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By Guyincognito (anonymous) | Posted February 06, 2007 at 14:53:06
Your missing a key point in your article; 'reasonable rates' are still not free and parking lots are still not right in front of where a person is going; and when it comes to me deciding if I'm going to go to ancaster, uppper james or downtown for a meal- downtown is least attractive because I will have to: pay for parking, park a medium distance from the resutrant I am going to attend and deal with ridiculus traffic that is only made worse by the recent addition of two way john and james street.
As for public transit; the city would have to pay me to take there public trasit system instead of taking my car. Having had to use public transit while I was in college I think I can safely say that trying to keep any schedule with it is borderline insane. Between the buses being terribly loud internally, up to two full stop times out of sync and finally with stops being infrequent to begin with, taking public transit in Hamilton is inviting disaster if you are on any sort of schedule at all. By comparison I much prefer the TTC to driving in toronto if I can catch the train out of hamilton in the morning.
Free parking downtown would at least eliminate one of the major reasons why I rarely visit there; and if one of the other two reasons could be assaulted (Either traffic flow or ability to park near things) then I would go more often.
You also seem to be missing the point that the STREETS are always full; and it is in fact impossible to find streetside parking; of course the myrad of lots in poor repair with no active monitoring, fees, and nowhere near anything useful are empty; if you park there you going to walk for a half hour to get anywhere, come back to a car that's been keyed, stolen, broken into, or all of the above, and pay for the privilidge; no thank you!
I at least agree with you that a properly constructed walking area would make parking a distance from your location a bit more tolerable- but on a cold or rainy day that means something like toronto's PATH system not a few trees against the streetwall.
Finally it's not like the city can just magically clap there hands and convert the downtown into a workable walking area; they'd like a fix that costs them realatively little; free parking, and rethinking the two way john/james (one lane going the opposite direction instead of two MAX, and no streetside parking anywhere up or down john or james...) are relatively cost free solutions that will have results.
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