RE.: ‘More two-way roads for downtown’ (July 21, 1998)
The Hamilton Spectator, Letter of the Day
Monday July 27, 1998
Smart Moves? I wonder if the study’s participants were too steeped in the philosophy of the movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” Redirecting the traffic now in downtown Hamilton will not entice people to spend any more time there. And redirected traffic will not lower property taxes.
High taxes frighten investors away from any downtown redevelopment. There are too many empty stores in the core as a result of high taxes.
Two-way traffic will not bring affordable and friendly housing to people who might choose to live downtown. Right now, the one-way versus two-way streets issue is akin to a tail wagging the dog. A lot of money has to be spent to realize the dream proposed by the Smart Moves study. Where will the money come from? Certainly not from existing downtown businesses.
Let’s get our priorities straight. Let’s fight for lower taxes or tax concessions that would give small businesses an incentive to locate in the core.
Let’s encourage more people to live downtown. Let’s get rid of old derelict buildings, such as the Lister Block and other such buildings. They are eyesores that frighten people away from the city core. Once they are gone, housing with green spaces will liven up the core. When this is achieved, then we can rethink the traffic movement.
Dez Miklòs jr., Hamilton