Comment 120802

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted February 19, 2017 at 17:17:30 in reply to Comment 120794

@JimC, The second corporations do pony up cash and or land, as they have here in Ontario several times for various rapid transit system proposals, everybody cries out that corporations are trying to buy the city's transit plan to take advantage of the public. They can never win, even when they are being good corporate citizens.

JimC its your "I don't want to pay for anything" negative attitude that just irritates me the most. Its people like you who don't want to experiment and change things and fight any suggestions that might take your city out of the hole it is in. You may not like LRT but its not normal anymore to have a road based transportation network that does its level best to move people and traffic out of town every mourning so Hamiltonians can go to work in other places, like Hamilton's road network is ideally designed to do.

@JimC, yes Hamilton's transit system sucks, but that's because you collectively spend a lot less on transit than many other Ontario communities. You have a municipal property tax system that forces spending down on transit by making different urban and suburban areas pay different amounts for transit. Creating a spending race to the bottom, when transit spending in Hamilton really needs to be increased by a factor 3 or 4 just to keep pace with other communities. Think of it this way, starting in 2018-2019, Ottawa (not an enormous city by any measure) is spending more on its capital works funding for "construction mitigation measures" for the city's bus network, during construction for Stage 2 of our LRT Network, than Hamilton's entire yearly capital budget for its entire transit system. This is not good prudent frugal municipal spending, this is several generations of Hamilton city councils collectively ignoring transit spending. Guess what, LRT and other forms of rail based rapid transit not suburban airport business parks, attract big companies to your cities now. It is cheaper to locate their businesses there, so they don't have to create and maintain massive parking lots for cars in far off suburban neighborhoods that most workers, especially younger workers despise being trapped in.

I know things are getting better in Hamilton especially downtown but I was in your town for business this week and I was stunned how little money has been spent there by the city government. What is sad is your suburbs are becoming even worse. Its about time, senior levels of government did something to change the situation and improve the 1950's transportation system your city has. If you think a Billion dollars is a lot for transportation improvements in a city like Hamilton especially for a rapid transit line, you need to give your head a shake and see what cities even smaller than Hamilton, around the world are spending.

Karlsruhe Germany (city population around 310,000 and a area population of about 1.5 million) has spent in total almost $7 billion (Canadian)for a Tram-Train hybrid Regional LRT/Commuter Rail system that now has a network of over 260km+ of track. This type of hybrid LRT operation combines urban LRT in the core and the suburbs of cities and then uses existing national railway track in the outer suburbs and hinterland. They share operating lines with freight trains, other city's intercity regional rail networks, lower speed intercity trains, and even a few stretches with German ICE high speed trains intercity express trains. The system has been so successful they have coined the term "The Karlsruhe Model" and gained many admirers and many cities trying to copy their method. I only wish we could do what they did in North America (Canada & the USA), unfortunately, it is illegal here. They amazing thing is they only started 30 years ago in the late 1980's with a urban tram network that needed much upgrading but no one could figure out how to do it and there was little money being offered by the national or state governments. Their solution woks so well that in the core it moves more people than a standard heavy rail subway/metro system can move.

Their solution has been so popular that they are now having to build a "T" shaped LRT Tunnel in the centre of the city to remove the "Yellow Wall" of LRV's that jam their core. Also as part of the same project they buried 1.12 km section of a busy parallel road called KriegStrasse (War Street), forcing 4 lanes of cars underground for once and are building a new beautiful 4 lane boulevard on top with a stunning grass filled median strip for their tram/LRT network. The "T" shaped LRT Tunnel and the parallel Kreigstrasse car tunnel and tree lined LRT median boulevard have a combined total length of about 4.6 km and will cost around 665 Million Euros or $925 Million (Canadian) The project was controversial but they surged ahead and should be completely finished around 2019-2020. These people went out on a limb to change a bad transport situation 30 years ago but didn't listen to the negative and created a world beating system. Don't you think Hamilton deserves a shot at as well!

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