Comment 111783

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted May 27, 2015 at 09:56:18 in reply to Comment 111779

My experience in giving many HLR presentations on LRT to a wide variety of stakeholder groups (BIAs, neighbourhood associations, Rotary Clubs, Realtors, Builders, McMaster Students Union, church groups, the Chamber, ...) is that once the case is made for LRT and it is compared directly to the alternatives, and people discuss the options, the vast majority agrees that LRT is the best option for Hamilton's B-line. Especially when the Province is paying 100% of the direct capital costs!

Every single group I talked to ended up ended up endorsing LRT (sometimes after further private discussions)!

I saw the same thing when I was part of the RTCAC and attended various outreach events the Rapid Transit team organized. They, again, found over 80% supported LRT.

Unfortunately, the Rapid Transit team and its outreach were halted four years ago, which means much of this outreach and explanation needs to be re-done and reinforced. But the experience of 2008-2011 shows that most reasonable people support LRT for Hamilton when they are presented with the evidence and alternatives.

I hope Metrolinx and the City will put a lot of resources into outreach and communication and that there is someone ready to respond to misinformation in the media.

One of the roles of the RTCAC was to identify and address concerns from the local community along the line (businesses and residents) and this will be vital during the detailed planning and construction stages. It would make sense to resurrect some sort of similar community-based advisory group for the rapid transit team.

But as the Spec editorial today pointed out, now our job is to make sure the project is as successful as it possibly can be.

As Ryan asked, what "public engagement" job will you do to ensure this $1 billion investment is a success supported by the community?

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-05-27 10:04:40

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