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
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:
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.
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.
- Hamilton Spectator: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ancaster News: email@example.com
- Dundas Star: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hamilton Mountain News: email@example.com
- Flamborough Review: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stoney Creek: email@example.com
- Bay Observer: firstname.lastname@example.org
And don't forget talk radio.
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.
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!