All Statements of Support
Eric Windhorst says,
Quite simply, rejecting LRT is a foolish decision for all Hamiltonians, now and in the future. Please, councillors, don't be fools.
Annette Paiement says,
As a person who spent 10 of my 11 years living in Hamilton using public transit, I recommend saying YES to the City's LRT plan and accept the provincial funding.
Magdalene Sulzycki says,
Having lived in a number of cities across the province of Ontario, I can't help but think that my hometown's development is impeded by its antiquated public transport system. Introducing an LRT in Hamilton makes good economic, environmental, and social sense; it's a forward-thinking move that I believe will significantly support healthy and sustainable growth within the city. I hope that officials will take the time to evaluate the long term gains of the LRT. Think how different our city might have looked has council introduced such a system when it was initially proposed in the 80s!
Beatrice Ekoko says,
We want to be proud of our city and our city councillors. Please make the right decision and go down in history as politicians who had the city's best interest at heart, a vision for the common good of ALL its residents, real leadership for the future including the health of the environment and economic development of this hella ambitious city!
George Ferguson says,
I am a graduate from McMaster who was hoping to move to Hamilton because it's prospects. Without the LRT, I am going to reconsider moving to Hamilton and possibly move to Waterloo instead.
Heather Bocz says,
It's incredibly short-sighted to deny ourselves this opportunity to improve Hamilton as a city, and fight global climate change. The next 5 years matter tremendously in determining the future of our planet. It is essential that we don't stagnate and fester in a stubborn misguided stand against change.
Thomas Piggott says,
As a resident of Hamilton and environmentalist I would like to support the LRT initiative. I think increasing the effectiveness of public transit in Hamilton is a critical component to improving the wellness and future prospects of our community. Having seen LRT in numerous cities around the world I know it can have a tremendously positive impact. If we want Hamilton to grow into a sustainable community this is a clear step.
Thanks for your consideration.
Kelli Scarfone says,
City Council wasted too much time about the Red Hill Parkway, which ultimately cost us multi millions MORE when they finally built it!
Wake up, everyone is watching, this is embarrassing!
Trieu Nguyen says,
As a resident and business owner in hamilton, I hopeful that Hamilton council decides to invest in our future. Our taxes are amongst the highest in the country and our infrastructure is aging. We need this investment. We should build on the momentum that our great city has achieved over the past few years.
Great cities have great transit and
With this investment we can ensure the right foundation is in place to serve hamiltonians for generations to come whether or not they are transit riders or taxpayers.
Please, we deserve it. We live in a wonderful city and I would like to see it get even better.
Deanne MacRae says,
sustainable transportation must be a priority for a city with a growing, young population. Any alternatives such as RBT are outdated and unreliable. A vote for the LRT is a vote for our bright and growing future.
Robert Ozimek says,
Vote for the future of Hamilton, vote YES for LRT!!!
Doris Ceccato says,
The government today said there is no guarantee that the 1 billion earmarked for Hamilton's LRT would still be available to Hamilton, if council votes against the LRT. I can't believe this city would be so backwards to turn their back on 1 billion dollars and the opportunity to start modernizing this city.
Living in Dundas, once can't help to feel a bit dissapointed that the LRT does not reach into Dundas, and at the East end of the city, I am sure they feel the same. But all those things can be addressed in the future, but only if we take the money now and build the LRT. The future is not in more busses.
The reality is
a) if Hamilton does not take the money for the LRT, another city will take it without hesitation
b) whether we take the money or not, all of us tax payers will still pay the taxes for it. I'd be much happier that my taxes are paying for this money if we were acutally benefiting from it because Hamilton voted YES to the LRT as opposed to if they vote NO and the money goes to another municipality's LRT for which I will be still paying taxes.
c) holding on to the hope that the government will still give Hamilton the 1 billion dollars if they reject the LRT is foolhardy. If you vote YES, you get the money for sure, even if a new provincial government is elected in 1 years time. If you vote NO and the government says that they may or will for sure give Hamilton the 1 billion anyway, is a BIG RISK if they loose the next election (which according to current polls, they probably will), because a new government does not have to keep that promise (and they probably won't as they will have their own agenda on what they want to spend money on).
You need to vote YES. I do not want my taxes to go toward some other city benefiting from this 1 billion dollars.
Patrick Whelan says,
LRT is needed if Hamilton is to become the city we know it can be in the coming decades. As the next generation of people living across the GTHA are coming to realize, Hamilton is going to be the best place to live, raise a family, go to school or start a business in the province.
We need to leverage this investment now and build the infrastructure that will make our city a safe, mobile, and growing city.
Looking forward to taking a ride on the LRT in Hamilton very soon.
Mary Ellen Poos says,
Please don't let this opportunity pass! Many young adults from Hamilton, now living in Toronto, talk of moving back here, but won't if Hamilton LRT is dead, dead. We are IDIOTS if we don't accept the financial help and undertake this project. Are we a modern city, or not?
Mike Gismondi says,
Yes yes yes Hamilton LRT
Kathy Garneau says,
Please vote yes for LRT. This is a very forward thinking initiative which will bring joy while reducing carbon emissions. We turned down LRT in the 80's. Please don't repeat this mistake.
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.