Comment 71938

By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted December 06, 2011 at 15:34:08

Getting more people out of their cars and onto bikes or walking requires three things, First, a fully integrated transportation system that gives preferential weight to transit, pedestrians and bicyclists as opposed to cars. In Hamilton these are always substandard "add-ons" and after-thoughts that always play second fiddle to the car and literally take decades to accomplish; witness the CP bridge link over the 403 and the disjointed rail trail connection through Fortino's parking lot. Yet, the HCA was able to secure the entire TH&B right of way from Ewen Road to Brantford with little difficulty in an infinitely shorter period.

Second, a recognition that Hamilton is a city divided by an escarpment that poses not just a challenge but, essentially, a barrier to all of the three mentioned modes of transportation for half of our population. Get people up and down the mountain whether on transit, bicycle or on foot and you revolutionize transportaion in our city. A modern version of the incline railway would be cost-effective and virtually pollution free. How many more people would get out of their cars if they could just get up and down the mountain?

And third, political leadership. Leadership ISN'T favouring one approach over another because it will get you re-elected nor is it about constantly wetting one's finger to feel the political winds in one's ward. It's about leading, taking a position because it's the right thing to do. That's why we have a representative democracy instead of democracy by referendum. Voters actually appeciate someone who has the courage to shape our city for the future as opposed to having it shaped by a vocal minority that's stuck in the past. (remember the predictions of doom surounding the return to two-way streets?)

Anyone for term limits?

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