By Adrian Duyzer
Published January 19, 2010
According to a letter to the editor published in the Hamilton Spectator today, I live nowhere (LRT King route will hurt residents by Bill Kish).
According to Kish, LRT is a "fast track to nowhere". "If there is a reason for people to go downtown, they will," writes Kish.
Back in November, Carl W. Ambridge wrote in with a similar perspective: will LRT "turn into a white elephant, pulling empty cars from one end of the city to the other?"
Oddly enough it turns out that downtown actually has the highest population density in Hamilton. According to Statistics Canada figures published on RTH, Ward 2 has the highest population density of any ward in the city, with 23.44 people per acre (2001 Statistics Canada data).
Who would have thought that you could pack so many people into nowhere!
As well as all the people who are living nowhere, there are also thousands of people who are working nowhere, which you can see for yourself if you travel to nowhere on any given afternoon. You'll see throngs of nonexistent people walking nowhere, traveling to and from many imaginary offices and businesses.
Travel a little farther west, and you'll arrive in Ward 1, which as well as containing dense neighbourhoods also contains many city parks, a golf course, and lots of green space.
In other words, nothing.
Ward 1's bustling Locke Street district is yet another nowhere that will be just steps away from LRT stops on King Street. With dozens of shops, eateries and small businesses, Locke Street's total absence of existence has prompted many people to compare it to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
Fortunately, beyond the sucking void at the center of Hamilton - past the event horizon - lies a different world, one populated by somebodies who live somewhere. And these people need somewhere to park.
That is the crux of the matter, according to Kish: "In the future, I foresee tension due to intense competition for parking spots on the streets where we live."
Reasonably speaking, it would seem to be sensible to balance the need to revitalize the downtown, the need for clean and green rapid transit, and the soaring property values of people like Kish who live near the proposed route, against the need for parking.
After all, there are many solutions to parking issues, and it's an issue Hamilton is not going to ignore as it proceeds with rapid transit plans (when has Hamilton ever put parking and roads anywhere except at the top of the list?). But that perspective would require prioritizing the needs of Hamilton's downtown businesses and residents.
Which don't exist.
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