Comment 16484

By mark (registered) | Posted December 31, 2007 at 19:05:30

Ted, is this an article about the feasibility of higher-order transit on Upper James, or about aerotropolis? Passenger counts are entirely relevant when discussing the appropriateness of BRT having a terminus at the airport. This is not a critique of the airport employment lands

I think there is huge confusion over what exactly is being proposed for Upper James. The articulated buses are part of the plan to have a dedicated north/south RT for Hamilton.

Of course ridership is much higher along the proposed east-west route. That is why the B-Line, precursor to the east-west dedicated RT line is already running on this route.

Where are you guys getting the idea that this north-south route is getting priority over the east-west RT route? Ted's claim that BRT is expanding south instead of east-west is completely false. A dozen articulated buses have already been acquired for the B-Line. Both lines need to be developed concurrently if an effective rapid transit system is to be established in this city. No where has it even been hinted that RT will come to Upper James before it is in place downtown.

Ted is also being a bit misleading with his second point, with the 1200-hectare 'sky is falling' routine. Zoning the land and developing the land are two completely different activities. Do you honestly think that a shovel is poised to dig up all 1200 hectares the very moment the zoning has been completed? The land is being proposed for zoning for development specific to the objectives of the airport employment lands strategy, a strategy that will be developed ove rthe course of the upcoming year. This is known as smart city planning, the kind of planning that should be encouraged. And let's not confuse airport expansion with designating land zoned for airport-related industry, okay?

Jason, I disagree that air passengers will not use the RT line once it is in place. In my travels throughout Europe and North America, any airport I have encountered that has this kind service in place has been used extensively by travellers arriving at the airport and heading for the city core. Remember, we are talking about a RT express route with limited stops along the route, like the existing B-Line except running on a dedicated line. And, the line is not being developed strictly to deliver people to and from the airport. Keep in mind though, as I mentioned in my post earlier today, the airport is just one of several key destination points along this proposed route.

Thoughout all my posts, I have made every effort to focus on the original thesis that Don McLean presented in his commentary. He claimed that the proposed Upper James Rapid Transit route is a bad idea, a thesis that in my opinion is completely wrong. I have made a point-by-point effort to disprove that thesis and have made every attempt to resist playing right into the hands of those who are intent on hijacking a discussion about rapid transit to make it a referendum on airport employment land zoning. Can all the other posters here make the same effort to stay on topic, or is this discussion doomed to scope creep?

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