Comment 112252

By higgicd (registered) | Posted June 15, 2015 at 12:43:23 in reply to Comment 112249

I don't disagree, and am not going to fall on the sword of a 1-way Longwood. This is probably more a conversation to have over a coffee somewhere - some traffic will disappear, and changes like this are vital for promoting greater alternative mode use.

But at present the city of Hamilton has sprawled itself into auto-dependency for much of the mountain. The road is still vital for thousands of car trips to West Hamilton as it either all gets funnelled to Longwood or Wilson East. I don't know where the balance should be struck between local and non-local demands... And while congestion is great for inducing mode shift, it is awful for the environment, especially for pedestrians and cyclists right beside it. This is the quagmire of complete streets. Also a bit counterintuitive as what might be the most complete street cross-section on paper - bike lanes, parking, bi-directional traffic with a centre turning lane or medians, 2 lanes for transit/LRT, and wide sidewalks - would be an absolute disaster for pedestrians to cross and would thus be incomplete.

The Longwood thing was just a low-capital cost idea. Greater balance between modes is the solution, but I hope it doesn't involve some over-engineered one like this where you are vertically separating modes, which would be a major inconvenience for non-cars:

Ped Bridge in China

I get Mark's thinking on the cases - best bang for the buck ones have been identified. Others like Upper James are a bit of a pedestrian and cyclist no-go zone that complete streets alone cannot hope to fix. They could play an important role alongside major rezoning to transform the strip from car dealerships to higher density mixed uses and the rest of the A-Line LRT.

No matter what, complete streets can improve safety and this should be goal #1. But without those factors I would argue that at present, dollars could be best spent on places where there is either latent demand for complete streets to unlock vitality and mode shift and/or places where there is so much excess capacity that complete streets can improve quality of life while reducing excessive maintenance costs.

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