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Block Report: Hamilton's War on the Car a Stunning Success!

This past week the City of Hamilton has provided us with a spectacular display of the quality of thinking that goes on at our City Hall. Something the city planners could not accomplish after spewing millions of dollars into an increasingly creative array of impediments to vehicular traffic, from two-way streets, to crackhead bicycle lanes, to artificial potholes, etc., appears to have been accomplished by mother nature with a mere shifting of the ground adjacent to the Claremont Access.
The gridlock the City politicians have been slyly implementing for the last quarter of a century was doubled in an instant with the closure of the downbound lanes of the Claremont Access. One commenter on the Hamilton Spectator's report on the closure states:

"Almost speechless... i am utterly disappointed, i work at 2 locations and used the up. James access daily, which should only take me a 8 min drive home, It took me over an hour yesterday."
Think about that for a moment.
While Hamilton politicians blow scarce tax dollars on juvenescent tricks to discourage citizens from driving their own cars, their decision to simply neglect the Claremont Access has increased one commuter's wasted time from 8 minutes to more than 60 minutes.

(Speaking of juvanescent, it's not ironic that Kids voted on how to spend $1M on Hamilton street projects. Maybe they should just fire the entire traffic department and let kids in JK do the job. It's not like the results would differ much.)

Increasing someone's commute by 750% has to merit a prize-winning spot on the list of "planet-saving" shenanigans by phony politicians whose only real skills involve public bamboozlement. Well done, Hamilton politicians!

(Speaking of public Bamboozlement, hey, Mayor Fred, why not try to get out in front of this one and turn the downbound Claremont into a pedestrian mall, like you wanted to do with King Street? The traffic impact would be the same but it wouldn't cost the city a cent.)
I said it about twenty years ago, back when Bob (Flower Power) Morrow and Mar Vin Caplan were still posturing as wise guardians of the interests of Hamiltonians.

"Well, if greater traffic congestion is called for why stop at two-way streets? Why not quit repairing the roads!? Let those potholes proliferate. Imagine what a combination of two-way streets and potholes will do to revitalize the core!" -- source
In retrospect, that comment strikes me as funny. They could have followed my advice, or they could have chosen to do something really stupid instead. Now they are installing rubberized potholes all over the city. Instead of letting nature take its course, they had to piss money away on an artificial "solution." If a bunch of schoolkids were to run around with sledge hammers and picks, poking holes in the roads, it would be called "vandalism." When the city government does the exact same thing, they call it, "planning."
Here's just one example of the butterfly effect in Hamilton as it applies to the recent closure of the Claremont.

The Jolley Cut.

If John Street had been left alone as a one-way street, the chaos that is now creating such a "pedestrian friendly environment" on that street would have been completely avoided. Northbound traffic would have had the benefit of synchronized traffic lights and any increase in traffic volume would have dissipated quickly and efficiently. Unnecessary idling would have been minimized. Pedestrians on the sidewalks and people living in the neighborhood would have been exposed to a minimum of tailpipe emissions. The spread of particulate matter from brake dust and other automobile-induced PM due to unnecessary anti-car shenanigans would have been minimized.

"Traffic-related sources have been recognized as a significant contributor of particulate matter particularly within major cities. Exhaust and non-exhaust traffic-related sources are estimated to contribute almost equally to traffic-related PM10 emissions. Non-exhaust particles can be generated either from non-exhaust sources such as brake, tyre, clutch and road surface wear or already exist in the form of deposited material at the roadside and become resuspended due to traffic-induced turbulence. Among non-exhaust sources, brake wear can be a significant particulate matter (PM) contributor, particularly within areas with high traffic density and braking frequency. Studies mention that in urban environments, brake wear can contribute up to 55 % by mass to total non-exhaust traffic-related PM10 emissions and up to 21 % by mass to total traffic-related PM10 emissions, while in freeways, this contribution is lower due to lower braking frequency." -- italics: mine. source
In other words, Hamilton's war on the private transportation option is, arguably, creating more pollution than it is preventing.

James Mountain Road.

If you think the idiocy that the city has engineered at the bottom of the Jolley Cut is the end of the story, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The results of the conversion of James St. from one-way to two-way absolutely deserves a Nobel Prize for MONEY WASTING POLITICAL STUPIDITY.
In the old days of evil capitalist efficiency, James Street was a one-way street from Barton to St. Joseph's Drive.
There were four lanes of traffic available for south-bound traffic. The buses and postal vans could clog up the right-hand lane but three lanes would remain for the remaining traffic, to be exploited in accordance with the skills and foresight of the drivers. People making left turns from James Street could do so, smoothly and efficiently, without having to wait for non-existent opposing traffic to clear.
And even if those desired left turns were delayed by pedestrians using those intersections, there were still TWO LANES available to southbound traffic.
After the GENIUS conversion of James St. to two-way traffic, the whole pattern of traffic flow on that street was reduced to the lowest common denominator. (I.E. that to which the political philosophy of socialism appeals.)
Now, if the right lane is blocked by a Canada Post delivery vehicle, and the left lane is blocked by pedestrians or northbound traffic, you have no choice but to waste time, fuel and quality of life in order to participate in the charade that the lost minutes of your life are, somehow "saving the planet."
Well, I guess you already know what I have to say about that.
It's
COMEDIC CHAOS!
And I haven't even got to the worst part yet.
In the "old days," northbound traffic on the James Mountain Road, upon arriving at St. Joseph's drive, could easily slide into the east-bound lanes of St. Joe's and continue their journey over to John St, for a comfortable glide down one-way street John Street, with synchronized lights and MINIMUM DISRUPTIONS.
Now they have to wait for the light to change, so that those drivers wishing to use the new northbound James idiot lanes, cars who are blocking the right turn option can proceed after pointlessly wasting the time of the vehicles behind them. What brilliance. Who could not have seen it coming? The result was entirely predictable.
I documented the outcome of the City of Hamilton's IDIOTIC traffic plans in 2013 with my YouTube video.
As if this kind of BULLSHIT is going to save the planet.

Conclusion

As if it isn't obvious.
If a private corporation were to attempt to get away with the kinds of utter lunacy the City of Hamilton has adopted as its dominant philosophy, they would have gone broke decades ago.
What have they achieved so far? Wasted money? -- Check. Traffic chaos? -- Check. Examples of what happens when you elect totally incompetent people into positions of "law making?" -- Check. Zero positive results? -- Check.
No wonder Donald Trump won the election.
---
The government of Hamilton is a fraud.
You know it. I know it.
Government is a business. It just operates under a different set of rules. Just like Uber.
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Comments

  1. Well written and so truthful. I never travel to the "core" because the traffic delays are horrible, the roads are in total disrepair and whenever I get close to city hall I become ill to my stomach.

    ReplyDelete

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