Light Rail

Mile High Light Rail

By Jason Leach
Published November 21, 2006

Another milestone for the mile high city - Denver, CO opened their newest light rail line last week.

Lincoln Station, Denver (Photo Credit: Denver Infill)
Lincoln Station, Denver (Photo Credit: Denver Infill)

I can only dream of seeing a sight like this in Hamilton someday, and of seeing our elected officials pour hundreds of millions into sustainable transportation plans instead of expressways-only.

This photo tour on Skyscraper Page gives you a sense of the excitement and development surrounding this project. Notice the clean stations, public art and large crowds. King and Main are ripe for this sort of project from Dundas to Stoney Creek.

Enjoy!

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

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted November 21, 2006 at 18:18:17

it's awful pretty. it's also awful expensive but it can be done in stages. there's no reason why we can't go ahead and do this...oh wait, we're currently blowing a huge amount on an expressway for trucks blasting through the city and suburbanites. makes sense, non?

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By Rick (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2006 at 11:35:40

I don't know if the city can afford this. This is a Toronto/Ontario/Go Transit type project. The cost of their project was about $31.million Canadian per kilometre based on the mile high project. The red hill/link project cost the city about $200 million of the shared $475 million for that project. And people said we could not afford that. $200. Mil would only buy about 6 ½ kilometres of a project like this. It would be hard for the city to do this unless the other levels of government paid for a large part of it. But it would be nice to see it.
The first part of it though should be a line from the airport to the water front with a large terminal downtown to link into the bus routes and go transit and future east west route. This would insure that the new developments in that area are transit friendly from the beginning and people who move into that area would know and want to be there for that reason. The east west routes are already car trained and need an example on how to do it.

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By railman (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2006 at 15:42:02

If Hamilton wants to get serious about intensifying, curbing sprawl, and reducing driving, it will get support from the province for sure, and possibly even the feds. Heck, the two levels just spent the past few years handing out gas tax money for transit projects, but Hamilton decided to play silly buggers and use the lowest census it could find to weasel out of having to spend all its money on transit.

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By Jon (registered) - website | Posted November 22, 2006 at 16:52:33

Agreed this is awesome but not feasible in our current economic climate. Since we have so much unneccessary road space and so little congestion, it makes more sense for Hamilton to institute bus rapid transit city wide, with dedicated lanes and traffic signal priority. It's just taking some of the infrastructure we already have away from cars so driving becomes slower and transit becomes faster.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2006 at 17:07:04

realistically, BRT is hamilton's future. LRT should be the priority, though. as has been stated, the feds and province would support its construction. in ottawa, $400 million is coming from both parties for an $800 million LRT project. the thing about LRT is that people will actually use it. there's no stigma related to taking LRT. it's been shown to increase ridership exponentially compared to BRT. calgary's been able to build a pretty cheap LRT system, so maybe that should be our model, not denver.

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2006 at 17:55:44

realistically, BRT is hamilton's future. LRT should be the priority, though. as has been stated, the feds and province would support its construction. in ottawa, $400 million is coming from both parties for an $800 million LRT project. the thing about LRT is that people will actually use it. there's no stigma related to taking LRT. it's been shown to increase ridership exponentially compared to BRT. calgary's been able to build a pretty cheap LRT system, so maybe that should be our model, not denver.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 22, 2006 at 18:33:01

Another benefit to LRT is that it runs on electricity. With global oil supplies going into decline, it makes more sense to make a long term investment in a grid-connected transit system, since any source of energy can be converted into electricity, and tethered vehicles are much more energy efficient than battery- or fuel cell-powered vehicles.

For more, search RTH for Richard Gilbert.

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