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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 09:45:09
Thanks for engaging on this topic Mr. Whitehead. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share.
First re g's comment. While I wouldn't have expressed myself in such strong terms, I sympathize with his/her frustration. I hope you can see past the invective and give g's anger the same validity that you give the to the anger of your mountain constituents, who are obviously not the only ones who are alienated.
Speaking of being alienated, Campbell took the words right out of my mouth. The people with "sour tastes" in their mouths are already alienated. They've alienated themselves. They will never see downtown as anything more than a place to get through as quickly as possible. I don't see why they should be allowed to determine the quality of life for downtown residents and businesspeople.
Re: Hamilton's "heavy", "severe" traffic. I learned to drive in Toronto. I now live in Westdale and can make it to my regular appointment on Sherman North in under 12 minutes. I've been on Main when it was down to one lane due to construction and I've still made it through the downtown in less than 10 minutes. The idea that Hamilton's traffic is "heavy" or "severe" is hyperbole that is not conducive to a rational discussion of this issue, and in any case, as Ryan notes, congestion (and bad parking) are a signs of successful urban neighbourhoods. People who don't understand or appreciate urban neighbourhoods should not be in a position to "stifle the aspirations" of people who do, to quote Campbell Young again, particularly since a revitalized downtown will benefit all citizens of Hamilton, even the ones who never come downtown.
Also, since you are concerned about your mountain constituents' perceptions of the "severity" of Hamilton's traffic, I don't understand why you support traffic calming measures as an alternative to two-way conversions. Surely anything that slows downtown traffic would be unacceptable to the 'sour tasters'.
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