Comment 30109

By LL (registered) - website | Posted April 14, 2009 at 08:29:19

Burgermeister Meisterburger:

Thanks for your skepticism. But I have to conclude that you're contradicting yourself. First you say that Hamilton is different because it's politically amalgamated with its suburban and rural hinterlands. Then you say it's different because it's low density. Obviously, the two facts are not unrelated: the 450/KM2 population density figure for Hamilton includes the rural areas that have been amalgamated. I was unable to find the population density for Hamilton's lower city (where the LRT B-Line will actually be), but I'm sure it's not too different from either Sheffield or Portland.

I've never understood the argument that transit won't work as well in Canada because it's big. What does the distance between Winnipeg and Medicine Hat have to do with someone's daily trip across Hamilton? Most of my travel in Canada (Hamilton, where I live) is by bicycle. My main problem isn't distance, but bad planning. If I need to borrow a car to go to Moose Jaw, I'm sure having decent transit options in Hamilton won't stop that.

I would argue that a high energy output for inter-city travel would add even more imperative for making intra-city travel as efficient as possible.

Blue line? Do you mean the B-line? Yes, it is successful. In fact it's badly overcrowded. It desparately needs added capacity. There are various arguments being forwarded that LRT, rather than bus-only lanes, is the best way to do that. I was skeptical of LRT when the idea was first floated. But I've since been convinced.

Another thing: you missed probably the most important similarity between Hamilton and Sheffield. It has the same experience with de-industrialization in the steel sector.

Yes, Sheffield and Portland have the advantage of being the only big cities in their respective areas. Yes, Hamilton is near Toronto, which reduces its relative "gravity". But the GTA is widely understood to be at capacity. Not much more sprawl is in the cards. And Hamilton is the only place in the area where people can potentially access the civic use-values of downtown TO for a much lower COL.

With expanded GO service and LRT, densifying downtown Hamilton would be a piece of cake.

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