The Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects just sent a letter to Transport Minister Steven Del Duca calling on the Province to keep its funding commitment for LRT in Hamilton.
By RTH Staff
Published September 26, 2014
The Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects just sent a letter to Ontario Transport Minister Steven Del Duca to endorse Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) plan and call on the Province to keep its commitment to full capital funding.
Following is the text of the letter.
Dear Mr. Del Duca,
This letter is an endorsement by the Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects (HBSA) for a Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in Hamilton. We as an organization feel that LRT is the right decision with the greatest benefits for our city - this echoes the conclusions of the City of Hamilton's two-phase feasibility study that was unanimously endorsed by our city council.
New and projected development leading the way for LRT Currently Hamilton has over 20 new multiple residential developments in construction or planning stages within the city's core, representing approximately 1600 units.
This is an unprecedented number not seen in decades. These developments demonstrate a clear trend towards denser urban living - a trend that will be supported and made more successful by the access to expedient and convenient high quality transit afforded by an LRT line.
These developments are just the beginning of a projected 100,000 new Hamilton residents over the next 25 years. To accommodate this influx, LRT will encourage development and densification along its route within the city's built-up area. This supports many of the principles laid out in the province's Places to Grow strategy by:
- Revitalizing our downtown to become a vibrant and convenient centre,
- Curbing sprawl and protecting farmland and green spaces,
- Reducing traffic gridlock by improving access to a greater range of transportation options.
Investment in LRT is the best long-term fiscal decision The upfront costs of LRT are significant. However, both the City and the province have feasibility and benefits case studies on LRT that conclude it will generate a large net benefit in increased tax assessment.
As LRT encourages concentrated growth within its proximity, the expense of new public infrastructure will be greatly reduced as the need for new greenfield developments will also be reduced.
Furthermore, LRT has a lower per-passenger operating cost than alternatives such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or traditional buses. Long term, LRT has been demonstrated to be the investment with the best fiscal return for the future.
Hamilton has the commuting habits to support LRT today 70% of Hamiltonians live and work within the city. Among other regional cities provincially, that live-work balance is second on ly to Toronto at 80%.
As an LRT line will run directly through our largest job cluster (the downtown core), many of these intra-city commuters will be given a new commuting option that is fast, reliable, and more environmentally sustainable.
LRT will ensure Hamilton remains competitive and attractive to newcomers. As Hamilton's economy transitions from its predominantly industrial past, the city is emerging as a leader in healthcare and innovation with a diverse economy. We need to ensure we remain competitive, attracting new businesses and talent to our city and province.
An investment in LRT will send a clear message that Hamilton is serious about its future as a livable, sustainable, and economically vibrant centre. It is the hope of the HBSA that you will invest in Hamilton by approving provincial funding of an LRT line.
The Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects Executive
Drew Hauser, OAA (Chair)
Rebecca Beatty, OAA (Vice Chair)
Graham McNally, OAA (Treasurer)
Edward Winter, OAA (Secretary)
Agata Mancini, OAA Intern (Secretary)
CC: Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina, City of Hamilton Council Members, City of Hamilton MPPs
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