By Ryan McGreal
Published August 13, 2012
The article starts:
There are no one-way streets in Ancaster. None in Glanbrook, and only a handful in Dundas. There's a lone one-way street in Flamborough - Dundas Street East - and three in Stoney Creek.
And 111 one-way streets in the old city of Hamilton.
Urban planners, experts, and academics agree that one-way streets serve one purpose: to move cars through the city as quickly as possible. Businesses, pedestrians, cyclists and neighbourhoods suffer when cars move in only one direction. Dozens of cities across North America, including Calgary, St. Catharines, San Fransisco, Jacksonville, Denver, and Louisville, Ky., have converted their one-way streets to two ways.
The city of Hamilton itself recognizes this. In 2001 and 2008, council approved and updated a plan outlining the future of transportation in downtown Hamilton, including the conversion of several one-way streets "as soon as budget allows."
So why haven't they become a thing of the past?
Spec editor Howard Elliott follows up with an editorial that asks, "What's taking so long?" He goes on:
Conversion is not a panacea, but just about every urban development expert agrees it's a significant piece of the puzzle. There are many examples, including nearby St. Catharines as well as Calgary, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Denver and Louisville, where one-ways have been converted with positive outcomes. So why is Hamilton dragging its feet?
One reason may be that, as the comments to these two articles makes clear, a number of Hamiltonians are still reacting to the idea of two-way conversion from a heady mixture of fear and misinformation.
If the push for complete two-way streets is to be successful, we need to do a better job of debunking the myths and overcoming the inertia that perpetuate the status quo.
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