Elections

Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not?

Responses to the question: "Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not?"

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53 Candidate Responses (top)

Mayor
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Davis, Jim No One-way streets were created to empty out traffic at a quicker rate. When industry was booming in Hamilton it worked, one-way streets to mountain accesses got people home faster. I read it cost $250,000 to convert each intersection from one-way to two-way so in the case of Wentworth St. I don't think the cost out weighed the improvement. In fact, it just increased the dangers to the students at the two schools on that street. Although stats say more people are hit on one-way St. than two-way St. (because they compared ratio instead of auto/pedestrian accidents) its common sense that it is easier to cross a street when you only have to deal with the flow of traffic from one direction. Certain areas of the city should be converted to two-way streets, like south-west of James St. but don't put parking in the middle of the street with the bike lane next to the curb. This increased the dangers to cyclist with no repercussions to the passenger that opens the door and takes them out.
Eisenberger, Fred Yes Yes I support gradual conversion where it makes sense in conjunction with enhanced transit.
Gomes, Carlos No No I don't support acceleration of converting something that's been working since the 1950's, just to confuse a bunch of people and make the rich even richer
Graydon, Edward HC N/A No response provided
Pattison, Michael Yes My opinion on this topic has been swayed over the years. Originally, I was against converting our one-way streets as I knew congestion was inevitable and my environmental stance was cars should be moving while polluting, not idling. Now I take the stand for conversion solely for the importance of mass transit. The way cities move must be adapted by all future generations.

I will make one more suggestion. Put pressure on the automotive/manufacturing sector for independent commuter vehicles. People are very different and every argument I have listened to over mass transit seems to come back to private spaces. Personal climate control, smells and even personal safety are securities that are controlled within one’s own vehicle. These vehicles should be produced with complimenting strategies of mass transit and fully compatible with the capabilities of all LRV/Transit options. Made in Hamilton maybe?
Schmid-Jones, Ute Yes The perception of flow of traffic is very different in a two way street, so as someone who moved to Hamilton from an environment that didn't have a lot of one way streets, I found it an adjustment to adapt to the way Hamilton drivers seem accustomed to speeding through downtown. I can also say that the conversion of Duke street, where I live, has definitely made the street safer. Drivers are clearly taking more time and being more aware of things like cyclists and pedestrians as a result. I'm not sure how many people who grew up driving on Hamilton's one way roads see the difference or really understand how baffling getting around the city is to someone like a visiting tourist, and we have to concede that people are resistant to change what is familiar to them, but the economic uplift James Street in particular went through after it was converted to two way should help people to understand the other potential benefits as well.

It also needs to be said, though, that I don't think this is the primary focus of the mayor's job, and that for planning committee issues like this I would be glad to have the input of the experts who would have a better grasp of how changes to specific Hamilton streets will impact the larger city and where the biggest priorities need to be. Like your Vision Zero question above, I suspect the smart place to start is in areas that see the highest rate of accidents today and go from there.
Sgro, Vito N/A Please use our website vitosgroformayor.ca as the the answer to the provided questions.
Tavares, Ricky N/A How much are you going to pay me ? $100 and I will communicate with you at your basic level. Otherwise you are useless to me and Hamilton.
Wozny, Mark Yes Some take the position that traffic fatalaties are reduced by one-way streets and proper signal regulation. I take the middle position.

As long as there is a mixture of both one-way and two-way streets, the option tends to 'tame' traffic congestion and stress.

Two-way strees assist in reducing the pace of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Jacobs has noted how some congestion creates more vitality for businesses and encourages the social intercourse that we call community.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi Yes It is a long overdue for Hamilton to open every single street to two way traffic except a very short or absolute even necessary small route otherwise open them up ASAP. the world is evolving economy is changing the population is re-shaping the city landscape
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes Yes I do. Main street especially needs to be converted to two way before the LRT construction begins, otherwise Aberdeen will become a dangerous arterial road that will endanger people living in Kirkendall South. Finally, the Queen Street two-way conversion needs to happen before any other vehicles end up on their roofs.
Anderson, Sharon No No. I believe that the one-way streets help substantially in maintaining the flow of traffic through our City. I believe the way we improve the one-way streets for all users is by road diets, which involve converting a lane or two of traffic to other uses such as wider sidewalks, bike lanes or dedicated transit lanes. Converting these roads to two way reduces the available width which could be reassigned to other road users. Two-way conversion also increases infrastructure costs as there would be an increase in the number of traffic signals or signs required to manage the opposing traffic flow.
Cole, Sharon Yes I do support accelerating lane conversations particularly around commercial development primarily as a means of enhancing business and economic access and growth. The caveat though is that we plan for emergency services accessibility among other critical needs in the design which may require retaining certain one-way arterial routes.
Eroglu, Ela Yes Yes, I support the conversion of one-way arterial streets to two-way streets. I believe that the two-way conversion will have many benefits to downtown businesses, especially businesses along the Main and King St. Previously done studies on other similar cities shown that conversion to two-way streets resulted in increased number of pedestrian and cyclists’ traffic due to the improved road condition. Highway like streets in the City is terrifying for pedestrians and cyclists to use. In the short term, local retail stores, restaurants, bars and pubs and other food establishments will benefit tremendously. In the long-term, the impact of the street conversion project would be more significant, especially when the other capital projects such as LRT and intensification along these main routes implemented. It will help stimulate growth.
Geffros, Sophie Yes Main St and King St must be two-way. As stated above, urban highways have no place in a modern city, and promote speeding and discourage pedestrians and active transit users from patronizing our downtown core. Two-way streets are an essential first step to revitalizing our downtown core as a place for people to gather, shop, and participate in activities.
Indeed, many one-way streets could better serve their communities by being converted into two-way streets. It promotes traffic calming and will make streets safer for all users.
Massie, Richard Yes Yes, its proven better for small businesses and increased investment - more jobs and more shops benefits the community.
Miklos, Lyla Yes Right now we have two four lane highways going through the centre of our city. They encourage speeding and unsafe driving. We have lost too many lives on these streets because their design is unsafe. Two way streets will help to calm down traffic and keep pedestrians and cyclists from becoming the next road fatality we hear about on the news. I don't want to attend a funeral for one more friend killed on the streets of our city due to unsafe road design.
Narducci, Linda Yes As stated above, yes I do support two way conversion, the sooner the better. Safety aside, businesses I have spoke to welcome this conversion as it offers more exposure to their business with traffic from two directions and an increase in walk in business as the speed will be lower for traffic and pedestrians feel safe. For residents, two way streets are safer; drivers are more engaged and speeds are lower.
White, Harrison No I believe there are other projects that would be more beneficial for Hamilton to prioritize than accelerating the conversion of one-way streets to two-way. I do not think that it is something that should be ignored. We need to re-think the street design in Hamilton, we need to promote more than just automobiles as primary means of transportation. While there is some benefit to one-way streets for those who use vehicles, often they are dangerous and frustrating for those who do not. They can also make Hamilton difficult to navigate for people not familiar with the city. This is why I would potentially support the conversion of streets to two-way, but unfortunately it cannot be my first priority. It will take studies to understand exactly which streets (outside of King and Main), need to be redesigned.
Wilson, Maureen Yes Yes. Conversions both in Hamilton and across North America have demonstrated clearly that they contribute to safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as well as improving livability for residents and commercial viability for small businesses.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Daljeet, Suresh Venodh Yes We shouldn't have any one way streets. It's an outdated concept which causes congestion and restricts traffic flow.
Farr, Jason Yes Yes, I support accelerating the conversions (see above). The streets listed on the Downtown Transportation Master Plan for conversion had sat stalled for some years until I pushed for getting these conversions back on track approx. six years ago. Council approved the funding for a five-year plan that saw this work get done (Park Street North is being converted as I write this).

For our RTH close council watchers, you have witnessed my defence of conversions on many occasions. Specifically, to one very obvious one-way arterial – Main Street - as Chair of the LRT Task Force, I attempted, through motion, to ask staff for a study on a two-way conversion of Main Street. Couldn’t get a seconder. Unfortunately, at the time, both staff and all colleagues felt is was not good timing given the LRT traffic models presented. That said, my belief continues to be that Main Street will need to be converted because of LRT, but also because of many other obvious reasons that include safety, economic benefits, environmental benefits and more.
Kroetsch, Cameron Yes Yes, I support accelerating the conversion as part of a larger project to implement Vision Zero. Two-way streets will reduce the speed of traffic, make streets more complete and usable for all road users, and increase the overall safety of our roads. There are a limited number of tools available at our disposal when it comes to street design on one-way streets. The flexibility of a two-way street system allows us to design more complete streets.
Smith, Nicole Yes As above, a necessary part of speed reduction and Vision Zero.
Tennant, Mark Yes I have lived in Hamilton my whole life and has witnessed the change of many downtown roads from 1 way to 2 way. It has worked to a point. It can be confusing at first but we do adjust. Just adjusting would not be enough for me as a member of city council. I support the implementation of more 2 way streets providing proper evaluation, education, and engagement is in place. The Vision Zero goal of efficient engineering would compliment the implementation. The city is looking at Main St W as a possible switch. City planners and engineers must take a closer look so we don't go overboard. At the end of the day, our city needs to improve it's commute factor. We are rated 163rd best city to live in Canada and have a failing grade in the commute factor and it's not only because of transit.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bureau, Alain Yes
Farr, Laura Yes I have always and continue to support the conversions. The reasons for making the streets one way - many people going to and from the factory jobs in the east end - are no longer where people are going to and from anymore.
Kuruc, Ned Maybe I support the conversion to two-lane streets, as long as it fits into Hamilton's master transit plan.
Nann, Nrinder Yes Yes. There are more than 80 one-way streets in the city. Conversions to two-way streets will calm traffic, reduce side-street cut-throughs, and help us move towards complete streets, where streets are accessible to all users and safe for pedestrians.

Plus, the conversion to two-way streets has been part of a long-delayed update to the 2007 transportation master plan.

It's time we implement the plan we created more than a decade ago.
Smith, Dan Yes I think conversion to two way would help as it tends to slow traffic a bit. Speed is a main reason why accidents happen.
Sprague, Kristeen No I think we need to consider improving the road surfaces before we consider converting more streets to two-way streets.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes Yes, to accomplish the goal of safer streets for all modes of transportation.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Klazinga, Stewart Yes Absolutely.

Hamilton does not need a pseudo-highway running through the neighbourhoods of the lower city. If over the next hundred years, a single life can be spared, that alone would make the conversion worth the effort. Our most vulnerable populations are paying the sticker-price attached to our "competitive advantage", and they're paying with their lives. A cost far too high.
Maldonado, Juanita Maybe No comment at this time.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jackson, Tom Maybe Ironically, I was on City Council after Amalgamation when we took the momentous, controversial step of converting James and John Streets to “two-way” streets. I believe I have continued to support all other requests for “2-Way” conversions for arterial and residential roads, primarily in the Lower City. However, I’m not sure about the future of Main/King/Cannon conversions.
Taylor, Timothy Yes I support continuing the conversion. Before this process started, I did not support the conversion of our One Way system into Two Way streets. I do, however, now support finishing this process because I feel downtown has become a much less safe place to drive with the current mishmash of traffic styles.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Benson, Steve Maybe Yes, I support two ways streets. But there is a lot to consider before implementing an idea like this. It has worked for some streets now but we need to make sure it will have the intended results as more streets are converted.
Kazubek, Joseph Yes yes I support changing to two way streets, I believe this will reduce the traffic congestion and lower car accidents. I would also like to invest into traffic cameras, and more police presence aswell.
MacIntyre, Dan Yes Yes. When we convert to two-way we create an atmosphere that is safer for pedestrians and drivers, more friendly to small business, and increases the desirability of the neighbourhoods in that area.
McMullen, Geraldine No There is no need to accelerate the conversion of these streets. We should only do so when the associated infrastructure is in place to accommodate the changes, where necessary. Change should make sense and be thoroughly planned out, with business, community, and citizen input.
Pauls, Esther Yes Yes. The current implementation has just added to congestion more effort needs to be put in place to facilitate moving through out the mountain and downtown.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Danko, John-Paul Yes Hamilton's one way street network was developed to address the traffic challenges of the day - mainly getting thousands of workers to and from work in Hamilton's north end. These traffic patterns no longer exist and we are way past due converting most streets back to a much more functional two-way configuration. Right now we have a mix of old one way streets, streets that have been converted back to two way, and streets that were designed to be one way but were never actually converted. This is a relatively simple transportation engineering problem that should be addressed without political interference.
Wicken, Colleen No I am a born and raised Hamiltonian and this City is unique in its approach to one way street systems. I do not support any further conversion. There are few streets left that remain one way and some now only have one lane dedicated to moving vehicles as this conversion continues. Commutes that at one time took under 10 minutes are now taking 20 to 30 minutes, this results in more idling vehicles during peak hours and more emissions / air pollution. The traffic department needs to have a tighter grasp on the synchronization of the traffic lights allowing a better flow.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beattie, Jeff Maybe This is tough one. In the suburbs, people want efficient access to the City's core if they are going to come and visit and spend money. And currently, transit isn't a viable option for someone from Ancaster, Stoney Creek or Waterdown coming downtown.
I visit James St. North, Locke Street, and Ottawa Street all the time, so being able to get to those places in a reasonable amount of time is an important consideration for me deciding where I will be headed for dinner/shopping or entertainment.
That said - I completely understand the view of those who live in those areas, who don't feel safe around 5 lanes of traffic racing through their neighbourhood. So what is the balance? How to keep traffic moving while allowing ease of access to and from other parts of the City? Some one-way streets are natural candidates for conversion, others are trickier. I look forward to being part of that conversation.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Marley, Kevin No While I am frustrated with the one-way street design there are other areas I think we as a city need to focus on and come together to resolve before we take on this task. At this time I would not be in support of accelerating this project. However, if it is something that can be done in tandem with other projects then I would reconsider my opinion.
Scime, John Yes As stated above, the continuation of one-way conversions are a must, but we need to design these two ways with purpose. It must meet the needs of the neigbourhood. We continue to be viewed as one of the most confusing driving cities and I was told when I learned how to drive, “You can’t make a quick left, but you can make 3 lefts”. This creates hesitation and heightens the risks of drivers, riders, and pedestrians because of the lack of experience driving in this city.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Gelder, Rich Yes I support the immediate conversion of one-way to two-way, hopefully as part of the move to light rail transit. With LRT going down King, Main must be simultaneously converted to two way.

The six decade experiment with one way streets has proven a dismal failure in the downtown core. We have also seen evidence of a neighbourhood revival, James Street North, when it was converted back to two-way.
Mitchell, Pamela N/A Declined to answer
Vanderbeek, Arlene No I don't have a strong opinion on this issue. I see the pros and cons on both sides of the situation and would welcome staff, constituent and Ward Councillor's input on any particular proposed change.
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Iszkula, Robert Maybe I support continuity in our streets, right now we have roads that go from two way to one way and back again - this doesn't serve anyone. I support using one way streets as tools to create efficient, balanced transportation system for all residents. Some of our one way streets do move traffic efficiently, but others are detrimental to wayfinding because they force you to circle multiple blocks to find your destination. I do not want to remove every one way street, but I would like to see many of our one ways reverted to two way in cases where they better serve local residents and businesses.
Whitehead, Terry Maybe I have visited many cities that's have one way systems ie: New York & San Francisco, many of them have these systems to move public transit and emergency vehicles efficiently to meet the needs of the community. It is clear that from our own traffic staff, that the road network that was designed in the lower city was designed at a time that accommodated a significant amount of employment in the lower city. Certainly, it is time to review whether the circumstances in which these one ways were created are still warranted.
Wilson, Bryan Yes Two way streets are better for people and for communities. One way streets generally end up with cars driving faster. And as stated in the previous question I do support the conversion to two way streets.
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
McKechnie, Susan Yes The arterial road network with its complex one-way streets was a strategic planning solution to an era that was seeing vast demand on that Victorian road network looking to accommodate growth. Civil engineering pioneer Wilbur Smith came along to praise the potential of moving traffic at higher speeds by converting pairs of parallel streets so that each carried traffic in just one direction.
In 1956, with a city council that was all-in, Hamilton adopted this approach and completed the conversion in just one night.

Hamilton’s one-way streets have been successful in delivering traffic through the lower city at high speeds for a half century. The cost of this success has been witnessed by various impacts on neighbourhood vitality. Many storefronts did not survive the engineering design. Many families have suffered with tractor-trailers rushing by front doors.

The right answer to this question today can be found by reviewing the objectives of the citizens, the travellers and the businesses who live and use these corridors. Moreover, and continuing from a potential pursuit to Vision Zero, we know that higher speeds predictably generate worse human outcomes. So part of the conclusion from this perspective can be delivered with either a reduction in speed in one-way streets, or a conversion to two-way to purposely enhance quality of life and economic opportunity at the same time. There were a number of underlying drivers to positively encourage the decision in the 1950s. Times are different now, and resident demands are radically different. Technological opportunity is different. We are dealing with this issue in an era of autonomous vehicles and autonomous public transit making real advances around the world. If the data supports conversion in certain parts of the city, plans should be crafted to accommodate the citizens, the business and the cities best interests.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total
Yes3362.3%
No917.0%
Maybe713.2%

50 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Mayor
Geissler, Henry
May, Todd
Rusich, George
Ryerson, Phil
Ward 01
Bakht, Syed
Geertsma, Jordan
Lazich, Carol E.
Ward 02
Chiarelli, Diane
Unsworth, James
Vail, John
Ward 03
Balta, Milena
Beck, Keith
Denault, Steven Paul
Kavanaugh, Brendan
Lemma, Tony
Rowe, Stephen
Salonen, Amanda
Ward 04
Douglas, Rod
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Ward 06
Young, Brad
Ward 07
Clarke, Steve
Clowater, Kristopher
Dirani, Adam
Grice-Uggenti, Karen
McColl, Jim
Schneider, Roland
Ward 08
Adams, Eve
Climie, Christopher
Ruddick, Steve
Simpson, Anthony
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Conley, Doug
Ford, David
Lanza, Peter
Multani, Lakhwinder Singh
Ward 10
Milojevic, Louie
Pearson, Maria
Thompson, Ian
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Shewayhat, Waleed
Ward 12
Bell, Mike
Ferguson, Lloyd
Reis, Miranda
Ward 13
Bonomo, Gaspare
Gray, Kevin
Mykytyshyn, John
Roberts, John
Ward 14
French-Sanges, Roslyn
Samuel, Vincent
Ward 15
Partridge, Judi