All Statements of Support
Natalie Arnold says,
I support LRT in Hamilton.
As a car-free pedestrian, anything that improves my options for transportation is a welcome development.
I have lived in cities with LRT service and found it highly convenient, and the environmental benefits should not be overlooked.
YES to LRT!
Thomas White says,
The LRT is a great idea. We have Waterloo with some great tech schools. we have Toronto with lots of money, and we have Hamilton right in the middle. As someone who works in tech, this is a great opportunity for Hamilton. Hamilton has to be looking better and better for tech companies that are sick of paying for real estate in Toronto. The LRT will do a lot of solidify this relationship.
Some small businesses may suffer during the construction of the LRT, but once it's completed I think it will only benefit the area.
As an aside, I am a young, working professional. I don't own a car. I simply prefer public transit. How easy it is for me to get around the city using public transit is a big deal.
Jesse Peterson says,
My wife and I moved to Hamilton in 2015 after she accepted a job at McMaster University. Coming from Vancouver (which has an extensive train system) we were absolutely thrilled when LRT funding was announced!
We believe that the LRT would lead to huge local economic gains long-term. That is to say nothing of the huge environmental benefits, and improved quality of life that comes with a modern public transit system.
If council rejects LRT (even in favor of BRT, or otherwise) it will send a very clear signal to us that Hamilton wants to remain stuck in the past, and does not understand the wants or needs of my generation of Hamiltonians.
The provincial government will spend the money either way, so let's spend it on an LRT! Otherwise Hamilton will fall further behind, while other cities continue to move into the future by improving their public transit systems.
Bruno Moos says,
The future of Hamilton,
When many years ago, the first city administration proposed to close the main street, to transform it into a pedestrian mall, the majority of business on, and not only on the street protested vehemently against it. At that time, no town or city had executed such a project and there was no example in North America to refer to. The first planner of such a venture had to fight against all objections and counter argument to fight his way through and eventually 'imposed' the realization of a pedestrian commercial street.
There were hundreds of arguments against it, by business owners, city councillors and more.
Once built, against all odds, the town woke up to a totally different reality. The street filled up with shoppers like never before and all the business owners were happy.
The next city that proposed to do the same came up against the same opposition but was able to convince the opponents by referring to the already successful example.
Many pedestrian malls have been built since then in North America, always against the initial opposition of the same kind.
In Hamilton, as much as I know, it never came to such a proposition. Not only that, the opposite happened: the original commercial streets were turned into five-lane, one-way roads, facilitating traffic, but chasing away business and commerce by turning the streetscape into an inferno for pedestrians, storekeepers, and inhabitants.
Many Hamiltonian's fled to upper Hamilton.
Since the introduction of pedestrian malls, many other urban planning ideas have been studied and explored, to improve communal living conditions, solutions to solve traffic congestion, air pollution, rapid transit, and especially to counter general urban decay.
Again, the first cities that introduced innovative solutions were hit by strong opposition, until, again, some courageous planners and politicians carried through the projects like building subways, LRT, pedestrian malls, bury hydro wires and subsidize renovation to generate urban renewal.
Again, other towns and cities had the possibility to learn from these pioneers and convince their constituents.
In Hamilton, we seem to be hard to convince. Many improvised 'planners' ignore carefully researched studies and dispute findings with questionable arguments, leaving the impression that any argument is good enough, just to be against any innovative project.
Not only in North America, with the unique problem of urban spread, but even in other parts of the world, planners and politicians have woken up to the reality that public, electric rapid transit systems on rail add, not only to accelerate displacement of the inhabitants but to create new bases for all kinds of improvements in the affected area. New housing, commerce, business, and industries are just some of the elements that add to the urban redevelopment.
Except for a small area in downtown Hamilton, streets are littered with abandoned business and badly maintained buildings and homes, not to mention empty lots throughout town and the omnipresent utility posts, occupying a great part of the sidewalk when there is one, and the overhead wiring with a multitude of wires and transformer pots that devastate the streetscape.
What is there more for those not yet convinced, that Hamiltonians could start to look around and see what is happening in other cities and take a step forward in a new direction of innovative improvements. People go to Europe to admire beautiful cities, and yet, Hamilton is located in the midst of a gorgeous landscape with a great potential for improvement and the possibility to grow out of its grey, miserable abandonment.
Chris Lucas says,
Hamilton needs this opportunity to solidify the momentum it has recently received!
This project is fully funded we would be crazy to turn this down!
Let's get on and rebuild hamilton!
Les Szamosvari says,
Honourable Premier, Ministers, and Hamilton City Council,
I have lived in several cities in Canada and Europe that have an LRT system. I traveled almost exclusively on LRT because it was fastest and easiest. I lived in Toronto long enough to see the impact that the subway lines made on business and development along their routes. I am a founding Hamilton member of Community CarShare, as I believe that we depend too much on driving cars all the time. The impact on our climate and health is ineffable. The lag effect of our transportation habits will grow even if we do make massive changes. However, the LRT would be an important investment in building a 'recyclable' city by making transit sustainable after we (hopefully) end the lag effect inherent in our past destruction of our environments.
Thank-you, and let's dream big!
Dorte Deans says,
I have been excited by the idea of the LRT for 8 years and can't wait to make my first trip! Please continue the work to make it happen ASAP.
Margaret Ferizis says,
An LRT would increase propery values all along it's route. More taxes for you.
Don't make the same mistake as Scarborough councilors, most of the residents here are quite angry and look forward to the next election.
Linda Potts says,
I fully support the LRT in Hamilton. While I'm aware of the short-term pain of the construction period and transition, I believe the long-term gain for Hamilton and its residents are well worth it.
Fernando Ferreira says,
Accessibility for all residents of the city is essential for a prosperous city. I believe this LRT plan will do that. It will enhance the city's transportation grid. It will also attract new business, and as a result make for a better place to live.
My vote is for LRT.
Alex Parkinson says,
This is a no brainer. Build this LRT.
We moved to Hamilton about a year ago - I'm an engineer, she's a researcher - and one of the things we loved about it the most is living downtown, walking where we need to go and biking where we want to.
I have to own a car for my (painfully long) commute. I hate owning a car, but it's worth because it allows me to live here. Once I get home, the car goes away and the feet/pedals go on. Give us an LRT to continue the magnificent car-less revolution of this magnificent city.
Jim Julian says,
Born and raised in Hamilton, and currently living in Dundas, I fully support this initiative. While the LRT plan may need a little tweaking, that's no reason to not support it.
Timothy Knol says,
Go Hamilton. I believe that the sucessful implementation of the "LRT" will put hamilton on the map. And moreover, the catalyst that Hamilton has needed for sometime; decades.
Linda Cole says,
I am new to Hamilton from Toronto and this city needs better transportation options for people. If you do not want this city to go belly up like Detroit then expand and get a LRT system here. I work in Oakville but live in Hamilton, but I am going back to Toronto due to poor transportation here in Hamilton.
Duncan O'Dell says,
Dear Hamilton City Council,
as someone who both lives and works in Hamilton I am very excited by the prospect of LRT both as a means of transport and a lever to rejuvenate Hamilton. I ask you to give it your full support. I would like my kids to grow up in a technologically advanced, environmentally friendly and forward looking city.
Patti Encinas says,
The Sherman Hub Community Planning Team, sponsored and supported by the Hamilton Community Foundation and the City of Hamilton, is a group of engaged, informed and active citizens in the Hamilton community. We have hundreds of resident volunteers working to make the Sherman Hub a great place to live, work and raise a family.
We've had several discussions about the proposed LRT at our monthly planning meetings. During our meeting on June 06 2016, 25 voting members of our planning team voted unanimously to publicly express our support for the LRT initiative.
Many residents in the Sherman Hub recognize that the Hamilton LRT project is a progressive move forward that supports our vision that "The Sherman Hub is a great place to live, work and raise a family." Although it's well understood that there will be disruptions and difficuties during the construction phase we believe resulting the benefits to our community and the greater Hamilton community will far outweigh those challenges. Sherman Hub residents are steadfastly known for their support of local business and this will continue throughout the construction of the LRT. Some of our Planning Team members are already actively engaging to plan ways to lend extra support to businesses along the LRT corridor during this time.
The Sherman Hub shares a boundary with Gage Park; Hamilton's largest city park. Gage Park is one of Hamilton's greatest assests and is widely used by Hamiltonians near and far. Given its popularity as a destination for festivals, the bicycle pump track, greenhouse, Children's Museum, community garden and natural beauty we're also concerned that the Delta Station near Gage Park is missing from the most recent route plans. In 2011, these plans included a stop at the Delta and we hope and encourage that the Delta Station be added back to the current 2016 plans. In the current plans, stations closest to Gage Park are far too distant for anyone but the most able bodied of residents to access. This is very concerning to us as we hope more Hamiltonians, not fewer, will be able to access and enjoy this amazing asset in our city.
We appreciate your consideration in bringing back the Delta Station and we offer our continued support of the exciting possibilities which the Hamilton LRT project will bring.
The Sherman Hub Community Planning Team
Toby Yull says,
Sending a quick note in favour of adding the Gage Park station back into the planned stops along King St for our LRT. Babies, moms, families, older people....all need access to that green oasis, without hiking over a km to get there. Events in the park draw from everywhere and a dedicated station supports that use and encourages more.
Ryan Strang says,
I am in full support of the LRT for the City of Hamilton! This is a game changer for the city.
However, I do believe that there should be a stop at Delta/Gage Park. Ottawa Street is too far away. This is our "Central Park" and it needs to be full accessible to all.
Christine Imhoff says,
I support LRT <3
Frank M Raso says,
Fully support the LRT.
BARB MCKEAN says,
Perhaps some people have lost track of the fact that they aren't building LRT for themselves or their constituents, but rather for our children and grandchildren. As the Greek proverb says, "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
What would a visionary politician like Thomas McQuesten do if he was on Council today? He and others had a vision of Hamilton as a world-class city and so they made decisions to protect greenspace, start a botanical garden and bring a university to town - probably risky and radical investments in the day, but look at their amazing legacy and what it has meant for Hamilton. Anyone who has traveled widely in North America and Europe knows that LRT is the norm in other world-class cities, and that robust public transit systems are essential to the quality of life and sustainability in large cities. This is an essential piece of infrastructure, it has been well studied and there's money in place to make it happen so let's get on with it!
Jinsong Wang says,
100% support Hamilton LRT. It will speed up gentrification of the city of Hamilton.
Make Downtown Hamilton attractive for living and business, it will eventurally benefits to every Hamiltonian. The saved bus running cost may apply to Mountain bus which will make Mountain Hamiltonian happy too.
Ben Doro says,
Public transit is the central nervous system to any major industrialized city...or one that wishes to be one, perhaps like the Ambitious City that Hamilton states it is. This is an incredible opportunity to breathe some life in to a city that has literally regressed over the past 20 years. I have been a proud Hamiltonian all my life, and witnessed many of City Hall's debacles over that time, however if this opportunity is squandered over political stick-handling, those responsible should be held individually accountable. The housing market is finally showing signs of life, but traffic is worse than ever as it is becoming primarily a bedroom community. Public transit will not only create jobs, but perhaps foster further development in areas that have been so depressed by losses in employment opportunities. Does anyone realize that the reason for the spike in real estate activity is primarily due to the proposed advances in public transit?
Brian H says,
As a resident first, and as a teacher second, I feel it is my moral prerogative to a) demonstrate sound sustainable behaviour for my students and b) advocate for a more sustainable world. In a time when we should be concerned about the safety of our streets, and the pollution spewed from our current transportation system, we have the remarkable opportunity to build a system that will move us around one part of the city and cut down on our pollution output.
Let's not stand back and let this opportunity pass.
John Connolly says,
The LRT is an important piece of infrastructure for Hamilton. It will join different sections of the city together in a manner that will have economic benefits for the city and its residents. This is a statement supported by evidence from other cities in Canada, the US, and around the world.
Hamilton is changing for the better and it is noticeable even in the last ten years. New construction including hotels and university buildings are replacing the previous landscapes of endless and often empty parking lots. The LRT will complement these developments and is, in fact, essential if the city is to get the full economic and social benefits of them.
Dorte Deans says,
I have been excited by LRT since it was first broached ten years ago. I like the design, the convenience, and that it will get us ready for a larger city in the future. I am frustrated by the constant squabbling on council when the project is being given to us free of charge, with gift-wrapping and a big bow! It is silly to even consider refusing this and keeping our heels fully mired in the mud if the past. Move on! Move ahead! Join the 21st century!
Paula Randazzo says,
Recently I was talking with long time GTA friends, describing how exciting it is to see the new restuarants, cafes , galleries opening in Hamilton. How below the mountain is attracting people to move and invest in Hamilton. That's why it boggles my mind that Council would even consider NOT building the LRT.
If we want people (lots more people) to invest in our core we need to ensure a transit that will match the growth.
Not to mention the funds provided, the jobs created?? Those against can only be playing politics.
We expect councillors to be leaders first. Build the LRT!
Michael Ladouceur says,
I believe that public transportation in the GTA is a necessary and vital part of infrastructure development, economic growth and environmental responsibility; and furthermore is inevitable regardless of any active or passive resistance.
I wholeheartedly support the LRT plan for Hamilton put forward by Metrolinx and entrust and urge our elected politicians to facilitate and enable this progressive initiative with a long-term vision for the greater good of the region.
John Hannah says,
I live on the "mountain" and FULLY support LRT. My city will benefit and so will I.
Frances Neufeld says,
Here are some facts that should be considered. It astounds me that some councilors are playing politics with our future.
• The revenue sharing arrangement has not been finalized yet. It is one of the issues being negotiated under the Memorandum of Agreement between Metrolinx and the City.
• Hamilton will not be responsible for the operational and maintenance costs. The LRT system will be owned and operated by Metrolinx.
• Emergency vehicles will be able to use the LRT right-of-way, just as they do in other cities that have LRT systems.
• The Province has clearly stated that Hamilton taxpayers will not be responsible if the project goes over budget. If necessary, the project will be scaled back to keep it in budget. However, Metrolinx has an excellent track record of staying in budget, e.g. the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which is much larger and more complicated than Hamilton's system and is on time and on budget.
• The overall construction time is expected to be 4-5 years, but the construction is likely to be staged so that each segment of the route is closed for a shorter period of time to minimize business disruption.
• The construction period will be challenging for businesses, but the City and Metrolinx are already committed to working proactively with business owners to ensure they emerge successful from the construction period. In addition, a citizen campaign is already being organized to promote and support affected businesses during construction.
• The underground infrastructure that will be replaced is very old and soon due for replacement anyway. If we turn down the LRT investment, the businesses will still have to go through the reconstruction phase, but without a rapid transit system at the end.
• By having underground infrastructure replaced under the Provincial LRT budget, the City is saving tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure replacement capital spending, which it can distribute to other parts of the city that need road reconstruction.
• All property purchases will be covered by Metrolinx under the LRT capital budget. Of around 260 identified properties, most are just a thin sliver of land next to the public ROW. The total cost will be nowhere near the made-up $500 million number.
• There is absolutely no reason to think the new bridge over Highway 403 will cost anywhere near $1 billion, another made-up number. In any case, Metrolinx owns the project and is responsible for the budget.
• The transit-only lane was only two kilometres long and ran for just over a year. It was actually quite successful by a variety of measures, and in two separate surveys, a clear majority of Hamiltonians supported keeping it and tweaking the design to make it work better.
• LRT stops are spaced more widely than bus stops because that is proven to work more successfully in rapid transit systems. However, the location of stops has not yet been finalized, so Hamiltonians have an opportunity to recommend changes (e.g. adding a stop at International Village).
• Current ridership is over 30,000 trips a day, which would put Hamilton's LRT right in the mid-range of successful LRT systems in North America on opening day. In any case, Metrolinx is responsible to cover the operational costs of the system.
Hamilton's current LRT plan is just the first phase of a larger rapid transit network across Hamilton that will extend into Stoney Creek, south to the Airport and across the mountain.
• Building LRT will free up city buses that can be used to increase transit service in other parts of the city.
• Bus Rapid Transit is cheaper to build but more expensive to operate: each vehicle can carry fewer passengers, so more vehicles and drivers are needed. BRT also has a much lower maximum capacity. Ottawa, for example, built BRT (Transitway) instead of LRT and is now being forced to upgrade to LRT because their bus system is at capacity.
• BRT is just as disruptive as LRT during construction, since the roadbed has to be rebuilt to accommodate the weight of a high volume of express articulated buses. It also runs in dedicated lanes, so it will disrupt vehicle traffic just as much as LRT - but with much lower economic uplift.
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!