Comment 12331

By Tim Jacobs (registered) | Posted October 02, 2007 at 17:46:52

While I support the new downtown Hamilton piazza, I also urge caution in its design and implementation. Not all pedestrian malls are a success.

Calgary's Stephen Avenue mall--closed to vehicular traffic--languished for years with spotty commerce. It seems that this was so because people could not park on that street. However, in the last five years or so, it has seen a solid resurgence. One wonders if this is simply because of that city's--and Province's--overflowing coffers; all zones eventually fill in during prosperous times.

Regardless, it's important to realize that pedestrian zones only really work because of vehicular traffic surrounding them. Pedestrian zones have to be situated in high density zones and people who drive from outer neighbourhoods have to be able to access them with their cars.

Anyway, just a little more info. I do hope that this plan is implemented and that the city allows local architects to bid on the plan. Reading about Mayor Fred's articulation of an LRT to accompany the pedestrian zone has all but quelled my fears, too.

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