The Star's Chris Hume has weighed in on Hamilton's new suburban stadium.
Despite approved plans to proceed with a new facility in the middle of a city that could use all the help it can get, Steeltown is now considering a location on the East Mountain, far from transit, and not walkable.
What makes the switch disturbing is that it comes not just because of pressure from would-be tenants, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but more worryingly, from the province. This even though it flies in the face of the Premier Dalton McGuinty's own smart growth legislation.
Ticat owner, Bob Young's resistance to the West Harbour site, is similarly dismissed:
The Ticats and their owner, Bob Young, insist fans want a "driveway to driveway" experience. The problem downtown, Young explains, is lack of parking. Ticat fans apparently don't walk, ride or take transit. If true, that would make them as antediluvian as Young, who has yet to put aside his club.
...Young and his team might want to remind themselves that the 1950s are over. The East Mountain site they prefer, owned by the Ontario Realty Corporation, is a wheat field bisected by a hydro line. The only way to get there is by car; that alone should be enough to rule it out of contention.
Interesting that Hume uses the driveway to driveway objective as a means to dismiss the Mountain site. This is something we have commented on repeatedly, on this site. Ease of car access is not an objective; it goes against our objectives.
Why target reduced car use if you aren't going to try and achieve it?
As for Bob Young's traffic woes - these don't make sense. Young claims the city was unable to allay his car access concerns. Yet here at RTH we have suggested several remediation measures which would not be difficult to deploy:
I'm sure we could also put cops on some of the east west crossovers to assist with an orderly evacuation of vehicles after the final whistle blows.
While this debate might rage on however, there is a familiar gloom around Hamilton. A sense that the deal is done. Looking at this from the outside, you have to wonder: Why does this always seem to happen to Hamilton?