Light Rail

Study: 'Substantial Benefits' for B-Line LRT

By Jason Leach
Published January 03, 2012

Ian Dunlop of Strategic Interchange and the University of Waterloo has just prepared a rapid transit cost-benefit analysis [PDF] for Hamilton's north-south A-Line. The report is excellent and deserves a full article, but in the meantime, I want to highlight this quote:

Due to the high existing ridership on the B-Line, Hamilton will gain substantial benefits from building an LRT along this route as soon as possible, with a minimum of 75% of the capital cost funding from Metrolinx. For A-Line, due to the much lower ridership, a phased approach for LRT is more appropriate.

I'm pleased to see this statement in the report right off the top. LRT would be destined to fail if we did the A-line first. Hardly anyone lives within walking distance of it and our airport is at best an economic long shot.

We really need to stay on the city about keeping the B-Line as the top priority. Rumblings keep coming out of City Hall indicating that the Mayor would like to build an A-Line first, on the grounds that it would connect to the airport and Glanbrook Business Park, while the B-Line already has good bus service.

Anyone who thinks that should try waiting for a bus along the B-line. My wife now drives to appointments at McMaster and pays for parking after missing a couple of appointments while being passed by full bus after bus.

The city's 2009 HSR Operational Review [PDF] identified crowding and drive-bys during peak use as significant issues on the city's busy east-west routes.

LRT is the right long-term investment for Hamilton, and the east-west B-Line is the best route for the first leg. It's got the density, the built form, the ridership and the redevelopment potential to make LRT successful.

We can't stand by and let misguided leaders blow this opportunity by throwing out the work we've already done and starting from scratch on a much worse alternative.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By JM (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 12:15:35

great read - too bad our elected officials will never understand! i was most surprised with the comparison in population density... we're up there along the B-line :)

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 13:34:55

I presume this report is being presented to council?

Wasn't there supposed to be some sort of presentation to council on LRT before the end of last year? At which point council would decide whether to move forward or not?

Has that been pushed back?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 14:23:50 in reply to Comment 72680

Wasn't there supposed to be some sort of presentation to council on LRT before the end of last year? At which point council would decide whether to move forward or not?

Yes. By Metrolinx. It was held this past autumn. I was there. At which time it was stated that everything is on-track (in fact, Hamilton is ahead of schedule in performing its due-diligence in comparison to other projects) and that the remainder of the necessary background work would be completed in 2012 for submission to Metrolinx...and subsequent to this, Council will have some decisions to make.

(And seeing as I'm tapping away, has anyone answered The Big Elephant Question Meandering Around in the Room'? Namely, 'Where's the B-line LRT maintenance facility going?' My take is that this is an extraordinarily pivotal discussion...and there really aren't that many options. Beuller? Beuller...?)

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 14:27:56

This sentence from the conclusion is also a great read:

LRT for the B-Line is the clear winner in this BCR contest, but this is virtually a foregone conclusion to everyone involved in its planning. There are clear benefits to the City, even if required to contribute a portion of the project’s capital cost. LRT’s lower operating cost and great capacity to handle the high- volume of B-Line passengers provides significant ongoing benefits to the City, by reducing overall transit operating costs, subsidizing the HSR’s conventional bus service to outlying areas, or some combination of the these. If the City passes up the opportunity to build LRT on the B-Line, it is also passing up the opportunity for significant financial benefits.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2012 at 13:10:09 in reply to Comment 72684

I am having as much difficulty accepting the conclusions of these two papers, as I am with Jason presenting them as proof beyond doubt of the preferred LRT scheme.

Were it not for the diligence of our city staff we may not have been in a position of strength that we are in today on the LRT file.

Many big questions on LRT are still under study by staff/consultants which prevents conclusive answers on the final type/form/mix of urban transit in Hamilton. We need to respectfully give them space to do the job that needs to be done in order to arrive at reasonable answers to our transit needs.

The pharmaceutical industries frequent rush-to-market with similar flourishes of premature proof beyond doubt have resulted in many major recalls and catastrophic side-effects on gullible consumers.

Similar approaches have devolved the field of architecture and urban design/development for a long time.

One of our biggest challenges in urban design today is to develop an ability to sift through real research from the glut of purported research by motivated interests.

What we truly need is a Dr. Mercola of Urban design to help us make educated choices amidst an onslaught of research/findings which manipulate/polarize public opinions rather than discover truths which shape common good.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-04 13:14:17

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 17:42:57 in reply to Comment 72715

On a project like this, there is no comparison to the "Big Pharma" "rush-to-market" moves.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 16:07:50

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Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-01-03 16:22:43

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 17:01:07 in reply to Comment 72691

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 17:47:56 in reply to Comment 72722

Yes but until we teach our children that buying more i-pods, cell phones, new cars, swimming pools, hot tubs etc. and realize it ourselves, that $820 dollars will never be spent on debt repayment just more accumulation of crap. This world needs a big wake up call to straighten things out.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 16:33:40 in reply to Comment 72691

Rail transit on our busiest corridor will allow for greater density (more taxpayers) and will also reduce vehicular passenger miles per resident. As a side bonus, it will remove buses from King street. This means more taxpayers and less road maintenance along that corridor. This means less tax burden per resident for road infrastructure costs. So your point is.......what exactly?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 16:32:13

comment from banned user deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-01-04 06:04:11

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 16:58:24 in reply to Comment 72694

Its not an official report of any kind

Meaning what, from your perspective?

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 17:41:45 in reply to Comment 72697

comment from banned user deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-01-04 06:04:14

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 19:13:09 in reply to Comment 72699

My original concern was that there was some monetary motive to this study.

Why? Why would this be a 'concern'? What difference would it make to the validity of a study who paid for it? If a point-of-view is valid, why should it matter who funded it?

After closer examination I found out it was merely a university paper and largely a rehash of studies already commissioned.

Right. Because clarity can't be improved by fresh eyes.

In short, its really nothing new.

'Nothing new' as opposed to what, exactly? What were you expecting? And given your tone, who would you have expected to come up with something 'new'? Surely not the City; they're continuing to execute due diligence. Certainly not Metrolinx; they're quite fine with our progress, and besides; they're non-partisan. And I think the local thrust has shot its load. (For the time being.)

You either agree with the conclusions or you don't.

And...? Which camp are you in?

In the big picture it has very little influence in the process

And at this point in the process, what would have any 'influence'?

The ironic thing is that I don't think these essays serve any purpose at all in the overall effort to get LRT to Hamilton. I don't think they do much to accomplish what's clearly being set out to do...not that anything needs to be done at this point, not until the final background work has been done and it's time for Council to make some decisions...which is a hell of a long time off yet. And it saddens me to see the wheedling continue when it's not relevant to the process...and probably counter-productive.

However, what makes me more sad is people who dismiss someone's work because, in their eyes, it's 'nothing new' and it's not valid anyway because it's 'merely a university paper'.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 19:40:38

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 04, 2012 at 07:35:16

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 22:07:21 in reply to Comment 72704

It's been reported by the Spectator that mayor Bratina favours building the A-line LRT BEFORE the B-Line LRT, and that he has his "own ideas" as to what route the A-Line should take. Apparently he keeps a map in his office for this purpose, and takes it out and shows anyone who will listen.

That is the "misguided leader" and if he has his way and the A-Line is built first, all the B-Line work will be "thrown out" in that it will not be relevant, and will be dated and have to be redone at a later date.

The much worse alternative is the A-line, rather than the B-line.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 08:42:57 in reply to Comment 72731

not to mention the fact that the A-line doesn't have the ridership, density or residents living within walking distance to make it successful. Doing the A-line before the B-line would have a distinct possibility of killing future LRT projects in Hamilton due to lack of success of the A-line. I see A-line as a crucial link in the future, but for now I agree with the author of this report - do LRT from the water to Mohawk College and BRT the rest of the way south.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 11:26:42 in reply to Comment 72737

The biggest missing piece to the puzzle is where the maintenance yards are to be located. The most logical choice from an operational point of view would be to have the maintenance facility located at the same site as the current transit terminal on Upper James north of Dickenson. In this case, it would be prudent to consider an initial LRT implementation to be a hybrid of the A-Line and B-Line Routes, which would cover the route from the airport north to downtown, then west to McMaster University. The second phase can finish the two lines.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 11:39:34 in reply to Comment 72740

I think locating the line in it's most profitable and beneficial location is priority number 1. Finding a maintenance yard can take place afterwards. I'm sure there are ample sites through the B-line corridor that could house the maintenance facility, and since future LRT lines will all be connected, the yard can be used for A-line and other future line trains.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 16:18:43 in reply to Comment 72742

It would be more cost effective in both a capital cost and an operational expense point of view to maintain a unified maintenance facility. The land is available for a maintenance yard at Upper James and Twenty; alternate locations will require land acquisition costs (not to mention there are not any readily available vacant space sufficient to house LRT maintenance yard along the existing LRT route), and a centralized maintenane facility is much more cost effective than decentralized facilities.

With regards to profitability, the only portion of either route that has urban density high enough to support higher order transit is the stretch of B-Line from James to Dundurn, which would be part of a hybridized A-Line/B-Line first phase of LRT development. Besides, getting a portion of A-Line tracked early on will help ensure future LRT along the entire route.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 21:22:50 in reply to Comment 72750

Well, I think you'd have to consider the cost savings from such a maintenance facility and weigh that against the negative impact of not having the first phase of LRT going to Mac - which is from what I understand - the most used transit stop in the City. At most these people would take your proposed LRT from James to Dundurn at which point they would have to transfer onto buses for the remainder of their journey to Mac - necessitating the creation of a major transit terminus at Dundurn - where there is no room for such a terminus - and providing reduced operational savings as less buses can be redirected to other parts of the HSR system.

I think the proposal to limit the LRT to Dundurn - and not go all the way to Mac - is the most negative part of your proposal.

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By realitycheck (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 15:56:21 in reply to Comment 72757

You misunderstood my point, Robert D. I was not proposing it go only as far as Dundurn, I was saying that the density between James and Dundurn is the only stretch of any of Hamilton's proposed LRT lines that currently has density sufficient to support higher order transit. In my original post I actually proposed a hybridized route for Phase One which would run the A-Line Route from the airport north to downtown, then west along the B-Line route to McMaster.

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By wow (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 09:58:21

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 10:26:58 in reply to Comment 72708

"Successful Effort" would imply that his effort has had some success.

GO announced a station on James Street North as far back as 2008, when $3 million was earmarked for a "new station" on James Street North. This station would allow two-way all day GO train service to Hamilton.

Since this announcement GO Transit has decided to expand service through the Niagara region, and began the process of planning GO stations, including two in Hamilton, one of which would be on James Street North. Presumably again, these stations would allow for two-way all day GO train service to Hamilton.

The mayor's stated mission is to get two-way all day GO service to Hamilton - something we already know has been a long time coming, but just hasn't happened yet.

If it happens during his tenure as mayor, would that be due to his "successful effort?"

If it doesn't happen during his tenure as mayor, will that be due to his "unsuccessful effort"?

I'm not sure where you see the mayor as having undertaken a successful effort to get all-day two way GO train service to Hamilton, but until those trains start running, I'd be wary of any "positive developments" because as we've seen in the past - talk is cheap.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 10:55:16

In the 5+ years I've lived near Liuna, I've always heard the rumour/promise that a station was on the horizon, and in that time I've seen Metrolinx:

a) Lay an entirely new track from Toronto to the western suburbs b) Build a multi-story parking garage and pedestrian walkways in Burlington c) Lay the foundations for another garage at Oakville d) Rebuild the platform at Appleby and Clarkson stations e) Move and re-build a parking lot and platform at Bronte f) Massively rebuild platforms and facilities at Union Station

Over that time, I've seen zero activity at James N., so yeah, I'll believe the constant promises about a James N. station when I see construction there.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 17:59:13 in reply to Comment 72711

Just like every other project in Hamilton, wait till it's half built then I'm a believer.

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 11:46:34 in reply to Comment 72711

IMHO, ARL seems like 2015 Priority One for GO.
http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1231497--metrolinx-says-air-rail-link-on-schedule-for-pan-am-games


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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 07:55:19

The view from here to 2015: “There’s pain in every single chapter.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/austerity-czar-sees-pain-ahead-in-ontario/article2291969/

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By Nox (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 08:02:05 in reply to Comment 72735

"GDP growth in Ontario is expected to remain sub-par at 1.7% in 2012. Manufacturing will likely continue to claw its way back following the severe downturn in 2008-09, largely on the back of expanding auto production. Supported by significant pent up demand, U.S. auto sales are expected to rise by 5% in 2012 and nearly 10% in 2013. Other areas of Ontario manufacturing will likely face a more challenging demand environment, however, in light of prospects for lacklustre Canadian and U.S. domestic spending. Ontario’s real estate market will also exert a drag on the expansion over the next few years, especially within the recently-booming Toronto condo market. In addition to the growing pipeline of supply, the knock-on effects of financial-market volatility to buyer confidence will likely result in a cooling down in condominium sales in the region in 2012 and 2013.
One important factor in the Ontario outlook for 2012 will be provincial public finances. At 2.5% of GDP, Ontario is by far the province with the most challenging deficit situation.(New Brunswick comes a distant second at 1.5%.) The Province has stated its goal to eliminate the budget deficit by fiscal 2017-18. It has established a commission headed by economist Don Drummond to recommend ways to restructure public services and find efficiencies. This could become a very significant expenditure-paring exercise for the government, with potentially more impact in 2013 than in 2012."

http://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/01359/TD_provincial_econ_1359244a.pdf

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 12:19:38

comment from banned user deleted

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2012 at 17:33:59 in reply to Comment 72746

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Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-01-05 17:48:43

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 19:58:59 in reply to Comment 72751

Perhaps that's because I haven't been there yet?

You might be onto something here. lol

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 18:02:34 in reply to Comment 72751

Well, I get a ton (over 90%) of up-votes on various subjects, and I support LRT, so do I counterbalance you?? Kinda silly don't you think? I vote, not by name but by content and I think at least a small majority do at least.

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By Thesis, Enraged (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 13:26:04 in reply to Comment 72746

http://xkcd.com/386/

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2012 at 23:06:20

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Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-05 23:11:11

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 13:43:36 in reply to Comment 72761

I got about a tenth of the way through this before I rolled my eyes so hard they fell out of my head.

tl;dr.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 20:26:44 in reply to Comment 72790

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 07:20:30 in reply to Comment 72761

...blind followers who are attempting to raise the heavy hammer to nail down change

Like a farmer I rise and set with the sun which means I miss out on all the late night fun. At any rate Mahesh, you've made my mourning coffee break a humourass won;-)

God Bless!

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2012 at 23:28:56

On a more serious note (filed under "Serious") please do make time to read this highly relevant article on High-Rise Buildings before jason goes and orders many balloons and skyscraper cranes :)

"...The lessons of the Vancouver model, good and bad, have been studied and learned. Now’s the time for next steps. A more 3-dimensional urbanism, where people connect at the street, and at the 3rd, 6th, and upper floors… and back down to the street. The blocks will be more permeable, translucent, engaged. The street will be the entry, rather than the edge, of the blocks, and we will grow closer to the ground as we need less privatized security and more penetration into where people live, work and play. I now agree with Leon that Vancouver is not the appropriate model to urbanize San Diego’s future..."

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 09:07:10 in reply to Comment 72762

LOL. Mahesh, well done piece of satire. I'm reading this wondering if I myself have been asleep too long and the real Hamilton of 2012 has seen a Vancouveresque boom of mega-towers without my knowledge? Before you go too FOX news on us with massive generalizations, please consider that our last 'tower' was the Century 21 tower built in 1974. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landmark_Pl...

My recent call for some of our new condo construction to be highrise is born out of a desire to see our skyline modernized so we don't continue to look like a 'soviet commie block skyline' (funny how pics of Hamilton show up only a couple rows into this google image search) http://www.google.ca/search?q=soviet+com...

You're heading into CHML territory when you make it sound like I'm advocating for our entire city to be filled with towers. At this point, I'd be thrilled with ONE. Yes, one tower in 38 years. Hardly Vancouver 2.0

Nonetheless, I appreciate the humourous start to the day. I can assure you that your dream will never become reality. Cheers

Comment edited by jason on 2012-01-06 09:09:15

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 09:58:46 in reply to Comment 72779

I can assure you that your dream will never become reality. Cheers

I must've dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams
But I can hear the marching feet
They're moving into the street

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-01-06 09:59:05

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 00:12:10

Mahesh,

Thanks for the promotion, I now no longer have to work at US Steel.

You do have me confused with ardent LRT supporters. I can accept the idea of a BRT over LRT and I would prefer to see Main Street used as the route. I have been willing to accept the argument for LRT (that the property investment follows 1km on either side of the track) only just barely after following up on the many examples cited on RTH. I do fully support the vision, passion and drive for positive charge that the hardcore LRT supporters are bringing to our city.

I posted on this thread not for any love of LRT but because I can't stomach the attitude, arrogance, hypocrisy and disdain that permeates your contributions here. Maybe you are a decent guy but I have NO desire to ever meet you due to the posturing you constantly put on display.

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 08:56:19 in reply to Comment 72764

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 06:08:02 in reply to Comment 72764

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 08:46:05 in reply to Comment 72767

MSC,

You really miss important points in your rush to hop back on that soapbox you carry as your constant companion.

I mentioned meeting in "The Real World" with Mahesh because I realize what someone is on-line is in no way necessarily what they may be face to face. In Mahesh's case, I find his written messages so completely vile that I cannot make that separation. In your personal engagement argument is there no accountability for what we write on-line? Or is that just always a free pass?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 09:04:08 in reply to Comment 72775

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 18:40:51 in reply to Comment 72778

Don't agree with your points, but that Segway soapbox comment almost made me fall off my chair. Lol.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 01:30:35 in reply to Comment 72764

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Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-06 01:36:51

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 08:34:43 in reply to Comment 72765

Whoever said my feelings were hurt?? I just find you more and more sickening with every character you type.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 08:56:48 in reply to Comment 72774

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 09:13:00 in reply to Comment 72777

you're so right. Online discussions are never as good as the real thing. It's interesting hearing one's perspective of Mahesh having never met him. I've known him longer than probably anyone on here and he is absolutely a gentleman. Constant smile, respectful discourse and fun to engage with.
More face to face discussion time would be ideal.

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By Eager Beaver (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 10:26:05 in reply to Comment 72780

More action, less talk would be even better. ;)

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 18:07:25 in reply to Comment 72783

Now that I agree with.

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By satire (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 15:10:12

The mayor of my city was a pedantic, pompous, preposterous, pretentious, poisonous package of pointlessness. A year into her term, the bumbling, crumbling, grumbling, fumbling, humbling, mumbling, stumbling, stunningly, numbingly dumb mayor, gave her best girlfriend, Ade, a huge raise.

“Ade-gate” consumed the city and put the mayor and her BFF under close scrutiny. Their resumes showed the mayor and Ade had been unemployed baby boomers without families and few friends. Both spent an inordinate amount of time slithering through the internet insulting and terrorising people, while congratulating one another, which well-qualified them for their current roles.

The mayor and her chief of Town Halls were thin skinned, angry, venomousness, vitriolic dispensers of hatred online. A local newspaper uncovered the mayor’s office had also hired a covert staff to apologise to citizens on behalf of the mayor and her BFF, in an obvious act of damage control. The apologists were sent forth with the following script, which was leaked to the paper.

Dear Citizen,

I’m sorry the mayor (and/or her BFF) was mean to you online. She’s not really like that. She’s nice. Trust me. She smiles in person. We have coffee and deep, meaningful, intelligent, insightful, paradigm-changing discussions. Jealous? Don’t be. You wouldn’t understand.


Then I woke up and realized their dream was a nightmare.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 08, 2012 at 00:27:12 in reply to Comment 72794

The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "first make people laugh, and then make them think".

Parody and Satire

Parody and satire are two words that often people get confused with.

The difference between the two terms is very complex. It can sometimes be hard to make a distinction, as Satire and Parody are both related to humour.

Well, parody is just a mimicry of an established concept, idea, or a person and satire is something spoken in humour without reproducing the subject directly.

One of the major differences that can be noted between a parody and satire is in regard to their goals.

Though both parody and satire conveys humour, they impart different roles in society. Satire stands for a social or political change. It depicts an anger or frustration trying to make the subject palatable. Satire can be termed as humour and anger combined together.

Parody is really meant for mocking and it may or may not incite the society. Parody is just pure entertainment and nothing else. It does not have a direct influence on the society.

So, is there a chance that satire (anonymous) fuckled up His/Her screen ID in a rush to lob a flaming bag at my comment which was merely attempting humour to provoke introspection and possibly even change?

I recommend that "satire (anonymous)" be nominated for the next Ig Nobel Prize - it could be our chance to show the world our local genius.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 21:47:26 in reply to Comment 72841

See what a mean, a complete hypocrite. Everything is a one-way street for you Mahesh. Yeah Yeah, I get the point you failed to make, what did come across is that you are a big baby.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 01:06:14 in reply to Comment 72882

Thank you for the compliments Mr. Janitor, at my age being called a big baby puts a bounce in my feet :)

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 07:29:25 in reply to Comment 72794

Can't wait for the film version!

And the ensuing interviews with the author, 'Satire', and the resulting investigations into their psyche, their motivations, and their 'research'.

: )

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 17:16:56 in reply to Comment 72794

Yup!!

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By and this stays (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 15:49:42

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 20:00:27

Wow...I just tried to catch up on this discussion. What a dogs breakfast. Even more remarkable when you go back and read the original blog entry. It's not like I rehashed the Mad Connaught or something.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-01-06 20:00:41

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 20:32:26 in reply to Comment 72813

>> We really need to stay on the city about keeping the B-Line as the top priority..

What is more important, giving people enough welfare ($550 rent + $250 food), or LRT?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 21:51:57 in reply to Comment 72814

What is more important, giving people enough welfare ($550 rent + $250 food), or LRT?

Making investments in our city and our future that are proven job-creators and economic engines for decades to come so we don't need to keep giving people the bare minimum to survive on. Let's create jobs IN the city again so people can begin to better their situation. This is why the Roundtable on Poverty Reduction so heartily supports LRT. Not because they like fancy Euro-trains, but because the economic impact is absolutely massive, and as you accurately point out, the need in Hamilton is quite large too.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-01-06 21:53:10

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By the sad reality (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 22:33:14

Bringing in more people and jobs really won't have a large effect on the welfare needs of the city. Look at Vancouver Toronto and Montreal. They have an even larger poverty problem than Hamilton does. Its not really that there are no opportunities that makes the welfare rolls swell in cities, its the exact opposite. Cities have better services so attract welfare recipients. We should push for things that will attract jobs but lets not kid ourselves. Poverty isn't going to go away as a result.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 23:08:48 in reply to Comment 72817

sadly, I think you're right - poverty won't go away. I still think we're wise to provide as much opportunity as possible. Even the working poor will see their transportation options vastly improve if we begin to build a cohesive LRT and bike-lane network. Right now many workers who don't own cars face a horrendous, multi-hour commute through the city for distances that take 20 minutes by car.

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By multi hour? (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 23:31:35

If you are talking about commutes of over an hour then you are talking about the inefficiencies of multiple transfers and lengthy times between buses on routes other than on the B-line. How exactly is getting across town in 33 minutes as opposed to 38 minutes going to solve those problems. I agree a system improvement is needed but the case you cite actually suggests that the money would be better spent improving the system outside the Bline to reduce the "horrendous multi-hour commute"

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 10:08:08 in reply to Comment 72819

more money is absolutely needed, but so are more buses. And more buses...a lot more buses, will be freed up for the rest of the system once LRT runs across the B-line. This will do wonders for improving the system as a whole, and as you will know from following the LRT process, the plan is streamline the entire routing system for efficient transfers and shorter headways. Of course, some strong leadership will need to be given to the HSR to pull this off given their history of cutting routes and enjoying the status quo for decades at a time.

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By buses won't be freed up (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 10:32:17

Where did you get the idea buses and drivers were going to miraculously shift to other routes? There is absolutely no evidence that will happen

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 14:55:42

I heard they are just gonna take those extra buses down to the dundas transfer station and drive them into the metal bin

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 18:20:06

Jason,

Respectfully -- there can be no virtually forgone conclusions in planning or for that matter even in bearing passionate hatred for opposing views.

"Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch." ~ Novalis

This amazing quotation is found at the beginning of The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper - one of the most important and fascinating books of the last century - which is well worth reading to bring a new focus to our conversations on city building.

Planning, just as political criticism, in my view is essentially an activity that is best grasped through a Probabilistic Approach to Human Reasoning via Bayesian Rationality:

"What kind of theory might be more suited to explaining practical action in an uncertain world?"

"The Logical mind should be replaced by the probablistic mind."

"Negative conclusion bias arises when negations are used in conditional statements, for example, If a bird is a swan, then it is not red. In Evans’ (1972) Negations Paradigm, four such rules are used: If p then q; if p then not-q; if not-p then q; if not-p then not-q. The most robust finding is that people endorse DA, AC, and MT more when the conclusion contains a negation."

"As Popper (1935/1959) argued, logically one can never be certain that a scientific hypothesis is true in the light of observed evidence, as the very next piece of evidence one discovers could be a counterexample. So, just because all the swans you have observed up until now have been white, is no guarantee that the next one will not be black. Instead, Popper argues that the only logically sanctioned strategy for hypothesis testing is to seek falsifying cases."

~ Précis of Bayesian Rationality

Indulge me here for a moment. I would like you to take a very close look at these thoughts below in light of broad claims made of transit systems, urban intensification, walkability and tall structures on urban form:

Now, test the two LRT reports you presented here with their sweeping inferences against the search for proofs in the above thoughts.

Can you still bring the same conviction which you had when you published this article to your conversations on transit planning and urban development in Hamilton?

If you still can, then it only means that I will have to work much harder to convince you :) But, if you cannot - then it may well be the beginnings of some very tempered and truly transformative conversations on this forum - which take into account such emerging realities:

“We are in a new normal now when it comes to new programs...We are in an era now of prioritization and rationalization - Good programs don’t cut it. They have to be great programs.~ Brad Duguid, Economic Development Minister

Thank you Jason for maintaining your sense of humour thru all of this, while a few others on this forum are choosing to crash and burn by clinging on to the weight of false notions of proof.

"...Thus he thinks that the 'proof' indubitably establishes the truth of the naive conjecture, that its certainty is beyond doubt. But his 'certainty' is far from being a sign of success, it is only a symptom of lack of imagination, of conceptual poverty. It produces smug satisfaction and prevents the growth of knowledge..."

~ Proofs And Refutations, The Logic of Mathematical Discovery, Imre Lakatos

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-07 19:02:48

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 22:12:37 in reply to Comment 72831

Thx Mahesh. A few points. First off, I only made it through 4 of the links. It's late so perhaps I'll try the long, tiny-font studies another time. Too much for me right now. lol However, in all honesty, I find nothing earth-shattering about the 'vacancy rates in walkable neighbourhoods':

  • walkable neighbourhoods usually include a range of housing - condos, apartments, flats, houses etc.... non-walkable areas are usually all single homes or townhomes. Find me a typical sprawl development in Hamilton that isn't 100% occupied 100% of the time. Urban neighbourhoods always have the ebb and flow of renters and sub-renters. I could make a big deal about them randomly picking 20 cities, but it doesn't matter. Walkable, urban neighbourhoods will always have higher vacancy rates than suburban areas.

San Diego condo market: - welcome to the USA. This is true of San Diego's condo market, San Fran's condo+suburban market, and virtually every cities housing market in the past several years. There are entire low-density housing tracts in many US cities that are completely abandoned right now.

Do we need Vancouver? - maybe not, but everyone is better off due to the fact that we've had Vancouver the past 20 years. They continually rank high in quality of life and have a robust housing market. - meeting on the 3rd, 6th and upper floors?? Sorry to whoever wrote that, but it ain't gonna happen. Interaction should take place on the street, not some artificial games room on the 17th floor.

I've lived in Portland and have seen the transformation of many neighbourhoods and the city as a whole on the backs of LRT. There's a reason commercial streets (akin to our Ottawa or Locke) are literally fighting each other over who can get LRT next.

Flex zoning and relaxed regulations are necessary to see the benefits of LRT come to fruition, but to argue that LRT requires some subsidy to make it work is a moot point - check out the subsidy required to make sprawl work. At least LRT results in dense development which can actually make money for a city instead of draining it like sprawl does.

Cheers

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 08:12:15

There seemed to be some concern about a mantainance yard on the line. I was looking at and thinking it could go at Emerald and King behind the old CAA building. Also maybe corner of Wentworth by the school. Or how about part of Scott Parks reno. Failing that what about the old Siemens plant, or at eastgate and beyond.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 12:16:57 in reply to Comment 72847

Also, I think they could find a suitable spot down near the new James North GO Station.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 11:04:10

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Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-01-09 11:04:24

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 18:28:32

There is no reason to HAVE to put a maintance facility and the end of the LRT line. A mtce. spur at Scott Park or any other area would be perfectly acceptable and workable.

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By banned user (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 19:29:52

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Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2013-04-23 17:43:45

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 19:58:11 in reply to Comment 72874

Scott Park is our most visible facility to non-residents?? I hope that's not true. A decades-long empty school can't be doing much for our image.

By the way, I noticed fencing being installed all around Scott Park last week. Anyone know what's up?? The Cats' new parking lot?

Comment edited by jason on 2012-01-09 19:58:42

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By Ivor Wynn Stadium (anonymous) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 15:49:56 in reply to Comment 72878

For better or worse Ivor Wynn Stadium gets the most national exposure for the city through CFL broadcasts

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 23:56:55 in reply to Comment 72878

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Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-10 00:03:20

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 02:22:29

Here are the Site Options Review Presentation Panels with detailed site plans for the Toronto Transit Commission’s LRV Fleet Maintenance & Storage (M&S) Facility.

A study of the plans of these six sites shortlisted here - and the decision making process involved -(scaled down appropriately to local LRV size & carparking needs)- should give people here a better idea of the size, scope and complexity in site-selection and planning of this facility. The location of this critical component of the transit system will have a direct bearing on the operational and financial sustainability of the LRT system being designed for Hamilton.

The decision to build and operate an HSR (M&S) facility on the far end of Upper James did have a significant impact on the operations and sustainability of the HSR system. I am sure the city has learned from this and hence will be extra cautious in locating the LRV M&S facilities more strategically.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-10 02:30:17

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 13:29:08

Now, what's most intriguing to me at this point is that something I mentioned previously, elsewhere on this site, the 'double figure-8' concept for LRT...may very well provide a solution to this diabolical conundrum known as 'Where To Put The Maintenance Yard'. More news on this as it develops.

In the meantime, how's this for an option that sits outside the only two I've been able to come up with at either end of the proposed B-line route: West Harbour.

Think of it: you'd have a northbound path down Bay, potentially opening up this feeder area, maybe even connecting to the James Street North GO terminal, to boot.

No, it wouldn't be at a terminus, the suggested supposed requirement, but it would take advantage of vacant land, be 'out of the way', and there's already a shunting yard there, so surely this wouldn't be too great an inconvenience to have it located there. And imagine; it would take care of the need to remediate to the extent that residential development would.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-01-10 14:06:28

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 09:58:53 in reply to Comment 72917

While I'm not sure what this "double figure-8" concept is (and would like to learn more) I will say that your idea of a West Harbour location is slightly intriguing.

I wouldn't want to waste prime waterfront land on something as boring as an LRT yard, but it would be close to the LRT routes, it would provide a "station" (hopefully) on the waterfront, and as you noted we won't have to remediate the land quite as much.

Maybe we could partner with a private developer and put a commercial/residential building on stilts above the maintenance yard? They don't need much vertical clearance for LRT maintenance, do they?

A hotel on the waterfront would be nice.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 13, 2012 at 14:33:34 in reply to Comment 72990

While I'm not sure what this "double figure-8" concept is (and would like to learn more)...

I'm still waiting. Patiently. I've spoken to the Efficiency Manager on this project...but he's deaf...and so I wait. However it gets received, I believe it'll prompt some intriguing discussion.

I wouldn't want to waste prime waterfront land on something as boring as an LRT yard...

Well, this is a discussion in itself. Value has been placed on this land by some. (By others, it's not ever thought of.) Now, one group was eager for this land to be used for a stadium. Which probably wouldn't interest many more Hamiltonians than currently place a value on a stadium, period. At the same time, a maintenance yard has to go somewhere. And, if the value of LRT is as great as its proponents say it is, then isn't the 'sacrifice' of WH land to make LRT possible, a worthy one? Or is WH sacrosanct?

Maybe we could partner with a private developer and put a commercial/residential building on stilts above the maintenance yard?

I don't know...but I love the fact that you're thinking against the grain. One of the aspects of Town Hall Hamilton that I'd love to explore is a 'Charrette Tour'. Because for good reasons, I don't believe Hamiltonians have been imagining what their city could be. And I believe that we must. We must actively start imagining our city, especially our downtown- Hmm... Because I've already 'mystoneycreek'd this thread, I'm going to stop there and probably post an article somewhere about all this.

A hotel on the waterfront would be nice.

I'm not sure who to believe about how many more hotel rooms we need. (If any) And I'm not an urban planner. So I'll leave that one alone.

But thanks for the comment!

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-01-13 15:04:20

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 14, 2012 at 09:48:44 in reply to Comment 73022

Because for good reasons, I don't believe Hamiltonians have been imagining what their city could be.

Actually they have been, but the movement apparently ran out of momentum.

In the Spectator's Hamilton Next series, guest columnists are invited to look into the future and highlight opportunities and challenges for the city.

However, if folks keep plugging away at IT like mystoneycreek, we might build up the necessary steam.

Get a liiiiiife with the dreamer's dream!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 14, 2012 at 07:54:52 in reply to Comment 73022

One of the aspects of Town Hall Hamilton that I'd love to explore is a 'Charrette Tour'.

And for anyone who's interested, here's the link:

http://townhallshamilton.blogspot.com/20...

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 13:35:52

Here's an idea. Drop Ivor Wynne, and Scott Park, put the LRT maintenance facility there and build the damn stadium at West Harbour where the city preferred it to go until "Caretaker Bob" hijacked a public process and completely screwed the entire thing up.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 15:30:36

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Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-10 16:59:24

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 17:49:04 in reply to Comment 72933

Yes, why not in wards one or two... I propose Barton and Tiffany

Comment edited by seancb on 2012-01-10 17:53:59

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 21:02:48 in reply to Comment 72941

Barton and Tiffany could work. There's that large area behind Fortinos, between King and Main and the 403. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it could be an option.
The CP Yard on Aberdeen could be an option as Mahesh mentioned, along with something further west in the Rifle Range Rd area?
I'm with Ryan - we build the system where it will have it's best chance to succeed, and then locate the yard in a proper location. We are coming up with several decent options just off the top of our heads, and of course our yard won't be nearly as busy or big as Toronto's, even when future expansion is considered.

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By R Don Lyres (anonymous) | Posted January 13, 2012 at 12:35:56 in reply to Comment 72949

The open area behind Fortinos Plaza on Dundurn is a giant Combined Sewer Overflow Storage Tank, one of seven in the city, that acts as a buffer to sequester large amounts of rainwater/sewage following rainstorms.

Temporarily storing the combined effluent in these tanks makes it possible to treat this huge volume of polluted water at the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant in the days following the storm.

Previous to the installation of these, when rainwater from large storms overwhelmed the sewer system, this combined effluent would have been dumped directly into the harbour and Cootes.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2012 at 07:21:33 in reply to Comment 72949

Barton and Tiffany could work.

I'm interested in hearing creative opinions on this. Because in the end, if there's a design that works, if there's funding available, this conundrum must be solved. And something is going to have to give. Either land is going to have to be expropriated, or some inventive approaches are going to have to be implemented. (I am not confident that this is a 'sure thing' coming from City Hall, so put on your thinking caps, people!) But odds are that there's going to be a clamour against it, because it's going to affect someone. But to just shrug and say 'We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it' strikes me as what tends to go on at Council waaaaaay too much. Surely we're better than that.

There's that large area behind Fortinos, between King and Main and the 403. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it could be an option.

I doubt it. Firstly, it's in a gully. Secondly, it's not big enough. And isn't that whole Dundurn/Main/King/403 area a bad enough situation as it is...?

The CP Yard on Aberdeen could be an option as Mahesh mentioned, along with something further west in the Rifle Range Rd area?

I'm assuming you're talking about the stretch on either side of Main, here?

http://tiny.cc/62ljb

I don't have a grasp of its size, how it's zoned, whether it's large enough for what's required, but it's actually a site that Mahesh brought up to me months ago.

I'm with Ryan - we build the system where it will have it's best chance to succeed, and then locate the yard in a proper location.

I'm going to modify my reaction here for the sake of propriety and decorum: We can't simply shrug and say 'We'll jump off that bridge when we get to it'. That strikes me as what tends to go on at Council waaaaaay too much, the kind of behaviour that's bemoaned athletically on this very site.

Surely we're better than that.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-01-11 07:41:33

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 15:53:13 in reply to Comment 72933

And yet...even if the 'worst' thing happens in someone's neighbourhood:

http://www.thestar.com/videozone/939898

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 11, 2012 at 21:47:14

How about sticking it at the old Feista Mall site. Lots of room there.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2012 at 05:48:57 in reply to Comment 72984

How about sticking it at the old Feista Mall site. Lots of room there.

Actually, there isn't. Nowhere near enough for the size of a maintenance yard.

Besides: the cost of appropriation.

Besides: this is in a rich residential area. Good luck with fighting that battle.

Besides: this takes us a good mile beyond Eastgate. What's the additional cost for this extension?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 15, 2012 at 11:23:14

My thinking is the eventual plan was to run it all the way to the end of stoneycreek, so why not before that area over develops.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2012 at 11:52:15 in reply to Comment 73049

... to the end of stoneycreek...

Huh?

Where is 'the end of Stoney Creek', anyway? Is this Winona? Where the Great Fifty Road Development is going in?

Or does it end just east of Fruitland Road...until that's developed?

Regardless, think of the cost per kilometer that you're talking to extend the proposed LRT system another 10+Km.

Never mind the fact that when you do this, when you extend something like LRT to the 'outlying' areas', areas that have not yet been fuckled-over by developers, you essentially make the conflagration that much more possible. In fact, you guarantee it.

And seeing as I'm in this mode...when AEGD doesn't go forward and the clamour begins for all this speculated land to be re-zoned 'Residential', will we be putting an LRT route though all those neighbourhoods, to somehow reverse-rationalize everything?

The really sad thing is that if we hadn't had amalgamation shoved down our throats, most of these issues would not be on the table. Hamilton would be looking at an entirely construct of development (more downtown) and associated transit needs.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2012-01-15 11:53:07

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2012 at 07:04:48

And seeing as this thread has reached its theoretical life-span:

http://mystoneycreek.blogspot.com/2012/0...

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