Urban design expert says two-way streets should get green light in Hamilton

King and Main Street need to change, architect says.

Hamilton should have two-way traffic on both King Street and Main Street, according to one architect and urban design expert.

Designer Ken Greenberg said people should seriously consider changing the city's two main arteries of traffic.

"[One-way traffic] inhibits the relationship from one side of the street to the other," Greenberg said.

He was a guest speaker at the Transforming and Revitalizing Downtown conference in Hamilton on Thursday.

Greenberg is the former director of urban design and architecture for the city of Toronto, and has over 30 years of experience working with downtown rejuvination in Europe and North America.

"You have very wide, one way streets ... which are designed to move at high speeds," he said. "It makes crossing more difficult. It visually disconnects the street so there's a whole different feeling for pedestrians."

Greenberg lamented that Gore Park is a gem the city is not using properly.

"It has great form. It has this interesting history — but the way in which it has this river of high speed traffic beside it really diminishes what it could contribute to the life of downtown Hamilton," he said.

Greenberg said it's actually foot traffic that boots the economy, not two-way streets.

"Having feet on the street is really what makes the difference," he said. "Anything that would increase pedestrians. And having [King and Main] as two-way streets would certainly do that."