Comment 76942

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted May 16, 2012 at 08:05:26 in reply to Comment 76940

Well, you should at least agree to convert two-lane one-way streets to two-way, since this eliminates the drag racing! (I'm a bit surprised that you see drag-racing on John and the 2-way part of Charlton since the drag-racing was associated with Hess Village and the two-way part of Charlton is mostly one lane in each direction, which is what stopped the drag racing on Hess.)

Better enforcement is not going to stop this behaviour: the police can't be everywhere and drivers will drive at speeds that feel comfortable, if the roads are engineered to allow it.

No one claimed that two-way conversion is a panacea. However, we have a lot of local and international evidence that multi-lane one-way streets with narrow sidewalks encourage speeding, driver inattention and are hostile to pedestrians. A network of one-way streets, as in downtown Hamilton, also makes it difficult for motorists to get to local businesses.

We could reduce the number of lanes on Main from five to three, triple or quadruple the width of the sidewalks, plant street trees and dedicate one of the three lanes to buses and bicycles. Then I agree that we would have a pedestrian friendly one-way street (although it would still hinder vehicle access to local businesses). This would be very expensive and disruptive.

Or, we could gain many of the same advantages (and keep more traffic flow) by converting to two-way traffic with two lanes in each direction, like most streets in Hamilton and other cities. The point is that two-way conversion is a relatively simple and cost-effective solution. Wider sidewalks and buffers should also be built, but we can start with two-way conversion. After all, before 1957 the streets were two-way and the rest of Hamilton functions well without one-way streets!

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