Comment 53257

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted December 17, 2010 at 17:30:48

The only reason to maintain (Main and King) one-way is to maintain their current role as traffic funnels. But as long as we maintain them as traffic funnels, it is impossible for them to function as pedestrian friendly places and urban destinations.

I regret having to bring up Paris right now. I wish there was a better example that I could think of in another city, because I worry people are going to roll their eyes and think "not this again", but please stay with me on this one.

The busiest street that I can think of in the entire city of Paris is the Champs Elysees. I looked for stats on the volume of traffic, but couldn't find the data. Suffice it to say, its busy.. like way busier than Main and King combined. Yet, this extremely busy road is the most walked road in all of Paris.

This proves that a street can have a lot of traffic and also be very inviting to pedestrians. I realize that The Champs Elysees is unique in many ways. It has some of the widest sidewalks I've seen anywhere, so this is an obvious factor that we're missing on the one way streets in question. My point is only that we have and will have a lot of vehicles in Hamilton for the foreseeable future. I think our goal should be to think of ways to move those vehicles efficiently and safely while also catering to improving the attractiveness (not just aesthetically) of our streets to pedestrians.

Traffic needs to move into, within, and out of a city. The addition of LRT will help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, but there will remain a need for a high amount of traffic to move in Hamilton. In order for an industrial city like Hamilton (where the industry is in close proximity to it's downtown) to function, there will remain a need for a fair bit of traffic to get into, around, and out of Hamilton.

The term "pedestrian friendly" is used often, but I don't remember it ever being defined. Before we can discuss ideas on how to make things more pedestrian friendly, we must define what it means to be pedestrian friendly. It is my feeling that, if defined in an objective manner, how pedestrian friendly a road is will have more to do with a lot of things other than whether the traffic flows in one direction or two directions.

A corollary: if we really are committed to making these streets pedestrian friendly instead of traffic funnels, there is no longer any point to their remaining one-way.

Unless we build alternates (extremely unlikely) these streets will remain traffic funnels. I wish that wasn't the case, but it's our reality. If steps are taken to extremely limit traffic efficiency on the streets in question, the cars and trucks will just become someone else's problem. Maybe they'd even choose Kent.. Yikes! heh

Given the choice between keeping them as one-way (out of sheer spite?) but adding concessions to pedestrian friendliness (curbside parking, wide sidewalks, bumpouts at crossings) and making them two-way, there's no conest. Any concessions that are significant enough to make the street pedestrian friendly will be more detrimental to overall traffic flows than two-way conversion and more expensive than two-way conversion.

What makes you so sure about that? Until a cost analysis has been done, it's just your opinion...hearsay. I won't, but could say the opposite (which doesn't make it true).

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