Comment 40154

By Modesty Blahs (anonymous) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 11:42:32

I agree with these observations. Disrupted by change, people tend to turn to familiar experiences for comfort. When that change produces decline there's a tendency to grasp at every aspect of the familiar that was deemed to have worked in the past. Simply put, more trucks on the streets mean there is economic activity nearby. Limiting that traffic, or the potential for that traffic means there might mean economic activity has been chased away. It hasn't and doesn't. It might mean that truck traffic has been chased to the edges of town where the expressways and airports are, and where industry moved some time ago (before it moved to Asia.) And the big box stores are out there too, close to the highways for truck access and for people to foray out from the city to buy & bring the stuff home. This actually should support the notion of urban centres as places where people live rather than Shop (with a capital "S") and work in the type of industries that generate truck traffic.

This doesn't help the small business person, however, who has scratched out a living in the now-wrong location, and sees herself competing with the big box stores' transportation convenience and lower costs. It also tends to conflict with most notions of "restoring" Hamilton's downtown to an idealized version of what we remember it was back in the '50s or '60s.

But don't you think we need a new political approach, a different way of dealing with the politicians other than ridicule and lobbying, to get the city to respond to current economic and social conditions? I'm not saying this is easy. I haven't any suggestions. I just read these sorts of articles and recognize that however obvious the conclusions, however right the arguments, current efforts to move things in these directions do not seem to be working. Or maybe we just need more faith in what has been tried. Maybe these set-backs are temporary?

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