Comment 28532

By Old Enough to Remember (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2009 at 12:29:10

This is actually an old idea. The city hall forecourt was originally intended to support a bridge to the AGH and Hamilton Place, which was then bridged to Jackson Square upper deck, which was to have more pedestrian bridges to surrounding streets. It was the heyday of "underground cities" like Toronto and Montreal's systems linking the basements of commercial and public buildings and walkways to underground transit. No more complaints about snow and cold. They survive, but I'm not sure they've been the success envisioned.

Anyway, Hamilton's vision was above-traffic bridges that were never built (excepting 2) because civic leaders balked at the cost, making the Jackson Square rooftop ideal for businesses best conducted out of sight and mind. This was one of the first failures of downtown urban renewal '70s style. Level crossings with calmer traffic would probably still be the cheapest way to make the area pedestrian friendly.

BTW, I'm also old enough to remember that the Red Hill Expressway was supposed to attract all sorts of tax-paying industry to the south-east mountain, not to mention fill waterfront brownfields by linking them to an airfield industrial park, but not to bankrupt the city so that residents could go to and from out-of-town workplaces ten minutes faster each day. I only mention this because we're all supposed to be quiet about this and get along now that the damned thing has been built anyway, but in the Spec I keep reading how it's such a success only ludites could have opposed it.

But I digress.

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