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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1 Candidate Response (top)
|Candidate||Brief Response||Full 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.
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