Will It Be 'Baby Steps' or 'Risk-Taking' for Transportation in Hamilton?

By Adrian Duyzer
Published May 31, 2013

In a May 17 column by Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel, Hamilton city manager Chris Murray will be encouraging a culture of risk-taking at the City of Hamilton:

According to Murray, city hall's corporate culture is currently an uneven mix of entitlement, aimlessness, fearfulness and engagement, with embedded pockets of excellence.

He says the goal over the next five years is to reinforce the latter by empowering employees, encouraging risk-taking and focusing on service delivery excellence.

"If you look at the literature on this, an engaged culture is a high performing culture," Murray said during a presentation this week.

I was struck by the difference between Murray's goal of taking risks and the recent comments I've encountered from Hamilton's transit officials regarding the creation of a pilot project that establishes a transit-only lane on a short portion of King Street.

RTH author Jason Leach inquired a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of adding curb parking on the south side of King Street all the way until Dundurn in conjunction with the transit-only lane. The response he received from Senior Project Manager Trevor Horzelenberg at the City was noncommittal: "The Locke St. to Dundurn segment currently has 5 general purpose lanes and does not have any parking; therefore as this pilot roles out there may be some opportunity to extend parking on the south curb lane, but this will need to be evaluated through the detailed design process."

Horzelenberg went on to note, " this stage, since signal optimization for the entire lower city is not being done, it is prudent to approach this with baby steps to achieve a successful Transit Only Lane trial and evaluate the outcomes." [Emphasis added.]

Two weeks later, on May 24, City Transit Director Don Hull responded to the welcome news that the pilot project was approved by Council by saying, "We have a unique opportunity to take baby steps and take the journey over time in a controlled time frame," according to the Spectator. [Emphasis added.]

My question to Hamilton's transportation officials is simple: are you going to pursue the City's goals with "risk-taking" or "baby steps"?

Adrian Duyzer is an entrepreneur, business owner, and Associate Editor of Raise the Hammer. He lives in downtown Hamilton with his family. On Twitter: adriandz


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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2013 at 11:32:25

Loophole defense: A baby's steps are the product of risk-taking.

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By RB (registered) | Posted May 31, 2013 at 13:04:52 in reply to Comment 89191


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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 31, 2013 at 12:00:32

I was recently at a meeting with Mary Pocius, the executive director emeritus of the International Village BIA. She said Hamilton needs turtles for its politicians. "A turtle can't take a step forward without sticking its neck out."

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2013 at 14:22:58 in reply to Comment 89194

Apparently it's also how they right themselves when flipped over.

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By Ha, Ha (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2013 at 23:39:38

LOL. Do you work for the City?

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By J (registered) | Posted June 01, 2013 at 09:51:57

I think there needs to be a moratorium on reporting any mantra from city hall. City Hall management is very good at getting consultation, going to conferences, voicing catchphrases, doing the triple bottom line analysis, and then taking the least risky approach every single time.

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By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2013 at 18:53:48

While I appreciate all the work people due on this issue, the greater population needs to wake up, rethink, re-adapt on how we all do things.

Oil and the automobile ahve been imprinted on our brains, for many years, decades and that is going to take a lot of dialogue to get people to change.

In a converstaion last week with someone who is very environmentally concerned, they talked about people they know who must travel to Oakville for work, to pay for mortgage.

However, I look at things in this way, if there were jobs in Hamilton, then they would not have to travel for work.

Even those who have the best intentions, still accept the capitalist way, looking at things like divestment, to renewable energy and change.

This will lead to the new overboss, things must change in many more ways they we can conceive, to create a clean, safe and fair system, where globally, we all co-operate and move away form a system that ahs many, many centuries of brainwashing the rest of us.

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By scrapped (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2013 at 19:48:00 in reply to Comment 89314

If Hamilton rejects "the capitalist way" how is anyone supposed to get a job here?

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By scrap (anonymous) | Posted June 04, 2013 at 21:24:42

well we must all think about what is a job, what is our contribution to the overall community. So given the retort from the poster, how is anyone to get a job, I ask this queostion, how come so many cannot get work today???"

I f you think I am uninformed.hink twice.

There are no jobs in Hamilton, perioe,given the amount of people unemployed. I do noty want to ehar for those idiots who advocate for reprots fromt ehSPTRC. who do treprot accurately.

It is sad that I live among those who are brain dead. Face thinghs ehad on, they are afraid to liose. The world is filled with those who cannot fathom losing everything'

That is coming sooner then they think, those the braindead, who think their degrees. thier paper is going to save them is laughable.

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