LRT on King - Council Responses
What are council members saying about running LRT down King Street?
By Hamilton Spectator
Published in the Hamilton Spectator on Jan 30, 2010
The following responded to a request for comment:
Councillor Brian McHattie, Ward 1
"I'm very supportive of the staff direction to go with two-way traffic on King. Think of all the European examples where they have the pedestrian areas ... and I think we can get there, too."
Councillor Bob Bratina, Ward 2
"My personal belief is that Main Street is a better route and I would have to hear more arguments to convince me otherwise."
Councillor Bernie Morelli, Ward 3
"It will create some issues we need to deal with. Although I believe in light rail, I'm not about to do anything at any cost."
Councillor Sam Merulla, Ward 4
"I support and endorse the LRT, but the fine details still need to be worked out. The BIAs are speaking pretty vocally against it. I don't think council should be in the business of putting business out of business."
Councillor Chad Collins, Ward 5
"I understand the importance of LRT and the benefits that come with it -- but I think that most people feel there need to be some design changes."
Councillor Tom Jackson, Ward 6
"I am just keeping an open mind. I think the two keys for me will be the business community's overall consideration and the general public's that we're trying to entice downtown."
Councillor Scott Duvall, Ward 7
"I'm not very comfortable with closing down King Street. Everybody should be working together to figure out whether these negatives can be turned into positives."
Councillor Terry Whitehead, Ward 8
"There's no question that there's going to be unhappy people. The question is, 'What plan can we put forward that has the least amount of negative impact?'"
Councillor Maria Pearson, Ward 10
"I still support it going down King -- it's a question of whether it becomes only on King. That basically eliminates any vehicular traffic. That affects the businesses."
Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 12
"It's already very difficult to get downtown during rush hour. If they take it down to two lanes, it's going to be more congested. That part really worries me."
Councillor Russ Powers, Ward 13
"The first thing is we have to get the determination from Metrolinx that we're getting LRT. If it's BRT it changes the dynamic. We all realize there is a strangulation point between Wellington Street and James Street and there are some challenges and major decisions that need to be made."