The City's LRT plan has $1 billion in provincial funding. Tell Council to take YES for an answer.

LRT Implementation On Track Despite Mischief, Grandstanding

Posted July 27, 2016

It's been a busy summer for the LRT file in Hamilton. While a couple of anti-LRT councillors try to cause mischief and one angry business owner is spamming LRT supporters with bizarre and false claims, the long list of businesses and organizations that support the LRT plan is steadily growing.

PC Party Will Honour LRT Funding

This week, Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown confirmed that his party will honour the Provincial LRT funding commitment if they win the next provincial election in 2018, allaying fears that the project could be de-funded partway through its implementation.

LRT Work Still Underway

Meanwhile, City and Metrolinx staff are still busy at work to implement the fully-funded LRT system. Yesterday they presented an update on their LRT Community Connector program at the city's LRT Sub-Committee meeting.

Over a two-week period, staff went door-to-door to visit all 1,095 properties along the LRT line. They connected with the owners and residents, provided information about the LRT plan and solicited feedback. The reception was generally positive, though some people raised concerns, e.g. about construction impacts to business, parking, and traffic congestion.

City staff also advised that they are reconfiguring the B-Line stop locations to include a stop on each end of the International Village: at Mary Street and at Wellington Street. This is good news for local businesses, who will benefit from convenient rapid transit access to their shops.

More Letters of LRT Support

In just the past few weeks, letters of LRT support have come from several area MPs and MPPs, the Sherman Hub Community Planning Team, the Crown Point Community Planning Team and Community CarShare.

Anti-LRT "Report" Immediately Flops

Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead just released an anti-LRT "report" full of false and misleading statements. Chris Higgins, a postdoctoral fellow in transportation planning with the McMaster Insititute of Transportation and Logistics (MITL), almost immediately posted a devastating line-by-line critique [PDF] that pointed out Whitehead had misinterpreted and misrepresented much of Higgins' own research.

Higgins concluded, "the grand claims made in the introduction are not substantiated in the text" and "the 'evidence' looks to be cherry-picked for maximum effect rather than to present a balanced analysis".

Send your own message of LRT support to Council

Things are moving in the right direction for LRT in Hamilton, but we need to keep the pressure up. If you haven't already, add your statement so Council hears loud and clear from Hamiltonians:

http://hamiltonlightrail.ca/statements/new

Please be sure to use respectful language - we don't want to alienate councillors who may be on the fence.

Share this campaign

Let your friends and associates know about the Hamilton Light Rail campaign and ask them to consider supporting it as well.

Local media

Write a letter to the editor in The Hamilton Spectator or the Hamilton Community News - especially if you live on the mountain or suburbs and recognize the value to the communiy as a whole.

And don't forget talk radio.

Social media

Make sure to share your support on social media and circulate this campaign among your friends and associate networks - we need to keep broadening the base of support throughout this critical period of uncertainty.

https://twitter.com/HamOntLightRail

https://facebook.com/hamiltonlightrail

Making a difference

Slowly but surely, the tide is turning on Hamilton's LRT plan. It is difficult to think of any other initiative with such strong and diverse support - from the City, the Province - with full capital funding! - and a wide and growing array of organizations representing business, environmental, cultural, social and community interests.

The arguments against LRT are based on fear, confusion and divisiveness, while the case for LRT is grounded in strong evidence and broad public interest.

Please help keep the pressure on Council to remember its own long history of support for this transformative initiative and accept yes for an answer!

Comments

On July 28 2016 at 6:50 PM B Huget said:

People who may not share your views about the greatness of the LRT project are not afraid, confused, or divisive. They simply have a different opinion than yours. In a democracy I think that's Ok,you'll have to live with other opinions that differ from yours.

On July 28 2016 at 9:42 PM eatboots said:

Cool story Howard! The councillors in question don't seem to have an actual opinion about the LRT, just an opinion on how crappy they think the downtown is and how it's going to snag things away from their Wards if everyone wants to go down there. We've already seen Terry get upset about that. They should be focusing on what their wards have and what can be done to make them better instead of just grabbing onto whatever they think is going to work to kill/delay the LRT

On September 12 2016 at 10:28 PM Brian said:

The HSR reports ridership has been decreasing on King St buses since 2012. I can speak from first hand experience PEOPLE VISITING DOWNTOWN HAMILTON HAS BEEN STEADILY DECEASING SINCE THE 90'S. Recently young people have been key to inspire investment along the King St. area with rental properties, restaurants etc. This has been natural progression and has been exciting to watch. The Hamilton LRT is NOT about moving people from one end of the city to the other or up and down James St North. It's about creating density along King St. (through outside investment from people who have NO vested interest in Hamilton)(be prepared to pay substantially higher residential rents) with more tax dollars flowing to City Hall with no regard for additional costs to Hamilton residents. The billion dollars is just the tip. $500,000.000.00 to expropriate over 50 buildings along the route, millions and millions on the destruction of sewer and water lines...who's paying for the new bridge over the 403? More million$. (What happens if interest rates on OUR debt increase?) This will result in Mpac having a field day when reassessment occurs on properties bordering the LRT. Someone will have to pay. This leads me to 8 or 9 city Councillors plus the Major deciding the fate of over 1000 business owners along the route. They and their employees will be threatened with bankruptcy. On the 28 LRT lines in North America there are NO positives, NO reduction in the car footprint NO reduction in the number of city buses No increase in property values No increase in sales to businesses that manage to last through the construction. In fact the reduction in sales NEVER returns. People find alternative sources for their purchases. Metrolinx has all the answers, they are experts in propaganda and will dispute any negative. They will never admit any negatives.TALK IS CHEAP The negative results from 25 of 28 LRT systems speak volumes. In just the past few weeks, letters of LRT support have come from several area MPs and MPPs, the Sherman Hub Community Planning Team, the Crown Point Community Planning Team and Community CarShare. THE HAMILTON LRT WILL NOT AFFECT THESE PEOPLE!!!What about the letters of concern from citizens upset about Ontario's growing debt? ($42,000.00 per second!)I know it's hard to say NO to the BILLION $, but the money doesn't exist IT'S DEBT. THE LRT TECHNOLOGY WILL BE OUTDATED BY 2019 let alone 2026. Driver free electric buses will be programed to specific routes on command. NO way!!! They're already operating. Please do your own research Let's reapply for something sensible that will benefit ALL the people of Hamilton without destroying the businesses, water/sewer lines along King St.

YOU must tell your area Councillor NO LRT before it's too late

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