Comment 98167

By (registered) | Posted March 03, 2014 at 21:22:44

To Mr. Janitor, I believe that you, as much as anyone else in this conversation wants rapid transit - of some kind. However, it appears to me that the difference between you and those who support (and actively fight for ) LRT is that you have given up the fight and waved the white flag. You are willing to settle for the second best option for Hamilton. Maybe BRT is better for some communities but not here. Studies have proven it, the public has been consulted and supports it as does council, the Chamber of Commerce, McMaster etc. Because a few ill-informed, uninformed or actively mis-informed (thank you, His Worship, the Mayor) people take up space in the Spec is in no way representative of community support. Frankly, I'm surprised that the Spec published some anti-LRT letters and Op-Ed pieces that are based on false information or as you say, trying to create a 'wedge issue' (especially since their own editorials support LRT). At the first sign of any oppositions, some councillors have chosen to head for the hills. Good. I hope they stay there. That is not leadership.

Kevlahan, McGreal and many others, myself included, won't capitulate to ignorance of the facts and whining naysayers and settle for a system, that, as pointed out numerous times, will do little to encourage development and will cost more to operate (which we will be on the hook for). The fact that we are still debating this is a testament to the leadership vacuum and timid council members without the intestinal fortitude to stand by their earlier convictions. Sad but true. The Province is handing the City a tool that will not only help move people efficiently, but even more important, help Hamilton grow and develop. Those parochial-types in the suburbs who complain that it is only for 'downtown' are sadly missing the point. What is good about being smug and comfy in your enclave in the 'burbs while your downtown collapses? "You can't be a suburb of nothing" to quote Oklahoma Mayor Mick Cornett. Helping the core is helping all Hamilton, including all of the amalgamated Hamilton. Whatever happened to the 'common good'? Instead of constantly being negative, why not convert your passion and anger in to helping spread positive, accurate information and rationale for LRT. Clearly you have put some time and energy into this. We need you on the front lines, not retreating to the safety and comfort of a compromise position (and a poor one at that).

A second thing. You called Ryan out for what you felt was a snarky comment: "Finally, the conversation is where it is today because an enormous amount of work has already gone into researching and developing the city's plans - work that you conveniently ignore when you call for us to consider an option that was already studied closely and rejected as an inferior alternative." To be fair, you did not mention it either by neglect, oversight or intent. Ryan may have attributed motives to your comments but never the less, if 'snark' was intended, it is way less snarky than your subsequent comment: "No kidding, LRT is better, duh... thanks for pointing that out to me". So let it go.

FInally, I question the pedigree of the study you provided. LRT supporters want a system that is best for Hamilton, and at one point BRT and LRT were compared side-by-side, (again LRT won hands down). Your use of studies with possible hidden agendas does cast suspicion. I did some digging into the history of ITDB. In the past, it has partnered with the Transportation Research Board, which itself has an interesting history that nowhere includes any mention rapid transit. In fact, there are numerous references to pavement, asphalt, highways etc. You can guess why they support anything with three different letters - namely BRT. (see excerpt below)

History TRB was established in 1920 as the National Advisory Board on Highway Research to provide a mechanism for the exchange of information and research results about highway technology. Renamed the Highway Research Board (HRB) in 1925 … In 1974 the Highway Research Board became the Transportation Research Board. Since then, TRB’s portfolio of services has expanded significantly … of ongoing research programs such as the Long-Term Pavement Performance studies. More recent additions have included new cooperative research programs in airports, freight, and hazardous materials transportation, and the second Strategic Highway Research Program.

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