Comment 33007

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted August 23, 2009 at 22:49:26

I walk through it almost every day, and the International Village area the previous poster mentioned is an interesting case. because you see the direct benefits of streetscaping and pedestrian-friendliness - even in the third-poorest neighbourhood in Canada. Several businesses wouldn't be there if not for it becoming pedestrian-friendly. Even Ferguson Station gets use for the Maker's Market.

He is also correct that, on the flipside, you have some very specific problems simply because no matter what you do, the local residents are still, by and large, extremely poor and stuck in subsidized buildings or awful highrises no one with a choice would live in. No matter what, those underlying problems come through. (Although I also know one professional who rents a pristine apartment for $1500/month on King in the IV - my jaw dropped when I walked inside her place - there are some beautiful places there, that is the definite minority).

Things I would like to see: - Recycling bins, not just trash cans, all through downtown instead of a few select spots.

  • Patterned crosswalks (like near Mac) + three or so scramble intersections

  • Better characterization of each neigbhourhood or area, using distinctive features and repeated elements - e.g. the lights, the bins, the sidewalk detail, the lettering on signs.

  • I'm surprised at how few signs/kiosks I see in Hamilton with any information about the city or what was in the area. Granted, they would need continual upkeep from vandalism (even the signs at the Dundurn Stairs for the trail are continually defaced) but upon moving here a couple years ago I was surprised that there were none downtown.

  • The same type of idea, but for art throughout a neighbourhood (lit, locked, secure displays, five or six through an area) encouraging people to explore a particular place- would also need upkeep.

Or even a big clear enclosed box/stage at the center of a plaza, that could function as a gallery to hang paintings art, a "room" to hold moving/robotic art, or even live performers (acrobats? dance? mime? who knows...) from time to time.

  • Gore Park needs some permanent street vendors and other draws (and how about a nice coffee shop?) to make pedestrian conversion successful on an ongoing basis, not just for events.

  • Take our city's love affair with Tim's and get a franchisee to put one at the center of a former dead parking lot... but only if its an "urban format" tiny kiosk with a walkthrough window, and on the three other sides it's information, public washrooms, drinking fountain, etc. No car access, baking facilities offsite. Then landscape the heck out of the lot, make it a pedestrian-heaven plaza so the people who walk through to Tim's will stop there (Then later on, add kiosks on either side for other places and convert the Tim's to something else ;))

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