All Statements of Support
Carol Shields says,
Dear City Council and provincial MPPs,
I fully support LRT in Hamilton. We have an opportunity and funding to do the right thing for the future of our city. To choose not to incorporate LRT into our transportation system would be incredibly shortsighted, not only in terms of efficient transit, but in terms of development opportunities along its corridor and associated housing, job opportunities and tax revenues.
More importantly, it is the environmentally responsible plan to enact for future generations. We are a "car" city, even though we have an excellent HSR system. Why? Because a previous lack of forward planning resulted in a tremendous amount of urban sprawl (and the death of downtown). From the farther reaches of the city, the bus isn't fast or friendly enough to warrant leaving one's car at home. We have a chance to make a correction. Don't do this halfway. Make Eastgate the eastern terminus, make it affordable, safe, clean as a whistle, and fast. You can change how we think about getting to work.
As an east mountain resident (and west mountain employee), I won't be using the LRT much until you create it along the Fennell corridor in thirty years' time, and I'll be 83 by then, but it doesn't matter. This is about the long-term greater good. Councillors, please, this decision isn't about your individual wards and what people selfishly want now. It's about crossing wards and what Hamilton's people will need in the future. Make a forward-looking decision for the WHOLE city, its people's health and opportunities, new investment, and the environment. Be the group that is remembered for its brave and responsible leap forward.
David Maloney says,
Please, let's build the LRT. It's time for progressive city building. Cities across the continent are building LRT to spur redevelopment and provide clean, civilized transportation options for their citizens. We deserve this. It is our time!
Matthew Kalinauskas says,
To whom it may concern,
My family and I will be moving to Hamilton in July of this year. We have purchased the property at 24 Albert Street.
We are very much FOR the city of Hamilton to say YES to the LRT. We feel that improved public transit is an excellent move to improving movement within a city, improve night life in the core (not to mention shuttling people to and from sporting events), and reduce car traffic. If people have legitimate alternatives to taking the car, they will.
Please vote YES to the Hamilton LRT.
A Simard says,
Hamilton has to move forward and grow. For once the province is helping us do that instead of letting Toronto siphon off every penny they can at the expense of other Ontario cities. They have promised us money to help modernize Hamilton. It's shameful that council is not embracing this opportunity wholeheartedly. The very notion that Hamilton council is slapping the Ontario government in the face over the LRT money is outrageous. Council should be dissolved over this nonsense. If we don't take the money to improve Hamilton via the LRT ESPECIALLY when we asked for it do you honestly think that anything we ask for will ever be taken seriously again?
Couple that with the jobs building the LRT will generate aka much needed work for impoverished Hamiltonians. How can council in good conscience take this away from us?
Tack on the Eastgate extension because that is just common sense. Stop being part of the problem and get the LRT built. This is the FUTURE of Hamilton. You have an obligation to us to make Hamilton grow not to sit in chambers and argue until the opportunity is lost. Hamilton can not afford your inaction.
Charles Hostovsky says,
Letter to the Editor: April 19, 2017
Dear Mr. Dreschel
Re: Majority of polled residents oppose LRT
As a professor and research associate in urban and transportation planning at the University of Toronto and the Catholic University of America in Washington DC; as a holder of a certificate in Post-Doctoral Research from McMaster in Transportation Planning and Traffic Engineering; as a Registered Professional Planner; and last but not least as a resident of Hamilton living here with my wife and children, I was surprised by the polling results you highlighted in your well written article. I obtained a copy of the Forum Research report and am writing in response to suggest that these polling results are unreliable and should be ignored, for the following reasons:
Interactive Voice Response, or robo-calls, is an unreliable means of polling and the subject of much controversy among social scientists. They are cheap and fast, used extensively in political polling. Recent election results in Canada and the USA have “Trump-ed” polls that have used this method.
Opinion polls should not be initiated by those with a vested economic or political outcome in the end result so as not to introduce bias and manipulate the results, which is often the case in political polling. Clearly all but one of the councilors who initiated this poll are anti-LRT and I find it interesting that the project manager from Forum did not want to be interviewed. Hmmmm. As Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is credited as saying, “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
The robo-calls received responses from about 66% of Hamiltonians 55 and older. But only 29% of Hamiltonians are 55 and older according to the 2011 census. According to the largest on-board transportation poll ever conducted in the USA, 59% percent of all mas transit trips in the USA are taken by those between 24 and 54 years of age, who represent only 43% of the population (APTA 2007). I suggest that the research indicates that adults 55 plus prefer to drive, hence over sampling this age group can skew the results. Effective polling should be based on stratified sampling that uses random probability covering the entire target population. I am not sure weighting the results, as Forum Research did, gives reliable, unbiased results.
Research is clear that “millennials” (young adults) are preferring to live in city cores, rather than the suburbs, and are shying away from car ownership, preferring to use mass transit. If we ant to build a city for old people, then sure, lets forget about bike lanes and LRT and BRT for that matter, and keep our one way streets and antiquated, high carbon bus system. The poll should have paid special attention to millennials, who are inheriting our fine city.
I believe Hamilton has been subjected to significantly more negative publicity and politicing than other cities implementing LRT, which may have affected the perception of LRT, contributing to the poll results. Remember, the late and troubled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was elected on a platform of “ending the war on the automobile”. Fortunately he was not successful in killing the T.O. projects.
The Forum Research poll contained only three questions, incredibly short. Effective polls should contain multiple questions that cross check each other for reliability. To be meaningful I would have designed to poll to compare Hamiltonians who have used LRT in other cities with those residents who have not… I have travelled on LRT in the USA, Europe and Asia. The councilors are free to ask me what I think.
Lastly I would ask my fellow Spectator readers to google “Portland Oregon MAX light rail” and find out how sustainably a city with the same size population as Hamilton can be with their almost 100 kilometres of 5 north-south and east-west lines of LRT. I have been there twice for a week each, and had no need to rent a car or take a shuttle or taxi, even from the airport. Do we want Hamilton to be a sustainable city with the state of the art in bicycle/pedestrian and mass transit infrastructure? Or do we want to keep our “steel city” heritage with one way, high traffic speed streets that spew CO2 and antiquated high carbon and less efficient bus system? So lets build the LRT and please extend it to Eastgate Square ASAP, a real destination over that east end traffic loop.
Prof. Charles Hostovsky, PhD, RPP
Andrew deGroot says,
I'm from Brampton and am a founding member of One Brampton, a pro-LRT community group. I'm helping Hamilton and other communities across the province move their transit projects forward.
Mark G. says,
I am writing to ask all council members and MPPs to support the LRT as I believe it will be an important piece of Hamilton's transporation instrastructure for decades. Additionally, I believe that the LRT is good for the environment and will provide a larger tax base for the city. Please move forward with this vital piece of infrastructure.
Lisa Johnson says,
I am writing to express my support for the LRT initiative.
I live in the country but I can see the long term benefits for initiating a LRT system and the benefits would impact
everyone in the city of Hamilton in the long run. We have to weigh the costs and realize the implications of denying such h a project to materialize. If we are to attract business and encourage long term growth in this city we must remain competitive or we see that growth stagnate as businesses and residents gravitate towards more modern environments. Pay now or pay later.
Kathleen Livingston says,
If council is going to rely on a survey to determine the outcome of this pivotal project, let's hold their feet to the fire to conduct a VALID survey that represents a full representation of Hamiltonians.
I stand unequivocally in support of the LRT, as do ALL my friends and neighbours, and yet our voice is NOT represented in the survey results.
How is that?
Tibor Bocz says,
The LRT project is critical to addressing many of Hamilton's environmental, social and development goals.
It represents the most environmentally friendly solution by far, and offers us the ability to at least work towards our greenhouse gas reductions commitments as a city.
It is an opportunity to develop our city center and free us from the current situation wherein we are continually faced with paying increasing levels of municipal taxes to support city infrastructure. Not only does the project give us a huge infusion of upfront investment – much of which will be used to upgrade infrastructure on the LRT corridor – but it will generate much needed development downtown that will more than offset the operating costs.
Our inner core is a wasteland of vacant lots and surface parking that take up half the surface area, in large part because it is dominated by cars. The development of those areas that comes out of this program represents several tens of millions of dollars of lost tax revenue. For example, when 40 Bay St S and 150 Main St W were developed, they went from paying $56,000 to $900,000 a year in property taxes. Those are tax dollars that could absorb Hamilton’s next tax hike, instead of continuous increases to the remaining community.
It also represents an opportunity to integrate the growing number of people who want to make Hamilton their home within a dense, vibrant, livable core that represents more than just a place to "drive through" on the way to getting somewhere else.
Finally, the LRT and broader BLAST network represent an investment in a lifestyle we already see supported by a new generation of Hamiltonians who do not wish to be restricted to a car-centered economy and existence.
It is disheartening to see that resistance to this project has turned into such a divisive issue - with the old and the suburbs pitted against the young, the progressive and the urban - when it presents such benefit and opportunity for all.
It's time Hamilton took "Yes" for an answer.
Bryan Vogler says,
Mr. Stone B.C. Minister of Transportation announced commuter rail between Langford and Victoria on Vancouver Island. This is the E&N railway getting ready to celebrate Canada's 150th. This is provincial money on a provincial railway that joined B.C. to Canada with the Terms of Union.
Sure be nice if your Ontario Government did the same for Hamilton.
Translink is putting down new rail on Skytrain. All projects need steel rail and we could by in bulk and save millions.
Angela Ceccato says,
Hamilton needs to be part of the future and not stuck in the past. We could be like Pittsgurgh, but we have to invest in the future. Build the LRT, if not for our generation, then for the next generation. Please, please, please, do not turn your back on the LRT for Hamilton.
marion thomson says,
I strongly support an LRT for Hamilton!!!!! It is needed and important and necessary. Marion Thomson
Charlene Rennick says,
Downtown Hamilton has some incredible architecture, aand a diverse selection of food, music, and art. Please continue to invest in it. Put in the Light Rail. We should be supporting clean transportation, not arguing against it.
Edmund Elia says,
I fully support this project. Hope others will d same.
Rosemarie Gillis says,
Stephen Smith says,
Build the LRT and move the city forward.
Christine Fandrich says,
This is going to help make Hamilton more connected and build the economy throughout the city. I hope that one day Hamilton can have it's wealth measured by the number of "rich people on transit and not by the number of" poor" people in cars. This is an opportunity like no other to move Hamilton and allow for public transit. Some of the wards do not see how this will benefit them because the LRT is not in their neighbourhood, but the extra buses not required on the B Line need to be distributed and this is an opportunity to improve Transit throughout. I hope the nay-sayers can look beyond the end of their noses and see the brilliant future we could have ahead.
Christopher Schotsman says,
We need to make investments like this. We need this vision - this is the future. I have friends who have businesses that will be disrupted profoundly by LRT construction but they are 100% behind this - as am I.
Matthew Nash says,
I support provincially funded LRT project. Rapid transit will deliver enhanced prosperity, environmental sustainability and improved quality of life in our city which is on the verge of bursting with potential.
First, this project will have the largest impact on employment, income and GDP during construction and over the long term. LRT will create jobs: 5793 person years of employment in the short term and 187 person years in the long term. The BRT option - which will likely never get built anyways – would generate less than a third of this. Second, it will boost our GDP in the long term by $15M, more than 4X the BRT option. Overall, the LRT has a benefit cost ratio of 1:1. This is a conservative figure, meaning this estimate is likely downplaying the benefits. So, at the very least, what we invest in, we will get at least an equal benefit. Is this not a clear win-win scenario? We don’t have to pay for the initial 800M cost, yet we stand to gain the resultant economic benefits.
The environmental benefits are critical to cleaning the locally polluted air. Of all the options, LRT is the most effective in attracting people out of their cars and reducing car usage. This project will take out a staggering 8532 tonnes of GHGs annually which equates to a further nearly $3M economic benefit. If we are serious about making Hamilton a safe, healthy, and pedestrian-friendly place, LRT is the clearest choice.
Finally, our quality of life will be improved because not only will the air be cleaner, but more people will be able to move more efficiently. The LRT – which has almost double the capacity of BRT - will result in a 26 minute travel time end to end. This is equal to that of a car and nearly 10 minutes quicker than the BRT option. One of the biggest frustrations with busses is they aren’t reliable, they aren’t fast and they aren’t easily accessible. The LRT overcomes this by providing the fastest, most comfortable, and easily accessible mode of transport.
Overall, if you have read the consultant’s report, you’d know that LRT is a win for the prosperity, environmental sustainability and improved quality of life of our city. As property values rise due to enhanced economic conditions brought about by the LRT, all of Hamilton rises with it. Based on the evidence, not on emotion, please say yes to this once in a generation opportunity to build our city right.
kailee dellio says,
Please consider moving forward on the LRT project in Hamilton!! As a student I truly believe it would be beneficial to the many students who live in both Hamilton and other cities. I also think that it is a crucial step toward a greener Hamilton.
Anita Thomas says,
I believe that LRT is an important next step to grow our city and it is also important for our current growth. I am a resident of Ward 7 and strongly feel that this will be of benefit to the whole city. I am not one who will be a regular user of it, however, I do recognise that in spite of that, I will benefit from the domino effect and growth it will bring to the city as a whole.
Mohammed Patt says,
we should build it. i'm a Mohawk business student and in my opinion this is cost effective in the long run and the city is growing so having the LRT in place will help keep traffic down.
Joanne Zaras says,
I support the LRT for Hamilton.
Kevin McCafferty says,
Councillors: Please take your damp fingers out of the air. Joe Six Pack's fear and anger over losing one of our cross town freeways can be placated with some lucid exposition of facts. Please show some leadership because in the end that will be self preserving, both for the future of the city and in your professional situations.
Margaret Mileski says,
More in life is lost to indecision than even to wrong decision. Not moving forward with LRT will cost my city its heart.
Michael MIleski says,
Please don't squander this once-in-a-city's-lifetime opportunity.
Al Horzelenberg says,
I support the installation of LRT in Hamilton and all the maintenance that will follow. It is not for me or my children's generation. Rather for the next generation: my grand children and beyond who will undoubtably have a very difficult time of negotiating their way through the exponentially exploding volume of motorized and vehicular traffic on 20th century roads. We need a far broader perspective and more distant vision to fathom the anticipated numerical growth of society.
Krys Arciszewski says,
I am have lived in Hamilton most of my life. I am a mountain resident and core about the future of our city. I strongly believe the future requires a vibrant transit system included an LRT across town. It will open up the city and continue to wave of revitalization. Vote YES for LRT!
Andy Binkle says,
I think many Councillors are grandstanding Including Terry Whitehead, who will be losing my vote in the future.
Infrastructure makes cities great. Hamilton should be great.
Lucky we have a great Mayor!!!