The real goal of the transit concern trolls is not to make sure we have the 'right solution,' but rather to ensure that no solution is ever implemented and the status quo remains in place.
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 07, 2017
It seems that Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead has decided he likes bus rapid transit (BRT) on the B-Line again, after being furious at the Province for agreeing to build A-Line BRT, just like he wanted.
He previously objected to BRT because it might take up lanes of traffic on arterial streets, just like all street rapid transit systems and just like the transit-only lane he helped to kill a couple of years ago.
Now, lo and behold, he is back to arguing that Hamilton should use its $1 billion to build the full A and B-lines as BRT:
@PaulSeczek a transportation solution we could take the same money and have BRT from east gate to Dundas. From airport to go station— Terry Whitehead (@terrywhitehead) April 4, 2017
@DrivenInc provincial government has funded BRT in other communities. However, the context was what would be a better "transit" solution,— Terry Whitehead (@terrywhitehead) April 5, 2017
This is especially disingenuous, since we are already getting B-line LRT from McMaster to Eastgate and the full A-line BRT! And we could easily apply to the Federal government or the next Provincial government to finish the last portion of B-Line LRT to Eastgate.
What's even worse is that Whitehead seems to have forgotten that it took us eight years from the time the Liberals promised two rapid transit lines in Hamilton in 2007 to the funding announcement in 2015. Even then, we've managed to find ways to throw everything into confusion.
If the Progressive Conservatives win the next provincial election, even if they agree in principle to hold onto the money for us after we've wasted $70 million and a decade of effort planning rapid transit, what makes anyone think that:
(a) we could put a new rapid transit plan together faster than the several years it normally takes;
(b) Council and the community would actually unite behind it, after what has happened to LRT; and
(c) the province would actually approve it quickly?
Obviously, the Province is not going to just say: 'Here's a billion dollars, go crazy!' - especially after the mess we've made this time. They're going to be extremely careful to do thorough due diligence on any plan we propose. And they'll want guarantees that Council is not going to panic and change its mind again.
What's more, given the priorities of the Progressive Conservatives - i.e. not transit - there is an excellent chance that they'll simply say: 'We would have loved to have funded your transit project, but the Liberals have left the finances in such a mess that we no longer have the money.'
And of course, that is Whitehead's real goal, and the real goal of all the transit concern trolls: not to make sure we have the 'right solution' but rather to ensure that no solution is ever implemented and the status quo remains in place.
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