Comment 799

By schmadrian (registered) | Posted August 15, 2006 at 09:44:46

OK. So we move the 'transit conglomeration vector' to the old bus station on John Street. But that doesn't change the fact that 'downtown' in Hamilton's case has an identifiable area, the very area we're discussing. Buses still have to come through/close to this area, otherwise you're effectively making it harder for people to make coming into the 'downtown' a habit. (You don't want car traffic, you want public transit). And most of the people I currently see downtown use transit. So you're going to make it less convenient for them to do so?!?

Many cities have a 'turnaround' area for transit downtown. Brighton, UK is an example I can think of immediately; a good portion of their buses 'stop' along the 'high street' (main street) right outside the downtown shopping mall. Churchill Square Shopping Centre.

I think any effort in this area is a waste of energy. You're trying to solve a problem that not only doesn't need to be solved at this point, but shouldn't be solved. You need to first build up the inertia of the downtown. Then deal with aesthetic concerns like buses routed around Gore Park. (You can't change the colour of a wall until the house is actualy built.)

My pet question in all of this is: 'What is Hamilton currently doing?' What are Hamiltonians working at? What's the core of the city? It used to be steel and manufacturing. Is there a concerted thrust these days? What's the city's profile, its function? Personally, I don't sense that there's a direction for the city. To me it seems to still be floundering. My belief is that before anything can be done about 'redevelopment', there has to be forward movement in this area. Is it health care? Is it education? (We have two post-secondary institutions...) Collingwood had to redefine itself over the years, from what it used to be (shipbuilding, etc) to tourism. And there were some awful growing pains along the way. But it's on its way now. (Not that everyone thinks its movements are for the good...) Hamilton should avoid trying to essentially 'pretty itself up' before having a better infrastructure in place insofar as what it is, where it's going, why people should move here. Otherwise, to paraphrase the song, 'She's just a 3 dressed up as a 9...'

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