Comment 52287

By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted November 26, 2010 at 19:48:10

An inescapable fact is that Toronto is growing beyond its traditional metropolitan borders. An increasing number of Torontonians now view Hamilton as a residential option due to the relatively low price of resale and new housing.

An emerging issue for Hamilton is how best to accommodate the influx of Torontonians and other new residents to this city over the next several decades. The housing and transportation issues are inextricably linked.

There is an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Many Torontonians who will move to Hamilton are already accustomed to using public transit in their daily lives. If Hamilton develops an efficient public transit system, including all day GO service plus LRT or BRT, these people could make a seamless transition to living in Hamilton and working in Toronto with little or no car use. They would come to see Hamilton as both a convenience and a sound economic choice. However, if Hamilton adopts the status quo and does not develop a “Toronto-like” public transit system, these Torontonians, who would have otherwise used public transit, will do what most Hamiltonians to now. Drive everywhere. They would come to see downtown Hamilton as a place to drive through or avoid altogether.

Then there are those Torontonians who will move to Hamilton and already have the habit of driving everywhere. They will easily adapt to the “drive everywhere” tendencies that most Hamiltonians seem to exhibit. They would also come to see downtown Hamilton as a place to drive through or avoid altogether.

If every Torontonian who moves to Hamilton over the next several decades, even those who prefer public transit, has to drive everywhere because of an inadequate public transit system, it would significantly increase local traffic gridlock and accelerate development of the remaining rural portions of Hamilton. The City of Pickering was mostly farm land forty years ago and now has over 100,000 inhabitants. Is this what we want for Glanbrook? Or Jerseyville? Or Flamborough?

Hamilton needs effective public transit options, including LRT or BRT, to encourage balanced residential and economic development in the lower city, on the mountain and in the suburbs while protecting as much agricultural land and green space as we can for future generations.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2010-11-26 18:48:42

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