Revitalization

New Crosswalk Detailing at York and MacNab

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 15, 2010

On Saturday, workers were busy adding attractive new detailing to the crosswalks at the corner of York Blvd and MacNab St.

New crosswalk detailing at York and MacNab
New crosswalk detailing at York and MacNab

The street renovations, which will convert York Blvd to two-way traffic, widen sidewalks, add street trees and other pedestrian amenities, and allow for partial for full street closures for events, is set for completion to coincide with the renovation of the Central Library and Farmers' Market.

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 allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 08:58:13

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 07:59:25

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 09:22:36

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By z jones (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 09:27:34

Dear turbo,
Please take your negativity and hostility and defeatism and get stuffed.
Signed,
Humanity.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 09:54:29

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 08:57:37

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 09:55:08

No matter what good thing happens to downtown Hamilton, someone will come out and sh*t on it. That doesn't mean we will stop hoping for and applauding good things when they happen.

I am also critical of the location for this streetscape improvement if only because it's a cop out for leaving King St the way it is. However in the context of the Library and Market renovations it makes sense. It would be pointless to improve those buildings while leaving York Blvd in its previous horrible configuration.

There is even some potential for development on the opposite side of the street. Two of the last remnants of downtown industry occupy solid old buildings - Coppley Apparel and the mustard factory, and the empty lot between them sits next to plentiful parking under Jackson Square and in the City Centre parkade. These properties would be ripe for redevelopment if the surrounding environment supports it.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:00:28

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By JonD (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:06:47

I've been strolling around this area a lot lately and impressed with the new additions made every few days. Its certainly heading in the right direction. However that rusted pedestrian overpass that connects to the parking lot does dominate and detract from the streetscape. Does anyone know if there are plans to redo that? It would also be great to eventually see street facing storefronts on the outside of Jackson Square on the south side of the York. I think it would add a lot of vibrance to the street.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:09:34

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 09:11:46

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:21:35

nothing to attract pedestrian traffic

No kidding, Nothing but the arena, the central library ... and the farmer's market thing, I guess. Like most people who go to those places, I drive right up and park in the underground parking and walk to these places from inside the mall.

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-11-15 09:23:50

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:33:40

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:40:37

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 09:41:14

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By z jones (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:43:58

Maybe we just want the discontinuation of you flooding the combox with your effluent.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:45:26

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 09:46:11

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By Dunn (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 10:50:26

I still wish they would have torn down the faux-façade that is Premier Fitness. You can't even see the Library if you're traveling eastbound on York as is. Replacing it with a grand staircase would show off the modern architecture while enhancing pedestrian traffic up onto the Jackson Square rooftop.

Doesn't seem likely as I noticed they have given the façade a new paint job, and the old interior has been spruced up. New restaurant perhaps?

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:30:52

So then fixing York is higher priority than improving King St which has far more potential and is far more of an image problem than York?

Fixing King St is much more important. But also much more expensive and fraught with political hurdles. Sometimes it's prudent to go with the low-hanging if less-delicious fruit.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:36:10

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:40:26

AFAIK the City is holding off on reconfiguring King Street while the LRT plan moves toward completion.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 11:48:03

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 13:19:21

This looks like a refinement of the crosswalk at Main & Leland/Cootes: goo.gl/tuhL0

...which was a fancified version of the crosswalk near LIUNA HQ at Jackson and Hughson: goo.gl/Qqk3Q

I like the look generally and am curious to see if it's reflective at night (for safety and such, since it's otherwise kind of low-profile).

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 13:27:33

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 15, 2010 at 13:32:24

I just walked down York and they're giving the same treatment to the crosswalks at Park St.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 13:36:14

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 12:37:52

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 13:50:56

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By race_to_the_bottom (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 14:07:31

12 nasty comments in one day. Dude, you need to get a job!

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 15:36:46

I love the entire York streetscape project and market/library reno, but I must admit I'm a little disappointed in this crosswalk treatment and layer of blacktop that has been installed as the final surface. The city planning documents stated that the roadway would have coloured pavement to help it stand out as a special precinct. I would much rather see true cobblestone crosswalks instead of these fake ones. Real cobblestone adds a sense of place and the slight vibrations under a car tire help to slow down motorists and get them to realize that they are driving in the midsts of a special place and not just a freeway to somewhere else.

That said, I can't really complain about this entire project (although I'm sure I'll complain about the single bike lane in one direction when the project is done. LOL) . It's turning out quite nice.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 19:03:41

"there is no need to walk outside and there are very limited destination points that will never see the influx of pedestrian traffic to justify the expense of this project."

I like to bike to this area from Westdale when the weather is nice, but often I drive and park on nearby streets. Last week, I left the gym in Jackson Square and walked to Mex-i-can to get tortillas (they don't have the homemade ones anymore...sad face). Sometimes, I walk to Thai Memory or Mulberry St. Coffeehouse after a workout(smiley face). In the 5 years that I have been going to the Jackson gym, it was the first time I really enjoyed the walk. Traffic on the reduced lanes was going at about 30-40 km/hr as opposed to the 70 km/h I am used to seeing. The streetscaping looks great, and the new market looks amazing. I can't wait until this is done.

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 19:27:37

There are very limited bus routes to the street front

Lets see, we have the 4, 7, 8, 9, 99 and 1BT that all go past there, as well as the 2 and 3 that run cross Wilson at James. If your definition of "very limited" is 8 different routes, you're expecting a little much from the HSR. Really, it doesn't get much better than that.

Comment edited by Ancopa on 2010-11-15 18:30:32

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 19:39:34

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 19:51:01

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 18:52:41

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By jonathan (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:14:10

I walked it this weekend and it does not appear to be reflective. Its actually little square indentations in the asphalt that are etched out and then painted. I'll be curious to see how long the paint lasts and how long before they flatten out in the heat and with the heavy traffic. Hope somebody did the studies on this

I've watched these things get installed in the past; they have a heating element that covers the area, which re-heats the asphalt in the specified pattern, basically melting the imprint into place. A thermoplastic is then inlaid, reheated to bond, then left to cool. Yes, someone did the study. It's not painted.

EDIT: See here

EDIT 2: I should add...I'm really not a fan of these crosswalks. While they 'look' nice, they lose on visibility. I would have preferred the stamped ashphalt they installed in Richmond Hill. But to be fair...continental crosswalks are the safest (ladder-type).

Comment edited by jonathan on 2010-11-15 19:24:22

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:18:05

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 19:18:19

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:22:52

If I were waiting at the bus stop opposite Park right now (8:08pm) There would be buses passing me at 8:11, 8:35, 8:52, 9:05, 9:11, 9:38, 9:52, etc. If you're willing to walk 400 meters in either direction, there are departures at:

8:10, 8:11, 8:16, 8:20x2, 8:30, 8:35x3, 8:46, 8:50, 8:52x2, 9:05x2, 9:11, 9:16 etc.

That's not infrequent at all. Furthermore, all of the routes I mentioned before DO exist. Granted the 99 and 9 are seasonal, and the 1BT is a Burlington bus, so to be fair I didn't include them in those times listed above.

Comment edited by Ancopa on 2010-11-15 19:24:02

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:27:03

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Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-15 19:28:18

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By Ancopa (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:31:45

Ever heard of a transfer?

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:42:58

jonathan, I was on York tonight and these crosswalks are really poor in the visibility department. could hardly see them. they just blend into the blacktop. I expect many a vehicle to stop right over them in the days ahead. I agree with you - stamped concrete is great. Kind of a shame that we've used all this cobblestone and interlocking brick through the entire York streetscape but end up cheaping out on the crosswalks.
Regardless, the street looked great tonight. The city really deserves full marks on this one. And it also appears as though there will be street parking on the north curb of York between Caroline and Bay- another great piece of this design.
I just returned from Africa via Amsterdam and the furniture and style of the new library remind me of Amsterdam. I look forward to it's opening.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 20:56:54

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By get a job turbo (anonymous) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 21:49:49

17 comments between 7:58 a.m. and 7.56 p.m. ... dude, seriously, you need to get a job.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted November 15, 2010 at 22:07:22

Turbo,

I enjoyed trying to have a debate with you recently about LRT and local buses. I didn't recognize you for the troll you clearly are. I shan't make the same mistake again.

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 05:50:34

Upon reflection on lack thereof, I have to squash my upbeat take on the crosswalk. It's likely a cost-efficiency, a walk of getting an "almost-like" look at a fraction of the cost. Stamped concrete would have been better and more visible, though I'd agree that a continental crosswalk would be more visible still. Red and orange stamped just below grade on fresh black asphalt isn't going to jump out at you, and neither is the slender white border. If you cut a stop sign into a doily it'd be a legitimate aesthetic choice (and the sign would still be a red hexagon), but not without trade-offs. More incentive to wait for the lights, I suppose.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 16, 2010 at 08:57:09

I think that the inlaid crosswalks look decent, and if the price point meant that our choice was "two white lines" vs "fake inlaid cobblestone", I'm glad we got the inlay instead of nothing.

I think many here are understating the importance of York as a pedestrian (and cyclist) route. Not everyone will be arriving to the market/library from the south and/or east. There is a large (and growing) population living north of York who will access the library and market via York.

People who access the market and city centre from within the mall may also want to ste pout to James North, and we are (Correctly) encouraging that through the York streetscaping.

York was previously a nightmare for cyclists because the one-ways forced huge detours in order to access much of the area legally, especially if coming from the north end.

York has also historically been very pedestrian unfriendly - using its past as a car-centric "urban highway" is not a fair or accurate method of predicting the future pedestrian traffic.

York is an important street for connecting the strathcona neighbourhood to the market and to James north and beyond.

The recent construction has been great for pedestrians and cyclists. Wilson (York) and James has been a pleasure to cross since traffic has been slowed, and I hope that the comfort continues after the construction is done.

I'd even say a scramble would be great at that intersection. It would not have to be a long cycle but it would make things much more pleasant for pedestrians, who should be given absolute priority on all of our downtown streets.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:17:39

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:18:48

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By MattM (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:23:13

I know. People walking everywhere, it's MADNESS

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:35:04

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:46:37

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By MattM (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:48:10

So... more people means cars are more likely to make illegal turns. Therefore: scramble crossings are dangerous.

Right. You have some really ignorant replies in this thread, more so than usual.

"There's no bus routes that even pass through York"

"There's 8 of them"

"Oh, I don't know anything about 6 of them, so they don't exist to me"

Fail.

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 09:50:48

No self-respecting troll is ever going to admit they are a troll. It's ever so much more emotionally resonant to accuse people of "bullying" when they call the troll a troll.

Please, folks -- stop dignifying this troll with replies. He is single-handedly bringing down the quality of discussion with his dozens of inane, insulting, factually abysmal comments a day.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:01:49

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:02:53

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:12:34

Seancb - right on. Good points through your post. I also read recently that the market is planning 2 street festivals per year now with york revamp being designed to have the street closed for special events.
this previously barren highway will now be a vital part of our downtown. hopefully we continue the treatment throughout the rest of the core.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:20:28

Attractions like the Library, Farmer's Market, Gym, Mall entrances, Coppley Apparel, GS Dunn (major players on the global mustard market, dontchaknow) would be considered HUGE pedestrian attractions in a highway-side suburban development. I agree, there could and should be more, but leaving it in its former state wouldn't achieve that.

And as for the sidewalks, I'm gonna have to say they made the right call on this one. Cheap, pretty, effective. Concrete crosswalks, which are so common elsewhere downtown (ie: King st), wear very differently than normal asphalt and therefore become mini-curbs over time. A ride down the right side of King downtown these days means a cyclist not only has to negotiate the traffic, but repeatedly jump cross-walks if they don't want to screw their rims up. This is a far more cost-effective and rim-friendly option.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 11:20:50

Big signs saying "No right on red" and "Scramble intersection", coupled with heavy enforcement for the first week or so and people will get it.

It's all about prioritizing. People or cars? Downtown and in neighbourhoods it should be people.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 13:44:03

The most important thing to do in the York Street area is to get rid of the Salvation Army and halfway house that the province thrust upon us. Until thats done I'm afraid there will never be any investment

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-16 12:44:55

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By MattM (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 14:30:25

For once I will actually agree with you. That place is disgusting and the people who congregate in front of it are filth.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 16:25:46

I am surprised that people don't recognize the halfway house and the homeless being such a critically important problem to remove in order to get people to come downtown. Its the number one issue, even bigger than the parking issues that people have Until those folks are gone the image problem won't go away

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By StMike (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 16:31:28

Scramble intersections are fantastic! I use the one at Yonge & Dundas almost daily, and Yonge & Bloor many evenings. I have never encountered any confusion by either drivers, pedestrians or even streetcars. Even at night. There's even a voice which tells you when it's safe for all crossings.

King & James in Hamilton, perhaps. Don't know about James & York? Perhaps once traffic is slowed enough more and more pedestrian activity might warrant it.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 16, 2010 at 17:38:42

Even a smaller city like Guelph has a scramble crossing in their main downtown intersection. It works very well. I wouldn't want to see one on Hamilton's one-way corridor (Cannon & Main), but at, say, 2-way King and James or something? Definitely.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 17:47:45

So, I was down here today. Looks much better in the daytime than at night. The final product should be more visible once all the streetlights are working. I noticed that the construction works ends around Ferguson and that the 'two-way coming soon' signs that used to be mounted all the way to Victoria now end at Ferguson. Anyone know why??

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 18:11:30

Re, the Salvation Army:

Just a cursory comparison here: I've walked past this many times and it doesn' scare me personally. I've walked past the exact same Salvation Army building in Toronto just as many times. It is near Princess Margaret, Mt. Sinai, Red Cross Labs, MaRS, and across the street from the new Provincial Genomics institute. The one in Ottawa borders the famous Byward Market - On the surface, there doesn't appear to be much of a Salvation Army negative effect in the neighbourhoods of those cities.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 19:08:10

looking through the city's final plans for York, a couple of thoughts.

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/32F1...

  • they showed the crosswalk treatments that are being used, so apparently it was always part of the plan.
  • not a detailed look, but Wilson, east of James appears to lose the bike lane. Let's hope that's not the case. We need a bike network in Hamilton, not more isolated lanes to nowhere.
  • it talks about 'curb cuts' in front of the market to allow for a flat surface with no curbs to trip over during special events. I'll have to check to see if they in fact stuck with that plan.
  • Planted median shown just east of Bay has been concreted.
  • bike lanes appear to be on both sides of York, other than in front of the market. Again, let's hope for a continuation east of James.
  • grand staircase idea, I realize is a concept for down the road, but I'd love to see it....along with their ideas for the ped walkway over York.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 16, 2010 at 20:47:00

We need a bike network in Hamilton, not more isolated lanes to nowhere.

Unfortunately, isolated lanes is exactly what we're going to get. The bike lane on York east of Queen, for example, does not connect up with the bike lane on York west of Dundurn. Similarly, the bike lane on Dundurn south of Main will not connect up with York. When I asked city staff about this, they said there are no plans to connect them.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-11-16 19:47:13

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 21:02:22

I think long-term there are plans to connect both of those networks, but we're talking years or decades. It shouldn't be this hard.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 22:44:29

As I recall, there's a Salvation Army building, not unlike ours, in Byward Market. That whole area seemed to work out pretty well ;-)

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 16, 2010 at 22:50:00

The Sally Ann coupled with the halfway house (25 beds) is a huge problem. Do those other Salvation Army buildings have a halfway house even nearby?

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-16 22:03:49

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By MattM (registered) | Posted November 17, 2010 at 08:46:40

It's not the building itself which is the problem but the people who stand around in front of it at most hours of the day. Given the fact that it is a halfway house, most of these people are criminals, not just those "down on their luck". It casts an incredibly bad image upon the street.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:34:48

This is a site that has seen its fair share of buck-passing.

The feds pledged to move the York halfway house in 2004. The situation worsened not long after that:

http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/sjam/macline/2005/06/corrections-canada-york-street-halfway.htm

In addition to those cases there was an OD death on the premises in 2004 that later gave rise to an inquest.

The lease apparently ran out on the property at the end of 2008, by which point it was supposed to have moved:

http://www.thespec.com/opinion/article/232095--city-ccc-must-agree-on-site

Since then there's been at least two violent offenders who've failed to return and subsequently been arrested, one in February 2008 and one in May of this year. Otherwise good neighbours.

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By Dunn (anonymous) | Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:50:40

Thanks for posting the Master Plan, Jason. I haven't seen it in years. Must be where 'I' got the idea of a grand staircase originally lol

Upon further inspection, it seems the city has abandoned all plans for trees along the street? As far as I can tell, the only areas with planting beds are at York & Park. I don't know if they plan on plating those trees that grow out of the concrete like on James, but so far where the trees are indicated are currently bricked over.

Where's the public art?

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 17, 2010 at 12:33:18

I think they are planning on putting trees along the northern streetwall. This morning they started planting a lot of trees in the stretch between Caroline and Bay. There was never any trees planned for the south side of the street so as not to interfere with the outdoor space in front of the market.

public art will probably have to go through a competition, but hopefully sooner rather than later. Approaching Bay on York now sure has a sense of having arrived somewhere. The entire feel has changed. It really feels like a dynamic public art piece needs to be installed in the median on the west side of Bay announcing this district.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2010 at 22:44:16

If you want to draw people to a street, what you need is things to go to. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a fairly strong door-per-metre-of-storefront relationship downtown. Some streets, like James and King, have lots of homes, shops and restaurants close together, and see a corresponding rise in foot traffic. Others are like deserts with long concrete walls with next-to-nothing to draw people (York, Main, Bay, etc), and only single entrances to large structures. Witness how much busier the north side of King St is than the south between McNab and Bay.

What we need isn't "big attractions" - stadiums, hotels, convention centres - it's a whole pile of small attractions that can each draw a small crowd, which can then experience the rest on their way in and out. Something like...say...a market!

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 17, 2010 at 22:50:38

A very good post Industrial. It dovetails with much of what I believe is wrong with the current revamping of York. There simply is no attraction there to draw foot traffic The market is but one attraction. There needs to be more to make it viable IMO and it needs to have street visibility

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-17 21:58:25

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 09:40:20

Seattle's Pike Place Market was a great place to visit due to it's elongated layout with multiple street frontages, entrances and outdoor patios spread over several city blocks. It's too bad we moved our market into a parking garage years ago, but at least we're making the most of it now. hopefully we'll see some outdoor, sidewalk stalls and perhaps a taker for the cafe space at street level which is still sitting empty (although I'd rather it remain empty than see another Country Style or Hortons show up)

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 09:52:44

I'm not certain that cutting of one's nose to spite one's face by wishing for empty storefronts is wise but otherwise good thoughts.

Edit

IMO thats what the Bayfront could be, much like Granville Island in Vancouver. I really cant see how it could work in the downtown location but ideally it would be downtown. IMO it was a missed opportunity when the reno didn't include an open market where they built the extension instead of the trendy design that I feel will not age with grace and will be seen as tacky in a relatively short time as the novelty wears off

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-11-18 08:58:04

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By ssp (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 10:24:44

@turbo markbarbera much!?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 10:36:24

no idea what that is even. I assume I should ignore it but if its an effort at discussion please elaborate so I know what you are talking about

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By highwater (registered) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 11:27:22

@ssp:

I don't think so. Markbarbera is very knowledgable and articulate, if irritatingly legalistic in his means of engagement, and he has never been rude or self-pitying. Turbo on the other hand, well let's just say there are a few gaps in his/her education.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 18, 2010 at 11:45:39

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 19, 2010 at 08:41:27

timely article http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

If you don't fix this the money spent on York is wasted

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 19, 2010 at 09:46:20

If you don't fix this the money spent on York is wasted

If by "you", you are referring to "us" - the citizens of Hamilton, then yes I agree. It is up to us to get rid of this. All of us. As the Kingston example shows, concerned citizens can get something done.

However, the money spent on York is absolutely not wasted. Turning a barren, brutal freeway into a people place that will result in more street festivals, eyes on the street and better business for our market stallholders is a good thing regardless of the halfway house. Getting rid of the halfway house, however, is a next important step. Considering our new mayor was the downtown councillor previously, let's hope it is high on his agenda. If not, we all need to put it high on his agenda for him.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted November 19, 2010 at 11:52:33

Getting rid of the halfway house, however, is a next important step.

We still have the halfway house because no one cares enough about York to put real pressure on Ottawa to remove it. These improvements will make the street worth caring about again and WILL lead to the removal of the halfway house sooner rather than later.

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 19, 2010 at 13:37:04

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 19, 2010 at 14:33:24

You guys really need to look at what I'm saying. You need to make more people care about downtown. Down vote all you want but its not changing the reality downtown faces. The vast majority of the city simply doesn't care. I have fought the image misconceptions for years and I expect you don't believe me. The reason I'm here is because I care. I may not agree with much of what is said here about downtown but I care unlike many others who you need to convince. Running me off the dialogue isn't going to help your cause. You really need to consider why people think the way they do if you want to effect change. You may hate my writing style and you may hate the message but frankly until you listen to the feeling s of those who you disagree with reguardless if you think they are uneducated or uninformed you can never change a thing

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By Tnt (registered) | Posted November 21, 2010 at 11:25:57

I'm very concerned about above comments about criminals, halfway houses and homeless. You don't improve a city or the lives of everyone without isolating people. Where do you suppose these people go? Farr Island?

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted November 21, 2010 at 17:53:26

The federal halfway house should have been moved 10 years ago. The fact is that Hamilton is taking other city's problems with these folks. If you are from North Bay you should not be Hamilton's problem. As for the homeless,um find them a home whether they want one or not. If they insist on refusing help as most of them do society needs to quit being quite as accommodating. Its not compassionate to make it easy for people to choose to refuse help. In fact its the worst thing we can do for these people. These people need help and we aren't helping. As for the crack heads, less empty buildings acting as flop houses and strict enforcement of trespass laws with the cooperation of the building owners would go a long way to making the practice a little less concentrated. We have to make that effort a city wide effort so they don't just leave King St for Barton or some other spot thats not as high profile right now

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted November 22, 2010 at 11:34:27

Has anybody actually broke down the numbers on this stuff? How many of hamilton's underclass of drug-addicts, homeless, etc. are exports from cities they don't find livable? How high our halfway-house population is per-capita vs. other cities?

Are we really the Fed and the Province's dumping ground for people they'd rather not deal with?

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2010-11-22 10:34:51

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By ton rod (anonymous) | Posted November 24, 2010 at 22:11:21

very retarded. the library renovations are a laugh. it looks like just big empty rooms with furniture that they got from an ikea dumpster. the farmers market is a joke with all the long time vendors they are kicking out and raising the price for renting to the existing vendors. the two way street scam makes you wonder if people have bricks for brains.

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