As the City of London keeps expanding, new mayor Matt Brown says his plan is to build the city inward and upward, rather than expand across. Revitalizing the downtown core is a key part to achieving his goal, and few things are hurting downtown more than the bus routes.
Currently 17 of the cities 41 bus routes pass through Richmond and Dundas. The planning of these routes essentially turns Richmond and Dundas into a bus depot. Rather than being a hotspot for shopping, tourism, and culture, the main downtown core has been turned into more of a bus depot. At any given time you will notice packs of people, not shopping or enjoying the cities many establishments, but cluttering up the side walks waiting for their bus.
Many London establishments have expressed frustration with the way the buses are handled in the downtown core. Brahm Wiseman, the owner of Heroes Comics in the heart of downtown, says hes been working with the Downtown London Business Association for years, trying to get the city to re-route the buses off of dundas street. He says it re-purposes peoples reasons for being downtown.
With so many bus routes congregating in one area traffic congestion is another big concern. Wiseman says there are days where he barely sees establishments across the street, because they are blocked by the number of buses stopped along the street to pick up passengers.
Many Londoners say the solution to this is to re-route the buses, and making Dundas between Richmond and Wellington pedestrian only. While others are saying that a simple re-routing of the buses will create a better flow of foot traffic, and clear traffic congestion.
So only time will tell how buses will play into the revitalization of downtown, but the general consensus seems to be that buses being re-routed from the downtown core will create a much more lively and thriving downtown community.