By Letter to the Editor
Published July 14, 2011
Dear Mayor Bratina and Councillor McHattie,
I am both a resident and business operator in Ward One. I would like to inform you of my support for light rail along the B Line.
1) I grew up in Vancouver. The impact that the rapid transit had on that city was transformative. When the Light Rapid Transit line (now the Skytrain) opened in 1986 the city simply changed for the better.
Development flourished on both commercial and residential properties. The Skytrain became the main choice of transportation for all major events (football, soccer, hockey and basketball). After 25 years of Skytrain service, rental units and businesses live and die by their proximity to the stops.
I followed the rapid transit debate in the 1980s. The naysayers there and then used all the same jargon that Hamilton naysayers are reciting today. All of the Vancouver naysayers were proved completely wrong. Today every political party and Vancouverite passionately supports their rapid transit system.
Please demonstrate this kind of vision for Hamilton's rapid transit today by speaking out for the B-Line LRT.
2) I am the caretaker for The Staircase Cafe Theatre. The Staircase has been a Hamilton fixture for well over a dozen years. We have weathered many exceptional economic challenges that affected every business in Hamilton. The possibility of a rapid transit stop within walking distance of our theatre is, without a doubt, the brightest light that has ever shone for us.
I can tell you without a second thought that our purchase of the two properties adjacent to The Staircase is in anticipation of a nearby rapid transit stop. My partner and I both grew up in Vancouver and fully expect to see an increase in property and business value for everything within walking distance of a rapid transit stop.
So while big developers may not be clamouring at city hall's door, I can attest to at least a quarter million dollars of property investment directly related to the 'possibility' of a rapid transit line. Speaking out for the B-line LRT will help solidify this kind of investment along the entire route.
I have attended both public information sessions, and the two local charrettes for B-Line LRT. Intelligent, articulate and organized citizens have listed all kinds of reasons to support this amazing opportunity. I have simply outlined two very personal ones here. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
cc: Council, Chris Murray, Alana Fulford, Bill Kelly