Top Banner

of 13

Main St West Charette Oct 06

Apr 14, 2018



  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Hamilton Main Street West Design Charette

    Prepared By: Moiz Behar, OAA, MRAIC, MCIP, RPP - MBPD Inc.On behalf of: OPPI, Urban Design Working Group


    An urban design charette exploring options for revitalizing the Main Street West corridorwas sponsored by the City of Hamilton and McMaster University as part of the OntarioProfessional Planners Institutes 2005 conference. In particular, Councillor BrianMcHattie, McMaster University Campus Planner Linda Axford and City of HamiltonUrban Designer Ken Coit graciously dedicated their time and resources to host anextensive site visit and in preparing for the workshop. These key participants were alsojoined by City of Hamilton staff Lawrence Stasiuk, J oanne Leung, Vanessa Grupe andCam Thomas who provided invaluable local experience and insight. The dedication andenthusiasm of these volunteers led to a very successful event that fostered creative

    solutions for the Main Street West corridor.

    Charrette Intent and Background

    The goal of the charrette was to explore a redevelopment, intensification andstreetscape improvement plan along Main Street West in Hamilton. The charrette areais approximately 3.5 km long, from the Highway 403 intersection in the east to the MainStreet West and Osler Drive intersection in the west.

    The charrette area covers an approximately 3.5km length of Main Street West

  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Along Main Street West there are several residential communities, McMasterUniversity, commercial and industrial buildings as well as open space features

    The charrette focused on exploring several planning and urban design solutions to

    address several topics of interest to the municipality.

    Charrette Organization and Breakout Topics

    The charrette was organized by the Urban Design Working Group (UDWG) of the OPPIand facilitated by Mr. Moiz Behar, a founding member of UDWG.

    Mr. Moiz Behar provided an introduction to the urban design charette process andoutlined the schedule and deliverables.

    A site visit is a very important part of understanding the issues and developing solutions

    but was not feasible given the time constraints. However, an extensive overview wasprovided to give the participants enough background to analyze the area and come upwith pertinent recommendations. Photographs of the site area, aerial maps, scaledbase maps and copies of relevant City documents were provided to each breakoutgroup as resources.

    Mr. Ken Coit provided an overview of the study area from a planning policy perspectivehighlighting the recommendations of theAinslie Wood Westdale Secondary Plan andproviding an urban design analysis of the built form along the corridor.

    Linda Axford highlighted the overall plans for McMaster University and its hospital

    including the installation of a prominent university entrance feature along Main StreetWest.

    Councillor McHattie provided an overview of the issues and trends facing theneighbourhood including conversion of existing housing to student lodging houses andpressure for conversion of land along the corridor for commercial mixed use andmedical uses.


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Mr. Moiz Behar was the roving facilitator to assist the groups and keep them on timeand on-track (see Appendix A).

    Following the presentations, breakout groups were formed to first provide a master planconcept for the whole area and then elaborate upon a specific geographic area and

    focus. Therefore, each group was responsible for:

    Analyzing the current land uses and built form

    Formulating a redevelopment and intensification master plan for the length area,including recommendations on building types and streetscape approaches

    Developing more detailed recommendations depending on the specific assignedfocus areas

    Due to the large numbers of participants, two of the six tables were assigned to masterplanning the whole area as their sole topic of analysis and recommendations. Thebreakout groups focussed on:

    master planning the whole area tables 1 and 2 (Facilitators: Karen Hammondand Eric Turcotte)

    the east gateway table 3 (Facilitator: Dan Leeming) the west gateway table 4 (Facilitator: Alex Taranu)

    the central area table 5 (Facilitator: Anne McIlroy)

    streetscaping of the area table 6 (Facilitator: Rick Merrill)

    At the end of the charrette representatives of each breakout group presented theirrecommendations to the groups and shared in the discussion.


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    The East Gateway Area characterized by highway ramps and industrial /commercial buildings


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    The West Gateway Area includes commercial buildings and open space andlandscape features


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Central Area Cootes Drive intersection with Main Street West defines the westedge of McMaster University


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Central Area the University buildings dominate the north side of Main Street Westwhile many residential buildings are located on the south side of the street


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Summary of the Breakout Group Findings

    This summary was prepared to highlight some of the common themes that emergedthroughout the charette. Each group considered the overall neighbourhood contextprior to focusing in on a specific topic. Please refer to the attached Appendix C for full

    individual group recommendations. The following are some of the recommendations ofthe groups in a graphic format:

    The current transportation network emphasizes efficient vehicular movement along theMain Street West corridor, particularly to and from McMaster University and Dundas.This multiple-lane major arterial road currently acts as a barrier between the lands northand south of Main Street West. This poses a significant challenge to a encouraging atraditional main street mixed use environment. In successful main street commercial

    areas, traffic slows and pedestrian movements and activities take priority. Opportunitiesfor crossing Main Street West from the mixed use commercial and residential areas tothe south to the university and health centre to the north must be increased andconveniently located.

    A comprehensive traffic management approach is suggested to address the speed andvolume of vehicular traffic. Calming the speed of vehicular traffic along the corridorshould be a priority. For a successful mainstreet, pedestrians, cyclists and transit users


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    must feel comfortable sharing the corridor with other trucks and automobiles. Astreetscape improvement strategy could introduce pedestrian oriented amenities suchas transit facilities, wide sidewalks, street furniture, tree planting, parkettes, lighting andpublic art/gateway features to give the corridor an identifiable and comfortablepedestrian destination. Connecting the Main Street corridor with community trails and

    bike lanes would also help to make alternative modes of transportation moreconvenient. Dedicated bus or streetcar lanes with frequent stops can offer a viablealternative and help reduce the volume of traffic over the short term. Over the longterm, the volume of vehicular traffic could be reduced by considering a by-pass toDundas from Highway 403.

    As noted in the Ainslie Wood Westdale Secondary Plan, mixed use developmentconsisting of commercial, office and institutional uses together with residentialapartments or offices is preferred for the Main Street West corridor. Opportunities existfor intensifying uses along these low rise commercial strips while protecting theestablished low rise residential neighbourhoods. Appropriate buffering is needed

    between the mixed uses and residential uses particularly the screening of parkingareas. Mainstreet buildings with commercial, office and institutional uses on the groundlevel would help enliven the corridor and improve the pedestrian experience. Significantdemand for these non-residential spaces could be expected given the adjacentMcMaster University and Health Centre. These institutions could act as a catalyst forredevelopment of the corridor by relocating some of their operations here.

    For the properties on the south side of Main Street West, lack of lot depth andfragmented land ownership pose significant challenges for realizing the potential of amixed use mainstreet. In addition, the secondary plans direction for driveway accessfrom the arterial road and the off-street parking requirements for each use within amixed use building may conflict with the overall objective of creating a safe and


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    convenient pedestrian-friendly main street. Land consolidation may permit a lanesystem to allow vehicular parking to be located behind the mainstreet buildings.Parking requirements should be reduced for mixed use buildings recognizing thedemand for affordable housing adjacent to the university and the ability to share theseparking spaces between different uses at different times of the day. A block by block

    analysis could help determine the redevelopment potential while maintaining heritagestructures and buffering stable neighbourhoods.


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06


    Main Street West Proposed Cross Section


  • 7/30/2019 Main St West Charette Oct 06