Work is complete on the conversion of Queen Street to a two-way configuration from King Street West to Aberdeen. The two-way operation takes effect tomorrow.
The work involves eight intersections improvements including new installation or upgrade of traffic signals, roadway restoration, curb and sidewalk reconstruction and pavement markings. Traffic signals have been modified to accommodate two-way traffic at King, Main, Hunter, Charlton and Aberdeen. Motorists will see new signals at Duke, Herkimer and Napier Streets.
The project had created a rift on Hamilton City Council going back several years with Mountain Councillor Terry whitehead originally calling for more study of the conversion because of concerns that the conversion might exacerbate the daily traffic backups on the Queen Street Mountain Road. At the time he said he was opposed to “ad-hoc” traffic changes in the lower city without taking into account the collateral impact in adjacent wards, but in 2016 Whitehead agreed to the conversion.
Completion of the Queen Street project means attention will now turn to the conversion of Aberdeen Avenue from a four-lane arterial road to two lanes by allowing parking on both sides of the road. Council has voted to allow the conversion but held it in abeyance pending completion of the Queen Street project. The proposed conversion has sparked a somewhat surprising backlash from residents who live on the streets in the immediate Aberdeen area between Queen Street and Dundurn . A grassroots group called “Get Hamilton Moving” has sprung up with a letter campaign and a petition that at last count had garnered more than 400 signatures. The opponents are worried that putting Aberdeen Avenue of a “road diet” will only result in traffic being forced onto the side streets and will create more danger to pedestrians.