Transportation

Cars Trump People, Even When People Trump Cars

By John Neary
Published August 15, 2012

A tidbit from Emma Reilly's front-page article in the Spectator last Saturday unintentionally demonstrates how city staff still just don't get what it means to design our streets around people.

As Reilly reports:

Gary Moore, the city's director of engineering services, says there's no schedule or funding set up for any of the remaining conversions. Moore says they will only be addressed when major work is taking place on any of these roads.

"Major work", in this context, clearly means resurfacing a roadway to improve its suitability for automobile traffic.

In other words, even when we decide to change the design of our streets to put people ahead of cars, we don't actually implement the new design until we're prompted to by the needs of ... cars!

It's as if Alternative Transportation manager Daryl Bender got to nix the resurfacing of the 403 bridges on the grounds that the sidewalks and bike paths were still in good shape.

John Neary lives in Beasley Neighbourhood and practices general internal medicine at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He would like Hamilton to develop an urban environment that creates less gainful employment for his profession.

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By ThisIsOurHamilton (registered) - website | Posted August 15, 2012 at 09:21:09

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:19:08

I don't understand, Adrian. You write a great deal of personal reflections on current events, most of which do not immediately translate into direct action. And yet you chastise others for taking a minute to make similar reflections.

And I have also made concrete suggestions for how to effect change on a small scale, and acted on them.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:53:04

You're more optimistic than I if you think any of these projects are designed to 'put people ahead of cars'. This ain't Vancouver.
I'm splitting hairs, I realize, but you and I consider 'people ahead of cars' if a re-worked roadway consists of the same skinny sidewalks alongside 3-4 lanes of car traffic but possibly switched 2-way, or with bike lanes added.

I dream of the day when we actually start prioritizing pedestrians in our planning:

http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/26749...

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:44:21

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By z jones (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 18:06:27 in reply to Comment 79816

Your "comment" borders on ridiculous.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 13:07:39 in reply to Comment 79816

I did not say that Mr. Moore was responsible for the policy of only addressing two-way conversions at the time of "major road works", and I disclaim any such implication. Emma Reilly's article reports his description of the policy, and I have quoted that description to make a point about how decisions are made at City Hall, not to attribute that policy to Mr. Moore personally.

Rereading my text, I do not believe that a reasonable person would infer that I have attributed the policy to Mr. Moore personally.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 15, 2012 at 22:00:25

Libel?? I've got stories that will make you feel that it's really 1950 at city hall pertaining to discussions I've had with Mr Moore and others when it comes to bringing some tiny bit of balance to our streets.

It's not libel...it's the reality of why Hamilton is clinging to one-way freeways like grim death when everyone else is getting rid of them...including the consultant company who recommended it in the first place.

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By mainstreet (anonymous) | Posted August 17, 2012 at 07:11:44

Why do people that cannot afford to drive want to pretend they occupy the moral high ground.If my pickup is not welcome where I do my business,I will simply take my business elsewhere.As for those who think they are doing downtown a favor by chasing my business away,you have condemned yourself to loserdom.Best to polish your grant getting and dole seeking skills,or better yet get a real job and join the world of reality.There is no shortage of losers downtown .

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By LOL (registered) | Posted August 17, 2012 at 09:00:31

Maybe everything revolves around vehicular traffic because it is much more important. Imagine this city, or any other city, if the roads were impassable. The city would become a wasteland. I cannot imagine a sidewalk becoming impassable but if something were to occur pedestrians will find a way around. I have seen pedestrians go through flower beds, peoples yards, fences, and even mountains of dirt. People routinely ignore signs when they walk, if they did it when driving they would get a ticket or thrown in jail, it is as if they forget their brain at home cause they do not need it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 17, 2012 at 10:33:13

great points above. It's amazing to see how 'impassable' Wilson Street has become now that it's 4 lanes have been reduced to ..... 4 lanes. Must be some CHML folks commenting here now. I would be happy as a pig in mud to see Main Street be 4 lanes....2 each way, like every major street out where you live.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 17, 2012 at 13:35:25 in reply to Comment 79904

I took this photo of Wilson Street (looking west from Catharine) at around lunchtime today. The only indication that the street might be 'impassable' is that there are hardly any freaking cars on it.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-08-17 13:37:31

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