Special Report: Bus Lane

Collins Explains Opposition to Bus Lane

In an email to a resident, Councillor Chad Collins says he opposes the 2-kilometre bus lane because he doesn't know how it would be extended farther east.

By RTH Staff
Published January 21, 2015

Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins has led the campaign to scrap the transit-only lane on King Street between Mary and Dundurn. A senior citizen living in Ward 5 wrote to Councillor Chad Collins in support of the bus lane.

Here is the text of his reply [resident's name removed]:

Thanks [...] I always appreciate the feedback.

As you know, the pilot area represents just 2km of the almost 14km B-Line route. If council agrees with the operation of the bus lane on a permanent basis, the plan calls for its extension along the entire route.

When I think beyond the pilot, I ask myself how will the bus lane affect other areas along the B-Line corridor?

How is it implemented east of the downtown where the 'Downtown Hamilton' gateway is located at Wellington and King? There are only two lanes at this location. If the bus lane is extended as planned, we're down to one lane for all other vehicles entering the core.

Travelling further east, how does the bus lane work beyond the Delta? Further east, how does the bus lane work on Queenston Road in our area between the Red Hill Parkway and Eastgate?

Queenston Road is congested at all times of the day. I can't imagine the traffic chaos that would be created by prohibiting vehicles in the curb lane in both directions. Queenston cannot function properly with one lane of traffic in each direction with a centre turn lane.

I understand the benefits of having a healthy transit system, but planned changes need to take into account the impact on surrounding residential properties and local businesses. Unfortunately, the bus lane pilot and the proposed rapid transit plans ignore these issues. Council needs to address the problems of overcrowding, long delays on some routes, and poor ridership on others.

Thanks again for the email [...] and please do not hesitate to call or email again regarding this matter or any other that might arise.


Please add your voice to the Support Hamilton Transit campaign to keep the bus lane.

12 Comments

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 16:28:06

Clr Collins, please task staff on how best to implement any TOL or HOV lane, and THEN make an informed decision.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2015 at 16:35:45

he admmitted he made up his mind before reading the report

his solution is to do nothing because he doesn't want to risk losing a few votes in the short run to make hamilton better in the long run. he only cares about the next 4 years. it's sickening

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By Jeez! (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 16:53:26

Effectively, he can't imagine a Hamilton where car is NOT king. Ever occur to him that there would not be so many freking cars on Queenston if there was regular, reliable, fast transit, AKA LRT?!?!

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2015 at 17:16:23

Collins: "Most communities wait until they reach that crisis point" before investing in improved transit. (source)

That's leadership for you.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 17:32:46

So, Councillor Collins will immediately vote a big increase in funding to help the HSR "address the problems of overcrowding, long delays on some routes, and poor ridership on others" to show that he supports improved transit, just not this particular bus lane? Or if another councillor votes to return service levels to those of the 1980s, will he strongly support it?

Or will he find other reasons to oppose increased funding and better service levels for the HSR?

It's not as if underfunding, overcrowding and poor ridership on HSR are new problems. The IBI operational review of the HSR was presented to council five years ago. Has Collins been championing at least some of their recommendations and working to allocate funding to implement them?

At some points Councillors who claim to support better transit need to actually support a transit initiative, with actual new City money, even when it annoys some drivers a bit.

Otherwise, its the same old bait and switch: "Let's look at BRT instead of LRT" becomes "I don't support BRT, all we need is express buses" becomes "I don't support express buses, lets just improve service frequency" becomes "We can't afford to spend money on more buses, let's just improve signalling" becomes "But this priority signalling confuses drivers, I can't support it."

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-01-21 17:36:34

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 21:54:19 in reply to Comment 108126

keep going..... tonight one of them suggested we scrap the bus lane and focus on more urgent means of improving transit like having the 'Yield' signs on the back of the buses enlarged so more motorists see them. I'm not kidding.

Comment edited by jason on 2015-01-21 21:54:41

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By Sing (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 17:42:10

He's pretending to be a real pragmatist, but again he's really just being pessimist. Rapid Ready report details how B-line LRT would run throughout the entire Main-King-Queenston corridor. So what if some businesses suffer TEMPORARILY for a greater good. No pain no gain. Surely it can be done. For one, Queenston in many places could probably be expanded given all the parking lots in front of the businesses. I'm no planning expert, but can't believe Hamilton has a special problem not faced by other cities (apart from some councillors).

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 17:56:06 in reply to Comment 108127

So what if some businesses suffer TEMPORARILY for a greater good.

Exactly the attitude of someone who is not a business owner along the corridor.

Having worked for an independent business, it can be very shaky for periods of time - initial startup, slow periods in the fall and post-Christmas, summertime - and they may not be able to afford to "temporarily" deal with the loss of parking or ease of visiting the location.

We have to be measured with the approach. Sure, it can be done, but it must be done sensibly and appropriately. Just saying "oh, to hell with them, just make it happen" won't work.

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By misterque (registered) - website | Posted January 21, 2015 at 21:06:33 in reply to Comment 108129

I am a two decade business owner at the end of the bus lane. I am being forced to upgrade and maintain an undesired paved parking lot to the tune of more than $50K. If someone on the bus lane does not have onsite parking then fuck them. They made a bad business decision and are sucking my tax dollars to pay for their street parking. Street parking is NOT a privilege. Many of these businesses opened in AFTER plans for rapid transit were made public. If I have to open a line of credit to look after a bunch of cars then they can get a line of credit to build their own fucking parking lots.

No one has said to hell with them. They have said modify it to work. It is the 1970s dinosaur club that have driven another nail in the coffin of light rail.

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By pricks (anonymous) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 21:52:17 in reply to Comment 108140

This is the spirit we need. F these councillors and their self-interests and those that would support their baseless illegitimate arguments against LRT. All indications is they freking high jacked democracy and good will of the people tonight. It reaks of corruption. Ferguson interest is known. Collins must have greater interests.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted January 21, 2015 at 20:42:37 in reply to Comment 108129

And the people who are poisoned and killed by car drivers are PERMANENTLY dead.

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By RoryTate (anonymous) | Posted January 22, 2015 at 09:06:33

When the hell is Queenston Rd congested?! I travel Queenston rd ALL the time!? I live about 5 blocks from Chad and he has his head up his ass when he talks about congestion. Why doesn't he jus stick to the redhill/QEW/403 when he travels around the city then.

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