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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Perspectives Virtual Panel- on LRT

It has been a while since we've engaged our Perspectives Virtual Panel, but seeing that LRT is once again becoming an issue, we decided to ask them the following:


Given that conversations are once again in play with respect to whether LRT should be implemented in Hamilton, what advice might you have for councilors?

Is it your recommendation that we stay the course and implement LRT as has been envisioned and earmarked for 1 billion worth of funding from the province? Do you believe a referendum on the issue may be helpful? Or, is it your advice that we take another look at this and reconsider our options?


Here are their replies:, in alphabetical order by surname

Given that conversations are once again in play with respect to whether LRT should be implemented in Hamilton, what advice might you have for councilors?

Major projects are difficult to implement as they require teamwork and strong communication to all stakeholders. Council has the opportunity to lead this project and mitigate any negative impacts on businesses, traffic, the city's reputation and relationship with the province. They can achieve this by resolving their debate quickly, streamlining and improving their communications, and striking a task force to provide solutions to the challenges that arise. Communication is critical and must improve immediately.

Is it your recommendation that we stay the course and implement LRT as has been envisioned and earmarked for 1 Billion worth of funding from the province?

Eight years of studies, millions of dollars and dozens of council votes have taken place to get this provincial investment of 1 billion dollars. No LRT means no MONEY. Hamilton would have to give up this investment and get back in line for any other provincial transit funding with no guarantees of receiving that funding. This a once-a-generation investment and has a myriad of benefits for the entire city over the long run including tax revenues, investment, improved transit, urban intensification, competitiveness, image, and much more. Council must conclude its circular arguments and pernicious politics on LRT and start communicating as a team on merits, steps and issue mitigation strategies.

Do you believe a referendum on the issue may be helpful?

Absolutely not. A referendum in this case is a cynical political tool that over simplifies the issue. A Referendum allows councillors to abdicate their duty to review ample evidence on LRT benefits for all Hamiltonians and city-build accordingly for the good of the whole.
Laura Babcock

My knee jerk reaction to the LRT was, 'Hell yes!" I was raised in Toronto where the Subway transformed the city. (I rode the Toronto subway the second day after it opened.) Two of our sons live in London where life would be incredibly difficult without the "tube." I know firsthand how important good transit can be. As president of the Downtown Hamilton BIA, along with then lawyer, Ray Harris, I met with Dale Turvey, then the Grand Poo bah of transit in Hamilton to question the removal of electrically fuelled trolleybuses in downtown Hamilton. I first moved to Hamilton in the late 70's when city council turned down a free LRT from downtown to the top of the escarpment fully funded by the Province.

Yes they did! Almost 30 years ago the City of Hamilton Turned down a $128,000, 000 gift from the Province of Ontario.

OK, OK. As a former member of Council, I know that it in not unusual for our City Government to act foolishly.

But a Conservative friend of mine suggested that I read the report about the LRT. Since I was no longer on council, I read the report. You should too. (find the link) (Councillors often know the right answer without reliance on facts or educated opinion.)

The conclusions of the report indicated that many of the outcomes of more rapid transit could be achieved by another forms of rapid transit. Dedicated bus lanes should be able to move as many people in close to the same amount of time as LRT. The costs would be much lower, the disruption for the merchants along the route would be minimised, and the transit results - the number of people moved in far less time - would be similar. So - why wouldn't we choose the less expensive, effective, flexible, and locally controlled solution to more rapid transit?

Duhh! The answer is pretty clear. A vociferous chorus of opponents to dedicated bus lanes convinced
our council to kill the experiment that was tried a few months ago. You see, dedicated bus lanes are subject to the whims of Council.

Suburban Councillors whose constituents don't get that the connection of their level of taxation is directly connected to the economic health of the core of Hamilton are encouraged to oppose LRT. The merchants who line the proposed (shortened) route, and who will suffer the huge decline in traffic and business during the many months (perhaps years) of construction will complain and encourage Councillors to oppose the long view rather than the short term substantial losses to the store-keepers along King Street.

So - the opponents of LRT are correct. Cheaper, less intrusive, more pedestrian, and bike friendly alternatives are available.

Proponents of LRT are right too. Depending on local Council is dangerous.

Based on logic and the relationships of cost to benefits dedicated bus lanes make more sense. Based on the past performance of local politicians - put me in the supporters of LRT column.
Marvin Caplan

Given that conversations are once again in play with respect to whether LRT should be implemented in Hamilton, what advice might you have for councillors? 

I would say to them, if you were on Council prior to the last election, honour your previous commitment. If you are new to Council this term, do your homework. As in, actually do your homework. The kind of questions I heard at the GIC meeting where Paul Johnson presented the LRT plan suggest that some need to do more reading and listening, including reading reports and the reviewing of votes already taken, so they can base their questions on facts and not on fear, or worse, on ignorance.

Is it your recommendation that we stay the course and implement LRT as has been envisioned and earmarked for 1 Billion worth of funding from the province? 

I do think we should push ahead and work with the provincial government to develop the LRT line as proposed, and as has been voted on over 60 times over the past 8 years by many of these dame Councillors. One of the problems we must also address, in public, in order to make an integrated transit system successful, is the historical behaviours of the veterans on Council. For example, Tom Jackson has been on Council for 26 years. Collins for 21 years. Whitehead for 13 years. All are now claiming that our current transit system sucks. Well, exactly who do they hold accountable for that? They chose not to invest meaningful amounts necessary to see true improvements to the HSR. They voted to effectively starve the HSR for funding through their past votes and now they seem intent on starving the provincially funded LRT of their support by their dithering and second guessing. Not exactly compelling leadership. It’s as if they’re blaming the province for wanting to fund LRT. So yes, let’s accept the $1 billion for LRT and then let’s step up to the funding shortfall of the HSR by voting to allocate funds in the next municipal budget to begin to address those shortfalls that will serve to enhance the success of LRT. Some suggest that amount to be in the $20 million range per year. Doable, but difficult.

Do you believe a referendum on the issue may be helpful? Or, is it your advice that we take another look at this and reconsider our options?

Major, progressive change was never achieved through a referendum to my knowledge. Like it or not, sometimes change needs to be implemented first by strong leaders and then the public needs to adapt to the change. Women being able to vote, ending segregation, protecting the civil rights of minorities, protection of sexual orientation, support of same-sex marriage, etc. None would have passed if done through a referendum. I’ll be the first to say, LRT is not social change, at least not as obviously as the examples I just mentioned, but it is change nonetheless. A change that has much broader implications than merely transit. Included in the ancillary benefits along the line and, in particular, at or near LRT stations, include more construction jobs, more retail and commercial space, more residential units, likely including affordable housing if the City embraces inclusionary zoning - all leading to greater tax assessment and therefore greater revenue to the City of Hamilton. Whether that results in lower taxes or enhanced services for the rest of the City is up to senior management and to Council (see my answer related to HSR funding by Council). I believe it’s critical to take a systems thinking approach to LRT and not to dismiss it simply as a fancy streetcar that some people have already decided they won’t use. We’re on the edge of failure in the presence of the offer a a great leap forward. Personally, I’m hoping for success.
Graham Crawford

I am in favour of this project and have stated so publicly. I don't agree with every aspect of this plan, but that is neither here nor there at this point. The plan going forward is the stated one and rather than arguing about it, the city should be managing the issues raised and the concerns expressed.

I do believe the 'turmoil' and 'divisions' are more media created than actual. I don't believe the majority of Councillors are about to turn their backs on a $1B gift from the province and risk being labelled ungrateful or untrustworthy in future dealings with senior levels of government. I am equally convinced that turning down this project will change community narrative from merits of the LRT to a 'dysfunctional council' who couldn't get this done; and that would not be in anyone's interest.
However, Councillors will want to keep asking questions of clarification, information and even concerns as this project moves forward. They should be allowed to perform that function free from outside ridicule from the peanut gallery, and free from internal infighting which only severs relationships and pushes people who will ultimately support to become even more hardened in their attitude.

However, now that there is this air of indecision, making Council seem to dither, a confirming vote is necessary to signal to everyone that the project is indeed moving ahead. It will not be a unanimous vote, but a healthy majority in support is also an acceptable outcome. At this point, the debate and the aborted motions have elicited surprise front the Premier and ridicule from the Mayor of Ottawa (also a former minister); and our Mayor can do without that as he meets these folks in his official duties. Let's clear the air; let's move forward on this project and turn our attention to other important matters.
Larry DiIanni

Given that conversations are once again in play with respect to whether LRT should be implemented in Hamilton, what advice might you have for councilors?

Councillors, you deserve congratulations. With your colleagues among city staff and at the province, over a period of many years, you have successfully laid out a compelling vision for a modern city, propelled by a clean, modern and swift transit system that enjoys broad-based support among the community and its leaders.

You have now successfully secured once-in-a-lifetime funding for this vision.Bravo!Now that a new leg of this journey has begun, it is understandable that some fear and trepidation exists. However, consider that you and your colleagues have voted in favour of rapid transit and LRT some 45 times since 2006. You voted this way for many excellent reasons. You know that the studies have been done, the plans have been laid, and the community support exists to ensure this is a successful project. You have the full knowledge that this is a once-in-a-lifetime investment in the City of Hamilton, one that underpins the city’s strategic goals, including revitalizing its downtown, increasing density, expanding its city’s tax base, generating economic uplift, and giving residents a choice in how they move around.

You've known all along that construction of the LRT would have some impacts on traffic and small businesses along the route during the construction period. But you also understand that leadership means creating the conditions for success. It means planning for impacts and helping businesses and residents through them, not throwing out years and millions of dollars worth of planning and a one billion dollar investment at the first sign of challenges.

You must also be aware that to waver in your support now sends a very strange and disconcerting message. It says that Council cannot be relied upon as a stable, rational partner. It says that Hamilton is not a stable place in which to invest. It sends a clear signal to businesses that multi-year plans for major local investments can vanish, quickly and suddenly, in a cloud of fear and uncertainty.

Simply put, saying no to a one billion dollar investment, rejecting all of the construction and permanent jobs that come with it, forgoing the increased property tax revenue and economic development, and giving this investment to another city would be very poor civic leadership.

But you know that already. I have full confidence that during this challenging conversation, cooler heads will prevail.

Is it your recommendation that we stay the course and implement LRT as has been envisioned and earmarked for 1 Billion worth of funding from the province?

As a business person I look at this through a business lens. If the leadership of my company and I identified a key strategic opportunity, developed a careful plan over the course of eight years to capitalize on it, and then secured an incredibly large investment from an outside partner who also believed in the plan, I cannot think of anything, short of a natural disaster or act of God, that would persuade me in the eleventh hour to halt progress or drastically adjust course.Consider that the board of directors of the city, namely Council, has voted repeatedly in favour of this course of action. It has the support of the chair of the board (the mayor), the support of the corporation’s CEO (the City Manager) and the support of the organization’s staff. In this context, those few members of Council that are now attempting to steer this off course are behaving in a way that is bizarre and irresponsible.

Do you believe a referendum on the issue may be helpful?

We had a referendum on the issue already: the mayoral election, in which the anti-LRT candidate lost handily to the pro-LRT candidate, Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

Or, is it your advice that we take another look at this and reconsider our options?


After eight years and millions of dollars of planning, after years of community consultation, after multiple studies in favour, after dozens of council votes, and after the province has responded to our formal request for funding with the biggest YES Hamilton has received in decades, taking another look at this isn’t wise or judicious, it’s just self-destructive waffling.Secondly, no other feasible options have been presented. The City asked for funding for LRT and that is what it has received. BRT would be just as disruptive to build, would also cost hundreds of millions of dollars, would also take up a traffic lane, and wouldn’t bring the same kind of transit convenience or economic uplift as LRT - which is why it’s not on the table. LRT opponents have not brought forward any other reasonable alternative. The other “options” the anti-LRT contingent are proposing are just ways to try and derail the project. Hamilton has earned a once-in-a-lifetime investment in its future. Let’s not squander it. 
Adrian Duyzer

Reconsideration of the present LRT proposal is strongly recommended. Westdale to DT makes sense however the case for east of DT is poor given an already successful but less glamorous service at present. The LRT should head south from DT to serve the Hunter St GO, St Joe's at Charlton, St Joe's at West Fifth, all the retail on Upper James for several KM and serving the AP employment lands with its 20K+ future jobs. From the brow south to the airport there is plenty of room for the tracks all the way to the AP. Traffic on Main Street East and King East already move well whereas Upper James is a nightmare. Future growth in Hamilton is the south end, not Main East and Strathearne. It's not a question of mountain residents having the train for its own sake - the service is greatly needed there and would meet all the conditions for optimizing economic stimulus. Thank you. 
Brian Kelly

If Council were to back out of its own LRT commitment now, we would lose the $1 billion earmarked for the LRT project. The money will go back into the Provincial GTHA transit fund to pay for the next priority project in another city.

We would lose the money, period. Even if we submitted an alternative plan, it would start at the bottom of the pile, behind the other projects that have already been approved and await funding.

If Council says NO to this LRT plan, they would be saying NO to a billion dollar investment in Hamilton.

They would be saying NO to the increased property tax revenue, benefiting the whole city, that will come from new developments around the LRT line.

They would be saying NO to thousands of construction jobs and new permanent jobs.

They would be saying NO to provincially-funded civic infrastructure upgrades that would free up $80 million to deploy across Hamilton.

They would be saying NO to freeing up buses to improve transit service across the Mountain and suburbs.

They would be saying NO to responsible, strategic leadership, throwing Hamilton's economic prospects into uncertainty and scaring away investors.

The City and Province have been studying rapid transit in Hamilton since 2006 through a long succession of feasibility studies, benefits case analyses, background reports, design studies and public consultations.

The clear consensus has been that the LRT plan currently under implementation provides the biggest overall benefit to the city - in terms of economic development, fiscal sustainability and quality of life
- and is essential for Hamilton and the Province to reach their long-term strategic goals.

The east-west B-Line is the first part of the LRT network because the current express bus service has been in operation since 1986 and already has the ridership to support LRT - well over 30,000 rides a day on opening day, with huge growth potential. The north-south A-Line line will become ready for future LRT expansion as ridership on that line continues to grow.

That is why Council has consistently voted in support of LRT in dozens of votes over the past eight years, and also why the Province agreed to provide full capital funding. It's why Council recently established an LRT office and signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Metrolinx to go ahead and implement the approved and funded plan.

No new information has materialized over the past month to change any of that, so it would be bizarre and irresponsible in the extreme for Council to suddenly change its mind.

As for the recent noise about a referendum, this is not a serious counter-proposal. For one thing, it would need to attract 50 percent of eligible voters to be considered binding, and the 2014 municipal
election only had a 33.5 percent turnout. In addition, a referendum tries to turn a complex project involving dozens of decisions over many years into a single, oversimplified yes/no alternative.

Council has a democratic mandate to direct staff, consider the data, consult with residents and make responsible decisions that move the City toward its strategic goals. Until now, despite the inevitable drama and noise of democratic politics, Council has been doing just this.

It is vitally important for our elected leaders to remain clear on the strong, broad case for the LRT plan and continue to implement this transformative investment in Hamilton's future.
Ryan McGreal

Of course The LRT should go ahead as planned. There should NOT be a Referendum. This is a done deal years ago. There will be an negative, then positive impact on business downtown but, no pain, no gain. The infrastructure work on concession st. last year had much effect on businesses but the councillor was alright with that! Double standard? Get on with it!!!!
John Treen

I am a great believer in referendums (referenda?) on clear simple issues, and probably on a new constitution for the nation, but I seriously doubt the wisdom of a referendum on such a complex issue as the proposed LRT. My primary observation on the issue is that we are not debating a next year problem. This is about Hamilton in 2036 and 2056. If Canada continues to invite 250000 immigrants in to the Country each year for the next 20 years, all other things being equal, Hamilton will probably be a much different city with a population in the area of 750,000, living mostly in the lower city. I suspect that in 2036, high speed public transportation, not cars, will be the mode of travel for most of us living in urban areas. Whether the answer is LRT running on a dedicated track or street cars running on a shared roadway, I do not know enough about the rationale for dedicated rights of way to
be used when so many cities in the world use street cars and would want to have that question answered clearly. As to more debate, unless the Province welcomes that kind of indecision, I would treat further debate as equivalent to a "Maybe", which is likely to be taken in Queen's Park as a "No thanks" with some risk of losing momentum, if not the cash.
Herman Turkstra

Given that conversations are once again in play with respect to whether LRT should be implemented in Hamilton, what advice might you have for councilors?

Concentrate on how to help businesses weather the storm of construction.

Is it your recommendation that we stay the course and implement LRT as has been envisioned and earmarked for 1 Billion worth of funding from the province?
Yes.

Do you beleive a referendum on the issue may be helpful? 
Yes.
Mark Alan Whittle

What do you think? Join the discussion by posting your views on this thread. 

75 comments:

  1. AnonymousJune 08, 2016

    I'm not saying they are lying but anyone who claims that the 1 billion is to be used for LRT or lost forever, is a stranger to the truth.

    Noone has confirmed this. in fact , the premier;s comment was she thought we had landed on LRT, but was surprised that we were still talking about it.

    I have heard noone say it''s LRT or nothing.

    We should all step back and do what is best for Hamilton. Ripping up streets etc., in the hopes that we will get enough ridership to make LRT cheaper than BRT is a pipe dream. Never going tio happen.

    So, in absence of that, it will be a gig white elephant that will haunt our generation and the next. DON'T DO IT. Be smart.

    Whitehead is the only one thinking. The rest need to wipe the saliva off their mouths on account of 1 billion bucks.




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    Replies
    1. I have heard quite a few say it is LRT or nothing, and several panelists continue parroting this misinformation. That is "our" money, and "we" should determine how and where it is spent. A referendum would cost approximately 1/10th of 1% of the build cost to remove any doubt as to where "we" stand on the issue. Any ambiguity removed for a relatively paltry sum. I know the answer, and suspect you do too. The few telling the many what is good for all. A recipe for disaster

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    2. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      It's B-Line Rapid Transit or nothing. Council just needs to decide which mode they want to commit two lanes to and let the province decide if our priorities are in sync and worth funding. As this fund doesn't draw from any municipal funding measures (i.e. tax levies) they are free to invest the funds as they feel best serves the greatest number of people and unlocks the most socioeconomic benefit.

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    3. AnonymousJune 17, 2016

      “While it is clear that on a per-vehicle basis, LRT systems are the more expensive, the findings indicate that if the peak ridership demand of the system is 1556 passenger spaces (both seated and standing passengers) per hour or less, then BRT provides a better cost effectiveness than LRT. However, as peak demand (ridership) increases, the LRT system becomes significantly less costly to operate than a bus or BRT system (24% less expensive). BRT costs increase at a constant rate as ridership grows, since each bus needs an additional driver. However, LRT systems only increase in cost when a new driver is needed for an additional train, which is equivalent to 2 to 4 busses. LRT also becomes more attractive and less costly to operate than BRT, as service becomes more frequent and headways decrease, to provide increased capacity.”

      Source: http://goo.gl/4jBheV

      Delete
  2. AnonymousJune 08, 2016

    "The conclusions of the report indicated that many of the outcomes of more rapid transit could be achieved by another forms of rapid transit. Dedicated bus lanes should be able to move as many people in close to the same amount of time as LRT. The costs would be much lower, the disruption for the merchants along the route would be minimised, and the transit results - the number of people moved in far less time - would be similar. So - why wouldn't we choose the less expensive, effective, flexible, and locally controlled solution to more rapid transit?"


    If Caplan would have stopped there, he would have been the only one who knew what the heck they are talking about.

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  3. I have never witnessed Mr. McGreal's brevity on this topic in the past, as if he could not get out of here fast enough. Perhaps concerned that what is going on at "the Hamiltonian"-an attempt at balanced perspective and some semblance of objectivity-may be contagious.

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  4. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    so everyone, EVERYONE on the panel, including mark allan whittle, thinks the lrt should happen. they dont just think it should happen, they think its a "no brainer" and "hell yes". who is left to say no? terry whitehead? socre? allan? jim? the experts and the people have spoken. lrts for everyone.

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  5. LRT will be the biggest mistake Hamilton will ever make. I think the graphic that The Hamiltonian used, and the headline "Will You Press the Button" was so very fitting, in that launching LRT will be disastrous in Hamilton. Here is why:

    1. It relies heavily on ridership numbers. there is nothing to suggest we will have the numbers.

    2. It will pose a sever disruption to merchants , some of which who will close shop- which I can accept, IF LRT were necessary and the only choice. It is not, and it is not even the best choice.

    3. The conclusion that the 1 Billion dollars is only for LRT is bogus. Mr. McGreal and others have no way of knowing what the Ontario government would do if city council suddenly got wise to the idea that this is a big mistake. McGreal and others do not call the shots in the Ontario government and their statements that come across as definitive, really show how out of touch they are with how decisions are made. Governments respond to the will of the people. Council is supposed to respond to the will of the people. If a referendum were held and it was shown that the will of the people was elsewhere, no government on earth would simply withdraw the funds. These are votes and going with a cheaper and better solution, would be an attractive way of solving the problem.

    4. Caplan seems to be the only one that really understands the dynamics, although he ultimately landed on the wrong side of the argument.

    5. With all due respect to the members of this panel, some are very much slanted. Some are paid lobbyists.

    6. I wonder why Chris Higgins has not appeared on The Hamiltonian? Did they ask questions that he was leery of responding to? May I ask what questions were asked of him? Some people need to wake up and see what is really going here by connecting the dots.

    Lastly, like Mr. Graham, I want to thank the people of The Hamiltonian for having the courage to strive for balance in this debate. I can't find anywhere else in Hamilton that has made this effort. It's not happening at RTH or elsewhere. I truly hope that someday you will do some crowd funding or something of that nature, in order to expand and penetrate Hamilton more deeply. The coverage, the questions and the integrity here is second to none and we need more of it.

    To Hamilton City Council. Sometimes you have to stand up to aggressiveness and people who try to bully their way through an issue. You have to see the common good and not the special interests. You have to listen to the people and not the people who simply want to make a buck or romanticize LRT rather than embrace the better and more common sense alternative- BRT.

    Mayor Eisenberger, I am sure you think you are making your mark here. Some marks become stains. Think!

    With respect
    Sorce


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    Replies
    1. The Hamiltonian AdminJune 09, 2016

      Thank-you for the positive comments. As we are made up of volunteers, it is nice to hear something like that once in a while.

      In terms of the questions we posed to Mr. Higgins, they are as follows:

      1. The Rapid Ready report, amongst other things identified several conditions that have to exist for Hamilton to optimize its potential for a successful implementation of LRT. Can you identify the top areas where Hamilton is in good shape to support a LRT implementation and the top areas which should cause concern? What are we doing well, and what must we absolutely get right in order to succeed with LRT?

      2. What is the relationship between Land Value Uplift (LVU) and LRT. Does LRT bring an immediate benefit in terms of LVU and if so, how can that be quantized/projected? If not, at what stage would LVU materialize and peak, and what indicators would you look for that would set the stage en route on that incline?
      3. Do you think Hamilton’s degree of traffic congestion is sufficiently dire to drive out more transit use?
      4.Those who may not have the expertise or understanding of how transit systems work, may be wondering if it would not be less disruptive and more cost efficient and more flexible to work with Bus Rapid Transit rather that LRT. Can you help us understand whether there is any truth to that?
      What do you say to those who may argue that LRT is not enough to convince them to leave their vehicles at home.
      5. Is there anything you’d like to add?

      When/if we receive responses to these questions, we will publish them.

      The Hamiltonian Admin

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    2. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      "Caplan seems to be the only one that really understands the dynamics, although he ultimately landed on the wrong side of the argument." got that? no one on the panel shares your views. everyone on the panel supports lrt. even marvin caplan. "although he ultimately landed on the wrong side of the argument" who exactly is on YOUR side of the "argument"? theres jim, socre, allan, dylvis the hockey mom and various anonymous commenters. then theres the people groups organizations and citizens that support lrt. including the panel put together by the the hamiltonian.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      So, why has Higgins not responded? Hmmmmmm. I'd really like to hear the honest answers to all those questions.

      Delete
    4. Ryan McGrealJune 09, 2016

      I just wanted to touch on a couple of Sorce's points:

      "1. It relies heavily on ridership numbers. there is nothing to suggest we will have the numbers."

      We already have the numbers. The LRT route already carries well over 30,000 transit passengers a day. If LRT was to open tomorrow, its ridership per km of track would be the sixth-highest in North America on opening day.

      "2. It will pose a sever disruption to merchants , some of which who will close shop- which I can accept, IF LRT were necessary and the only choice. It is not, and it is not even the best choice."

      If we don't build LRT, those same businesses will experience the same disruption in a few years when the old infrastructure under King Street needs to be reconstructed. Only at the end of the disruption, they will
      remain stuck with the status quo lack of modern rapid transit.

      "3. The conclusion that the 1 Billion dollars is only for LRT is bogus. Mr. McGreal and others have no way of knowing what the Ontario government would do if city council suddenly got wise to the idea that this is a big mistake."

      We know exactly what they would do, because they have repeatedly clarified their process for approving rapid transit funding requests. I wrote an article on what the 'LRT or nothing' idea means:

      https://raisethehammer.org/article/3003

      Mark Cripps, spokesperson for Minister Ted McMeekin, has confirmed that my analysis is correct:

      https://twitter.com/MarkCripps/status/740957438115995649

      If Hamilton rejects the LRT plan at this point, the $1 billion will be released from the project and redeployed to fund the next priority projects in the Regional Transportation Plan.

      Hamilton would be welcome to start developing a new plan and funding request to submit to the Province, but that process takes years. No city gets to make up a transit plan on the back of a napkin and expect a funding commitment - especially a city capricious enough to spend eight years developing a rapid transit plan only to panic and discard it at the last minute, after it was already approved.

      The reason the $1 billion is earmarked specifically for the LRT plan is:
      that is the plan the City spent years developing, that is the plan the City submitted to the Province for approval, and that is the plan the Province reviewed and approved for funding.

      Delete
    5. @McGreal

      I won't go tit for tat on this, but consider the following:

      What Dixon said hold more weight with me. Read his response.

      Cripps or McMeekan cannot definitively speak for the end result. Even they will tell you that. You do not understand how politics works. If Mayor Fred contacted the Premier and said that we have had a change in direction and will wish to implement BRT, and that it will cost less, you'd be surprised what the result might be. Politics is never carved into stone. It bends to the will of the people. If you believe otherwise, that's naive.
      Sorce

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    6. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      "You do not understand how politics works. If Mayor Fred contacted the Premier and said that we have had a change in direction and will wish to implement BRT, and that it will cost less, you'd be surprised what the result might be" metrolinx has been very clear on this point. you cannot dispute it. if we want to submit a new proposal, we give up the 1 billion promised. that one billion goes back into the present funding pool to be distributed. we then resubmit an alternate proposal for a rapid transit system, and it gets approved or not. try and deny this again and again but its in black and white. it makes anti lrt people look desperate when they wont face up to or ignore publicly known facts.

      Delete
    7. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      "I won't go tit for tat on this,...." shorter version: "thanks for the verifiable fact you provided that refute the position i hold on how the funding process works. since i have no valid response lets engage in conjecture"

      Delete
    8. poor little guy, he has put his heart and soul into this and just can not accept that his vision is being questioned. He is going to take this disappointment hard, hopefully his pals are looking out for his welfare

      Delete
    9. The numbers are bogus. They include king university Deleware and Cannon in addition to BLine. All of those local riders aren't going to slide over to express even if it's a train. This has never been a consultation, it's always been an imposition of route and carrier. All of this could be cleared up by showing the A line studies and the main only studies that have not been published, not to mention the real costs of BRT and LRT line for line instead of showing different items for each making the comparison meaningless

      Delete
    10. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      The assumption was never that all riders on every route in the corridor would suddenly switch to LRT, but that there would be substantial uptake. Certainly one can assume there is a greater likelihood in cases such as the B-Line and 1 King, which would be replaced by crosstown rapid transit (these are the 18 buses Rapid Ready indicated could be removed from service).

      Reducing or eliminating the interlining of other routes would help improve headways on feeder routes. The Delaware routes have become a garbled mess. Untangle them and have them run on a tighter loop, feeding into the trunk line. 5E would run to the eastern terminus. 51 & 5C (which are interlined along much of their routes) could be merged into a single service offering shorter headways and more frequent runs from McMaster (the western terminus) to the Meadowlands. 52/52A/5 could follow suit, run from Dundas to McMaster and thereby improving the service frequency. If these kinds of moves can achieve headways in the 5-10 minute range, the lower city network has the potential to achieve real gains.

      And FWIW, between Wentworth and Gage, Cannon is closer to King than Main is.

      A-Line Studies:

      http://reports.strategicinterchange.ca/SI_A-Line_CBA.pdf

      https://www.hamilton.ca/sites/default/files/media/browser/2015-09-17%2014%3A46/lrt-submission-book6-integrated-transit-system-operations-plan.pdf

      Delete
    11. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      @Sorce

      Toronto Star / Oct. 28, 2015
      Brampton city councillors voted early Wednesday to reject a controversial transit project that would have seen an LRT route run along Main St. through the city’s downtown.…MetroLinx CEO Bruce McCuaig said the provincial money that would have funded the Brampton portion of the defeated LRT plan will now be available for other transit projects across the province. But he made it clear that any alternative transit plan Brampton now decides on could still be considered by the province for funding. “That would have to be evaluated,” he told councillors.

      https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/28/brampton-council-rejects-downtown-lrt.html

      Delete
    12. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      David Dixon on LRT: "Good transit needs to be rapid, reliable and frequent. I believe the semi-segregated design currently under consideration will fulfil all three elements."

      http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2016/05/with-david-dixon-transit-director-on-lrt.html

      Delete
    13. I honestly do not think many people understand politics. Politics is all about addressing the will the people, sadly- sometimes not for the common good- but sometimes simply to remain in power. Although, sometimes good decisions are made regardless.

      And yes, there are people who draw up policies that the government operates under. And yes, they try to stick to those policies.

      But the art of the political mind is to bend and conform to the shape that the public will is taking, providing it does not endanger lives.

      So if you think there are hard and fast rules where the 1 Billions concerned, you are mistaken. There is a certainly a veneer that many people are fooled by.

      But politics is an art, and faced with a cheaper solution that would city council tells me that they want to endorse (instead of LRT), - in the hands of a political spinster, they can make it look as though there was no other logical thing to do and that this change in course will help all Ontarians- especially the good people of Hamilton.

      Look at the spin put on the scandals that the liberals had to manage. They still got elected n'est pas?

      For those who believe these "rules" can never be broken, you're disconnected with how politics works. For those who think Cripps and McMeekan speak for the only possibilities, you are very disconnected. No offense to these men, but they rule the coop.

      And for the mayor and council- if youy really think that you cannot make a stellar case for BRT and secure the funds, within the context of the current envelope, than you lack political imagination, insight and leadership ability.

      LRT-RIP
      Sorce

      Delete
    14. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      "But he made it clear that any alternative transit plan Brampton now decides on could still be considered by the province for funding. “That would have to be evaluated,” he told councillors" thanks for proving yourself wrong and everyone else right on the subject of rejecting the already approved funding for lrt and substituting the funding for ????? instead. “That would have to be evaluated,” a billion dollar funding approval is rejected and we ask for something else and our request will be "evaluated" for how long? fie years? ten? what if its rejected? socre thinks that mayor eisenberger will call premier wynne, sit down with jim, allan, sylvia and socre at westcliffe mall and knock out a solution in an afternoon. premier wynne will then present the gang with a billion dollar cheque for our new transit solution on the spot. right? no.

      Delete
    15. Thanks for the links to the studies. I have never seen them and I've been following this from the outset. It will take time to read them but I will. BTW anonymous is basically worthless to listen to so get a name because your opinion is meaningless

      Delete
    16. Which means Brampton is not out of the loop for turning LRT down if it has an alternate proposal

      Delete
    17. BTW tge suggested route realignments is actually very thoughtful but in all honesty it will significantly reduce the need for major B line upgrade to segregated RT

      Delete
    18. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      "Which means Brampton is not out of the loop for turning LRT down if it has an alternate proposal." No, just that it has to go through the hoops again. The greater the difference between the new proposal and the original one, the more hoops. If you advocate B-Line BRT, that's faster than advocating for B-Line & A-Line BRT, which is faster than advocating for funding the entire BLAST network in one fell swoop (a move that would, in all likelihood, leave Hamilton holding the bag on operating costs).

      The longer council drags this out, the greater the likelihood of regime change and possible realignment or dismantling of the entire Big Move program, if not the dissolution of Metrolinx (a signature creation of the McGuinty government and therefore a political target).

      Aside from anything else, the dedicated fund is a finite resource pool. Moving Ontario Forward’s $16B sounds like a lot of money but it's spread across the GTHA over the course of a decade. Now consider that B-Line LRT has been in the queue since 2007-2008. Cut bait on the current MOA and we're welcome to reapply at a later date, all the while hoping that nothing changes at the provincial level between now and 2024.

      Ray D. Tutto

      Delete
    19. You could have said "Dr. Higgins has indicated there is some work underway that will help answer these questions". I have chosen not to pre-empt that work and will offer answers with supporting local analysis in due time.

      Delete
    20. The Hamiltonian AdminJune 11, 2016

      Thank-you. As you know, the invite remains open.

      The Hamiltonian Admin

      Delete
    21. I am very much looking forward to an honest assessment by Higgins and whoever else he works with. Although I do not understand why some of the questions, if no t all of them, could not be answered now and then augmented if need be. I mean, if we can't answer those questions at some basic level by now, what are we doing?

      Dr. Sorce

      Delete
    22. In other wordsit seems Higgins understands that the work required to make the project successful is not taking place and he'd rather not add fuel to the anti LRT fire. I've read 2 of his reports and both suggest struggles in the current environment

      Delete
    23. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      "In other words it seems Higgins understands that the work required to make the project successful is not taking place and he'd rather not add fuel to the anti LRT fire" allan taylor. thanks for setting yourself up. if next week mr higgins releases a follow up report that reaffirms his support for lrt with a detailed rebuttal to the points being raised by some anti lrt councillors like terry whitehead and chad collins, you will eat your words right? no. if that happens you will claim mr higgins is wrong or confused. we know your game.

      Delete
  6. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    who was the most recent group to reaffirm their support for lrt? the hamilton halton home builders association. they cant understand why some members of city council are dithering. they want the lrt so that they and other developers can build up the lrt corridor and surrounding areas. so the city can finally get some tax revenue out of king street. people with out of town money want to buy residential and commercial properties along the lrt corridor. they dont want to buy residential and commercial properties on the ghetto urban expressway that is currently king street. therefore, business's with out of town money want to develop on the king street lrt corridor. they dont want to develop the ghetto urban expressway that is currently king street. so we listen to every professional planner and builder with a stated position on lrt in hamilton. dozens and dozens of groups. and we build the lrt.

    ReplyDelete
  7. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    "The Rapid Ready report, amongst other things identified several conditions that have to exist.." conditions. rapid ready states that most minimal conditions needed for lrt are here NOW. the conditions not here now will be in the next few years. that why rapid ready recomends lrt NOW. then its list OTHER conditions that are needed over time to maximize lrt benefits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this from an anonymous poster. Funny.
      Sorce

      By the way- if you are referring to me, please use my correct handle SORCE not scorce or whatever other way you have misspelled my handle.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      what i posted is verifiable. you know it is. thats why you dont post anything that refutes it. you choose to focus on my anonymity instead. more of the same.

      Delete
    3. I can't verify you posted

      Delete
  8. Although I generally like Aidan Johnson, I read his LRT piece in today's other paper. He states that middle to higher income people will start using LRT because it is a lot more attractive than BRT. How does he know this? Is it a gut feeling? I don't know of any report that makes this conclusion. I was surprised that as a lawyer, he would have said this. If he has backing for it, he should have cited. It comes across as wishful thinking more than anything and wishful thinking is dangerous when making such a critical decision.
    Sorce

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    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      and the girl will kiss the toad and a Prince will emerge......

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      Perceived stigma is not the same on rail as it is on bus. This is true even for GO transit, where some people refuse to take the QEW Express despite the fact that it is often the fastest way to get from Toronto to Hamilton using transit. But it's especially true of municipal transit. (Remember how eager councillors were to ride the HSR for charity?) LRT is also a far smoother and quieter ride than bus transit.

      If you have any questions about just how downmarket the HSR is perceived, I invite you to board the 10 Express at Eastgate or University Plaza and spend the next 20 minutes perusing the in-bus PSAs for lead poisoning, anti-pornography, gambling addiction, childhood obesity, "zero tolerance for violence", anti-graffiti, "health smiles" children with rotten teeth, clinical depression etc. while slamming through potholes and grates at 50km/h. The decibel level is basically like being in live traffic, while the entire bus sounds like it's rattling apart.

      Delete
    3. I honestly do not believe that the "pleasantness" of any method of public transit, will be a determining factor as to whether you will use it. It may be a determining factor on whether you will choose to ride a bus or a train, where both are available, but it won't be the deciding factor for one to leave the car and use transit.

      Public transit may only become the default choice when are roads are so intolerable that driving becomes near impossible. To strive for that condition is irresponsible.

      These are just my views based on common sense and what people generally say to me about the topic.
      Sorce

      P.S. LRT RIP

      Delete
    4. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      please use your computer for something other than posting your opinions. google what the the modern world is doing with public transit. your "i have common sense that trumps what the transit experts say and is actually happening right now with public transit worldwide" attitude is not helping our city. you have already stated here that you love driving your luxury car to work and you love your parking spot with socre spray painted on it. but the rest of the world has evolved from the 1950's. look around before its too late for you.

      Delete
    5. personally I will choose the Go express bus over the train every time I am forced to leave the car at home

      Delete
  9. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    @Brian Kelly: Anything other than rapid transit on the B-Line corridor's Main/King options will require another round of ridership studies, EAs and BCAs, possibly paid for out of the city's pocket (which, for B-Line, ate up $9 million) before being tendered tendered for consideration & evaluation by Metrolinx/Infrastructure Ontario, before being ranked for funding priority. The B-Line has already run these hurdles over the last 10 years.

    ReplyDelete
  10. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    BRT dedicates two lanes of a four-lane street to buses, which will need to be replaced in 12 years' time. Vehicle capacity, seated & standing, is 155 passengers per vehicle. Total provincial investment required: approx $300M.

    LRT dedicates two lanes of a four-lane street to LRVs, which will need to be replaced in 25-30 years' time. Vehicle capacity, seated & standing, is 2.5 buses' worth of passengers per vehicle. Total provincial investment required: $1B.








    ReplyDelete
  11. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

    Here is a list of groups that formally support Hamilton's LRT plan:

    Ainslie-Wood Westdale Community Organization
    Ancaster Community Council
    Beasley Neighbourhood Association
    Clean Air Hamilton
    Downtown Hamilton BIA
    Durand Neighbourhood Association
    Environment Hamilton
    Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
    Hamilton Light Rail
    Hamilton Spectator Editorial Board
    Hamilton-Burlington Society of Architects
    Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association
    HamLRT Advocacy
    Kirkendall Neighbourhood Association
    International Village BIA
    Lakewood Beach Community Council
    LiUNA Local 837
    McMaster Students Union
    McMaster University
    North End Neighbours
    Raise the Hammer
    Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington
    Rolston Neighbourhood Action Team
    Vrancor Developments Inc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      I don't see what your point is. There is probably a list of people that back in time, thought world war 2 was a good idea. And all this crap about the simplicity of a referendum, is just that- crap. Don't underesitamte people. WEorded properly, a referendum would tell you exactly what the people think of LRT. The reason why it is not being done, is because it is known that the answer would be a giant lack of support for LRT.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 09, 2016

      "There is probably a list of people that back in time, thought world war 2 was a good idea" i think world war two was a good idea. we stopped the axis powers from taking over and enslaving the world. "the people" what people? you? your friends? i showed a verifiable list people and groups representing tens upon tens of thousands of people. no group exists publicly opposing lrt. no lobby exists publicly opposing lrt. no organization exists publicly opposing lrt. no one single loud voice is publicly opposing lrt. unless that single loud voice is a career politician. you or anyone else opposed to lrt should get off their butts and organize this vast angry mob you say exists.

      Delete
    3. not a single recognizable individual on the list.Hmmm

      Delete
    4. AnonymousJune 10, 2016

      anyone who says a war was a good idea, is poor in soul. It is never a good idea to kill children, men and women.

      Delete
    5. AnonymousJune 11, 2016

      here are some recognizable individuals for jim graham. here are some of the members of the rtcac committee that provided feedback and advice on the planning of the B-line from 2010 through 2011.

      Alaric Woodrow,Hamilton resident(Glanbrook)
      Alissa Golden, Hamilton resident
      Chani Shrive, Hamilton resident (Dundas)
      Chris Blackwood, Mohawk College
      Brian Detlor, McMaster University
      Dan Rodrigues, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
      Frank Scremin, Hamilton Airport
      Ian Dunlop, Hamilton resident (Flamborough)
      Jan Lukas, Hamilton resident (Ancaster)
      Kelly Stewart, Corridor property owner
      Liz Duval, Corridor property owner
      Michael Korkut, Corridor property owner
      Michael Slusarenko, Corridor property owner
      Nicholas Kevlahan, HamDurandNeighbourhood Association, Hamilton Light Rail
      Paul Facia, Corridor property owner
      Peter Hill, Hamilton Resident
      Simon Gautrey, Hamilton Resident
      Robert Barlow, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Stony Creek Resident
      Ron Smithson, Chair of Seniors Advisory Committee
      Shelley Gibbons, McMaster Student
      Susan Braithwaite,BIA International Village
      Thomas Shields, Corridor property owner
      Kathy Drewitt, Downtown BIA
      Mark van der Woerd, Hamilton resident
      Martinus Geleynse DowntownHamilton resident
      Terri Wallis, Advisory Committee for Peoples with Disabilities (ACPD)

      many many recognizable individuals. all involved in studying, evaluating, vetting, balancing, investigating and evaluating what would be the best rapid transit option and where it should go. you werent there. sylvia the hickey mom wasnt there. allan taylor wasnt there. i guess thats why it doesnt matter the sheer volume of lrt supporters. that they are from all areas of hamilton. all their knowledge or accredited expertise on the subject. none of that matters. jim and the lotto scratch gang from the mall food court werent involved so it just cant be any good.

      Delete
    6. what is this, your Christmas card list? Pretty clear why the 'pro' camp want nothing to do with a referendum

      Delete
    7. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      its a list of individuals that were on the rtcac volunteer committee. recognizable individuals that support lrt. in gact they advised and consulted on the proposal that was accepted and funded. you asked for it you got it. next straw man please.

      Delete
  12. killing people who are killing women and children and men is sometimes the only option. Pacifism doesnt work

    ReplyDelete
  13. SerendipityJune 11, 2016

    On April 24, 2016, Matthew Van Dongen wrote an excellent piece for the Spectator – “Regional transit plan provokes fear in Hamilton” – detailing the ins and outs of ‘fare integration’ between LRT use and HSR use. So far, nothing’s been ironed out.

    Neither Metrolinx, who will own and operate Hamilton’s LRT, nor Mayor Eisenberger can tell hundreds of thousands of Hamiltonians how much it will cost for me to ride HSR from Eastgate Square, then LRT to Mac, and then HSR beyond Mac heading west.

    Will the aforementioned trip be $3.00, $4.00, $5.00? How can any of us feel the love for LRT if we have no idea what a combined HST/LRT ride will cost?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 11, 2016

      Run BRT from one end to the other. Easy peasy. 1 fare

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      Respectfully, this is an overblown concern, if not an absolutely absurd one.

      The Fare Integration plan in question is in progress and the City of Hamilton is an active participant in that policy development. Metrolinx is slated to report on its municipal consultation this month, and the policy development will continue through the end of the year. That none of the participants can tell you how much it will cost to take the bus eight years from now can hardly be considered a failing. It is a logical inevitability based on a well-publicized and public process.

      Can your local gas station attendant tell you how much gas will be by the end of the day? Do you know how much tickets will be the next time your favourite band plays Hamilton? Can your grocer tell you how much it will cost to buy a dozen strip loins in Summer 2017? Do you know what your property taxes will be under the next term of council? I suspect not. And yet life goes on. The arctic is slated to be ice-free this summer for the first time in 100,000 years, but people are still making babies. Waiting a few months to learn more about bus fare policy seems like small potatoes. ;)

      Here's what we do know. We know that the average adult cash fare across the GTHA is currently $3.50. We know that the HSR’s fares are the lowest in the GTHA and that, per the Ten Year Transit Strategy, they are scheduled to rise to $3.10 by September 2018, but we don't know about definitive fares after that, and the City/HSR has the prerogative to hike the rates as they see fit. They have in the past and they may well again.

      Delete
  14. Presto popperJune 11, 2016

    If LRT is the shiny new bullet, already there is talk about charging extra for a ride on a modern LRT train as opposed to a bus. Public transit will likely not be public transit anymore- it may be transit only for those willing to pay a premium. Guess what- those who don't use transit now, won't be dishing out extra dollars to use transit just because it is faster than a bus- so they say.

    Thre are too many unanswered questions and if you can't answer a basic question such as how much wqill it cost someone to go from Eastgate to Mac, then Presto, LRT is D.O.A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      And what would HSR fare be in 2024? What's that? You don't know how much it will cost? Sounds like the HSR is DOA as well.

      Say, you wouldn't happen to know how much the Ticats are going to be charging season ticket holders for in 2018, would you? No? I guess that club's DOA. Hope we can find a use for that stadium.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      That is ridiculous. It's like saying "Hey, I am going to offer you a new service that will take 1 Billion dollar of tax money to build.

      Oh really, what would it cost me to use this new 1 Billion dollar service to go from Mac to Eastgate?

      I don't know. I have not thought it out that far yet.

      What a joke.

      Cant compare that to the ti Cats. They are already in business. they know how to calculate their profits.

      Delete
    3. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      If the Ticats are already in business and know how to calculate their profits, then by your telling secrecy (or perhaps greed) would be the only reasons for not selling multi-year (or, if they're really professional, lifetime) season ticket packages. ;)

      Seriously, though: The indignant outrage around unknown 2024 fare levels is quintessential concern trolling. Where this melodrama is perpetrated by elected officials it is a reflection of their modest estimation of the intelligence of the public. (Related: Since The Hamiltonian posted the LRT Timeline 19 weeks ago, it has garnered 0 comments.)

      As numerous reports in prominent local and regional media outlets attest, fare integration is a both matter of public record and an ongoing policy development discussion in which GTHA municipalities are active participants. This is all a matter of process, and it is happening whether or not Hamilton sees a cent of this $1B investment.

      If anyone is curious about mechanisms around setting fare levels, you could consult the "Revenue and Service Integration" component of the Memorandum of Agreement, for starters.

      http://www.raisethehammer.org/static/images/lrt_memorandum_of_agreement.pdf

      …or Metrolinx fare integration updates from earlier this year:

      http://www.metrolinx.com/en/docs/pdf/board_agenda/20160210/20160210_BoardMtg_Fare_Integration_EN.pdf

      http://www.metrolinx.com/en/docs/pdf/board_agenda/20160427/20160427_Fare_Integration_Update_EN.pdf

      If you're just interested in sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt, you will have no use for these things.

      Delete
  15. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

    @ Hamiltonian et al. Let's face it. No disrepect, but most of the people we've elected do not possess the necessary skill set to analyze all the paperwork that is out there and have an inherent bias. Most of us citizens also are not experts in planning and economic development. Most of the groups that have come forward again are not experts, but have simply expressed an opinion. I personally would like to hear from people who have the skill set. Some that come to mind are our Senior Management Team: Jason Thorne, Neil Everson, Director of Transit ? and Mike Zegarac plus of course Chris Higgins. I'm putting this out there for any other commenters to provide a name of a person who you trust, value their analysis of the situation, and who you'll listen to. One simple question, rank which of these options are the best for the city overall: LRT vs BRT vs expanded HSR buses.
    City of Hamilton Girl

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    Replies
    1. Hamiltonian AdminJune 12, 2016

      We welcome suggestions. Thank you. We are awaiting Dr. Higgins who is in the process of doing some necessary work. We will take the rest of your suggestion under advisement and discuss it at our upcoming team meeting. Thank you

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      It is even worse than that. When Councilor Whitehead articulated his concerns, he was landblasted by the LRT lobby. I can tell by his comments thiough that he has reads the reports and is researching. We should give him credit but instead, the social media LRT lobby attacked him. Good on The Hamiltonian to allow him to express his views and everyone elses views. We need that!

      Delete
    3. Sorry but saying everyone is unqualified to read reports and make a judgement only works when those experts make conclusions you agree with isn't wise. For example the ward boundaries review has experts saying population increases will not be large in the corridor but rather will be large in Glanbrook and Flamborough. That's in direct odds with LRT study assumptions

      Delete
    4. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      @ Anonymous. Agree. I think it's great that the Hamiltonian allows (and allowed) Cllr Whitehead to express his views. But I disagree that his views are everyone else's views. I'm not part of any social media LRT lobby group nor are any of my friends or neighbours. LRT has been a hot topic during social events and from those discussions to date, only 1 person is vehemently opposed to LRT, 1 person is on the fence, and the majority are supportive. These are varying everyday people, middle to high income, living in different parts of Hamilton, and currently working or retired. Of the ones who are supportive, none of them currently use public transit but have stated they are looking forward to using LRT for work or social outings.
      @ Allan. I didn't say everyone is unqualified. I was just suggesting that we get the opinions of individuals that most of us agree are qualified. I've noticed that the strong majority of the Cllrs who have degrees, are in favour of LRT. I think we should be looking and listening to individuals who do not have a financial or political bias. (the WBR also only went out to 2026 didn't it? and projections predated the new growth plan which directs more to downtown - details coming out later in the fall I believe?)
      City of Hamilton Girl

      Delete
    5. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      P.S. @ Allan, Just looking up the WBR. It doesn't state population increases won't be large in the corridor. They won't be as large as Glanbrook, Waterdown and Stoney Creek incl Winona, but Wards 1 and 2 are projected to grow by 6% and 11% (5th and 6th largest percent growth out of the 15 wards)

      Delete
    6. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      "For example the ward boundaries review has experts saying population increases will not be large in the corridor but rather will be large in Glanbrook and Flamborough. That's in direct odds with LRT study assumptions" not true. the biggest percentage in population increase vs exisitng populations. flamborough has very few people, add a few thousand and you have a huge % jump in new residents. but inner city hamilton already has the a huge immense existing population, larger than flamborough by a order of magnitude. in sheer numbers and volume of future population increases it will all be happening in the inner city and mountain. we will get tens of tens of thousands of new residents, but casue theres already 100,000s of thousands of us, our % increase in future population increases will be rather small compared to flamborough. another we need an lrt.

      Delete
    7. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      @AllanTaylor: Apples/oranges.

      The Ward Boundary Review study suggests that, under the status quo, Hamilton’s population will grow by 68,000 residents over the next 10 years. Two-thirds of that growth will be in Glanbrook, most of which is in Ward 11. It remains to be seen whether it will be concentrated into a transit-friendly corridor with strong HSR ridership numbers or atomized over the ward’s entire area, which is vast: Ward 11 represents about a quarter of Hamilton’s entire land area. Even with 78,850 residents, Ward 11 would still have the third lowest population density in the city. Ward 11’s population would need to grow by an additional 462,230 residents to equal the population density of the lower city’s least dense ward (Ward 5).

      Note that all of the growth reflected in the report is based on land-use planning decisions that were made prior to 2006 (pre–Places to Grow, pre-Greenbelt, pre-Metrolinx). Example: the SCUBE plans for Fruitalnd/Winona date to this period (circa 2003-2005).

      In their interim report, Watson & Associates Economists note that “Population growth over the 2015-2026 period was identified on a neighbourhood level guided by the City of Hamilton’s Growth Related Integrated Development Strategy (GRIDS), a review of opportunities to accommodate future residential growth and discussions with City planning staff.” The population projections in the ward boundary review are the result of a proprietary formula rooted firmly in the status quo and the policy decisions made a decade or more ago.

      Also: The province’s time frame WRT Hamilton LRT is 2024-2054 and beyond. This is far beyond the scope of the ward boundary review (which, if Mayor Eisenberger’s read on council’s headspace is any indication, may not even be addressed until the 2022 council).

      Delete
    8. great suggestion. Although likely not qualified as experts on light rail per se, (and with all due respect to the virtual panel) I would enjoy considering the opinions of locals like David Braley, Doug Barber, Dr. Brenda Copps, Brother Richard MacPhee, Dave Smye. People who have found success in the area, familiar with the residents and existing infrastructure. Respected opinions from a divergent perspective.

      Delete
  16. Numbers not percentages vs current ward population

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      The Ward Boundary Review study suggests that, under the status quo, Hamilton’s population will grow by 68,000 residents over the next 10 years. Two-thirds of that growth will be in Glanbrook — most of which is in Ward 11, which represents about a quarter of Hamilton’s entire land area. Even with 78,850 residents, Ward 11 would still have the third lowest population density in the city.

      Ward 11’s population would need to grow by an additional 462,230 residents above and beyond that 78,850 (essentially the total 2016 population of Wards 1-10 and 12-15) in order to equal the current population density of the lower city’s least dense ward (Ward 5).

      Given a 2006 population of 25,829 and a projected 2026 population of 78,850, we see that Ward 11 is on track for an average annual increase of 1,767.37 residents , at which rate it would only take 261 years beyond the 2026 horizon to reach that mark. So by 2287, Ward 11 will potentially match the 2016 population density of Ward 5. Plenty of time to develop ridership projections.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

      Correction: Calculated with 2036 in my head.

      Given a 2006 population of 25,829 and a projected 2036 population of 78,850, we see that Ward 11 is on track for an average annual increase of 2,651 residents, at which rate it would only take 174 years (i.e. year 2200) to achieve comparable population density to Ward 5.

      Delete
  17. AnonymousJune 12, 2016

    Growth Numbers out to 2031: Waterdown + 10K, Ward 2 + 13K, Upper Stoney Creek (Ward 9) + 15K, and Ward 11 + 47K (no numbers on split between Winona and Binbrook). Again, this is prior to the new Growth that needs to be focused on the corridor so Ward 2 will be greater.
    City of Hamilton Girl

    ReplyDelete
  18. The HamiltonianJune 12, 2016

    Thank-you for the suggestions. In terms of our Perspectives Virtual Panel, anyone can be a member and it is free to become one. We would hope that some of the people you have mentioned may some day sign up to be a panel member. In that way, they would be notified about any topic we put to our panel and have an opportunity to share their opinions with our readers.

    In terms of us reaching out, we do the best we can and, as you know, LRT is not the only thing we cover. Since inception, we have resisted the urge to ask for donations or funding. So The Hamiltonian continues to be a free service, but with that, unfortunately comes some limitations.

    Thanks for understanding.

    The Hamiltonian

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