Special Report: Light Rail

Letter: Support the LRT Station at Bay Street

We all support the aim of a system of rapid transit in the LRT plan, and there are compelling reasons to support the stop at Bay Street.

By Richard Gelder
Published February 16, 2017

During the February 15, 2017 General Issues Committee meeting, City Councillors rejected a proposal to add a light rail transit (LRT) station at Bay Street. That vote still has to be ratified at the City Council meeting on February 22, 2017. Please send a message to Council asking them to reconsider their vote against this important line improvement.


Dear Councillor VanderBeek,

I understand a vote took place at the General Issues Committee this past week regarding a unanimous recommendation forwarded by the Light Rail Transit Sub-Committee to request that Metrolinx add a stop at Bay Street in their LRT plan.

I further understand that the committee voted 9-6 against the recommendation and that the said vote is subject to ratification at a full meeting of Hamilton City Council next week. I have also been advised that you voted with the majority to not support the recommendation.

Councillor, I would ask that you reconsider your position and vote in favour of the recommendation at Council next week.

We all support the aim of a system of rapid transit in the LRT plan, and there are compelling reasons to support the stop at Bay Street.

The Hamilton and District Chamber of Commerce has identified economic benefits to the plan. There is also the prospect of an increased value in terms of property and condominium development around the intersection of King and Bay Streets, which will only increase the city's tax base.

This additional stop at Bay Street, in my belief, will be beneficial to the Light Rail Transit plan as a whole.

It is a system that I, as a Dundas resident, hope to one day see extended as far as University Plaza, but that is well into the future!

In the meantime, we all need to embrace the LRT plan as essential for city building, whether or not our ward is directly impacted. We all have a stake in its success, tweaks and all.

There are times when a "flip-flop" is a welcome thing, and you could count on my effusive public support should you find it in you to change your mind on this issue.

Richard Gelder is an educator who lives in Dundas with his partner, Catherine, and two sons, Liam and Jamie. He commutes by bicycle and cares passionately about bicycles, track and field and all things Hamilton.

9 Comments

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By notlloyd (registered) - website | Posted February 16, 2017 at 15:40:46

Wouldn't they have to tear down some very old buildings?

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 16, 2017 at 16:21:46 in reply to Comment 120778

Nope. Staff said that Bay is an easy quick win. Mostly surrounded by parking lots so there's no worry about taking out buildings if they need to exporpriate out of the road.

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By dlynes (registered) - website | Posted February 17, 2017 at 06:00:28

You would think it would be a no-brainer to put one there. While I personally don't have a need for one there, the three locations that would make the most amount of sense are the University, Bay St, and James St. James St will probably be difficult because of the existing build up at that location, so it would probably need to be made at the MacNab bus terminal instead, but Bay St should be easy.

There are city owned parking lots at the southeast corner, southwest corner and I believe possibly even the northwest corner in behind the bar.

You have the new McMaster school of Medicine at Main and Bay, you have the Bank of Montreal and Main and Bay, you have City Hall at Main and Bay, you have the Farmer's Market at King and Bay, Copp's Colosseum at York and Bay, Nations Supermarket at King and Bay, and the Art Gallery at Summers Lane and King.

I do see someone's point that the stops might be too close together (MacNab/Bay/Queen).

Queen to Bay is 500m, but Bay to MacNab is only 270m (possibly too close for planners). If the Bay St station got moved to across the street from Eckankar instead, it would now be 350m between stations, which is a reasonable amount of space and would still be close enough to Bay to make a difference for people wanting to get off for that intersection.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 17, 2017 at 07:25:52 in reply to Comment 120781

The James Street station will be at Gore Park.

James LRT station

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By Deleted User (anonymous) | Posted February 17, 2017 at 18:29:10 in reply to Comment 120783

Another cyclists dream I see. Can't wait to be kicked off King too. Thanks LRT!

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By JasonL (registered) | Posted February 19, 2017 at 19:43:06 in reply to Comment 120792

??? You'll still be allowed to bike on King. Only thing you'll be missing is the 5 lanes of speeding highway traffic.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 17, 2017 at 23:17:07 in reply to Comment 120792

What are you talking about? King doesn't have bike infrastructure today, except for the protected cycle track into Westdale, and that is not going to be removed. If anything, it will be easier to bike on King when it has been calmed through vehicle lane reduction for the LRT tracks.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted February 18, 2017 at 15:04:58 in reply to Comment 120797

I don't know, I could see more local traffic using King through Westdale rather than Main if the LRT has too much traffic impact on Main.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted February 18, 2017 at 10:58:24 in reply to Comment 120797

What Ryan is saying is very true. Indeed, as was done with the Eglinton Crosstown project, we can make King Street better by including protected cycling infrastructure.

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