Comment 113272

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2015 at 17:19:01 in reply to Comment 113270

One way streets can be beautifully done; but we need wide sidewalk, bouelvard-like feel, vegetation, cycle paths, public transit, etc, to compensate. Not sidewalks narrow enough that I can touch a storefront building AND a parking meter -- simultaneously -- with only partially outstretched arms (I got a photo of me doing that on King Street, on my phone, for a future article). It's barely wide enough in some sections for one wheelchair to pass, let alone two.

However it would appear politically far easier to convert Main Street into a 2-way street rather than removing several car lanes (e.g. narrowing the street from 5 lanes down to only 3 lanes).

If we are doomed to keep 1-way for Main and King, then doing this template may make a lot of sense.

Theoretical people-friendly 1-way King/Main streets:

  • King: LRT lanes (bidirectional) + westward car traffic
  • Main: Wide sidewalks, cycle lanes (bidirectional) & boulevard separators + 2-3 lanes of eastward car traffic.

But I suspect this utopia would be scarier to Mountain voters than the mere concept of simply keeping all the lanes but converting to 2-way operation. On the other hand, if we utterly and completely fail, then I would be all for reducing the width of Main from 5 lanes to 3 lanes of 1-way operation -- with trees in the middle of the street, cars on one side, bike lanes & superwide sidewalk on other side. Like those photos.

We need hard data on actual bicycle usage; bike usage in Hamilton has improved this year over last year already. Not enough to be really noticed by car drivers, but noticeable by people who live here next to main bike routes. A few more years, and we can really justify a Phase 2 expansion of Hamilton's Lower City cycle infrastructure.

As you can see from my Cannon dashcam videos, the Cannon St weekend bike ratio has improved to the point where it very roughly corresponds to the road surface allocation ratio (1 lane:3 lane, 25%:75%, 1:3 ratio, warranting 1 Cannon bike for every 3 Cannon cars). But we need to surpass that, to the point where the bike ratio is closer to 1:1 on weekends, for noticeably resounding success even to car drivers not doing simple mathematics. This could happen within a couple to three years, especially with a major city-wide SoBi expansion to help kickstart things.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-08-04 17:40:30

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