Comment 120744

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted February 11, 2017 at 11:35:58

This story is all so familiar I and others went through this twice with our LRT process in Ottawa. Eventually, the city of Hamilton will get to one clear and defining point. Do you build or not? Attention to grandstanding local politicians, either get behind the LRT or offer something better, just don't keep boring us with NO, not this plan, not this idea, its too expensive. Any project like an LRT line, which will greatly change the city its located in, usually is expensive. You can't simply choose the same situation here to continue forever, its not working! Simply saying NO is just not good enough, things have to change, RIGHT NOW, while we have the chance!

This process, good or bad, has got the LRT project and everyone else to the point that the LRT is at the Request For Qualification stage (RFQ). Next, the real LRT proposals that will actually get built are shown, the RFP stage, those proposals will have to be worked on for about a year by the groups that win the RFQ. This is the time when nerves are most frayed because all anybody whom is for the project can really do is wait for the coming proposals and everyone who is against the project has a better part of a year to spew to everyone that no matter what is proposed it will never be good enough. Oh yes, there is a provincial and municipal election during that time as well.

Point is that, preaching to the converted at this moment, most of the people who regularly visit this site for example, is useless as is trying to convince the most opposed to this project, some of which also visit this site. The vast majority, those whom don't follow municipal or provincial politics between elections and generally just live and get on with own their lives and pay scant attention to things like municipal politics and LRT are the ones you need to go after. That should be your primary task and you need to remember that you need to run this marathon for the next year and a half and it is a marathon.

Most of your current arguments are about why LRT is good and why it was chosen over other types of rapid transit (BRT, Light Subways and Metro's, Full scale Subways and Metros, even Monorails). Most of these current arguments are only highly meaningful for people who have some understanding of urban development and planning. Now you have to tell the majority of the public of Hamilton why Hamilton needs LRT and most likely what LRT really is. Don't use the rapid transit is good for the environment stuff, you need to tell them why this LRT in Hamilton is better than the status quo and most likely what's currently wrong with the status quo. Avoid concept arguments like urban good & suburban bad, avoid topics smart growth and higher density development opportunities or anything to do with good urban planning and development topics for that matter. They need to understand at a simple level why saying yes is to LRT is good for them.

I once used these lines. No one single LRT line or any rapid transit line for that matter, is going to eliminate all traffic from all roads in the entire city, that just won't happen. What LRT does is allow in the area where it is built is to make the area a better place to be in, definitely more efficient operationally and it allows you to do more of everything, with more people, in the same amount of space, without having to tare down and gut the entire community. Building ever longer and wider roads and then have to tare down more of the community, to have bigger and bigger parking lots, along with those roads just isn't the way to go anymore. large corporations are abandoning traditional office parks for downtowns with LRT because they can get their staff to work without having to build massive parking lots and structures that they have to pay for and cost a fortune to maintain. In fact with LRT, the roads stay the same size more or less and the place becomes more humane in the process. It becomes the place people want to be not where they have to be. Whether they are working, playing or just living there. Its not just about moving transit passengers more efficiently from place to place with public transit.

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