Transportation

Truck Route Study Parks Very Close to Status Quo

By Jason Leach
Published April 23, 2010

Let's call it a future, folks. Were done.

The single biggest issue affecting safety, quality of life and ability to add street-front retail in downtown Hamilton is facing us and city hall is about to complete the bold-faced lie we all saw coming when they tried to gain urban support for Red Hill by stating that it would allow for trucks to be removed from downtown streets.

Instead? Nearly all the downtown streets currently blighted with speeding transports will get the green light to continue bypassing our billion-dollar freeway network and use my front door instead.

We might be the first city in the world whose main priority for downtown is that it be a shortcut to somewhere else.

Good luck with that market district on York.

Good luck with any ounce of 21st century city-building with this complete and utter lack of vision and planning yet again.

Welcome to your future Hamilton. Your official representatives are about to pound one more nail into our collective coffin.

Everything rises and falls on leadership, eh? Does that include sinking like a stone? Sadly, we're in the process of finding out.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

18 Comments

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 23, 2010 at 17:11:30

This jumped out at me, from the list of requirements:

No dead ends - the truck route system must be continuous.

So the city recognizes that continuity in a transportation network is necessary if the network in question is for trucks, while continuity in a cycling network is merely nice-to-have - not to mention subject to the parochial objections of individual ward councillors.

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By sad and unsurprised (anonymous) | Posted April 23, 2010 at 18:37:00

To be fair, there are more exclusions than inclusions. And wouldn't you know, they're almost all suburban streets! I guess some parts of the city are worth protecting from truck traffic.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted April 23, 2010 at 22:43:44

This is terribly disappointing! When is city council voting on this?

Is it too late to start e-mailing our councillors over this?

A map of the truck routes would really be helpful in that document, to show where the routes are, and what alternatives could have been pursued.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 24, 2010 at 13:05:42

no, it's not too late to email. In fact, I would highly recommend it. Council is going to vote on this very soon. With enough outrage from the public we could see the plan go back to the drawing board as it should.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 24, 2010 at 13:08:32

Can't open the link so I don't know if this info is redundant, but this is the email I got from McHattie's office:

The preliminary preferred alternative(s) for truck routes in the City of Hamilton will be presented to the Public Works Truck Route Sub-Committee Meeting on Monday, April 26 at 2 pm, in Room 207 of the Hamilton Convention Centre.

A copy of the notice is at http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/3A56...

A copy of the report is at http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/AE37... Appendix A, starting on page 12 recommends the streets where trucks will be allowed.

Other truck route study information is at http://www.hamilton.ca/truckroutestudy

Members of the public can observe the proceedings on the 26th but cannot send delegations.

Note that a report will go to the Public Works Committee, tentatively scheduled for the end of May. Members of the public can send delegations to this meeting. We will send out another notice with these details, once the date is confirmed.

So there will be an opportunity for the public to comment.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 24, 2010 at 13:19:04

if anyone wants a good laugh (although it's not funny) Cable 14 has a Code Red open forum on right now. The issue of 5-lane freeways tearing through urban neighbourhoods with trucks just came up. Everyone is applauding and cheering comments about how the urban neighbourhoods are being screwed with these 5-lane highways that would "never be allowed in suburban neighbourhoods".
Terry Cooke spoke eloquently on NIMBYism. The entire discussion was heart warming and anyone watching without any knowledge of what goes on at city hall would think that Hamilton is headed towards some great livability changes in our urban neighbourhoods.

Yet, as I said when Code Red started, I really didn't care to read it or follow it for 2 reasons:

  1. we already know the problems and we know where the problems are
  2. we also know that city hall will continue to make unfathomable decisions like this truck route one (and continue to pile social services in the core). They've known the problems for decades and yet nothing changes.

Call me a cynic, but in reality I'm not. City Hall is what it is and no amount of boosterism or positive spin can change the reality that our city is going NOWHERE and all the best ideas in the world brought up on RTH or Code Red forums are really a waste of time because there is NO political will to move this city forward and make the proper, tough changes necessary to bring investment and revitalization to our urban neighbourhoods.

This is the embarrassing and sad REALITY of our city.
We get what we vote for.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-04-24 12:21:17

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By cal difalco (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2010 at 16:38:13

The Mayor's notion of Clean and Green, is betrayed by the support for transport trucks trumping the quality of life of every day people. I live on Fruitland Rd; a road that is residential and yet, is riddled by THOUSANDS of transport trucks, on a daily basis, thundering down the road 24/7. This, despite the fact that the city previously told people who bought properties on this road, or chose to remain on Fruitland, that the road would become a cul de sac and that a by-pass would be built to stream truck traffic away from the daily lives of people.

The truck study, is shameful, devoid of any sensitivity to enviromental and human concerns, and makes a mockery of Mayor Eisenberger's "clean and green" vision. It's impossible to believe in "clean and green" when you're choking on transport truck fumes all day in your "residential neighbourhood", where property frontages are assailed by truck traffic. Councillors Pearson and Mitchell, have made it clear by their actions, inactions, resistance and conduct, that they are not sympathetic to everyday people on this issue, tipping their hands as to where their loyalties lie.

Hamilton will never be a progressive city if it it allows Transport Trucks to run through residential areas. Mayor Eisenberger needs to show some leadership and not leave people to languish. This will be a defining moment for The Mayor.

Ryan- thank-you for hosting this topic. It's a critical one.

Cal DiFalco www.thehamiltonian.net

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 25, 2010 at 17:56:31

great comment Cal. It's a sad reality of how far behind the developed world Hamilton is when we still think crap like this is good policy.

Other cities must love competing against us in this global economy.

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By cal difalco (registered) - website | Posted April 25, 2010 at 21:39:28

Jason: Thank-you for writing this article. I agree with you. This direction is so wrong-headed. Hamilton has lost its way on this issue and we've rendered ourselves antiquated in the process.

Cal

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 07:56:51

Looks to me like the Chamber got just about exactly what they wanted, free reign (no pun intended) for trucks through the city.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 08:22:14

The Hamilton Chamber of Barely Any Commerce

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By z jones (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:19:37

So Cal, what would it take to get YOU to run for mayor?

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 26, 2010 at 14:18:18

You know who'd I love to see run for mayor (granted, this is only from hearing him on the Code Red panel and reading his interviews in the Code Red series) is Mark Chamberlain (sp??)
The guy seems to get ALL sides and understand what makes a successful economy/city/downtown work.

All I know is Hamilton needs something and we need it quick. Enough is enough of the same nonsense decade after decade.

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By Dave Kuruc (anonymous) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 08:10:06

Anyone want to join me for tea or coffee at King and James? We might be able to get a few words in between the rrrrrumble and kerrannng.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 08:30:12

So Cal, what would it take to get YOU to run for mayor?

Not Mayor, Fred's not actually doing that bad of a job, he just needs a less sucky Council to work with. Cal, run for councilor against Pearson, she's the worst!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 08:52:28

Fred's not actually doing that bad of a job, he just needs a less sucky Council to work with.

I'm beginning to think staff is the big problem. And Council won't change as long as suburban voters have disproportionately large representation.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:02:34

Yep. Amalgamation killed any slim chance we had at turning this into a vibrant city again. One of these years we need to figure out a way to have the old city of Hamilton split and go on it's own (with 100% of our taxes, unlike the garbage regional government model we used to have).

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted April 27, 2010 at 16:01:32

Call me a cynic, but in reality I'm not. - jason

I prefer the term realist : )

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