Comment 35206

By jason (registered) | Posted November 09, 2009 at 21:31:00

Folks in the North End didn't like the Pier 8 stadium location idea from a few years ago and I agree with them. However, the Rheem plant isn't in the North End and is very accessible from major downtown streets, transit lines and utilizes empty, ugly brownfields in the urban core. That alone is a miracle considering Hamilton's consulants and aerotropolis fans constantly tell us that there are no brownfields in the lower city.

I'm also pleased that the Pan Am committee wields some power here and that the decision isn't up to Hamilton council completely. You'll recall it was these crazy ideas about Confederation Park, the east Mountain and airport which caused Peterson and the Pan Am folks to say "get with the program and step into the 21st Century and use the harbourfront location." There's a reason the Pontiac Silverdome is sitting out in the middle of nowhere for sale and nobody wants to buy it, while Detroit's sports teams play downtown. It's really a no-brainer. For once, our mega brownfields close to downtown will actually benefit us IF we design the stadium and surrounding site properly with great walking and transit connections to the waterfront, James North and downtown.

Regarding LRT, I'd hope that the city gets the B-Line done BEFORE Pan Am. We'd be the first city ever to delay a critical infrastructure project like LRT until after hosting a mega sporting event. Every other city on the planet speeds things up in order to get projects like LRT done before the games. Let's hope we won't try to be different and lag once again.

A few other ideas:

  • the proposed James North GO Station might want to be moved to the Tiffany/Stuart area.
  • the A-Line may want to be routed north on James, west on Cannon, north on Bay and then west on Shaeffe into the Pan Am site and run straight north to the Tiffany/Stuart area along the eastern edge of the stadium, with a stop right at the stadium of course. The line can then run straight east on Stuart to James and continue north to Pier 8. This routing connects with the new GO/VIA station suggested at Stuart/Tiffany and also serves James North well. It is a 5 minute walk from Cannon to Stuart. That would place a pedestrian in the middle of that zone on James North no more than a 2.5 minute walk from an LRT stop and still allows James North to be closed down for special events etc.....

I'd love to hear other ideas/suggestions. I took a gander at Google Earth and street view to see how this routing would work. Do the same and fill this blog discussion with good, urban plans that might be of use to the city. As Ryan wrote, we really have a chance to do something great for the long term. We only get to build these projects once so we need to get it right the first time.

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