Comment 41265

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted May 29, 2010 at 00:00:32

"Imagine if this city had the intestinal fortitude to make the sweeping changes necessary in one fell swoop... like actually convert a WHOLE street two-way at once!"

Again, awesome idea, although I'm guessing that the city plans these things out years in advance, allowing citizens to comment occasionally throughout the process. Had forum posters been involved in the planning committees that developed the city's downtown master plans, the argument might have been made. As it stands, infrastructure timelines are what they are, and budgets are finite, even for two-way roadwork, which costs more money than just yellow paint. You're probably doubling your stoplights at every one-way intersection, which is a whole production, and then if you get into watermains and resurfacing roads for the big reveal, these things take more time and money. Hamilton has never been known for its speedy roadwork. Mountain dwellers can attest to summers spent with countless miles of gravel roads, and downtown folk might remember the dustbowl summer when the decorative sidewalks were first laid down... and the old sidewalks were torn up in one fell swoop, leaving pedestrians with earth and gravel sidewalks and the occasional plank walkway.

"Sometimes all it takes is one conversation to start changing people's perspectives... "how wonderful is _________ that's happening because of the two-way conversion" as opposed to all the grumbling about the commuting time."

And I agree. Although rereading the article, there's actually very little if any grumbling about the commuting time, but a considerable amount of emphasis on the material improvements being made to the strip. More unambiguous positive spin may be forthcoming. As with the Scout Parade, this seems more like a case of the Spec taking the easy way out rather than trying to advance an anti-urban agenda. And as in the case of the Scout Parade, the Spec may also be mindful of the fact that during the initial roll-out of roadwork, there will also be more than just habitual users in the picture. The first two weeks of June features seven active dates at Copps: Walking with Dinosaurs' eight family-friendly shows and the Canadian International Military Tattoo. Even with all lanes functional, Copps dates can create stop-and-go traffic along feeder streets for several blocks in each direction. Hard though it may be to believe, on a few occasions I've seen gridlock on York as far west as Locke or Strathcona, usually around 6-7pm, which may or may not be considered relevant to commuters. As far as I can see, most of this article is just 5Ws stuff, with little to no colour commentary.

Is this major roadwork? Yes, it's more than just yellow paint. Will major roadwork cause delays? Probably. Are the delays earth-shattering? No, you'll still get there. Will it impact your schedule? Possibly; if you've ever driven in traffic before, you may want to build a buffer into your travel schedule.

Nobody who commutes to Oshawa/Toronto/Mississauga/Oakville/Burlington is going to blow a gasket over these delays. The highways throw far worse at commuters on a regular basis.

Headlines are headlines. Even the best are reductive. Reading a headline should never be confused with having read a news story, let alone with having a grasp of the issues.

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