A letter from the executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce calls on Stoney Creek Councillors to support a Bay Street LRT station at Council.
By Ryan McGreal
Published February 20, 2017
Arnie Strub, executive director of the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce, has written to Stoney Creek and Glanbrook Councillors Brenda Johnson, Doug Conley and Maria Pearson calling on Council to approve a motion asking Metrolinx to add a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station at Bay Street.
Councillors at last Wednesday's General Issues Committee (GIC) voted 9-6 to reject a proposal to add an LRT station at Bay Street. That vote still has to be ratified by Council this Wednesday, so there is an opportunity for Councillors to change their votes.
Strub writes that he was "surprised and dismayed that the councillors representing Stoney Creek have voted against the sub-committee's unanimous recommendation to add a Bay Street stop to the B-Line project."
Listing a number of benefits from a Bay station, the letter concludes, "An LRT line without a Bay Street stop would seem to be going against the original mandate of the project; to enhance business development and to encourage transit use."
According to a staff report on the possible Bay station, which was proposed by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce during a recent LRT public consultation period, the station is feasible. The construction cost will be approximately $2.6 million, funded by Metrolinx as part of the capital cost, and the station will have minimal impact on travel time.
A station at Bay will increase LRT access to the downtown and encourage redevelopment of several surface parking lots adjacent to the intersection, increasing property tax revenue for the City.
If Council approves the motion, Metrolinx will then evaluate the request to ensure it fits within the funding envelope and provides good value for money.
The motion asking for a Bay station was approved unanimously at the LRT Subcommittee but defeated 9-6 at last week's GIC meeting. Here are the votes at GIC:
For: Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Ward 1 Councillor Aidan Johnson, Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr, Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green, Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla, Ward 8 Councillor Terry Whitehead
Against: Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins, Ward 6 Councillor Tom Jackson, Ward 7 Councillor Donna Skelly, Ward 9 Councillor Doug Conley, Ward 10 Councillor Maria Pearson, Ward 11 Councillor Brenda Johnson, Ward 12 Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek and Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge
Following is the text of the letter from Arnie Strub:
As a sitting advisory member of the LRT sub-committee, I am surprised and dismayed that the councillors representing Stoney Creek have voted against the sub-committee's unanimous recommendation to add a Bay Street stop to the B-Line project.
I ask that you reconsider your position and vote in favour of adding a Bay Street stop at the next available GIC or full council opportunity, for the following reasons:
1. Destination Location
Bay Street is the destination stop for major events, all year long, at these venues: FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Place, Convention Centre, Art Gallery of Hamilton
2. Tourist Location
Bay Street would be the on/off stop to service business and pleasure tourists staying at the major hotels in the downtown core, specifically the Sheraton and Homewood Suites.
3. Business Location
Bay Street would be the on/off stop to service the following major businesses and employers:
Hamilton City Hall
Government of Ontario offices
Government of Canada offices
Standard Life Building (120 King Street West) and Jackson Square Shopping Centre
McMaster University, David Braley Health Sciences Centre
An LRT line without a Bay Street stop would seem to be going against the original mandate of the project; to enhance business development and to encourage transit use.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I am available for follow up discussions at your earliest convenience.
Arnie Strub Executive Director, Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce
There is still time for Council to change its vote and approve the Bay station request. Please take a moment to send a polite message to Council asking them to reconsider their vote against this important line improvement.
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