Comment 107776

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted January 11, 2015 at 11:06:53

The real reasons behind your councilors opposition to a simple bus lane is quite clear actually, its political opportunism. By opposing a simple common sense transit measure like a painted bus lane (simple in most cities anyway), the councilors are or have already learned to play a simple political game. Regardless of a their own feelings about transit in Hamilton, they figured out that more people who vote don't ride transit vs. people who do vote and ride transit. It therefore becomes easy to criticize the whole project. A politician who can be seen as useful to his/her local voters and now the business community as well because, they support getting rid of something that has caused difficulty for the business community in downtown Hamilton. The actual difficulties are quite basic, more than likely, delivery vehicles, salesman and anyone else who used to be able to just park their vehicle at the side of the road (regardless if its legal or not) now have to find somewhere else to go and thus their lives just became more difficult. Adept local politicians looking to build their brand or expand their existing group of supporters, jump on stuff like this.

As a planner myself I see this all the time. Politicians calling planners and in effect the entire Hamilton Planning Department corrupt because they support the idea that, there has to be some places where the way things have always been like, virtually all road space belonging to cars and trucks, now has to change. The brief confusion this change will cause are usually followed by the best examples where these types of politicians thrive and cause mischief. This is one of the ways how Rob Ford got to the Mayor's Chair in Toronto. It doesn't matter now to the politician that, these Bus Lanes will improve the performance of the Transit System and add to the efficiency of the remaining vehicle lanes. All that matters is that, the business community is in need of help and he/she will provide it, making a lot of political and real noise in the process. For those in the downtown business community, these changes that the bus lanes brought in may actually be causing real problems but, nothing that can't be solved with more communication between the community and city planners. Organizing the road network so that transit and private vehicles moves more efficiently helps everyone including the business community.

Bus lanes are pretty common in North America, so are their positive and negative effects. Bus lanes concentrate more transit riders and increase actual transit capacity, by increasing the average speed and the shortening of the journey time of individual transit vehicles. Crowding or increased crowding on the buses is evidence that, there may not be enough vehicles on the line and that more resources need to be spent on them (yes, spending money on transit, how revolutionary). The concentration of transit riders has a spillover effect, more customers for local businesses. Mainly because they can see them and easily access them by walking up to them . It has been proven car drivers will not stop at local businesses and get out of their cars unless, they can easily roll into a large parking lot with high speed or higher speed entrances and exists that, a downtown environment normally just doesn't allow for the most part. Most of the problems these bus lanes cause are mostly about the change of access by cars and trucks. Great care has to be taken in showing where, people whom would normally access these lanes by car or truck can now stop. These alternative places have to be clearly shown and be low cost. If the vehicles have to stop for a significant time a major financial penalty must not be incurred. Traffic flow issues in these bus lanes or in the remaining vehicle lanes can be dealt through other means.

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools