Comment 115239

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 13:33:41

We use to play a kind of game when I was a kid that was similar to Red Rover but it started with everybody holding hands in a large circle. The point was trying to get the home base in the centre which was surrounded by a smaller ring which was the safe zone. Just outside the safe zone was the person who was "it" and they had to catch people from the outer ring trying to get to the home base. The result was as more people were caught it and they became "it" as well, it became much harder for the remaining people on the outside to get to home base of the larger circle. The last person caught won.

This kind of reminds me of how Hamilton's freeway system ring road functions. Drivers circle the ring road and try to get to their point (their favorite expressway exit) that gives them the shortest path to home. They then make a sort of mad scramble along said path, that gets them home. The difference between the game I described and the actual road system is there is other traffic using the ring road for other kinds of trips or going to other locations outside the ring road. The process then operates in the opposite direction for the other main commuter traffic peak period.

My basic point is that there is a fundamental issue that I have noticed since I started to follow this website. The transportation status quo forces and associated infrastructure, whether it is more expressways or GO Trains, are primarily focused on getting out of or back into from the outside, of the city of Hamilton. The direction of the primary traffic flow changes depending on which peak traffic period is being travelled in. All the new rapid transit and commuter cycling most support on this website are based for traffic moving in and around the City of Hamilton. The forces that are against LRT or better bicycle infrastructure primarily are focused against anything that slows down that first or last mad dash to or away from the city of Hamilton towards or away from the outer circle if you want to you use my child's game analogy. Yes, this is a grand simplification but I believe it still very applicable to the situation.

I offer some advice to people who want to engage the Hamilton suburbanites and others who fear the slowing of traffic by the adding two way streets, improved bicycle infrastructure, road diets and other new measures like LRT that will forever change the city. Its about making your city a destination not a place you pass through on your way to somewhere else. It is about place building not just in the city but in the burbs as well. Changing the current dynamic that has made Hamilton a place, lets be honest, most want to avoid stopping in and go through as quickly as possible. You can't compete with other places and cities economically, if your transportation infrastructure is designed to make it hard for people stop in your community and keep them moving towards the outside of your city as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind, you can't block all movement through your neighborhoods and through movement in and out of the city, in fact you need them to continue to grow both physically and economically. However, you do need to recognize what needs to pass through fast and what doesn't need to pass through fast. Identify these routes and their proper transport modes and build on them but build the links inside the city like LRT that help make the city and your burbs a location to go to not pass through.

Tell your anti urban detractors, outsiders think your suburban locations are just as, if not more forgettable than your downtown. The places that the anti urban supporters want to keep the traffic moving quickly through are the places the outsiders most want to see!

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