Comment 105383

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 15, 2014 at 12:07:50 in reply to Comment 105373

The "math and science" references are just rhetorical devices. There is nothing wrong with the math or science, but the author disputes the assumptions, specifically:

  1. That LRT would lead to significant growth in transit use.

  2. That LRT would lead to significant new development.

  3. That Hamilton is dense enough or has a big enough population to warrant LRT.

  4. That LRT would generate additional net operating revenues for the HSR.

This is not a question of Newton's laws, or the fundamental theorem of calculus, but arguments over whether Hamilton is sufficiently similar to cities with successful LRT systems, and whether the successes of these cities is actually due to LRT (at least in part) or to something else. He also doesn't consider the fact that Hamilton would not be paying the capital costs.

He charges that all the reports are full of false claims, incorrect calculations and outright falsification. I'm not sure what "ideology" means, but perhaps he thinks of this as part of the "war on cars".

The four points above have been addressed here numerous times, and the charges that the various reports on Hamilton's LRT are false are in fact arguments over how well-justified the projections are and questions of value (e,g, he thinks we should also include the cost of increasing motor vehicle congestion, assumes that Hamilton will not change significantly over the next 30 years, and that LRT will not change the attractiveness of land along the line to developers).

I can't help thinking that a former Hamilton traffic engineer from the 1970s and 1980s is really mostly concerned about shifting our transportation network away from private vehicles and towards transit and complete streets, and that he also seems to believe that the decline in the city he witnessed (and presumably led him to leave for the west coast) is inevitable.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2014-10-15 12:23:39

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