News   Aug 17, 2022
 1.1K     4 
News   Aug 17, 2022
 457     0 
News   Aug 17, 2022
 436     0 

John Street Revitalization

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
8
Location
New York
I just can't fathom how whether a street is one- or two-way makes any difference to pedestrians. If the road is very wide or traffic moves very quickly, it makes perfect sense, but what does it matter what direction the cars are going? This seems like one of those things that people have said so many times that it becomes a fact without anybody actually taking a serious look at it. I walk across Richmond and Adelaide all the time and they've never felt any harder to cross than Queen or King. If anything, jaywalking is a little easier because the cars are only going in one direction. I could definitely support widening the sidewalks on Richmond and Adelaide, but they're going to have to make a better case for converting them into two-way.

Anyone who thinks that one-way streets kill pedestrian life should take a trip to Montreal.
 

Jonny5

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
Messages
3,602
Reaction score
1,426
I just can't fathom how whether a street is one- or two-way makes any difference to pedestrians. If the road is very wide or traffic moves very quickly, it makes perfect sense, but what does it matter what direction the cars are going? This seems like one of those things that people have said so many times that it becomes a fact without anybody actually taking a serious look at it. I walk across Richmond and Adelaide all the time and they've never felt any harder to cross than Queen or King. If anything, jaywalking is a little easier because the cars are only going in one direction. I could definitely support widening the sidewalks on Richmond and Adelaide, but they're going to have to make a better case for converting them into two-way.

Anyone who thinks that one-way streets kill pedestrian life should take a trip to Montreal.


A lot of one-way anecdotes originate from cities that have had a Hamilton-style experience. A former industrial/manufacturing city with one-way streets in it's downtown that went through an economic collapse in the 80's. Instead of pin-pointing the fall of the downtown on problems such as abysmal city management, no plan for employment, pro suburban sparwl and backwards tax policies, they find convenient scapegoats like one-way streets t blame for no one visiting the downtown.

The nasty one-ways in Hamilton are sometimes six lanes wide, with no parking and timed lights to make sure no one ever has to slow down under 60kph. The retail buildings (that haven't been torn down for parking lots, since you can't park on the street) are amongst the highest taxed in Canada.

Richmond and Adelaide are nothing like this.
 
Last edited:

Hipster Duck

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,558
Reaction score
9
Aaaargh. Torontoitis strikes again!

One thing that consistently aggravates me about Toronto is that we have this head-in-the-sand, ridiculously stubborn attitude that building a city properly can only be done a certain way. There are certain idiosyncracies, such as this belief that one way streets kill life, or that subways must be tunnelled at all cost, or that light rail must be on the surface, in the median and make driving as annoying as possible, that are basically dismissed as utter bullshit in larger, busier and more mature cities the world over. I don't know where these principles originate, but it casts such a spell on people like "the Adams" that they think that these "rules" must have been revealed to Moses himself on the slopes of Mount Sinai.

By the way, if one way streets are such pedestrian nightmares, then these must be some of the most hostile and forbidding environments for a pedestrian unlucky enough to stray into the vicinity of:

Rue Ste. Catherine (Montreal)
Boulevard St. Germain (Paris)
Boulevard St. Martin (Paris)
Broadway (New York)
Shaftesbury Ave. and Picadilly Ave. (London)
New Bond St. (London)
 

golodhendil

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
674
Reaction score
1
Location
Boston
By the way, if one way streets are such pedestrian nightmares, then these must be some of the most hostile and forbidding environments for a pedestrian unlucky enough to stray into the vicinity of:

Rue Ste. Catherine (Montreal)
Boulevard St. Germain (Paris)
Boulevard St. Martin (Paris)
Broadway (New York)
Shaftesbury Ave. and Picadilly Ave. (London)
New Bond St. (London)
Yup, or for that matter, every major shopping street in Manhattan, Boston, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
3,070
Reaction score
1,002
Richmond and Adelaide should install contra-flow bike lanes instead

Agreed, but I'd go you one further. Take out one lane from each street and install two way bike lanes that are segregated from traffic by a curb. I saw this in Montreal and thought it was a great way to encourage bicycle use in the city.

WRT to one way streets. I find (at least in Toronto) that many one way streets run closely parralell to major streets (see Adelaide and Wellington surrounding King). This type of street tends to run along the backs of the buildings that front the main street. So what you generally have is the great looking streets like King and Queen, surrounded by at least one, maybe two one way streets that allow for traffic to move easily. Especially for delivery trucks etc. One way streets designed like this are hardly intended to be urban, however one way streets can be done well.

Take a look at Richmond near Spadina for example. The buildings practically front right on to the street with warehouse delivery doors and everything, and there's little to no sidewalks.
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
8
Location
New York
Exactly, Woodbridge. Ever since I lived in Montreal, I've always been baffled by Toronto's bike lanes. I can't figure out why we keep ramming through the same kind of lanes that are obviously pretty ineffective when the model of the curb-separated bike roadway is available just down the road. In Europe, they put the bike lanes on the sidewalk, which also makes a lot of sense.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
24,985
Reaction score
5,628
Location
Toronto
Westbound on Richmond and eastbound on Adelaide seems like a pretty rational way to facilitate traffic. I can't see how changing this would improve traffic flow.
I don't tend to drive in downtown in the heart of rush-hour often, but when I have, Adelaide and Richmond between University and Bathurst don't seem that full. It's between University and the Don River where they are well used. So I can see why making them 2-way east of University would help traffic flow, reducing all the running around the block, particularly on Bathurst.

But what about between Strachan and Bathurst?
 

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
8
Location
New York
Do you mean making it 2-way west of University? I'd say it might be a better option to leave them one way, but take a lane out for a widened sidewalk and bike lanes. The one shame about a one-way Adelaide is that it's one of the few streets in Toronto that terminates with a vista, except that it's only visible if you're driving the wrong way.
 

gei

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
821
Reaction score
13
I wonder if this plan includes doing anything about that ghastly transformer station at John/Wellington...
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
24,985
Reaction score
5,628
Location
Toronto

unimaginative2

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
4,554
Reaction score
8
Location
New York
Sigh. They're going to make the streets two-way and then loudly proclaim that they've been "saved" and some columnists will dutifully write down about the bold and visionary actions that the city has taken, while Royson James will complain about the war on the car. Adam Vaughan will get a juicy quotation in every news article. Nobody will actually stop to think, "Hey, Richmond and Adelaide probably won't become lively shopping streets unless they're completely rebuilt with buildings that actually have retail at the base." Unfortunately, the only uses enlivening the streets--nightclubs--will have all been chased out by then.
 

UD2

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
879
Reaction score
190
Two words to the one way streets, bike lanes blah...

keep dreaming.

I'm always frustrated when people take things to the extreme.

And quit comparing Toronto to cities with twice its population and three times the tourist industry.


Change is good. Bike lanes are good etc... But the style, pace, nature of change that's often been advocated on discussion boards like this are simply... sigh. Let's just say that I'm glad the ones who frustrate me are also the ones who usually do not and probably will not hold any significant influence over government and policy making. And I can only hope that this status quo doesn't change anytime soon.
 
Last edited:

Jonny5

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 23, 2007
Messages
3,602
Reaction score
1,426
Yes. That's what they've announced with all this ... thought I read it in the Globe (the paper copy), but here it is on City's site - http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_35385.aspx "Part of the plan includes changing Richmond and Adelaide Sts. to two-way streets from Bathurst to University."

Streetcar tracks are being replaced on Adelaide this year. Are they going to do both directions or just one? Even if Bathurst to University is two ways, it doesn't help for westbound detours as there are no access points to Adelaide west of at least York (I don't think there's any working way to access York from Queen or King anymore, just Wellington)
 

Top