Comment 65066

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted June 22, 2011 at 16:52:52 in reply to Comment 65064

You're flinching in the absence of a punch.

I wasn't in any way attacking 'suburban' counsellors, just identifying the fact that they constitute a majority vote on any issue. LRT would immediately impact the lower city, Wards 1-5, so in theory you'd need to bring at least three other councillors around to advance the cause. That statement is not "blame" any more than it is "wrong." It's just the reality of Hamilton's ward system.

The picture is complicated by the fact that Hamiltonians, like most other North Americans, would like to have a premium grade of services without having to experience any tax discomforts. If the HSR tripled the service volume in mountain wards, it would need to pay for that somehow, and even with gas tax revenues allocated to the challenge (rather than road maintenance) you might still experience a minor tax levy. Which makes the proposition politically untenable. That's what I mean by "tax-averse."

As to "phobic when it comes to bold projects," council is still stinging from the Pan Am Stadium debate, and the Red Hill project was a civic Vietnam. LRT has been described as a once-a-century opportunity to advance city building. As any student of Hamilton history will attest, the precedents for that kind of thing do not bode particularly well.

So once again, for anyone who cares to listen: Transit champions have their work cut out for them

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