Light Rail

More Empty Rhetoric from LRT Opponents

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 13, 2011

If the quality of public arguments against light rail transit in Hamilton is any indication, the case for LRT must be pretty strong.

In today's offering to the false god of journalistic balance, the author takes 581 words to present exactly two erroneous "facts" and propose exactly one policy action, which City staff are already doing.

No, Metrolinx did not originally suggest that bus rapid transit is the way to go (though the Ontario Liberals promised Hamilton two LRT lines back in 2007).

Metrolinx did not make any recommendations until publishing its Hamilton King-Main Rapid Transit Benefits Case Analysis (BCA), which concluded that LRT will provide the most economic uplift and the biggest qualitative user benefit while delivering the best benefit-cost ratio.

So much for chiding staff to "conjure up a simple balance sheet demonstrating the net benefit of a switch to LRT".

(Of course, the BCA also concluded that Hamilton will realize the biggest LRT benefit by coupling it with the two-way conversion of the major east-west streets, but who's keeping track?)

As for whether LRT "could be shoe-horned into the streetscape", I'll remind the reader that we had electric streetcars on these streets decades ago. The only reason they were removed is that Canada Coach Lines, a bus company, bought the HSR and ripped out the tracks.

I'll further remind the reader that LRT has been successfully "shoe-horned" into the medieval streetscapes of several European cities. Surely if Grenoble and Bordeaux can manage it, we can find some room in our five-lane thoroughfares.

And for the record, the City's rapid transit office has already extensively polled and surveyed Hamiltonians about the LRT proposal, including holding a number of community and stakeholder sessions around the city and convening a rapid transit citizens advisory committee.

The December 2010 Newsletter [PDF] cited the following priorities identified by the community:

But why let what the community wants - or, indeed, what the evidence tells us - get in the way of a sweeping dismissal that tosses around such emotive grenades as "mother of all boondoggles" and "gravy train" without demonstrating a shred of actual research?

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By hmag (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 10:50:07

Definitely not worthy of being published - The Spec just loves lining up this very false argument. Just build it...

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:12:51

I'd like any of these naysayers to outline a project of their choosing by which the city can invest $130 million and reap upwards of $1-$2 billion in investment along the corridor. That's a return on investment that we should all be jumping up and down for, and it has already happened in many other cities with LRT. Whoever these people are that love the status quo with no investment, rising taxes and a struggling economy, perhaps they won't mind paying for my tax increases each year.
I will happily add their portion of LRT investment onto my tax bill, provided they let me keep their portion of the ROI that begins to pour into the city in future years. That way they will still have reason to write useless letters to the Spec complaining about life.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:16:52

Apparently a lot of people believe ignorance is a right, and investigating an issue before forming an opinion is optional. Perhaps they believe that city staff need to knock on every single door in the city and have an hour long personal conversation with them, as opposed to attending the very well publicized PICs. Conclusion: why put in an effort when laziness is rewarded through publication and recognition on the Spec?

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:23:06

I wonder what Alice — justifiably proud of her handiwork — would make of spending hundreds of millions of dollars just 20 years later to rip it up and reverting to a form of transport that began in 1874 with horses as locomotion.

The automobile with a modern-style internal combustion engine dates to 1885 - ten years later. The bicycle was invented in 1884 (penny farthing) and again in 1886 ("safety-bike", basically a modern 'fixie).

So what? Should we ban cars and bikes, too? Should we start closing down any streets, buildings or institutions older than a hundred years? This whole article is absolutely ridiculous. Taking out streetcars was a horrible idea, and not building more is even dumber. From everything I can see of Hamilton built in the late 1800s, the people designing it clearly had a far greater understanding of things like urban design and tasteful architecture than we do today. Is it so surprising that their transportation costs were brilliant too?

Horse-drawn streetcars in 1874? That's 'visionary'.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:40:41

LRT supporter: We need to invest in LRT.

Yokel: What a waste of money, we already have buses.

LRT supporter: LRT is much better, it attracts billions in investment.

Yokel: Big promises from greedy politicians who want MOAR MONEY!

LRT supporter: Here's a bunch of cities that did build LRT and did attract billions in investment.

Yokel: (puts fingers in ears) Nah nah can't hear you! (leaves to write oped for local newspaper)

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:50:45

YOKEL~!

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:13:30

I read a comment at thespec.com the other day criticizing the picture of an LRT train on James St. South, their comment was something to the effect of "until we invent anti-gravity drives, it will never get up the mountain."

How many times do we have to rebut this theory that trains can't scale mountains? It all originated with a city document which stated standard LRT would not be able to handle the steep grade of the James St. Access (which was their preferred route) without building a tunnel.

However, I believe even at that time it was admitted that if they went up the Jolley Cut instead, the train would be able to handle the incline.

Not to mention that there are many special purpose trains which provide additional traction and could be used to overcome these limitations.

Hell, if San Francisco cable cars can climb their steep hills, I'm sure we can figure something out for our "mountain".

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By Yokel (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:17:17

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:54:38

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 13:01:38

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 13:02:28

ASmith, you're missing the point. We are all the same taxpayer. If the city's assessment base skyrockets due to hundreds of millions in investment, that benefits all of us. Suddenly there are more sources of income for the city to do things like their infrastructure renewal plan and wastewater plan instead of having to raise taxes nonstop. You seem to be an expert on the issue of taxation. So, tell me - how else do we keep taxes in check if increasing the city's assessment base isn't agreeable to you??
There are two pockets that can be picked - residential, or business/commercial/industrial. Hamilton, of all cities, should undertand the dire need to see billions of new investment come to our city, especially in the lower city corridor which has had depressed property values for many years. A new stadium will never do anything good for our tax base. LRT will.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-01-13 13:02:58

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 13:04:47

ask yourself why so many U.S. states and cities are in desperate financial troubles.

Really? Now we're resorting to blaming the US crash on LRT?? The answer to this question is long and complicated (and off topic), but much of it starts and ends with crappy governance, greedy billionaires and a nation built on debt.

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By wentworthst (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 13:22:34

I assume voicing shaky ideas is the game. Like yesterday, Spec's Paul Wilson wrote:

> our sneaky neighbour Aldershot... For years, it’s been making off with things that properly belong in Hamilton.
http://www.thespec.com/living/article/472819--aldershot-foiled-in-stadium-subterfuge

I mean, did he have to wear a tin-foil hat so the machiavellian Aldershot Chamber of Commerce wouldn't read his thoughts as he wrote this?

Its the game in "treed media"; build up both sides of an argument with shoddy points, then write stories about the deteriorating debate.

The 1st-floor, "lesser lie," is when they claim no bias, then say "sometimes, we just know what's best." A 2nd-floor usually hides a greater lie about their true bias; "we don't pull stings in the city, just pluck widely at them all". There is no agenda but to shake change out of people's pockets.

Fortunately, its a failing business model... You can't play that old guitar to the digital dance-beat, and the Net has a long, detailed memory.

Comment edited by wentworthst on 2011-01-13 13:47:27

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 13:57:15

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By PseudonymousCoward (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:02:55

Sounds like a clearcut case of survivorship bias.

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By LRT (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:11:26

Send each councilor who opposes LRT/thinks it's too expensive on another LRT whirlwind tour:
Minneapolis to prove it can indeed run in snow, even when buses can't.
Phoenix to see it integrate with downtown streets battling scorching hot temps.
Portland to see LRT in an mountainous environment and also as case study for how much ROI LRT will bring to Hamilton.

Ferguson came back last time sayin Hamilton couldnt afford to NOT invest in Light Rail. Though he has shockingly flopped, he's just got Stadium Brain. As do all of em.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:16:05

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:24:06

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:30:34

In the past few years, Mr. Meister, you have dismissed every other city that has a successful LRT because all of them are, in one way or another, unlike Hamilton. Some are geographically larger, some are smaller, some have more people, some have fewer people, some are rounder, some are more elongated, some are more flat, some are more hilly, some are richer, some are poorer, and so on and so on ad nauseam.

All you've demonstrated, inadvertently, is that LRT is successful in a huge variety of different city configurations. That you then manage to, um, conclude LRT won't work in Hamilton suggests you formed your conclusion first, and only then started casting around for supporting arguments.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-01-13 14:36:06

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By iWalk (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:51:25

Ryan,

For the record;

1. None of the City's rapid transit office polls or surveys have been scientific, and have a high degree of bias built into their design and deployment.

2. The electric streetcars on these streets decades ago didn't need to be shoe-horned because they shared the road with cars. The new proposal will have a dedicated right-of-way, hence the shoe-horning today.

3. We can find some room in our five-lane thoroughfares, only the LRT is proposed for King Street which is 4 lanes for the majority of the route.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 14:55:45

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By told you sp (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 15:09:48

Not to mention Main Street between the delta and the traffic circle being only 4 lanes with no alternate for local buses and autos like there is west of the delta Iwalk

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By Steve (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 15:12:52

Agree 100% with A Smith, we've gotten rid of private, for-profit business, and replaced with government, agencies, and the business of poverty.

http://www.thespec.com/news/business/art...

After 10 years of effort downtown Hamilton today houses a workforce of 23,000 people. Many are government workers, following a city council decision to make the downtown the governance centre for the region. About 71 per cent of the workers hold well-paid, full-time jobs.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 15:16:33

Why do people keep asking where the city will get $130 million?

Who said the city would be paying the cost on their own. Look at Toronto, how much is the province "giving" them through Metrolinx, versus how much is the city actualyl paying? That should give you some indicate of the percentage of capital costs we might face.

As for cities of our size that have LRT? Well, if we keep talking about this long enough Guelph will beat us to it, and who knows who else (London?).

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 15:45:19

ASmith,

Those plants you reference were built in Canada due to trade barriers implemented by the Canadian government.

Those factories made money in Canada because Canada demanded tariffs for anything coming across the border. It simply made sense to produce here because it was far cheaper than shipping across the border.

A fine example of this is cited by you, Procter and Gamble. I worked at P&G before it closed. That plant was built in 1915 to make small batches of every P&G product sold. Tide, Crisco, Ivory, Mr Clean, Lava, Vicks, Cascade, everything sold in Canada came out of there. That's why you couldn't buy Charmin for the longest time in Canada, P&G didn't have a paper mill until they bought the Royale plant in Toronto around 1995. The Mulroney government killed those companies with the implementation of free trade, all of the ones you reference. The small batch factory that made a hundred products were not needed when trade barriers were lifted, the P&G US superplants that only make one type of product easily ate the Canadian capacities. Only Dofasco weathered the storm due to outstanding innovations and product choices.

It is absolutely hilarious that your screen name is that of the father of free market economies and yet you use trade barrier factories to support your arguments. You really don't understand what you write do you?

I can't wait for your unions and government rebuttals that will be coming down 'the pipe'. There is really no point sending them though, we've read them from you a hundred times before, just cut and paste something and save yourself some time.

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-01-13 15:49:07

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 16:09:11

the $150M is the city's portion of a more than $600M cost for the LRT

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 16:12:27

I just went to the url I saved for the Metrolinx report on Hamilton's LRT Its gone, vanished. I saved it to read and I have from cover to cover 10 -20 times. I wonder what the purpose of removing the information is

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 16:30:03

Was it different from this one? http://www.metrolinx.com/mx/en/board/201...

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 17:19:51

yes actually it was a different report although I have not yet taken the time to read it and see if the 2 contain the same information

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 17:42:41

The first 13 pages contain much of the same information but then it in explicitly stops loading. There is a ton of info missing

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 17:52:28

The link has changed, but the full BCA report is available at:

http://www.metrolinx.com/mx/en/board/201...

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 18:03:17

Thanks. thats the one

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 18:06:19

Ryan - Why are you lying about my comments? I have never stated that LRT will not work here for the several silly reasons you try to attribute to me. I have repeatedly said that LRT is not bad it is however very expensive. A billion dollars for a metropolitan area of 600,000 people is just to much. Any transit in a city covering 1,200 km2 is a tricky and expensive proposition. If you wish to dispute the simple facts go ahead try, I do not rely on the mumbo jumbo some spout, build it and they will come. Lack of density is the bane of all transportation costs, from roads to transit. You simply cannot change that fact. You can try to ridicule my opinion because you have no answer for my concerns but that will not make those concerns go away or even make them any less real.

LRT is not bad but LRT is very expensive. We cannot afford LRT.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 18:09:13

We need less labour/capital being allocated by the government and far more by the people directly paying the bills.

I agree. Personally I like the ratio of $130 million from the city, resulting in $1-$2 billion from private business and developers. If you have another way of getting investors to pump $1-$2 billion into Hamilton's economy (lower city at that) I would absolutely love to hear it.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 18:20:17

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 13, 2011 at 20:35:18

LRT is not bad but LRT is very expensive. Detroit's 8km of LRT are scheduled to cost $420,000,000 and when was the last time a project of this size came in on budget.

Umm...Red Hill!?! Our city spends this kind of cash all the time, especially on transportation. How many people would be crying 'socialism' if this was a new highway?

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By Paul V (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 21:48:22


Sent a note to the spec editor. I'm angry... car companies bought all the rail routes, ripped up the tracks and replaced them with gas heavy buses, but for Alice and that nostalgic prose it was
"Alice and the lrt" - I usually let things go and its a problem of mine (and most people) but this piece got to me. It came across as emotional prose attached to weak arguments. Of course, you have a responsibility as journalists to present opposition, however printing a toothless letter/opinion against LRT may have revealed the spec's political alignment on this. I hope I'm wrong.

Paul V, Hamilton (king and sherman)

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By Paul V (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 21:49:11

Sent a note to the spec editor. I'm angry... car companies bought all the rail routes, ripped up the tracks and replaced them with gas heavy buses, but for Alice and that nostalgic prose it was progress
----------------
"Alice and the lrt" - I usually let things go and its a problem of mine (and most people) but this piece got to me. It came across as emotional prose attached to weak arguments. Of course, you have a responsibility as journalists to present opposition, however printing a toothless letter/opinion against LRT may have revealed the spec's political alignment on this. I hope I'm wrong.

Paul V, Hamilton (king and sherman)

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 23:00:34

I find it very interesting that public transportation is frequently instructed to seek public-private partnerships to secure sufficient funding for expansions or new projects. How often do we demand private investment into new roads? Why should our public transportation system be denied public monies when our system which caters to the private automobile is not questioned as often?

This is a blanket statement and subject to accurate criticism/correction if it exists.

I also have wondered lately what the standard for success/effectiveness of a public transportation project or system is to all of those who are anti-spending. In the case of LRT along the B-Line, it has the potential to be used by a sizable proportion of the city's population, even in the narrowist view which would suggest that only lower city residents would use it. Is a transportation system with the potential to reach 1/5th to 2/5th of the city population a bad investment? No one could reasonably assume that all 500,000+ residents of Hamilton would use the LRT even once per year. However by the same token not all city residents use the Red Hill Expressway. Where is the line of acceptable use to justify the expenditure?

In a similar vein, what would we classify as successful ridership? And in what terms? Just passenger counts, or perhaps by vehicle counts along the corridor? If, in a modest scenario, Hamilton sees a decrease of 1% of vehicles travelling along the LRT corridor when it begins service. That percentage reduction would be equivalent to hundreds of fewer vehicle trips. That may seem insignificant but from a transportation engineering perspective it means a big difference in the network.

I ask these questions in an (perhaps vain) attempt to quantify the transportation side of the debate and get away from emotional arguments. The development and property value side I will leave to those with greater expertise.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-13 23:01:09

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2011 at 23:21:53

Jason >> Personally I like the ratio of $130 million from the city, resulting in $1-$2 billion from private business and developers.

Here'a a low risk way of doing this for the taxpayer...

Assuming that the city gets new assessment of $2 billion from this $130 million LRT line and further assuming that the tax classes would be about be 40% business, 60% residential, that means that the city should get an extra $2 billion * 2.56% = $51.2 million every year in taxes.

Instead of having taxpayers underwrite this investment, tell property owners along the LRT line that if they finance it, the city will only charge taxes based on existing assessments ( adjusting for city wide average increase or decrease for 5-7 years). That way, the city doesn't lose any revenue that it already collects, but it will give property owners 5-7 years of tax savings * $51.2 million a year, a savings of $250-350 million.

These tax savings represent the taxes they would have had to pay had their assessments reflected their higher value due to the building of the LRT and the much increased consumer demand.

The city wins because it gets the all benefits of LRT, save the first 5-7 years of higher assessment tax revenue and it doesn't have to risk any taxpayer money. Property owners win because they enjoy higher property values/rents, plus they don't have to pay higher taxes for on their now higher assessment properties. It would be as if these property owners got a tax rate cut.

The only reason why property owners wouldn't do this deal would be if they don't believe an LRT line will bring the added assessment that would make the investment pay off. However. as long as they believed they could get tax savings of $250-350 million from a $130 million investment, they should jump at this opportunity.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 14, 2011 at 14:15:30

We have to be careful how much we conflate property value assessments and the resulting taxes with "success". It's based on a lot of notoriously unreliable speculation and bureaucracy. Transportation systems cannot be judged based on these factors alone. Sure, it's a nice side-benefit. But the main goal is transportation, and that's how it needs to be assessed, planned and sold.

Do highways raise property values around them? Train tracks? Not through cities. But that's not why we build them - we build them because everyone in a transportation network benefits when the network itself becomes more efficient or effective, even if they never use the bit in question.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 15:42:22

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 16:24:30

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By George (registered) | Posted January 14, 2011 at 23:24:45

Adding another one way?

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

This is for Main st E, east of the Delta to the traffic circle

running the LRT tracks in two lanes on the south side of Main Street East, with a single westbound through-traffic lane and a parking, loading and bus stop lane on the north side.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 09:35:29

DETRAYED!! We'll look at 2 way conversion as part of the LRT. That's what they told us. Now, it's more of the one-way. Well I'll take solice in the fact that one-way misery, loves company. Welcome to the club Main east of Delta.

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 11:25:08

A Smith - If "they" down vote the comments disappear and that makes them so easy to ignore. Then "they" can make like an ostrich and pretend away that they have all the answers. This whole downvoting, make the comments disappear was open for discussion not that long ago and was deliberately arrived at for this reason.

LRT is good. Every body else has LRT. (except cities as small and far flung as ours) LRT always works (except Buffalo, but that does not count because Buffalo is way to much like Hamilton only bigger) Does not matter what it costs we must have LRT other wise our lives just are not complete.

LRT is not bad but LRT is very expensive. We cannot afford LRT.

Let the downvoting begin.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 11:34:46

From a benefit/cost perspective, how are projections about LRT any worse than the wild projections given for the development that would spring up overnight around the Red Hill expressway or the even more ridiculous projections about the aerotropolis?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 11:54:02

I can't wait to hear the wonks on CHML and local callers freaking out over this plan to extend the Main St one-way format east to the Queenston Traffic Circle. All the same people who flip a lid when one-ways are converted to two-way downtown will be the same ones flipping their lid over this plan. The irony is so beautiful....as is the hypocrisy and mindlessness. I can't wait to tune into CHML next week!

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 16:18:30

So now do you believe me that Main from the delta to the traffic circle cannot be done? Can you now see its not just simple LRT opposition coming from me but genuine fear of exactly what is laid out in today's paper. Its a bloody farce that will cut the city in 2. Under the proposal my wife will have to go 2 KM out of the way to get home from work late ate night because its not safe to take the HSR and have to walk 8 blocks at one end and through the mall parking lot from Fortinos to the station on the other end. No way is she taking the LRT home from work and now she can't drive either. Guess the city thinks its a good idea to create unemployment

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 16:30:22

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 16:35:31

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 17:17:54

told you so, LRT will reduce the time it takes to go from Eastgate to McMaster by sixty seconds. This will give people more time to tie their shoes, or get another sip of coffee, or look at themselves one more time in the mirror. And all of this for the low, low price of $130 million dollars.

So stop whining about whether or not drivers will have a more difficult time, that doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that we get LRT. Once young professionals learn that a trip across Hamilton will no longer be 32 minutes, but only 31, it will send shockwaves through out the province. Businesses and entrepreneurs will flock here creating billions in new assessment.

In other words, there is no reasoning with crazy people.

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By lukev (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 17:45:48

What's so dangerous about the Fortino's parking lot? And why can't your wife catch the bus to the LRT station like thousands of others do every day?

Sounds like your wife is too precious to even go outside, might as well keep her indoors from now on. Any time she goes outdoors sh might get struck by lightning, right?

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 18:30:56

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 18:32:20

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 18:34:54

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 18:45:33

I'm a middle-aged woman and I walk anywhere, anytime and I have never even felt uncomfortable in this city, let alone frightened or threatened. Hamilton is a very safe city. I've never understood where all this fear comes from. I suspect it's just a symptom of the usual Hamilton-hating. It certainly isn't borne out in the crime stats.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 18:49:38

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2011 at 20:39:43

As has been pointed out, the crime statistics for this city are quite low, even lower than Toronto's.

If you're calculating risk, it's a very low one to be walking alone outside in Hamilton, with little or no difference where, when, or what gender one is.

Living in fear is no way to live, and implying a woman is stupid or reckless if they believe their freedom and employment is a much larger priority than a miniscule risk is incredibly insulting.

There's a few other scary mentalities that tend to correlate with the "women are at risk if they're in public alone" one, but I'm not going to immediately assume they're ones you hold.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 20:48:31

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 20:52:33

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 15, 2011 at 23:03:41

Wow, some of these comments are quite amusing if they weren't actually on a serious bend. Told you so, I'm assuming your close to your wifes age?? If so, don't you think your banter should be a far bit more mature? And ASmith, are you serious about the NDP thing, lol. I've never voted NDP or ever will and I believe my vote status has been fair throughout all of my past comments over the years. I guess what you meant was that it has to have some COMMON SENSE to get an up vote, except from those who wish to be negative for negative sake.

Mr. Meister, LRT is not bad LRT is very expensive. We cannot afford LRT in 20 years when you realize it's actually time for it because it will be 3 or 4 times as much. Common sense, city building, civic pride, etc. Etc. I officially will not tolerate lack of common sense anymore.

Oh, common sense not meaning mike Harris type politics, just what it means.

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By told you so (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 04:06:35

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 09:14:47

Woody10 - You must have me confused with someone else. I am the one always spouting off about common sense. There is however someone else on this site who holds pretty extreme views, cannot be reasoned with, and belittles common sense all the time. Go tell it to him.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 14:02:43

Making Main St 1 lane for traffic is ridiculous. What a nightmare. This is exactly the kind of thing that made me worry about LRT in Hamilton. I posted previously that this exact area would be a challenge and suggested alternatives.

Jason, the irony is a double edged sword on this one.. careful. Those forced to drive for various reasons (eg deliveries, post, trades workers, home-care service providers etc etc) will have to travel further to get to their destination. One of the disadvantages of one way streets so often mentioned here is that it has the potential to increase the number of turns and increase the total distance traveled. This plan guarantees this will happen. You see the irony of your irony? ;)

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 16, 2011 at 14:15:30

Has anyone outlined the goal of LRT in Hamilton? What is the reason for extending it all the way to Eastgate? Is Eastgate a crucial destination for LRT to work in Hamilton?

If Eastgate is not essential, then what about turning the LRT North on Ottawa and then East on Barton and then terminating at Centre Mall?

If, in the future (say 10-20 years later), it turns out the LRT is amazing for Hamilton, and we have more money for an extension, it could continue along Barton to Nash, and then down Nash to Queenston/Eastgate.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 00:51:45

@Toldyouso Quote: "A 50 year old women walking alone ANYWHERE at 11:00pm is dangereous and unacceptable."

Good grief man! You sound like the Taliban! Does she have a curfew?

Look, I've had Quite Enough lately of the Stupid Comments regarding the senior school teacher who was murdered that seemed to imply that she was somehow living a 'High Risk Lifestyle' by being single, independent & living alone with her 2 dogs, out in the country.

Now you come up with THAT! Seriously..?

So what if (God Forbid) something ever happened to you? Would your wife be housebound? Paralyzed with fear if she needed to get some milk or bread after dark?

Some people in Hamilton have a Lot of growing up to do! No wonder it's so...WEIRD here!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:30:59

Well highwater IMHO you are stupid to walk alone at all hours. It not just Hamilton, its anywhere. If you want to play a risky game thats your personal choice but you can't force it on others who are more conscious of their personal safety and don't take unreasonable risks

Not only are your remarks insulting, they're presumptuous and sexist as well. Only a man would be so arrogant as to think that a woman could grow up in our society without developing a highly-tuned sense of danger, and the ability to make instinctive, split-second risk assessments - something a man such as yourself can never really understand. I may be middle-aged now, and no longer as much of a target as I was when I was young, but the 'spider sense' I developed when I was young and more vulnerable is imprinted on my brain and continues to govern the way I calculate risk.

And it just so happens that I developed my sense of danger living in sketchy neighbourhoods in Toronto that have much higher crime rates than any neighbourhood in Hamilton, so if anything, my innate sense of risk is actually more highly developed than you and your wife's. So if I say I am comfortable walking around this city after dark, it is because I don't find any of the traditional risk markers here, and Hamilton's relatively low crime rate backs up my observations.

Live in a self-imposed prison all you want, but know that your fears are irrational and based on suspicion and prejudice toward your fellow Hamiltonians, and not on any real risk of danger as evidenced by our relatively low crime rate.

That said, I believe you are overstating your case, and you and your wife don't actually live in the constant state of fear that you suggest, but were attempting to leverage your alleged fears to argue against LRT. Nice try.

Comment edited by highwater on 2011-01-17 11:37:07

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By wait a minute (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:43:42

So safety experts and police are presumtious and sexist too.

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By wait a minute (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:48:21

http://www.ehow.com/how_2314326_stay-safe-walking-night.html

1.Walk with a friend or co-worker if possible. Try to avoid walking alone. If you walk to or from work, try to find someone who walks in the same direction as you and walk together.
2
Walk on main streets if possible. Walk in lighted areas. Avoid dark unlit areas as much as possible.
3
Wear reflective or brightly colored clothing. It can be difficult for drivers to see someone walking along the roadside, especially in dark areas. Wearing bright clothing will provide more visibility and can help prevent accidents.
4
Carry a cell phone. Make sure you have your cell phone at all times when walking so that you can call 911 if the need arises.
5
Walk on the side of the road opposing traffic, if you must walk in an area where there is no sidewalk.
6
Carry a flashlight when walking. A flashlight can help provide visibility in dark areas.
7
Walk directly to the nearest house or business if you feel you are being followed by someone either on foot or by vehicle. Call 911 immediately if you feel you are in danger.

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By wait a minute (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:50:35

http://www.police.lasalle.on.ca/safety_tips.htm
Walking:
Be alert and aware at all times of your surroundings and the people around you.
Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary
Carry a fully charged cell phone.
Make eye contact with other people, If a stranger approaches you on the trail system and begins to harass you, do not responded them- instead continue walking.
Avoid potentially dangerous situations.
If you feel threatened or harassed utilize your cell phone and leave the trail system for populated areas.
Vary your daily routine
Carry a whistle.
Wear visible clothing;
A safety vest purchased at a local hardware store can increase your visibility dramatically and prove useful when walking at night.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:54:58

Ehow? Now we're taking safety advice from spam farms?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:58:24

So safety experts and police are presumtious and sexist too.

If they refer to women who use their own sense of judgement and self-preservation as 'stupid and reckess', then yes. Oh by the way, I follow many of the above suggestions which is another reason why I feel safe walking around this city, and it is presumptuous of you to assume that I am not already more than aware of basic safety precautions. Perhaps you did not read my comment all the way through before you responded. I developed my awareness of threats to my safety living in relatively high crime neighbourhoods in Toronto. I don't need any lessons in self-defense, thank you very much.

You know what else makes our streets safe? Lots of people walking around freely. Fear and suspicion have a tendency to be self-fulfilling.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:03:42

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:17:35

Ok. I'll concede that I over-stated my 'anywhere, anytime' remark. I don't walk around deserted industrial areas and subdivisions by myself at 3am, but that isn't what Allan/Turbo/toldyouso was talking about. Our crime stats show that we are at low risk of violent crime wandering around our downtown and lower city neighbourhoods after dark. Suggestions to the contrary are irrational and as Cityjoe pointed out, punitive toward women. Imagine the state of our streets and the quality of our social and cultural life if no one walked our streets after dark. Now that would be dangerous.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:25:53

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:30:14

Another comment thread completely sidelined and ruined by effective trolling. I really feel like this is happening with greater frequency these days. Can RTH please eliminate anonymous postings so the banhammer can be wielded when necessary?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:32:46

I think women know all the things you have listed all too well. (Yup, we do have some common sense.)

One of the things that drives me crazy here (GHA) is no matter what the situation it is Assumed that a woman/mature adult is With the man in front, or behind her in a cue. I think it's called Invisability Factor.

No matter who you are in proximity to, the fast food person, the receptionist, the usher, etc. will pass you over. When you say, "Heh..I'm here too.", you get, "Oooh... I thought you were with Him. ('Him' being anyone male in close proximity to you.) If the guy closest to you is 16 to 25, they assume you are with your son. 25 to 40, maybe son-in law? Over 80, then he must be your father. (I'm hoping Not my husband!)

I was behind an older gent (must have been late 80's to late 90's who cloud barely keep himself in the upright position with a walker) & the receptionist passes me over & says, "I thought you were with Him". Reality check for the young lady...If I was taking this very frail man to the doctor, he would be with me, not the other way around.

One day we may see leash laws & licenses for women in the GHA.

"Sorry sir, we had to impound her. She was reported wandering at large, off leash & without her owner, through the Deli dept. at the Metro. We nabbed her as she was walking through the park with a bag of pastrami." AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH!

Sorry for interrupting! Back to LRT!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:43:50

Actually it exactly what was being discussed. Walking a long distance alone in a deserted area,

Uh, he was talking about Main St. E., one of our major thoroughfares. Show me the stats to prove that this is as dangerous as Allan/Turbo/toldyouso suggests.

Another comment thread completely sidelined and ruined by effective trolling.

Apologies transitstudent. In my defense, I was trying to counter turbo's argument that LRT is bad because "ZOMG! Women walking unsupervised at night!"

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 12:48:02

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:02:18

Bless you and your efforts highwater, but our friend Turbo'd You Allan isn't interested, he's already accomplished his task.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:03:16

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:05:48

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:06:09

OMG enough. The Fortinos plaza which includes a 24hr McDonalds, late night Pizza Pizza, and 24hr Esso and Tims across the road? Give me a break, go ruin another thread.

EDIT I mistakenly thought the Fortinos being referred to was at Dundurn.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-17 13:44:44

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By LRT (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:08:27

@ SpaceMonkey: It's imperative to include suburban communuties in order for it to be the most successful. Without a surburban connection (Eastgate Square), chances are those who live out there will still choose to drive all the way downtown, rather than to Main/Ottawa just to park and transfer onto a train.

I look at Buffalo's LRT as a failure because it terminates in the inner city not giving any convenient accessibility to suburbanites who might choose it as a travel option over car.

Another reason why many in Hamilton believe the B-Line should extend westward into downtown Dundas.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:15:33

none of those businesses are at Eastgate transit

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:22:24

Correction there is a pizza pizza and timmys inside the mall. MacDonalds is at Queenston and Nash

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:28:49

Say Turbo You Allan,

Miraculously I can bring this back to discussing LRT on Main between the Delta and traffic circle. You say she will have to drive 2km out of her way to get home at night. Why? FYI, the current design has one way on Main WESTBOUND, with left hand turns southbound permitted. So if she's coming from Eastgate (which you were woefully unclear about earlier, leading to my mistaking which Fortinos you were referring to), she can drive all the way back home without diversion.

To get to Eastgate she will have to take King which at its furthest point is 875m from Main, or Cannon/Brittania which at its furthest point is 650m from Main. At an average speed of 40km/h, this will take her between 1 and 1.2 minutes, resulting in an approximately 2.5 minute longer trip.

You'll forgive me if I do not shed many tears for this very minor inconvenience.

Comment edited by transitstudent on 2011-01-17 13:30:25

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:46:54

850M x 2 =1700M or 1.7km. Doesn't sound too far of 2km to me

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By ha ha ha (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:51:27

And here I thought the goal was to get everyone to drive less not force them to drive more. Whats the real agenda?

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By ha ha ha (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:54:33

Now thats a troll like post.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:55:33

Good! So an extra 2-3 minutes of driving. This level of inconvenience is not worth wringing our hands over. The fact that King and Cannon/Brittania are so close can be shown to demonstrate that traffic flow in the area will not be destroyed but can be accommodated on those streets.

Legitimate concerns that we should take time to address include disruption of business during construction, which though unfortunate is a fact of life and would occur during road reconstruction if not installation of LRT but which requires a more thoughtful answer to concerned business owners. Also a legitimate concern is business owners who feel that they cannot be successful with LRT in place, which may or may not be true and requires demonstration from other case studies that show that businesses can survive such major changes in the streetscape and traffic patterns at their doorsteps.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 13:59:59

"Everyone" is a comical phrase in this context. The goal is to provide a service that draws people out of their cars and onto the LRT. Say Turbo You Allan's wife sounds like the sort of person for whom this could be possible but for some overstated fear around walking at night alone, which is likely inflated for trolling purposes.

However back to the "everyone" idea. No transportation system in the world captures everyone, even roads, so we can only reasonably assume that a percentage of the population will use the LRT. Whatever the number of single occupancy vehicle trips that amounts to reducing on our roadways is our measure of success.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2011 at 14:00:03

I'm sure that the businesses along Main will have plenty to say on their viability if this particular plan should go forward. I'm sure we'll here from the emergency services about the actual decrease in response times to various locations along the route as well. Its not going to be all shouting although there will be plenty of that coming from all sides

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By seriously (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 19:49:43

Transit Student, just stop replying to it! It's the only solution.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 21:53:39

Me=Emergency Service. Me say, no problem whatsoever. Cars are and will continue to be our biggest problem. Oh, and kids with I-Pods in intersections.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 18, 2011 at 22:21:21

In response to A Smith's comment about LRT being a $130M investment designed to shave 1 minute off of travel time between Eastgate and McMaster on public transit:

Firstly, it actually shaves SIX minutes off of travel time. So instead of $130M per minute of saved time, its $21.6M per minute of saved time. What a bargain! My cute sarcasm aside, I do wish you had noticed this discrepancy in your figures (which I'm certain was pointed out earlier by some enterprising fellow but I can't find it) and adjusted your criticism, which despite the 5 minute difference is still a fair point and should be discussed.

The difference between a 37 minute trip on a bus in mixed traffic and varying road conditions, and a 31 minute trip on a light rail vehicle on a dedicated ROW on rails should be fairly clear: reliability, efficiency and convenience, particularly when considering the proposed 4-5 minute headway between vehicles. Under these conditions, LRT gains a considerable advantage over the current bus system. It simultaneously allows buses which are currently deployed along the corridor to be shifted to other parts of the system to feed into the LRT, provide local service along the LRT corridor, etc.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 01:23:55

transitstudent, the B-Line takes 32 minutes to go from Eastgate to McMaster ...

Stop # 1206 Stop # 2512
McMASTER MEDICAL CENTRE TERMINAL EASTGATE TERMINAL PLATFORM 7

6:12a 6:44a


6:12 to 6:44 = 32 minutes vs 31 minutes for LRT.

That 32 minutes includes 12 stops.

Facts are facts, even when they work against you, sorry.

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By Ezaki Glico (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 06:35:56

It seems likely that a dedicated LRT lane will deliver riders at the promised time, and therefore hold to the 32-minute promise. It does appear to be the case, however, that the discrepency between LRT and BRT can at times be negligible, if you place faith in the HSR's schedule.

Eastbound weekday B-Line service from MUMC to Eastgate runs anywhere from 32 min (~6am-1pm) and 33 min (~1pm-2:30pm, ~5:39pm-close) to 36 min (~2:30-5:30pm).

Westbound weekday B-Line service from Eastgate to MUMC appears to run more evenly. The milk run takes 33 min, and I believe every other run from 6am-5:40pm takes 34 min, except the last two runs of the day which are 32 min.

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityServices/Transit/CurrentSchedules

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By Ezaki Glico (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 06:47:50

I should add that, as has been suggested, the proposed 4-5 minute headway between vehicles (rather than the 15-30 minute headway currently in place between MUMC and Eastgate or the 10-15 minute headway in place elsewhere on the route) would shift the playing field considerably. The degree of advantage depends on how many trains the city loads into the circuit -- a 4-5 min headway would mean 12-15 trains travelling on that 62-minute loop, if my math is correct.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 08:24:20

You want a shorter headway just add more buses. That won't cost $130M

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:33:25

Egg on my face. I looked at the B-Line schedule from University Plaza to Eastgate, not McMaster. Sorry brother. So yes, 1 minute time savings. I think my other points remain valid.

However Ezaki raises a good point. I don't have any faith in the HSR schedules because experience suggests they are not always accurate. Bus operation is an uncertain business and schedules are in constant strain. Consider the particular case of loading and unloading people in wheelchairs or mobility scooters. The current ramp system on HSR buses is time consuming and clunky. LRT service would operate much smoother for those with accessibility issues.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 09:50:59

And BRT would also run on dedicated lanes with loading platforms ensuring the same reliable service schedule and disabled access. I still don't think we need it but BRT is on a par with LRT for those items and is considerably less money that we don't have to spend

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:02:19

The Metrolinx BCA found BRT provides a much smaller net benefit than LRT. You get what you pay for.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:11:59

First off I don't trust those types of studies any more than I trust studies by sports teams that show economic spinoffs to be far greater than reality. To me the LRT spinoffs are just as overstated as stadium/arena spinoffs. IMO if you believe stadium/arena spinoffs are overestimated that using the same logic you'd believe the same of LRT spinoffs. Its a huge expenditure that we can't afford and if your wrong then what?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:27:15

I would trust studies by sports teams if they would release said studies into the public realm (read: Ticats). Every stage of the rapid transit study has been available for public scrutiny and feedback, but the hitch is that it requires a degree of effort to either go to the RT website or attend an open house.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:41:50

There is hardly a lack of economic impact studies with reguards to stadiums. http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&rlz=1C1SKPC_enCA357&q=stadium+financial+impact&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=
Also read Field of Schemes that is highly recommended by contributors on this site. http://www.fieldofschemes.com/

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:52:38

Correct, sports and stadium related spinoffs are SCHEMES.

To repeat again,

Every stage of the rapid transit study has been available for public scrutiny and feedback, but the hitch is that it requires a degree of effort to either go to the RT website or attend an open house.

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By say what (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:57:18

And the LRT is just a similar hollow scheme

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:01:53

transitstudent >> I looked at the B-Line schedule from University Plaza to Eastgate, not McMaster.

How dare you make an honest mistake. But seriously, do you really think that the downtown's biggest hurdle is a lack of transit? Burlington and Oakville have less and yet people are buying expensive condos at a greater rate then here.

My belief is that it is more likely a financial decision. In Oakville and Burlington, condo owners pay around $2,000 property tax on a $200k condo. Just down the road in Hamilton, condo owners pay over $3,000. That's $1,000 in after tax income saved every year.

Unless an LRT would provide more than $1,000 in benefits every year to condo owners, then it stands to reason LRT will not be as effective an incentive to bring in new home buyers.


no brainer >> You get what you pay for.

If that's true, then it likely follows that "you pay for what you get." The downtown already receives the most public funds compared to any other area of the city and what has this free money done for the local economy? The correlation from receiving public funds and economic growth is negative, not positive.

Perhaps the people downtown prefer handouts to jobs, that's a choice, but I can't imagine how building an economy through other people's taxes creates much of a can-do entrepreneurial attitude.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:02:25

So turbo I presume then you've attended the Open Houses, asked questions of the staff, and looked over the study from day one to draw this conclusion? There's a LOT of detail in the study at this stage, hardly hollow.

Every stage of the rapid transit study has been available for public scrutiny and feedback, but the hitch is that it requires a degree of effort to either go to the RT website or attend an open house.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:19:39

But seriously, do you really think that the downtown's biggest hurdle is a lack of transit? Burlington and Oakville have less and yet people are buying expensive condos at a greater rate then here.

That's a bit of a left turn from the discussion of travel times across the entire corridor but I'll play ball for a moment.

No I don't think that transit is the biggest hurdle. It is one piece of a much larger puzzle. Currently transit is entirely centred on downtown, the vast majority of routes begin, end or run through downtown. And yes we have far more transit servicing downtown than either Burlington or Oakville.

We also have vastly more traffic flowing through downtown without interruption than either Burlington or Oakville. Driving through those two downtowns is time consuming and slow. In other words, traffic is purposely slowed down. Why? In order to create an environment that is welcoming to pedestrians, to encourage through traffic to avoid downtown, to encourage trips that make downtown a destination rather than a conduit of traffic. Walking through those two downtowns is a wildly different experience than walking on King or Main Streets in Hamilton. Its not so much about one-way traffic, its about the volume of traffic and the operation of that traffic.

This is another piece of the bigger puzzle. Your comments about taxation are likely another piece of the puzzle. The key is not to cherrypick one issue and elevated it to the status of THE ISSUE. There is no one issue. The current RT studies are attempting to address this fact by looking at multiple issues surrounding the B-Line corridor.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:45:18

transitstudent >> Driving through those two downtowns is time consuming and slow.... traffic is purposely slowed down. Why? In order to ...make downtown a destination rather than a conduit of traffic.

Okay, so then why not save taxpayers $130 million and take some lanes out of Main St/King St so that it more resembles Oakville and Burlington's downtowns. If they can get new condos with less transit and less car traffic, why wouldn't it work for us?

>> Currently transit is entirely centered on downtown, the vast majority of routes begin, end or run through downtown.

So if the area of the city that already has the most transit also has the worst economy, the logical conclusion from the city is to put even more transit in this area. WTF?

>> There is no one issue.

Agreed. And spending $130 million on ONE issue (LRT) will ensure that other issues have zero funding. This should be avoided.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:06:44

Okay, so then why not save taxpayers $130 million and take some lanes out of Main St/King St so that it more resembles Oakville and Burlington's downtowns.

Why not spend $130 million to take two lanes out of King St and accomplish both reduced traffic and improved transit?

So if the area of the city that already has the most transit also has the worst economy, the logical conclusion from the city is to put even more transit in this area.

http://www.thespec.com/news/business/art...

It would seem that downtown is not the area with the "worst economy" in Hamilton.

And spending $130 million on ONE issue (LRT) will ensure that other issues have zero funding.

Really? How did we manage to fund any projects after spending $500 million on the Red Hill then? You know this is a gross oversimplification.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 13:24:41

transitstudent >> Why not spend $130 million to take two lanes out of King St and accomplish both reduced traffic and improved transit?

For the same reason why you don't buy a Honda Civic for $130k? It would be a waste of money. The result has to match the goal. What is the primary goal of LRT? According to Ryan it is economic revival of the downtown. If that can be done by following Burlington's lower tax, lower spending model, less traffic model, then why take taxpayer money when it isn't necessary?

>> It would seem that downtown is not the area with the "worst economy" in Hamilton.

Then why are we talking about spending $130 million to make it better? If it is already doing well, then money should be returned to the taxpayer in the form of lower rates.

>> How did we manage to fund any projects after spending $500 million on the Red Hill then?

By charging it on the city credit card. Canadians are already at record debt levels, what's another $130 million, is that the logic? What happens when the costs for Baby Boomers health costs start going up? Just charge that to the national credit card as well?

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:03:42

Smith, you can't decide which horse to ride on. First you criticized travel times, then question the goal of LRT, then switched to taxation, then to financing, then to demonizing downtown, then to praising downtown, etc. Can't you answer any of my points without deflecting elsewhere? You can't even maintain coherent linear lines of thought from your own arguments.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:12:23

Smith, you can't decide which horse to ride on. First you...

Transitstudent, that's what a troll does! He doesn't care about what's right, he only cares about keeping the argument going as long as possible, please stop encouraging him.

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By matthewsweet (registered) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 14:15:51

At least I don't have to take anyone else's word for it, I have my own evidence to support the general consensus. Give me credit for that at least! =)

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 15:47:32

transitstudent >> First you criticized travel times,

Where you admitted you were wrong and I was right. Out of courtesy to you, I figured I wouldn't push the point. Sorry for not being an asshole.

>> then question the goal of LRT,

Because it's much better to just spend $130 million and hope something good happens.

>> then switched to taxation

To open your eyes to a real solution for helping Hamilton's economic troubles. Here's a breakdown that might make it clearer for you.

Goal: Increase the amount of private sector activity downtown Hamilton.

My idea: Allow the private sector to keep and spend more of their own money.

RTH's idea: Give more money to the government to spend.

I wonder whose idea will work better to increase private spending activity downtown? Giving the government $130 million to spend on a train service that will raise less in revenue than it costs to operate? ...Or

Giving it to consumers to spend at businesses that will make more in revenue than they cost to operate and therefore don't require taxpayers to bail them out?

Which idea is better for creating a good economy?

>> then to financing

These are all issues that are tied to LRT and it's so called goal of increasing the economy of downtown Hamilton. You and others seem to only see the possible benefits of LRT, without looking at all the negatives, like higher taxation, higher debt, less productivity, more reliance on handouts, etc.

All you see is "shiny, new train cars, makes me happy". That's not enough.

>> then to demonizing downtown,

I pointed out the reality that is downtown Hamilton. Poor economy, vacant buildings, low property values, lack of private investment, high poverty, in spite of having the highest concentration of public
spending and transit in the city.

I am stating the obvious that progressives either are blind to, or won't admit to, HIGH GOVERNMENT SPENDING HAS NOT HELPED THE DOWNTOWN GET PROSPEROUS. That's just a fact Jack.

>> then to praising downtown

I never praised the downtown, YOU did. You provided a link and all I did was work off that assumption. I never claimed the assumption was correct, I was simply asking that if it were true, that the downtown was already prosperous, why would it need more tax money to stimulate it?

I was simply highlighting the weakness in your logic, in the hopes that you would think twice about spending $130 million of other people's money.

As for me being a troll, I think that claim comes out of a frustration and inability of progressives to put forward a sensible and coherent argument for LRT. You even said that Burlington and Oakville's downtown are better not because they have more $130 million more in transit, but because you think their roads are slower moving.

When I suggested that the city try this first to help the downtown and save $130 million, you rebutted with this...

"Why not spend $130 million to take two lanes out of King St and accomplish both reduced traffic and improved transit?"

The problem with that answer is that it is not based on facts. You already admitted that the time savings would be minimal for LRT over B-Line, so what are taxpayers getting for their $130 million investment?

I don't know if you know this, but people in Hamilton do not have $130 million to waste? Do you understand that? And even if the city HAS wasted money on the RHVP, it doesn't mean that taxpayers were happy about that either. LRT should not be seen as revenge for the RHVP. It's not car lovers vs transit lovers, it taxpayers vs waste. Get it.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted January 19, 2011 at 23:23:46

@ A Smith

Where you admitted you were wrong and I was right. Out of courtesy to you, I figured I wouldn't push the point. Sorry for not being an asshole.

I think you clearly are an asshole. Your tone is simultaneously right, righteous, condescending and pious. You are smart. You write well. You are engaging in rhetoric of the highest order. I have seen assholes like you destroy forums. Destroy websites. Destroy everything. I even question whether you give a rats ass about LRT, taxes, freedom, heroes, or the writings of Adam Smith. You are here for your own need to see yourself in print. Although I also wonder, with the way you attack RTH and Ryan, that you may be here to disrupt things on purpose.

Join up. Shed the anonymity. Submit articles and participate. I would like to see a whip smart writer like you prove me wrong, but I don't really think that is why you are here.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 19, 2011 at 23:46:18

If you don't feed the troll, he will go away.

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By hammy (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 09:07:46

Capt. look who is calling the kettle black. The #1 troll in Hamilton, Kirk.

Comment edited by hammy on 2011-01-20 09:08:01

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By pol (anonymous) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 09:23:28

Actually the number one troll in Hamilton is Allan Taylor/say what/AKT/turbo/told you so.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted January 20, 2011 at 09:32:58

What a load of bollocks, CaptainKirk is nothing if not POLITE, he's a friendly guy, a big Ticat fan who actually knows how to turn off the fan part of his brain long enough to think about what's good for the city.

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