News

HSR, Mac Reach Agreement on Trucks and Buses

By RTH Staff
Published February 04, 2008

Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie is reporting on his website that the city and McMaster University have reached an agreement on the ongoing issue of construction truck traffic through Westdale and the status of HSR buses.

Last year, the city passed an order banning construction trucks from driving through King Street in Westdale to and from McMaster University via the Sterling St. entrance. Instead, the trucks will have to access the campus via Main St.

In what looks like a ridiculous game of tit-for-tat, the school responded by demanding that to offset the truck traffic, 50 fewer HSR bus trips pass through the centre of campus per day.

According to the report on McHattie's site, the agreement between the HSR and Mac moves some buses off-campus:

The #51 University buses, which are discontinued annually for the summer at the completion of exams in late April, will result in the reduction of 116 transit trips daily. This bus will restart with the recommencement of classes the day after Labour Day.

On the same day after Labour Day, the #10 BeeLine buses will be permanently re-routed away from the center of the campus resulting in the permanent removal of 136 trips daily through the center of campus. This will be accomplished by re-routing the service off Sterling Street and onto Main Street between Paradise Road and the main entrance of the University.

This new route will be split with half the trips looping at the Medical Centre and the other half, after servicing Beeline stops on Main at Emerson, continuing west to the University Plaza loop. As such, there will be no reduction in service level to the area.

The city and school will meet with neighbourhood stakeholders before Labour Day to communicate the changes.

10 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 13:04:39

"In what looks like a ridiculous game of tit-for-tat..."

Glad someone has the nerve to call out Mac's behaviour. Can't say stuff like that around here for fear of being labelled a "Westdale Whiner".

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Ilia (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 13:24:46

I don't quite understand the comment regarding the #51 route. Doesn't that bus route always get suspended in the summer months? That doesn't really sound like a new reduction in the number of busses going through Westdale at all.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By OLDCOOTE (registered) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 14:38:29

"Note also that a further extension of the Forsyth Avenue truck bylaw beyond January 31st will not be pursued."

What does this mean?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 15:07:19

Mac's not pursuing an extension of the agreement that allowed them to use Forsyth to access the Sterling St. entrance till Jan 31, to accommodate the stadium construction.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Macstudent (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 20:22:30

This is a horrible agreement, and you do not shed proper light into the situation. rerouting the beeline removes the articulated busses from picking up a large amount of students from longwood to mac. Because of this students AND community members will have to wait longer while buses pass by them. Keep the articulated busses on the same route, reroute the others.


On another note, the university may have had a tit-for-tat mentality but their cause is a noble one. Students must be safe at school. Number of students get hit by on campus traffice and the university is trying to get rid of it all to make sure the PEDESTRIAN campus stays safe.

This is a horrible and unfair deal not only for students but community members at large(which also includes students). The city needs to communicate more with EVERYONE including students for a better agreement which benefits everyone!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By oldcoote (registered) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 20:48:09

Not to sound insensitive macstudent, but I never understood why Mac students don't walk to campus from the village. I see them lined up at Marion and Sterling all the time. It's a 10 minute walk.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 21:10:56

Hi Macstudent,

The University has tried to paint this as the residents being a bunch of nimbys who don't want nasty trucks disturbing their peace. In fact, Mac was relying on an outdated route that was never designed to be a legal truck route, as it passes by two elementary schools and through a busy commercial area on streets too narrow to accomodate heavy trucks. It is Mac's poor transportation planning, and not the city who is to blame for this. Yes, pedestrians on campus are entitled to safety, as are pedestrians on the surrounding streets, many of whom are students also. Mac has reached capacity on the Westdale campus. The fact that they cannot accommodate their growth without relying on illegal truck routes and endangering pedestrians both on and off campus should be cause for some serious soul-searching on the part of the administration. Unfortunately their actions have shown that they would rather throw their weight around and try to make the city and residents look like the bad guys. Their posturing about student safety on campus rings rather hollow when it is clear that they have no regard for their students once they set foot off campus. Your quarrel is with the University, not the city. It is their poorly planned growth that is causing the problem, and it is their responsibilty to solve it without resorting to breaking municipal bylaws.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Macstudent (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2008 at 21:32:15

I agree walking is much better. Its better for exercise and its good to get some fresh air so you can concentrate better at school. On very cold days, it is however important for students to have this choice, as well as days when sidewalks aren't shoveled.

Highwater, when you start by stating facts before the city made the bylaw, you cant call this route "illegal" since it was not. Second, all the students I have talked to, myself and I am sure most of the students believe that the university is right. They are not the ones to be questioned. Those who are supposed to represent us need to answer questions on why they do not consult their constituents as a whole. I am not one to agree with all the university does, but I feel that by the city being backhanded, no one benefits.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By highwater (registered) | Posted February 06, 2008 at 16:52:28

The King St. truck route was technically legal only insofar as it was mistakenly left on the books from the days when King linked up with Sanders Blvd. Once that connection was severed, King between Paradise and Forsyth no longer met the city's standards for a legal truck route as it is not continuous, and dead ends at a residential side street. Also, the only way to access this stretch of King is through the illegal use of residential side streets. Therefore I stand by my statement that Mac is relying on the illegal use of our streets as part of their transportation 'plan'.

I am not surprised that you and your friends believe the University is right. You are understandably loyal to your school, and you have only heard their spin on the issue. Believing it doesn't make it so, however. You have suggested that Council should have consulted the community before making this decision, however this is a misunderstanding of the process. Council was responding to a staff recommendation that they reword the bylaw to correct an oversight that had mistakenly left a truck route on the books that hadn't been viable for decades, and that relied on the illegal use of residential streets for access. Rejecting the staff recommendation and allowing this route to stand would have called into question the city's standards for truck routes across the entire amalgamated city. I fail to see how following set law could be interpreted as "backhanded".

You have to ask yourself what kind of a transportation 'plan' relies on the illegal use of city streets. A very poor one, in my opinion, and one the city was under no obligation to legitimize. The trucking issue is a perfect example of what happens when a site is over-capacity. It is the University's lack of foresight in attempting to pedestrianize the campus core, while simultaneously over-building the Westdale campus, and making no provisions for the resulting truck traffic, that has caused this problem, not the city.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted February 06, 2008 at 20:48:48

this deal stinks. Just when people were starting to use the B-Line with its new 60-foot buses and better daytime scheduling (imagine how well-used it would be if it ran full time, 7 days a week?). Now they have to go out to Main St in front of the campus?? Obviously none of the administration has ever tried to walk this stretch. It's horrendous. I'd purposely use the 1-King bus to avoid making that walk out to Main. In case anyone hadn't noticed, Main St was redone recently. And guess what it was redone for? Cars. Lots of them, going very fast and with lots of lanes.
Once again, we see where transit ranks in this city. Lower than a dumptruck.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds