Comment 121216

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 12, 2017 at 07:04:12 in reply to Comment 121215

Are you ever going to return to the previous comments you posted where people responded to your claims, or are you just going to keep concern trolling and hope people don't notice?

First off, the only argument for LRT should be that it solves a problem with Hamilton's current transit plan.

No. Investment in rapid transit is long-term planning for future growth and development. If we only ever built things to solve current problems, we would never build anything.

building a train to fix infrastructure is easily shown to be about the worst possible way to tackle our infrastructure repair backlog

That is not the reason, but is is certainly a major benefit. If we turn the LRT money down, it will be spent anyway, only it will be spent somewhere else. We do not get to decide where to spend the money.

Why won't the province recognize Hamilton's true need and work together with us to allow us to spend the entire $1 billion on things we actually need?

What we need is a built form that allows the city to collect enough property tax revenue to pay the maintenance and lifecycle costs of its infrastructure. The only way to achieve that is to shift our built form toward more dense, close and accessible building forms served by higher order transit.

Even if we were allowed to take the $1 billion and pour it right into our infrastructure backlog, it would just buy us a few years. It would not do anything to change the structure of our city finances. It would be a pure waste of money.

It's also been pointed out that the reason the LRT is planned for King is because the infrastructure there is older than that under Main which would be a pretty corrupt way of planning a train line.

That is not the reason LRT is planned for King. It's planned for King because:

  • King has more residents living around it than Main, making LRT directly accessible to more people.

  • King has more development opportunity in the TOD corridor around the line than Main, which means more intensification and growth in our tax base.

  • This allows the Province to build a new dedicated train bridge across Highway 403, which will cost less than replacing the Main Street bridge to make it strong enough to support LRT.

  • Putting LRT on King means Main can continue to serve as a crosstown arterial for automobile traffic. If LRT was on Main, the narrowing of King through International Village would be a pinch point for traffic.

does the LRT solve Hamilton's current transit problems? That's the nub of the matter.

No, it's not. It's an investment in the next 25-50 years. Cities that don't plan ahead by investing in transit for growth end up in crisis. Look at Toronto, which added lots of intensification and additional people and jobs without investing in more rapid transit: epic traffic congestion and universal frustration. What you advocate is a reckless and irresponsible failure of planning.

Forget increased tax revenues, forget economic spinoffs, forget all that stuff.

Yes, it's true: if you choose to set aside all the benefits of a project, you are left with a project that has no benefits. And you sound ridiculous.

I can also make predictions about self-driving cars, electric buses, people choosing not to drive.

Self-driving cars still take up the same amount of space on the street as human-driven cars.

Electric buses still have a much lower passenger capacity than LRT, and are far less efficient, since they have to carry the weight of their batteries everywhere they go and have to recharge periodically.

People will only choose not to drive if there is a convenient, reliable, accessible alternative to driving. Which is where high quality rapid transit comes in.

The fact is HSR ridership is down,

Ridership dipped a bit in the past year due largely to the 18% fare increase over two years without any significant service increase.

there is unused capacity,

Not on the LRT corridor - there is still a regular problem with jammed buses and pass-bys.

and we should be focusing on a bike network since that's how millennials are getting around.

Millennials are getting around using a buffet of transportation options, including walking, biking, ridesharing and transit, especially rapid transit. This is not a competition between LRT and cycling - we need both, and they both support and reinforce each other. That is why Cycle Hamilton is a strong LRT supporter (and why they support adding an LRT station on Bay to connect with the Bay Street Cycle Track).

Ryan loves to point to the proposed Breadalbane cycling track. Dude; I can already ride my bike there and I can still go down Dundurn.

You may be willing to ride your bike on a street with no cycling infrastructure. So am I, for that matter - I've been a year-round mixed-traffic cyclist my entire life. We represent less than 1 percent of the public. The other 99+% do not and will not ride a bike on a street without protected cycling infrastructure.

In any case, the decision about Dundurn has not been finalized yet and there are lots of opportunities to ensure we end up with a cycling network that is better than the one we have today.

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