Comment 115189

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted November 27, 2015 at 15:29:25

1 -- Personally: I agree with Nicholas that the motion is ridiculous, in its current exact wording.

2 -- That said: I have to take a nuanced "glass-half-full" view in how to respond to this.

Here are some points:

  • Waterloo ION LRT starts up by end of 2017, and Ottawa Confederation LRT starts up 2018. We will see one or two Toronto LRTs start up firt too (e.g. Finch West). This will expose Hamilton to the existence of modern LRTs, and change the discussion atmosphere.

  • During the September 23 meeting, it was mentioned that this would be a rolling construction. This suggests that many sections of LRT won't see construction till 2021 or 2022. This is consistent with what we see in Kitchener-Waterloo LRT construction, some sections had no evidence of planned LRT until just 2 years prior to completion.

  • There's a wide range of years between now and 2023 that sections of street networks can be converted.

  • There are compensatory actions we can do. It's possible to productively advocate the city for traffic simulations to happen ASAP, even outside the context of LRT but in generic "keep traffic flowing while sections of Lower City are generically shutdown" context -- and have answers as soon as next year to allow recommendations to happen.

  • As seen in construction in other cities, several streets are not going to see construction for another 7 years, which is literally 2 election cycles away: There are healthy energies we'll be focussing on.

We definitely have a lot of work to convince the city and population of doing the right thing on reformulating the Lower City streets incrementally. We can't wait 7 years and, suddenly, at the last minute, panic about street changes. It's easier to do it now incrementally, without the moratorium.

But if we unavoidably must deal with the moratorium, it absolutely should have a sunset clause (~1 year) and relinquish traffic decision making of the LRT corridor completely to the LRT team (including all 1-way and 2-way decisions, unhindered by councillors, while considering the results of the traffic simulations (that Jason Thorne told me about), and the capacity-versus-speed perspective). These minor changes may turn this ridiculous motion into a palatable compromise. I do get the sense, Terry, may not be amenable to this; but it is an otherwise relatively small wording change, in theory. Rather than being stuck in this moratorium for, say, 5-7 years.

Imagine, amazing indeed, that just a mere few-word change (e.g. 1-year sunset clause & traffic planning relinquishment clause to let LRT team replan the Lower City traffic network) to the moratorium, may cause some of us to end up agreeing or tolerating it.

North-south Lower City Streets, have mostly very little opposition. Even 1-way Main advocates that some of us may disagree with, are often pro-North-South-2-way (Allan Taylor, the treasurer of the Sherman Hub community meetings -- for example, is pro 2-way for north-south streets.) Some of us us famously disagree with him on certain elements on Hamilton urbanization and topics (disagreeing on LRT), but we personally have no disagreement on north-south streets and apparently we agree many should become 2-way immediately, independently and irregardless of LRT! I ask a genuine rheoretical question for people to think: How does this motion on the moratorium consider this?

There is simultaneously "not much time" and "plenty of time" depending on point of view. Representing a wide variety of Hamilton residents on both sides of the Escarpment, with very diverse views (elements that I may not always agree with, but must take into consideration!) --

For myself, I necessarily take the glass-half-full view. We'll have deal with obstacles like these in a positive approach. It creates more work for our advocacy organization, especially as I have to represent the views of a wide variety of Hamilton for our advocacy organization. Unfortunately, I expected motions similar to this to happen. That said, we are prepared to face these challenges.

On a related note; we're making a presentation at the next LRT sub-committee meeting to introduce our advocacy organization at 3:30pm on Nov 30 (agenda with my name). Please Note -- Our presentation isn't about this topic or motion on the moratorium -- the presentation agenda/plan predates this particular recent discussion

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-11-27 16:59:46

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