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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Clr. Terry Whitehead- on LRT

Please enjoy our chat with Clr. Terry Whitehead on the topic of LRT. 

In the past, you have stated that you are a person who will listen to facts as they unfold, and are open to changing your position on things if the facts warrant it. Can you explain what reservations you have related to LRT. What are the top concerns you have and are those concerns serious enough that you may eventually opt to register non-support, or is the nature of your concerns such that you are simply needing clarification?

The Rapid Ready report which the previous council adopted was all about getting ready for rapid transit. The report talks about what needs to be done to get our city to a place where the implementation of a rapid transit system will be a success.

I, along with the rest of my council colleagues endorsed that report unanimously.

I continue to support the Rapid Ready report and had I the opportunity to receive this report today, I would do so again.

My top concerns are: 

  • The current B-Line ridership peak time peak direction is only 444 people. The remaining traffic is on the King/Main local buses that have closer stops. Changing our stops from the current 3-400 meters to 800-1000 meters will mean those riders will need to walk much farther to reach transit than they do now. 
  • Operating costs for our current B-Line buses are only $1.07 per passenger. The LRT is estimated at $1.80 per passenger (with 1000 passengers). 
  • There is currently a negligible speed difference on LRT vs our current B-Line buses. It currently takes 25 minutes to get from the Queenston Traffic Circle to Mac. (Source: HSR) The most recent LRT estimate for this corridor is 24 – 25 minutes. 
  • Rapid Ready calls for an improvement to our local service by 100 conventional buses to enhance service to increase ridership to sustain LRT. This has not been done, and there is no financial plan to pay for this. 
  • Rapid Ready calls for improving transit operations on the James and Upper James line – prior to implementing an LRT. This has not been done. 
  • The study to develop the L, S and T lines has not been done. These lines would feed LRT B Line. 
  • Rapid Ready calls for the use of Park and Ride lots to funnel people from their cars into the LRT. This is not part of the plan. 
  • Rapid Ready report says 17% of population lives along the proposed LRT Route (Mac to Eastgate) however we do not know what the number is now along the shorter route. There is also an internal disagreement at City Hall now about the 17% number as no one in Transit seems to know where the number came from. 
  • Rapid Ready states “The first key contributor to becoming Rapid Ready in Hamilton is to invest in improving transit services and reconfigure the transit network in anticipation of rapid transit” this has also not been done. 
  • The Metrolinx Report (Steer Davies Gleave) of February 2010 makes assumptions that are contradicted by subsequent reports. Specifically the Metrolinx report states that “Hamilton Rapid Transit will result in reduced auto usage.” However a report by Chris Higgins from 2012 submitted to the City (but not submitted to Council) states: “LRT in and of itself should not be expected to mitigate regional congestion” 
  • The Metrolinx report states the estimated average speed of an LRT vehicle would be 34 km/h vs a BRT of 25 km/h. However, on the same page 28, that states the speed of an LRT car as 34km/h there is a footnote that also states the LRT vehicle will, in fact, travel at 25km/h throughout the downtown. The table however, and all future math in the report is then based off of the 34 km/h speed, not the actual 25km/h as stated in the footnote. This obviously results in all calculations in regards to LRT speeds as higher. The actual difference between an LRT or BRT vehicle is not identified with this footnote. 
  • The Metrolinx report refers to Travel Time Savings; however these travel time savings between our current B-Line bus system and an LRT appears to have a nearly negligible difference between the current system and the proposed LRT. 
  • The Metrolinx report talks about safety benefits through a reduction in automobile accidents as a result of lower vehicle usage. However the Higgins report shows that vehicle usage is not expected to be affected at all as a result of LRT implementation. 
  • The Metrolinx report talks about reduced GHG emissions as a result of lower automobile usage, however, again the Higgins report shows that automobile use will not be significantly affected. 
  • The Metrolinx report suggests property uplift of between 1 – 7% as a result of BRT implementation and 4-6% for LRT. However a new study by Higgins and Kanagoglou from McMaster University shows that simply placing rapid transit stations within an area does not affect property values. There are many other factors that need to be considered including ridership along the line before value uplift can be calculated. The study states that usage of the line must be high before any value is placed on its proximity to properties. Poor usage on a line can even have a negative impact on property values. 
  • Even with the questionable LVU in the Metrolinx report it estimates between 38 – 77 million in increases for BRT and 38 – 106 million for LRT. 
  • Metrolinx report specifies the cost benefit analysis for LRT at 1.1 and BRT at 1.4. Why are we spending more money to get less benefit? 

  • We acknowledge the LRT is not being put in to solve a transit problem but an economic development problem. The previous uplift estimates were for the LRT line running from McMaster to Eastgate and the largest portion of the uplift came from the redevelopment of the Scott Park lands. Those lands are now being used by the school board to build a new school, as such there will be no uplift generated at all from those lands as institutional land does not pay property taxes. This combined with the smaller route raise serious concerns about uplift along this line. This route may no longer make the most sense for economic uplift. 

  • There are many more heritage buildings on King than on Main St that further challenge the uplift in this corridor. 
In 2012 the City commissioned Chris Higgins at McMaster to write a report on the North American Light Rail Experience. This report was never submitted to Council.
  • Higgins states “Transit services were believed to act as a natural ‘magnet’ for development “ but then states “new transit lines alone had a rather anemic effect on spurring new development with many lines also suffering from low ridership.” Even the most optimistic ridership numbers on our proposed LRT B-Line play into these concerns. 
  • · Many systems in the US were built in the United States with overestimated ridership numbers. The same issue we are seeing in Hamilton’s estimated numbers.
  • Higgins states for transit to have a positive effect on Land Value Uplift (LVU) you must first have transit system maturation. Without executing the recommendations in Rapid Ready we should assume our system will have no impact on LVU.
  • Transit use rises in respect to congestion. Hamilton has very low congestion relative to places like Toronto or compared to other cities that have robust rapid transit networks. 

These are just a few of my many concerns. With the current configuration we will radically impact the lower city. Diverting 20,000 cars a day will create much more congestion and more people will cut through local neighbourhoods. Higgins suggested that for LRT to be successful parking rates must increase substantially and the creation of congestion would encourage more ridership. I do not want a Toronto transportation solution that has resulted in traffic gridlock. We must comprehensively provide a greater level of service in all geographic areas of the city before we start making it more difficult for people who do not have viable transportation alternatives. We only have one chance of getting this right. 

How are you dealing with letters of support for LRT, that are coming from certain interest groups. What sort of weight do you place on those sorts of things and how to you balance them as pieces of a bigger picture?

I hold constituency meetings once a month and meet one on one with residents. This past weekend we met with thirty residents and only one was in favour of LRT construction. Previous to that I met 300 residents at a community event where I asked for their feedback. They were also overwhelmingly opposed.

From time to time we do receive emails from residents in my ward that are in favour and we always read their emails and make a note of them; whenever possible, I will speak with them one on one.

Do you think the will of the people where this issue is concerned is understood?

I speak with residents of my ward every day, and during the recent by-election also had opportunity to knock on hundreds of doors with one of the candidates. The response I got during my own election in 2014 and the by-election this spring was overwhelmingly opposed to the LRT along its current route.

Thank-you Clr. Whitehead for engaging with Hamiltonians on The Hamiltonian.

Please note: The LRT issue, as well as other issues, has prompted much good and thoughtful discussion. However, at times, some people will attempt to post comments that seek to belittle others, or otherwise present as unprofessional. The Hamiltonian will be taking a hard line on such attempts and if your comment does not appear, please reconsider how you wrote it and resubmit it, if desired  abiding by The Hamiltonian's policy on respectful discourse. If you will be referring to others, please frefer to them using their proper name.  Thank-you  

108 comments:

  1. Finally!!!! A councillor who thinks, reads, digests and is not afraid to speak up. Good work Terry. I agree with your thinking!!!! We need others to really pay attention, as you obviously have.
    Sorce

    ReplyDelete
  2. Regrettably, many of these claims made by Councillor Whitehead are patently false or misleading at best. For one, the current ridership on the b-line is sufficient. Even if we go with the argument, the population of GTHA is projected to continue to grow so that within 10 years we will definitely have the necessary ridership if there are any doubts about the current ridership numbers. Second, safety will obviously be improved as a result of the complete streets that LRT will require. It's amazing that anyone would suggest there would not be an improvement in safety as surely almost anything would given the one-way system is so dangerous as is. Third, as a result of LRT having segregated lanes (i.e. Not subject to traffic) travel times will definitely be improved once you take into consideration long-term road use and traffic patterns factoring in the increasing population. The economic uplift argument is sound even according the author Higgins, who the councillor cites. The councillor seems to cherry pick from Higgins who is a known supporter of LRT, ignoring the fact that Higgins and others have all said that the LRT alone will not result in the changes we all want to see but will force the kind of complete streets, density, and development that results in economic uplift. Overall this article does not help people in understanding all sides, but thanks to the Internet readers can access accurate information on this subject.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      Sorry Chad, but I believe Clr. Whitehead. I am in his ward and have voted for him each election because he is upfront and clear about where he stands. I'm sorry you don't like that.

      Thanks Clr. Whitehead. Stay with it.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      "For one, the current ridership on the b-line is sufficient. Even if we go with the argument, the population of GTHA is projected to continue to grow so that within 10 years we will definitely have the necessary ridership if there are any doubts about the current ridership numbers."

      Oh, there are plenty of doubts about ridership numbers and we can't wait 10 years. It will drain us.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      "Sorry Chad, but I believe Clr. Whitehead. I am in his ward and have voted for him each election because he is upfront and clear about where he stands. I'm sorry you don't like that" another member of the westcliffe mall brain trust. heaven help us. hey buddy, why should i pay 10 million dollars to build you and your pals sidewalks. you want sidewalks, get your wallet out. no more free rides for west mountain.

      Delete
    4. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      Yes, Chad is right. Chris Hiigins, author of the Mac report that Clr Whitehead refers to, is pro LRT and telling us exaclty what needs to be done to maximize benefits from LRT and proper land use planning.

      Delete
  3. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "Changing our stops from the current 3-400 meters to 800-1000 meters will mean those riders will need to walk much farther to reach transit than they do now" ok, lets consider moving them closer. no reason to cancel. next

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  4. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "Operating costs for our current B-Line buses are only $1.07 per passenger. The LRT is estimated at $1.80 per passenger" hsr budget hasnt been increased in over ten years. it has in fact been slashed. we should be spending over 2.00 p/passenger if we had kept up hsr investments. we didnt.

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  5. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "Rapid Ready calls for an improvement to our local service by 100 conventional buses to enhance service to increase ridership to sustain LRT. This has not been done, and there is no financial plan to pay for this" we can take the buses frred up by the lrt to feed the lrt. anyway,ironic thast as one of the councillors that has slashed the hsr budget and rejected multiple funding increases for hsr its no surprise we dont have the 100 buses.

    ReplyDelete
  6. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "The Metrolinx report talks about safety benefits through a reduction in automobile accidents as a result of lower vehicle usage. However the Higgins report shows that vehicle usage is not expected to be affected at all as a result of LRT implementation" metrolinx gets there data from stats that include data from cities with lrt. these cities by and large have seen reduced auto accidents. just cause higgins doesnt think it will happen here is an opinion.

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  7. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    However a new study by Higgins and Kanagoglou from McMaster University shows that simply placing rapid transit stations within an area does not affect property values" . yes, simply placing an lrt doesnt automatically bring benefits. if there is proper coordination and planning, the benefits happen like the have many other places that did lrt right.

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  8. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "I hold constituency meetings once a month and meet one on one with residents. This past weekend we met with thirty residents and only one was in favour of LRT construction. Previous to that I met 300 residents at a community event where I asked for their feedback. They were also overwhelmingly opposed.I speak with residents of my ward every day, and during the recent by-election also had opportunity to knock on hundreds of doors with one of the candidates. The response I got during my own election in 2014 and the by-election this spring was overwhelmingly opposed to the LRT along its current route." sure. here is a partial list of neighbourhood associations in hamilton that have written open letters of support ot council in support of lrt: kirkendall, durand, lakewoodbeach, ainslie-wood westdale, north end neighbors. three other na's have endorsed lrt. who else has endorsed lrt with open letter of support: hamilton borad of trade, hamilton chamber of commerce, hamilton toursim, liuna, darko vranich, the hamilton burlington society of architects, the heads of mcmaster and mohawk. someone should tell terry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    I'm disappointed that the Hamiltonian would give Clr Whitehead a forum to spread misleading information without checking the sources.
    I'm confused by Clr Whitehead spending millions of dollars so far and continuing to vote in favour of LRT B-line to only now give the appearance he has serious concerns. What he asleep at the wheel during the last 10 years?

    ReplyDelete
  10. http://m.thespec.com/news-story/6700570-lrt-can-activate-downtown-hamilton-mcmaster-study-concludes

    Weird....so did Terry decide to take Higgins' report and casually misconstrue? Kinda looking like it...

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  11. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•The current B-Line ridership peak time peak direction is only 444 people. The remaining traffic is on the King/Main local buses that have closer stops. Changing our stops from the current 3-400 meters to 800-1000 meters will mean those riders will need to walk much farther to reach transit than they do now." Comment: The annual ridership on the B-Line is 1.3 million. The other 2 lines have ridership of 5.9 million. Rapid Ready assumes only 1/3rd of those users on those 2 lines will use LRT. The distance to stops has already been accommodated for in the report since it assumes the 2/3rds will use bus route.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hamiltonian AdminMay 31, 2016

    Clr. Whitehead has been kind enough to respond to our questions in detail. If you agree or disagree with the Clr, you are welcome to express your views here. Please understand that we will not be publishing comments that are designed to attack the Clr. Please keep comments issues based.

    Thank-you

    Hamiltonian Admin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      my comment about width between stops and 100 feeder buses were posted, then un posted. no attacks or snark. where did they go? why did they go?

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      thank you.

      Delete
  13. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "How are you dealing with letters of support for LRT, that are coming from certain interest groups. What sort of weight do you place on those sorts of things and how to you balance them as pieces of a bigger picture?" is there any group, lobby, special interest, stakeholder, partner, professional association or ANY sort of coaltion in public opposition to lrt? no. not one. nada zilch. this "balance" some are striving for doesnt exist. who IS on record as opposing lrt, but only recently? well, the same councillors that have voted time and time again in favour of lrt cough terry whitehead cough cough. and which councillors are recently opposed to lrt? councillors in wards where the lrt doesnt run. which councillors are in favour of lrt? the ones where the lrt runs. please explore this simple math when talking about the "will of the people"

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  14. I have to agree with much of what Whitehead said. He is doing his duty and raising issues that must be raised and must be resolved to his satisfaction, if you want his support. It seems that whenever anyone tries to raise legitimate issues about the problems with LRT, that they automatically become a target. It's sickening. @Whitehead- stay the course and don't be dissuaded.
    Sorce

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  15. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    “new transit lines alone had a rather anemic effect on spurring new development with many lines also suffering from low ridership.'

    Bingo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      read what chris higgins said today about lrt in hamilton. then see how that matches up with what terry says.

      Delete
  16. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•Operating costs for our current B-Line buses are only $1.07 per passenger. The LRT is estimated at $1.80 per passenger (with 1000 passengers)". Comment: Correct statement. However, the Bline corridor buses operate at a cost of $1.34 per passenger. Day One, low ridership LRT is $1.80 however with Council's approval of the implementation plans, this cost will be $0.45 per passenger.

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    Replies
    1. This is more accurate. It is also important to note that incremental extensions of the LRT (quickly done in other cities, like Ottawa, www.stage2lrt.ca for example) will feed ridership and lower operating costs.

      Calgary CTrain as an example, initially was fairly expensive to operate. It initially had less ridership than Hamilton's B-Line. By 2001, its operating cost fell to $0.27 per passenger as ridership went up to the triple figure levels. (Source: Calgary Transit)

      The quote of only 1000 people per hour is an irresponsible underestimate. Many people, especially those with cars, often do not bother with the B-Line especially if they miss a few full buses (during university/work/TiCats peak).

      The peak ridership is well above 500 for #10 alone if you go by uni/work/event peaks rather than traditional peaks. It happens several times a week! Plus, for #1 and #10 combined as people often board either bus on the same route. The LRT would consolidate the ridership along this corridor.

      Delete
  17. Sylvia (The Hockey Mom)May 31, 2016

    "The response I got during my own election in 2014 and the by-election this spring was overwhelmingly opposed to the LRT along its current route."

    I said the same thing.

    Sylvia (the Hockey mom)

    ReplyDelete
  18. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•There is currently a negligible speed difference on LRT vs our current B-Line buses. It currently takes 25 minutes to get from the Queenston Traffic Circle to Mac. (Source: HSR) The most recent LRT estimate for this corridor is 24 – 25 minutes" Comment: Setting aside the fact that there is no BLine bus stop at QTC( the closest stop is 700 ms walk), the travel time is moot. The advantage of LRT is reliability - guaranteed 25 mins whereas the BLine bus can and does get stuck in traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  19. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•Rapid Ready calls for an improvement to our local service by 100 conventional buses to enhance service to increase ridership to sustain LRT. This has not been done, and there is no financial plan to pay for this" Comment: This is extremely misleading to the public. First of all, this is the number of buses required over the next 8 year period. (note it was 126 as of 2015) Of the 100 buses, 45 of those are required just to improve deficiencies in our local transit. They are not required due to LRT. The remaining fleet of buses is to support LRT as well as to implement our overall BLAST network (larger expanded service)

    ReplyDelete
  20. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    I live in ward 8 and voted for Terry. His reversal on LRT and his opinion that BRT is the answer is shocking to me.

    Clr. Whitehead, the province is offering to pay for LRT and not BRT. What's your plan for coming up with the 800M for BRT, since the province won't be providing it?

    ReplyDelete
  21. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•Rapid Ready calls for improving transit operations on the James and Upper James line – prior to implementing an LRT. This has not been done." Comment: Rapid Ready is our plan of improvements required by the opening of LRT, year 2024. They are being prioritized and some have been funded and implemented. They all can't be done at one time due to budget constraints, but they are being addressed. The Council approved 10 Year Transit Strategy is well known to Clr Whitehead and to cherry pick one of many items is disingenuous. (and parochial since he picked an item in Ward 9)

    ReplyDelete
  22. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•The study to develop the L, S and T lines has not been done. These lines would feed LRT B Line." Comment: Those lines have been identified in our future transit plans as 25+ years away. Being concerned about those lines now(or spending resources now) seems irresponsible.

    ReplyDelete
  23. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    •Rapid Ready calls for the use of Park and Ride lots to funnel people from their cars into the LRT. This is not part of the plan" Good! We should be focusing on improvements to local transit (such as connectivity) from our doors and hopefully leaving our cars at home, at least some of the time. The whole transportation master plan is geared to alternative forms of transportation anyways.

    ReplyDelete
  24. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    Read Terry's points very carefully. They make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      And then read the poster's comments - they make sense too.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      •Rapid Ready report says 17% of population lives along the proposed LRT Route (Mac to Eastgate) however we do not know what the number is now along the shorter route. There is also an internal disagreement at City Hall now about the 17% number as no one in Transit seems to know where the number came from: From GRIDs, etc, population is estimated at 82,000 Mac to QTC (phase 1 LRT). Phase 2 LRT: Mac to Eastgate pop. estimate at 2031 is 100,000 people. Possible our growth targets along our corridors from our Planning Dept is where the 17% is coming from

      Delete
    3. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

      "•Metrolinx report specifies the cost benefit analysis for LRT at 1.1 and BRT at 1.4. Why are we spending more money to get less benefit?" Can't help but wonder why this is being raised now, and not back in 2013 when Council unanimously approved asking the province to fund LRT and didn't ask the province to fund BRT. Looks suspicious consider the majority of Council are the same individuals so not much has changed.

      Delete
    4. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      Metrolinx BCA: “The lower cost BRT option produces the lowest overall economic development and employment benefits during construction as well as during the on-going operations.”

      Delete
    5. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      What was the page number? or link? I'd like to see the context as this makes the multiple Council votes in favour of LRT over BRT very very questionable.

      Delete
    6. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      @ Metrolinx BCA - please ignore post. I read this wrong.

      Delete
  25. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•Rapid Ready report says 17% of population lives along the proposed LRT Route (Mac to Eastgate) however we do not know what the number is now along the shorter route. There is also an internal disagreement at City Hall now about the 17% number as no one in Transit seems to know where the number came from". Comment: So? What does it matter what percent of the pop. currently lives on the route. If it's 50% live there but zero percent are using transit we wouldn't be looking at that route. The important fact is that the ridership numbers are there.

    ReplyDelete
  26. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    "•Rapid Ready states “The first key contributor to becoming Rapid Ready in Hamilton is to invest in improving transit services and reconfigure the transit network in anticipation of rapid transit” this has also not been done". Comment: Again, improvements are being made as we type. The plans aren't complete yet but aren't planned on being completed until 2024 - opening of LRT running.

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  27. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    Multiple concerns raised by Cllr Whitehead are in regards to today's scenarios. LRT is for the future and the economic, social and environmental benefits far outweigh any of the present day concerns - most of which appear to me to be solvable by visionary leaders in our community who are focused on city building instead of city derailing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    @Whitehead. Thanks for having the guts to say what a lot of people are thinking Kudos Sir!

    ReplyDelete
  29. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    It would have been helpful if Terry could have provided costs of transit improvements not funded for yet so we can compare that figure to the $80 million worth of infrastructure (roads, sewer, watermains) that are being completed as part of the $1 billion project. Infrastructure that also isn't funded that would come from the local taxpayers over the next 25 years

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  30. AnonymousMay 31, 2016

    and the last piece of the puzzle falls into place. according to socre and jimmy and others, it doesnt matter that EVERY organization and association in hamilton with a public stance on lrt is very much pro lrt. no, what is of ultimate importance to these volk is number of anti lrt comments on the public forums. well lo and behold as of 11.22 pm may 31st the vast majority of comments on the hamiltonian are very much in favour of lrt. we have lead socre and jim to the promised land. hallalujah.

    ReplyDelete
  31. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    I don't get it, I don't see how concentrating $1 billion of transit investment in a short train track is going to benefit the City of Hamilton at large? With all the advances in transportation technology and all those coming in the next decade or so, is investing in tracks the best use of funds?

    I don't see how this investment will benefit all those in the City when at a fraction of the cost bus service all across the City could be expanded and enhanced. I think that would have far greater impact in terms of reducing vehicle use and emissions.

    I also find it interesting that in my opinion, the minority of Hamiltonians are supportive of such a lavish expenditure given our low density yet complain about crumbling infrastructure and a huge infrastructure deficit.

    LRT will only lead to unsustainable expenses down the road for my children, another thing to complain to upper levels of government about when things start to fail in twenty years.....road salt rotting the tracks, ugly overhead hydro lines. I think it is just a fad orchestrated by the Provincial Liberal Government.

    Invest in clean fuel buses or electric buses for that matter as they need the same ugly overhead lines at least buses are adaptable to ridership demands. I think it is a pipe dream to think that the LRT will be the silver bullet to downtown revitalization without taking care of the social and poverty issues downtown first.

    I went to a concert on a Friday night at the FOCU Centre and parked at John and Jackson area. The garbage along King street was disgusting and the people we passed on the way back to the car were intimidating. LRT will not solve this. Spend the money helping people with addiction, unemployment and poverty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree
      Sorce

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      One of the main seller features of LRT to me, is that they are adaptable to ridership demands (by adding a car) without a substantial increase in operating costs. Unlike buses which require another city employee to drive. A great part of our taxes go to salaries/pension plans/benefits so anything we can do to reduce that long term is a huge plus in my opinion.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      "There are many more heritage buildings on King than on Main St that further challenge the uplift in this corridor."

      It may comfort the councillor to know that just under half of the route is slated to run on Main.

      Delete
    4. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      Next the argument will be that we're displacing the "residents" of that section of downtown so where will they go during construction?!? Glass half full?

      Delete
  32. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    "There is currently a negligible speed difference on LRT vs our current B-Line buses. It currently takes 25 minutes to get from the Queenston Traffic Circle to Mac. (Source: HSR) The most recent LRT estimate for this corridor is 24 – 25 minutes."

    Terry Whitehead doesn't ride the bus and refused to do so even for charity, nevertheless, some of his false claims are easily tested.

    Google Maps will tell you that it will take 35 minutes, ten more than that made up by Cllr. Whitehead, to travel from the Queenston Traffic Circle to Mac on a B-Line bus. The time increases to 45 minutes on a 1 bus. That can be verified by anyone with a phone or computer, as opposed to Whitehead's unnamed estimate.

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    1. The published HSR timetables and actual ride experience agrees. It is over 30 minutes at peak and you often have to miss certain full buses till you can get on one. I believe Terry miscalculated certain important numbers, and/or used some offpeak nu,bers.

      Delete
    2. "we are actually morally obligated to say yes" How has it come to pass Mark that you believe you are in position to determine the morals of anyone other than yourself? One of the most revealing quotes I have seen on the topic. Arrogance knows no bounds

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      once again, jim doesnt comment on any facts posted. cause he has no facts to support his position. jim finds a sentence or thought he can take umbrage at, he whinges, he moves on.

      Delete
  33. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    Always rich to hear multi-term councillors complain about how council has failed to act on its own plans. Refreshing that it took less than 50 minutes, at least.

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  34. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    I am undecided. So far, everything I have read in the papers is positive about LRT. But now, I am not so sure. I think Mr. Whitehead raises some good questions. BTW- where can i get The Hamiltonian? Thank-you Thomas

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    Replies
    1. Hamiltonian AdminJune 01, 2016

      Thank-you Thomas. The Hamiltonian is not a print copy publication at this time. It is available online at thehamiltonian.net It remains a free service to Hamiltonians. Thank-you for reading. Do come back and tell your friends ;-)

      The Hamiltonian Admin

      Delete
  35. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    As a new convert to Rapid Ready, I imagine that Councillor Whitehead will surely move to invest an additional $45 million annually capital funds to HSR service improvements (triple council's existing commitment) rather than repeatedly slashing transit funding and creating an environment where service improvements are almost solely reliant on the farebox. If Councillor Whitehead takes issue with the HSR's service levels he should own his substantive role in the status quo — both as a voting member of council and as a recurring member of the Public Works Committee.

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  36. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    So, no need for LRT because there's no congestion and because if we add LRT we will have congestion. Better to wait until we have unambiguous congestion, at which point a solution will cause transportation paralysis. Gotcha.

    ReplyDelete
  37. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    You have to appreciate the honest self-appraisal of a 13-year councillor who acknowledges that the success of infrastructure is holistic and that he and his colleagues cannot be trusted to follow through in order to maximize benefits to the City of Hamilton. A hugely problematic message to send to senior government if you're angling for infrastructure dollars, but refreshingly self-critical.

    ReplyDelete
  38. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    "I continue to support the Rapid Ready report and had I the opportunity to receive this report today, I would do so again. I mean, I would still refuse to act on the policy recommendations therein, but occasionally I would cite it chapter and verse until such time I realized that this made me look more hypocritical than learned."

    ReplyDelete
  39. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    Advising the public that we need 100 buses to support LRT without advising the public that we have already made significant gains in increasing the fleet is shameful. Rapid Ready called for 126 buses during a 10 year period. In the last 2 years, 25 buses have been added and funded. 20% of the total in 2 years means we're on track to hit 100% of this target by 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  40. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    "We only have one chance of getting this right."

    http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/raw-video-the-longest-oc-transpo-traffic-jam-ever

    ReplyDelete
  41. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    Re: “The current B-Line ridership peak time peak direction is only 444 people.”

    2010 HSR Operational Review, Exhibit 3-18. Service, afternoon peak (3pm-7pm):

    1 KING
    = 4,506 boardings
    = 12.50% of buses over capacity

    5 DELAWARE
    = 3,587 boardings
    = 0.00% of buses over capacity

    10 B-LINE EXPRESS
    = 2,844 boardings
    = 11.11% of buses over capacity

    51 UNIVERSITY
    = 2,341 boardings
    = 15.38% of buses over capacity

    http://www2.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/9D868772-92BE-4A69-B874-42A1081726CD/0/TTRFinalReport.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      85% decline in B-Line ridership since 2010?

      "20 — Percentage of ridership growth along the B-line since 2009. The corridor represents 42 per cent of total HSR ridership."

      http://www.thespec.com/news-story/5246097-don-t-axe-downtown-hamilton-bus-only-lane-report/

      Delete
    2. so adding 10% capacity solves it, thanks. increase Bline #1 University frequency by 2 buses per hour each done

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      So adding higher-capacity LRV solves the capacity issue without incurring the operational and capital costs of adding 6 additional buses per hour. Done.

      Delete
    4. Except it costs $1B better spent to upgrade 2X what is proposed

      Delete
    5. AnonymousJune 05, 2016

      Except that the province has made it clear that the $1B is to be spent on B-Line rapid transit, presumably the LRT that council has supported in dozens of votes since 2008.

      If Hamilton wants more conventional buses (even for the BRT-Lite service like the 10 Express) rather than a dedicated right-of-way BRT or LRT system, it has its answer: “Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says Hamilton will have to use its portion of the provincial gas tax money to help fund its 10-year bus transit strategy instead of relying in direct provincial help.” http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/6376718-hamilton-s-302-million-bus-transit-funding-request-crashes/

      Ontario shares two cents per litre of provincial gas tax revenues with municipalities “to expand and improve public transit. For the last few years Hamilton has received $10.7M on average, annually. So in order to bankroll $1B in transit expansion and a $200M bus barn, the city would simply have to set its priority phasing and spend the next 112 years letting provincial money take care of things.

      Delete
    6. AnonymousJune 05, 2016

      It's refreshing to see such support for investing in enhancements to the HSR. I don't expect that this principled passion will survive the new municipal transit tax levy (as slated for 2017–2024 under the HSR's Ten-Year Transit Strategy), nor do I expect that it will lead to the dismantling of area rating for transit, but I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Time will tell if it's a genuine policy position or just concern trolling.

      QED

      Delete
  42. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    The more I read all this pushback to Clr,. Whitehead, the more i think he hit a few nerves and has landed some very good points. Thanks Terry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      I think he's hitting some nerves because those who have read the same reports can see that he is spreading misinformation to the public. It looks more to me like people are just tired of his games and won't stand for his antics any longer.

      Delete
    2. I believe people are upset because they see the truth in his presentation above and tho they think its just a ploy it really does raise legitimate concerns that might derail the train

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      Councillor Whitehead's claims, in short: We don't need free rapid transit because we haven't had a chance to to substantially increase the municipal contribution to the HSR. The system is broken and in need of priority attention from all of council. We shouldn't be rushed into accepting money from the province until we get our own house in order.

      Delete
  43. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    I just saw a hilarious tweet that alleged that Whitehead has spread misinformation on this interview and that the interview itself is "an insult 2 journalism". That is too funny. This is so typical of the LRT lobby and how they come across as juveniles.

    Keep up the great work on The Hamiltonian. If you can't even ask basic questions, lest they be called insults, or "pointed" then you are dealing with an immature bunch.

    Ronald from the mountain- Proud Whitehead supporter!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    “Rapid Ready calls for an improvement to our local service… This has not been done, and there is no financial plan to pay for this… Rapid Ready calls for improving transit operations… This has not been done… The first key contributor to becoming Rapid Ready in Hamilton is to invest in improving transit services… this has also not been done.”

    Kind of an awkward way to hit your constituents up for a new tax levy, but to each his own.

    ReplyDelete
  45. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    "•The current B-Line ridership peak time peak direction is only 444 people"
    Councillor fails to inform us that the HSR loading (occupancy) guideline is 53 people during peak (3p.m. to 7 p.m)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      "Peak time" is an imprecise term. Does he mean the peak period (3-7pm) or just the peak hour?

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      I believe he is referring to the average during a peak hour from the boardings during the peak period (1,776 /4 = 444) taken from March 2016. (yes, likely March break occurred to him but hey why be forthcoming with that!)

      Delete
  46. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    " these travel time savings between our current B-Line bus system and an LRT appears to have a nearly negligible difference"
    Our B-line bus travels on average at 18.7 km/hr, is the good councillor implying a LRT travelling at 34 km/hr won't be quicker even if it slows down for a short distance ?

    ReplyDelete
  47. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

    terry whitehead quotes stats from data and claims this data show flaws in our lrt planning. in many cases, people have submitted or linked to the actual source material terry whitehead is using. in many instances, the data says either the opposite of what terry says it does. or the only portion of the source material used is the part that supports terrys position. or there is a lot of information from the source material terry neglected or declined to quote from, with much of this unsubmitted data refuting terrys position. of course, some of this could be considered a matter of interpretation. so this begs the question: when does councillor whitehead follow up on his original submission? either to clarify his position or at least to reemphasize his position? as im sure the the hamiltonian has invited councillor whitehead to respond to the responses to his submission, i ask the hamiltonian to inform us. when will this happen? thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hamiltonian AdminJune 01, 2016

      Clr. Whitehead was invited to respond to the above noted questions and has done so. While the Clr. is free to forward any additional comments, or to log in and post to the thread, there is no obligation to do so. The Hamiltonian remains open to all.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      "Clr. Whitehead was invited to respond to the above noted questions and has done so." im was sure you would invite him to respond. you say "and he has done so". where any of the comments above councillor whitehead? or maybe you mean he has responded and you are going to publish those responses. can you clarify which is which? thanks in advance for your help.

      Delete
    3. Hamiltonian AdminJune 01, 2016

      The Clr. was invited to respond to the original questions that appear in the article above. He has responded to those.

      Delete
  48. In defense of Clr. Whitehead and The Hamiltonian. He was asked to answer some questions. Whitehead did so. Problem is, some of you don't like his answers. If that is the case, put forward your arguments as to why. Do so without being disrespectful. Do so without harassing The Hamiltonian for having asked questions. Be grateful that we have a chance to look at this material and join the conversation. Geesh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 01, 2016

      "If that is the case, put forward your arguments as to why" many people did. with data and sources provided. almost 40 times by my count. "Do so without being disrespectful" again, almost 40 people responded with facts in a respectful way. "Do so without harassing The Hamiltonian for having asked questions" i didnt harass by anyones definition. i asked a relevant question, thanking them. i didnt fully understand the response, so i asked for clarification, and thanked them again. no one needs the hamiltonian to look at the rapdid ready or metrolinx report or the lrt submissions to council. those are public information. i dont find terry whiteheads opinions on the lrt relevant. only how he votes. i thank the hamiltonian for providing the forum and allowing myself and others to join the conversation.

      Delete
    2. 40 people? are these more of your "facts". Looks to me like a weak argument from a desperate individual.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 04, 2016

      Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.

      Delete
    4. and baloney is still baloney

      Delete
  49. Hamiltonian AdminJune 02, 2016

    Just a reminder that we welcome debate on this and all topics, but we will be doing our best not to publish comments that are unprofessional . Of course, this is sometimes a tricky call and some comments border that line. Please assist us by posting your comments in a respectful way. When referring to others, please also use their proper name.

    Thank-you for understanding.

    The Hamiltonian Admin

    ReplyDelete
  50. AnonymousJune 02, 2016

    There's an article written in RTH today that might interest some: https://raisethehammer.org/article/2992

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typical biased not factually correct rebuttals and personal attacks. Seriously anyone reading RTH isn't interested in another viewpoint

      Delete
    2. I have visited RTH many times at different points in time. It's not for me. Very slanted in a certain direction. But I understand what they are about and that's fine. I still believe The Hamiltonian is the best site for local politics. I read stuff here that you don't find elsewhere and it is pretty balanced. No knock against McGreal. Just not my cup of tea
      Sorce

      Delete
    3. The Hamiltonian does a much better job of presenting multiple viewpoints

      Delete
  51. AnonymousJune 02, 2016

    Everyone should thank Sam Merulla for this idea of a vote. I think it's great so we can finally kill this silly LRT idea, but he did shoot himself in the foot didn't he.

    ReplyDelete
  52. AnonymousJune 03, 2016

    despite the opinions of McGreal et al that roads are responsible for diminishing local real estate values-in a red hot real estate market-we are now informed LRT will produce a "transformative effect" on LVU. Why would anyone want to "transform" a red hot real estate market?

    ReplyDelete
  53. AnonymousJune 03, 2016

    From my understanding what it will do is shift the assessments to the corridor, thereby reducing taxes in the outer areas (any properties greater than 400 -800 ms from a LRT stop)

    ReplyDelete
  54. AnonymousJune 04, 2016

    im interested in the area rating debate. me and many of my families friends and neighbours (not all, many) in our downtown/old hamilton/inner city/lower city whatever wards are interested in reopening area rating. many here are fine with paying MORE, get that MORE on our municipal tax's for infrastructure projects that give us the bulk (but not complete) benefits of the investments. people in flamborough or stoney creek dont want to pay for lrt? fine. many residents of stoney creek use hsr daily but pay little or no public transportation tax levy on their municipal tax. most people in flamborough pay no public transpo levy at all and get no hsr. were fine with that status quo to some extent. our family and many others are fine with the public transpo tax levey increasing for things like lrt, bike lanes, complete streets, no car zones, walkability initiatives etc. even though these initiatives benefit hamilton at large, we are willing to shoulder the bulk of the bill to make our lives better. thats why we organize and cooperate and plan for our futures. but why should i pay ten million dollars in sidewalk for people on the west mountain. or tens of millions of dollars for increased paramedic service in flamborough? or a roads or schools in binbrook? area rating tax increases should pay for that. increase the tax bills on west mountain to pay for sidewalks. increase the tax bills in waterdown if you want to build a road or school. step up "new hamilton". pay your fair share.

    ReplyDelete
  55. AnonymousJune 04, 2016

    and if you want these things, do something other than pound a keyboard. people in winona and fruitland arent winning the battle against developers, but they win some which we should all be thank full for. they are working hard to keep their and our quality of life by organizing and cooperating. if mountain people REALLY want public transit investments first thing they should do is ask for them in a medium other than comment boards on social media. the second thing they should do is stop electing councillors like terry whitehead that havent increased spending on the hsr in over a decade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 05, 2016

      "people in winona and fruitland arent winning the battle against developers" and under the City Hall status quo version of urban development, their victories won't grow any more numerous.

      Delete
  56. AnonymousJune 05, 2016

    "It's not important to him what the world really is like. What's important to him is how he'd like to represent himself. He takes a more adventurous and inventive attitude towards reality, which may be sometimes very colorful, sometimes amusing, sometimes it might produce results that are enjoyable. But it's also very dangerous."

    https://vimeo.com/167796382

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is an interesting little post to start off my morning. I quite enjoyed the video and much of it is true. It doesn't apply to Whitehead, even thoiugh you wish it did. You see, BS, according to the video is vague, you can't put your finger on it. I think Whitehead was far from vague in his thoughts.

      So, you may want to re-read your own post and re-watch the video and see if your post subscribes to the definition.

      Thanks for the amusement
      Sorce

      Delete
  57. WEST HARBOUR RESIDENTJune 05, 2016

    I'm really struggling to sort out all the Anonymous people. Can people maybe use A 1, A 2 or something akin to that? Is that too much to ask for? It would make responding much easier...especially when Anonymous responds to Anonymous responding to yet another Anonymous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hamiltonian AdminJune 05, 2016

      We agree. Or perhaps people can opt for using a handle.

      Delete
  58. perhaps you can disable anonymous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hamiltonian AdminJune 05, 2016

      that's a good suggestion however we are using the Blogger infrastructure and that option is not available to us

      Delete
  59. especially when Anonymous responds to Anonymous responding to yet another Anonymous.....and they are all the same guy. Perhaps only one comment per "anonymous" IP address per article? Kind of like votes are tabulated on some sites?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Hamiltonian AdminJune 05, 2016

      These are all good ideas but given that we do not have control over the infrastructure, the easiest solution would be for people to use a handle. We encourage folks to do so. You can still select Anonymous as your log in type, but simply end your post with a handle signature.

      Example: I like/don't like LRT.

      East mountain Guy

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 06, 2016

      byline (noun)
      a line in a newspaper naming the writer of an article.

      http://magazine.journalismfestival.com/panel-be-more-transparent-to-gain-readers-trust/

      A5

      Delete

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