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, "...at 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"?
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