from downtown to the historic North End neighbourhood - the impact on traffic has mainly been to push the congestion bottlenecks outward in a classic example of induced demand in action.

Portland's removal of its Harbour Drive highway was not "minor". They took out a six-lane highway running along the Willamette River and replaced it not with a boulevard but a park and multi-use path. (Incidentally, they removed it once the city had an intact ring highway for through traffic to bypass downtown.)

Yet Portland didn't just remove an existing highway. They also cancelled the construction of a new highway - the Mount Hood Freeway, which would have cut through existing urban neighbourhoods in southeast Portland, demolishing blocks of homes and businesses. Instead, they used the money to build the first section of Portland's celebrated light rail transit system.

We can add the examples of Toronto, whose residents organized to stop the construction of the Spadina Expressway, and San Francisco, which decided after a 1989 earthquake to turn the Embarcadero highway into a tree-lined, multi-use boulevard.

I don't know much about the situation in Pittsburgh - I'd like to get there for a visit some time to explore the city in more detail. (Incidentally, Urbanicity is organizing a bus trip to Pittsburgh at the end of this month, which I regrettably won't be able to attend.)

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By RobF (registered) | Posted April 16, 2013 at 05:03:20 in reply to Comment 87863

We don't really disagree. I said removals were minor reductions to each city's urban expressway system, not that the projects in question were insignificant.

In Boston's case, as you point out, the Big Dig made certain trips easier and induced demand, creating problems elsewhere. The other cities mentioned by Jason were also able to remove sections of highway from strategic, high value locations for similar reasons: other nearby routes existed that could absorb the traffic flow adequately.

Jason's post seemed to miss that. Given it was in response to a post by someone suggesting we revive a shelved perimeter road plan, the clarification seems warranted to me, though i suspect we differ little in our views about the value of waterfront expressway removal itself (and I'm certainly not interested in the shelved perimeter road that would have rolled thru the North End).

I think, if I follow the reasoning of the articles posted about this RTH we no longer have the traffic flow in the lower city to justify the road space available. As has been stated repeatedly by yourself, Jason and a few others is the need for an outright reduction in road capacity and other measures that would restructure industrial strength arterials into multi-use corridors in which mobility needs don't overwhelm other possibilities. I have found, however, observing planning debates in Toronto and Vancouver that what seems clearly desirable from an urbanist point of view ends up being less straightforward in practice.

Comment edited by RobF on 2013-04-16 05:45:52

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:46:24 in reply to Comment 87789

We don't need the Cannon, King and Main expressways, period. We certainly don't need yet another cut-through expressway to replace them.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 00:14:26 in reply to Comment 87774

Thanks for your kind words.

I think that the RHVP helped reduced the need for one-way streets in the lower city. Time for council to take action here.

I opposed the RHVP and still think it was a bad idea (the city has had to pay around $15 million in subsidies, incentives and unfunded servicing costs to lure "up to" 530 total jobs at new Maple Leaf bread and meat plants, which are moving here as part of a consolidation that is eliminating 1,500 jobs across the province, including 250 in Hamilton).

That said, it's built and we're stuck with it, so at a minimum I expect it to serve the function promised to the downtown, which is to divert crosstown traffic from downtown streets. So far that promise has not been kept.

What they did on York street was completely useless.

I call it two-way-in-name-only (TWINO) - but even in its current passive-aggressive design, York is more functional as a two-way street. When a watermain at James and Cannon burst last September, westbound traffic on Cannon was able to divert to York to circumvent the blocked intersection.

Westbound traffic on Wilson/York

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By Neary (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 22:56:51 in reply to Comment 87774

Two-way conversion of York/Wilson wasn't useless in principle, although the implementation was very poor.

As a Beasley resident, I am very happy with the improved connectivity of the street grid in my neighbourhood. Wilson - York - Swiss Chalet parking lot - Napier is now by far the best westbound bike route through Beasley and Central. Being able to drive westbound on Wilson also makes it easier to reach my house on Mary when I'm coming from the east end. (Since Mary is one way northbound, I used to have to overshoot Mary, take Catherine to Wilson, and then make two left turns to get back to Mary. Now I just take Ferguson down to Wilson and make two right turns.)

There is hardly any congestion in the eastbound lanes, so the switch to two-way traffic doesn't seem to have hindered motorists very much. I certainly don't notice any change when I drive eastbound on Wilson.

The big problems with this conversion are (1) Wilson doesn't need two westbound lanes east of John, and (2) the single westbound lane on York doesn't connect to anything. (It basically forces you to take Bay north to Cannon). The city should turn the second westbound lane into paired bike lanes (or widen the sidewalks), and convert Bay St to two-way traffic. That would actually turn Wilson - Bay - King into a useful westbound route, an alternative to Cannon - Queen - King and the James/King intersection.

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By street parking (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 22:23:46

Actually, trying to park on busy one-ways can be a near-hazard, especially if you're trying [gasp!] to back in. I know how! As well, when parked on the "proper" side (right side), you're often trying to exit the car into a WHOOSH of traffic that makes this driver in a converse way sympathetic with what bicyclists often have to deal with.

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By street parking 2 (anonymous) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 22:25:42 in reply to Comment 87775

My point is that two-way is safer for drivers trying to park, to use local businesses, e.g. (it does happen).

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted April 09, 2013 at 22:26:19

Just a couple of observations/questions on this interesting article:

  1. The last picture exemplifies what the street could look like without the forest of hydro poles shown in the other images. We no longer need the poles to carry the wires for the trolley buses which disappeared many years ago. I suppose it would be too much to expect that some money could be budgeted to bury some more of the electrical infrastructure.

  2. Would the walking tour be open to everyone or would the councillors be expecting only people who live in the area? The audit of the street might be interesting to others, especially those who live along streets that would benefit from similar improvement, such as Queen Street.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 00:18:03 in reply to Comment 87777

My understanding is that anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 27, but Councillor Farr should confirm the details shortly.

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By Rednic (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 00:04:11

I guess cannon street's name is different when it's ward 3. Not one picture from east of Wellington. Perhaps the powers that be have told RTH to keep west of Wellington, I don't know. But you obviously love ward 3 as much as it's councillor.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 00:20:02 in reply to Comment 87781

RTH is 100% volunteer powered, and Mike Goodwin was kind enough to walk around Cannon Street in the downtown area and share some photos. I would love to publish a photo essay on Cannon in Ward 3 if you or someone you know can do the legwork.

Given the low measured traffic volumes east and west of Sherman (where Cannon goes from a two-way street to a one-way street), that area is if anything even more ripe for conversion into a complete, two-way street.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2013-04-10 00:35:01

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 00:27:45

There is street parking on Cannon along the one-way portion. I have cycled it a few times. Interestingly, it is a very busy street in the morning with kids and parents crowding the sidewalk while heading to school. One can sense that the street, if properly designed, could immediately spring back to life once converted from a freeway.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 01:18:38 in reply to Comment 87786

Yes, I've noticed this every afternoon when I'm on Cannon. I shudder at the idiots roaring in the curb lane to pass cars in the centre 2 lanes (who are all doing 60km). Kids are going to get killed here if we don't turn this into a complete street ASAP.

There are great little variety stores, markets, offices, and of course tons of residential along this entire street. It could absolutely spring back to life and become a hub of activity for all of it's surrounding neighbourhoods.
I for one would LOVE to see a city budget filled with funds for these sorts of complete streets projects. Enough of pothole filling and suburban roundabouts eating up our budget every year.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 03:03:10

The examples of desolate gaps between traffic and no cars for blocks illustrate how a one way street can be easier to cross than a two way street for pedestrians and for drivers. Anyone who says they can't drive across a few lanes of traffic because Cannon is too busy isn't patient enough. It's much easier and safer to do this on a street like Cannon than it is on a two way street.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 22:49:05 in reply to Comment 87790

Actually it's much easier to walk along, cycle on, and cross Locke, James North, Hess, Ottawa, Concession, Augusta etc.....

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By Gc48 (anonymous) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 03:46:55

Your observations are nuts and taken out of context! I am a cyclist,live in the downtown and work for City of Toronto in the traffic engineering department. Anyone can take pics showing very little to no traffic. If you change these streets to two way you may actually discourage people from driving downtown. Do you have any studies that prove otherwise? What is the average annual daily trip rate (aadt) for Cannon Street.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 14:14:04 in reply to Comment 87791

I've come to the conclusion that people who work in 'traffic engineering departments' are the only ones who love streets like Cannon. However, I've yet to meet a traffic engineer who lives on, or near such a street.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 10, 2013 at 11:52:38 in reply to Comment 87791

I'm about 95% certain this is just a concern troll, but on the off-chance it isn't:

  • Spend some time on Cannon Street and experience it in person. These photos very accurately depict the alternating "Ride of the Valkyries" (as a friend recently called it) and desolation.

  • Changing streets to two-way discourages people from driving through downtown, which is kind of the point.

  • The case for two-way conversion has been made over and over again on this site and elsewhere. Feel free to peruse this collection of articles.

  • West of Mary Street, Cannon carries 16,700 vehicles a day (the number drops as you go east and down to 9,100 vehicles east of Sherman).

    That's similar to Roncesvalles and Lansdowne in Toronto, which carry 17-18,000 cars a day and were recently reconfigured to have one lane in each direction, plus curbside parking, street trees, wide sidewalks, bumpouts and so on. Those streets are thriving since they were transformed to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and local traffic.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 17:28:10

While the tilted camera pictures add drama to the essay they also set this work up for rebuttal and discredit. The pictures of the gaping, empty street followed by waves of traffic are powerful enough to win your argument, adding the sensationalism of skewed perspective actually weakens the work. All I am saying is try to minimize your opponents opportunity for effective attack. This is a great study and article.

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By Jeff Tessier (anonymous) | Posted April 10, 2013 at 22:00:51

Yes, I noticed that too. Not necessary to artificially create impact.

I just spent two days in my studio - in a building along Cannon - doing macro photography. Even on a tripod I would have to delay opening the shutter if I felt that familiar rumble and building-shake coming, as the vibrations create a blurry photo. For the most part, I suppose, I'm used to it, like anyone who lives or works along the street, which is pretty sad.

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By Nigel (anonymous) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 02:45:48

Are you serious?? This is the way to get from the East end to the West end if you have to commute across the city for work and what-not. You want to take that away from Hamiltonians? Then you'll have to sit in traffic, light by light, or take one of the two long stretches of highway around the outside of the city.
What you are preaching is ridiculous and very much overembellished.

Also you state in the one caption: "Pedestrians have a long distance to cross on Cannon" ....

Do you expect that turning this street into a two-way cluster-f is going to REDUCE the distance pedestrians have to walk across the street??... the statement makes no sense.

Good luck bud.

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By selfish arrogance abounds here (anonymous) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 23:59:41 in reply to Comment 87829

This is one of the most selfish posts I have seen from any troll on here.

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 14:41:20 in reply to Comment 87829

OMG! You mean, if we convert Canon from a four-lane, one-way, high speed expressway that guts the downtown and endangers pedestrians into a reasonably balanced urban street, drivers may have to sit in traffic and stop at lights?

The horror.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 16:19:16 in reply to Comment 87835

They won't even have to do that if they take the ring roads we paid 100's of millions for, and were supposedly designed for that purpose.

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 05:44:29 in reply to Comment 87829

Good luck indeed! Our downtown neighborhoods have to stop being convenient gutters for cross-town commuters. Really, it takes five more minutes to drive through Burlington or down the Linc, and you those routes don't cut through anyone's front lawn.

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By Cameron Bailey (anonymous) | Posted April 12, 2013 at 22:33:36

Before moving downtown I drove Cannon westbound every day - what the pictures show is absolutely correct but what they don't show is the excessive speed you can get away with. It's a four lane racetrack and offers nothing to the businesses or residents who live there.

Ryan - there's not need for talk on this one. I'll bring the yellow paint and see you at Cannon & Victora tomorrow morning - its as good a place to start as any

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted April 14, 2013 at 03:26:57

I'm not going to argue that Canon's one way nature is a determent to the street. It is certainly a contributing factor to the streets inhospitably. It, unlike Main and King St. is not an extension of highway 8 and I am for it's conversion.

However, what I would like request is that an explanation be given as to why Barton St. exists in a state of similar/even worse decay then Canon. A street which runs a single block parallel to Canon, is two way, heavily signalized throughout it's entire scope and even has explict traffic design between Wentworth and Victoria.

I have my own thoughts, but I would certainly not lump one way streets as the primary cause, especially considering how the area between King and Main St (two one way streets) seem to be undergoing several new beneficial developments (the Federal Building, Staybridge Suites, The Blanchard Development, the McNab transit terminal, the Sanford Development, New Grocery store in Jackson Square, new Convention Centre investment/bidding, new medical building and hopefully the Hamilton Grand/Connaught soon) and is becoming healthier every day. I will agree some may be in lieu of the others, but the point is development is happening on these one way streets.

People are desiring to build/open business along these streets suddenly, and I would say because the realization that density makes for feasible business operations, something that Barton and Cannon lack as they remain stuck in the three floor, ground floor (vacant) storefront paradigm, backed by generic two floor, single family housing that do not provide enough density to make smaller storefronts viable.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-04-14 03:41:03

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By BVB Borussia (anonymous) | Posted April 16, 2013 at 00:55:58 in reply to Comment 87853

All good points worth considering.

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By sam.bill (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2013 at 06:06:22

Mr you must be kidding me, do you really know what fear is in the eyes of a child (they are pedestrians too)trying to cross a four lane one way highway, as cars and trucks are changing lanes, while barreling at you..Crossing a two way street, the opposing cars, tend to stay away from the dividing line, making it safer for pedestrians to cross, once they hit the middle ground..Same with two way two lanes running two way, again you are safer, than four running right at you..If you want to come right down to it, cars and trucks fear each other, as they will do more damage to them than you will, so there is a safety factor here..Bill Simone....(PS all streets are safe when empty)

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By EastEndBorn (registered) | Posted April 14, 2013 at 16:46:29

Really? A raceway? Whether it's four one-way lanes or two two-way lanes, it's still four lanes. Empty sidewalks? What has that got to do with one-way traffic. Those pictures of empty roads must have been taken on a Sunday afternoon, as I rarely see those roads that empty. As far as curbside parking, there always seem to be cars parked when I'm driving down that street. So, you think making changes to Cannon Street similar to what was done to Barton Street will make it a booming business, thriving street like Barton? Oh, wait a minute, Barton Street is as dead as it's been for years. First things first. Until there is free parking downtown like all of the other malls, who is going to go to Jackson Square/City Centre if they have to pay for parking. Get rid of the LCBO at the corner of James and King and clean up the area of beggars and drunks that intimidate people trying to go to work or shop at the market.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted April 19, 2013 at 22:12:16 in reply to Comment 87861

First off, the Eaton centre in Toronto doesn't have free parking and it's doing quite well for itself.

This is because the Eaton Centre is in a city core with a high amount of density and pedestrain traffic/infrastrucutre bellow it and linking subway, rail & bus routes to compliment it's car access.

I will agree free parking certainly helps a commercial development, but given that free parking cannot and will not occur in Hamilton as too many speculators own the majority of the private lots and they have no incentive to stop charging, and the city certainly isn't going to stop if they aren't going to.

So the solution goes back to the Eaton Centre. Subsidizing higher density development in the area, pedestrian initiatives, better public transit and still leaving at least one major through way for cars to utilize (after all it's still very close to the Gardiner and the very large University Ave. so leave Main/King one way, although an LRT lane along main I would be completely behind).

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-04-19 22:16:10

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By J (registered) | Posted April 16, 2013 at 01:57:18 in reply to Comment 87861

it's nice that every once in a while Lloyd Jackson comes back to life to remind everyone of his brilliant city building plan.

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted April 15, 2013 at 17:56:19 in reply to Comment 87861

Canon looks like that all the time. NASCAR, zombie movie, over and over again. Walk along it.

If we switched it to two-way, widened the sidewalks, and added trees and bike lanes, cars would slow right down.

The sidewalks are empty because 1) it's freaky walking along a raceway, and 2) local stores have a hard time thriving when situated along a raceway.

Why do you think providing free parking, closing the LCBO, and kicking the poor out are the first things to do to revitalize the downtown?

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By HonestAnswer (anonymous) | Posted April 15, 2013 at 18:22:12 in reply to Comment 87869

"Why do you think providing free parking, closing the LCBO, and kicking the poor out are the first things to do to revitalize the downtown?"

Honest answer: "I'm a driver that doesn't go downtown and wants to short cut through the city as fast as possible, and those things either don't hurt me or will actually help me even though they won't do anything to help the downtown."

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By EastEndBorn (registered) | Posted April 18, 2013 at 18:00:03 in reply to Comment 87870

Actually "Honest Answer", I work downtown. I have worked downtown for 34 years and have seen many changes. I am speaking from experience. Maybe you should know your facts before you are putting down "Honest answers" for someone else.

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