Comment 935

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 15, 2006 at 09:54:09

Even John Dolbec, the CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, is slowly starting to come around to the idea that the economy benefits when the streets support pedestrian life.

Here's an excerpt from the September 8, 2006 Hamilton Spectator article "Gunplay on James":

But Hamilton Chamber of Commerce CEO John Dolbec says James North has begun a quiet but significant renaissance, driven in part by traffic flow, but also by a younger crowd less concerned about the reputation of the James Street strip.

Merchants report much more activity, particularly in the hospitality sector, he said. Retail businesses have also seen small increases.

"It seems to have started about the same time the city made James North into a two-way street" in 2002.

"I ... was always skeptical about that, but a lot of merchants in the area swear by it."

Now James North, with its strong Portuguese and Italian presence, is undergoing a rebirth.

"It seems to be acquiring a kind of status as a go-to strip, attracting people from different parts of the city and even from out of town," Dolbec said.

"It's attracted a lot of artists ... and any place that attracts those bohemian types, there seems to be a certain hospitality traffic that follows that and boosts the local retail traffic at the same time."

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