Comment 130488

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted January 14, 2020 at 15:15:30

As an independent Urban Planning Consultant, I have worked across the political and professional spectrums, with developers all the way over to community groups, other professional planning consulting firms, professional business groups and local governments. Hamilton's LRT financial approval reversal by the provincial government has all the hallmarks of a political and or professional score settlement.

Politically, this was a Liberal project, supported by the NDP, prefered by urban and or more progressive voters who wanted change. It was fought by generally Conservatives politicians and voters who were mostly but not all suburban, who wanted less complete or no change at all. Many of the so called BRT supporters on council and the local media will disappear now. They may make a brief resurfacing if and when the province's, Hamilton's Transit and Transportation Task Force does any public hearings.

What really surprised me about the public reaction of Hamilton's LRT Line was that many businesses, including the Hamilton Chamber OF Commerce was on the "pro LRT" side and still a small group of older voters and intrenched businesses were so able to use obvious political ties to the provincial Conservatives to slowly strangle, then kill such a popular project.

What needs to be done, is a listing and total amount of lost investment in Hamilton due to the cancellation of LRT. This total should be given in dollars and projects lost!. In Ottawa, the 2006 council vote that killed the North-South LRT project almost didn't happen because developers and business people got up and started stating how much money they and by association, the City of Ottawa was losing. Anti-LRT proponents official and unofficial at Ottawa's version of the Transit and Transportation Task Force (not provincial, all local) and the 2010 municipal election, were bombarded with those numbers of lost projects and costs, every time they publicly spoke in council or in media. This may take awhile but it's my feeling that, the true extent of the loss of the B-Line LRT Project will not be understood for a while especially, by the people who were against the project. Every project shelved and or canceled, every vacant lot which is now gas an advertisement for a new business and buildings on or near the line needs to be counted and if possible, recorded.

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