Transportation

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish?

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 02, 2008

According to the Spec blog, the cash-strapped city is considering repealing its already anemic anti-idling bylaw to save the money it would spend on enforcement staff.

In, ahem, totally unrelated news, CATCH reports that the newly minted Red Hill Valley Parkway will cost $2.65 million a year in operating costs that must be paid right out of municipal tax levies. This is in addition to combined debt servicing charges for the Linc/RHVP of $8.2 million in 2008.

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 Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 02, 2008 at 15:13:21

Dropping the anti-idling bylaw makes complete sense.

Do you people at RTH really think that the city will be able to enforce such a rule? What are they going to do, post enforcement officers at every Tim Horton's outlet?

In the mean time Hamilton cabbies are being robbed an beaten every night but the city of Hamilton is worried about anti-idling.

Incredible!

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 02, 2008 at 15:28:24

oh yea, we forgot. we can't do two things at once. The ONLY options facing our city are to:

a) help out the cabbies, OR b) help reduce sickness and death from air pollution.

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By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted January 02, 2008 at 20:28:25

Capitalist,

The city is not allowed to enact a bylaw unless they are able to enforce it.

Of course the anti-idling bylaw is difficult - if not imossible - to enforce. But the city is obliged to employ a bylaw officer anyway.

The real purpose of the bylaw is to encourage a change in people's behaviour. I for one am constantly giving iding motorists the 'key off' gesture when I see them. It's not rude and you'd be surprised how often motorists oblige. If there is no bylaw there is no incentive to switch off. 50k a year is a small price to pay for clean air.

Ben

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By rake (anonymous) | Posted January 02, 2008 at 21:10:37

thus, capitalist, would you say that there should be no bylaws against jaywalking? littering? public indecency? how about noise bylaws or traffic violations? by nature ALL bylaws are difficult to enforce and 100% compliance is impossible but not the goal. there are anti dumping bylaws and parking bylaws which of course are also imposible to police everywhere at once. that is not the point. a parent can't watch children all the time to make sure they don't behave poorly but they still lay down the rules in the hope that most of the time they will be followed. bylaws are a cities way of telling its citizens what behaviour it considers appropriate and what behaviour is best avoided for the benefit of everyone. and as always most people will not break the rules because they believe that the prohibited action is at least inconsiderate and at most dangerous. Some will not break the rule because while they see no harm in the action, they fear being caught. still others will do as they see fit regardless of the consequences. if an anti idling bylaw stops only 30% of the population from polluting the air in some small way it is a success.

as an aside, Capitalist, why do you care if the city has an anti idling bylaw or not? besides the cost of enforcement, which is miniscule compared with the health related costs of doing nothing, do you actually think idling a car is a good thing? are you that stupid? or, do you simply have nothing better to do than gripe about something that you think might restrict your "American idealist "freedoms?"" just wondering.

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By rake (anonymous) | Posted January 02, 2008 at 21:16:28

there are peopple being raped and murdered every night, capitalist, and you think the city should be worried about the cabbies?

maybe the city should put a police officer in every cab all night? otherwise it shouldn't have laws against beating and robbing cab drivers, no?

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By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2008 at 11:27:40

I fail to see the connection between cab driver safety and anti-idling...! Is Capitalist suggesting our City Hall can only focus on one thing at a time? Or perhaps we should just shape municipal policy depending on what the media buzz of the day might be?

It's no brainer by-law that costs about 50k a year to police.

Sure we should discuss cabbie safety at some point, but not here.

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By Gay Smeller (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2008 at 17:01:42

Do all of you have nothing at all to do with your lives? HUH? you sit here in front of your computer talking about things that wont make a difference. Why dont you get off your asses, and actually do something to make your comments come true. Instead of nagging and crying about them online.

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By Gay Smeller (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2008 at 17:03:22

Dear Rake,

Why are you so insistent on proving me wrong?
I have my opinions and you have yours. Stop being such a jackass.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2008 at 17:05:22

YEAH

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By rake (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2008 at 22:39:06

that's the best comeback ever, capitalist!

i was just trying to point out how faulty the logic used by capitalist was. if he could put forth a good argument that idling is actually good for hamilton i might change my opinion about the benefit of the bylaw. i welcome such a discussion, by the way.

does anyone dispute that air pollution is a problem in hamilton? does anyone dispute that vehicle emmissions are a cause of a significant amount of that pollution? does anyone dispute that restricting idling of cars is an easy way to reduce the amount of vehicle emmissions? if so, then let's talk.

and as far as getting up off my ass, i know what i did to help this city today and i am satisfied that i am doing my part. i can discuss the validity of a redundant argument posted on this website and help make the city a better place, AND do my laundry! i am just that good.

and as far as me being a jackass, gay smeller, didn't your mother tell you it was rude to call people names. i'll ask her tonight if i drive by her corner down on barton tonight.

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By liveD (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2008 at 18:32:49

Gay Smeller, now you know what it's like to object to the popular samethink of RTH. It's why I have almost cured myself of posting. I suggest you do the same. Orwell had groupthink in his novel; Hamilton's got samethink sponsored by RTH!

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By Luciano (anonymous) | Posted April 23, 2008 at 14:54:40

How about putting an end to those cars with the ridiculous "exhaust" systems.

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