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raisethehammer
Apr 16, 2008, 11:22 PM
Ferguson writes back: "I agree public transit is important to Hamilton and my support of many enhancements in HSR service demonstrates that. However it must co-exist with the motoring pubic. To shut Main street down to two lanes for motorist is not practical or sustainable."

Him using the word 'sustainable' makes me want to barf.
Especially when his model of sustainability is a 5-lane Main Street.
What a joke. :koko:

coalminecanary
Apr 17, 2008, 1:40 AM
the tunnel is 175 million of that proposal, so eliminating that brings it down closer to 900 million. airport extension is like 250 million, so doing bayfront-limeridge (without a tunnel) AND mac to eastgate would be like 650 mil -- plus getting up claremont, so maybe 700 mil? WHAT A DEAL!

raisethehammer
Apr 17, 2008, 2:00 AM
I've got modern streetcar research that has trams able to climb an 8.5% grade as well as vehicles that operate with their pantograph lowered to a minimum height of 12 feet - short enough to fit under TH&B and the King St overpass.

AND they are light-weight vehicles that have capital costs at roughly $13-$17million per km to construct.
We CAN do this.

The press has been positive, the blogs have been positive. Keep writing letters!

Anyone see the great piece in the Spec today by the RTH editor?? awesome piece (no Goldfinger, I didn't write it. lol)

JT Jacobs
Apr 17, 2008, 3:18 AM
I've got modern streetcar research that has trams able to climb an 8.5% grade as well as vehicles that operate with their pantograph lowered to a minimum height of 12 feet - short enough to fit under TH&B and the King St overpass.

AND they are light-weight vehicles that have capital costs at roughly $13-$17million per km to construct.
We CAN do this.

The press has been positive, the blogs have been positive. Keep writing letters!

Anyone see the great piece in the Spec today by the RTH editor?? awesome piece (no Goldfinger, I didn't write it. lol)

Indeed, the Ryan McGreal piece was spectacular--probably the best piece I've ever read in the Spec.

In all honesty, we need more letters to the editor at the Spec. We need to bury them in an avalanche of letters that clamor for LRT. Two weeks ago I emailed the publisher and managing editor and asked them to do a profile of light rail. Suddenly we're seeing all kinds of press coverage of the issue. I'm not saying that my tiny email did anything, only that it adds up with others and reinforces certain editorial ideas at the Spec. Finally, if we don't say more, then we abdicate the field to the ignorati who love one-way streets, urban sprawl, and buses, and no speed limits, and et cetera.

raisethehammer
Apr 17, 2008, 11:13 AM
Indeed, the Ryan McGreal piece was spectacular--probably the best piece I've ever read in the Spec.

In all honesty, we need more letters to the editor at the Spec. We need to bury them in an avalanche of letters that clamor for LRT. Two weeks ago I emailed the publisher and managing editor and asked them to do a profile of light rail. Suddenly we're seeing all kinds of press coverage of the issue. I'm not saying that my tiny email did anything, only that it adds up with others and reinforces certain editorial ideas at the Spec. Finally, if we don't say more, then we abdicate the field to the ignorati who love one-way streets, urban sprawl, and buses, and no speed limits, and et cetera.


you're bang on.
your letter most certainly DID do something.
Along with the many others that have probably been coming in.
I can't wait for the meeting on May 1.

realcity
Apr 17, 2008, 11:51 AM
I don't think anyone is taking Ferguson seriously.... ever since he was oppossed to the Pesticide by-law and publicly commented he's didn't think it's harmful.

Now his moronic comments are even making regular Hamiltonians notice his intelligence level. A few letters to Ed in The Spec show this.

I agree, Fergusson using the word 'sustainable' is backwards. What he really wants more then anything is the status quo and for Hamilton to continue being the butt-end of every joke. Anything that advances Hamilton he's oppossed, so is Mitchell and McCarthy and Pearson is showing it now.

flar
Apr 17, 2008, 12:02 PM
I can't stand petty politics. Ancaster has been amalgamated, it won't be undone, get over it Ferguson, you live in Hamilton now.

the dude
Apr 17, 2008, 2:14 PM
Indeed, the Ryan McGreal piece was spectacular--probably the best piece I've ever read in the Spec.

what happens when the spec offers mcgreal a job?

incidentally, i agree that we shouldn't run a line all the way to the airport. that's a lot of extra track and there's no demand right now...which brings into question the whole idea of running lrt on upper james. don't have an answer for that one.

SteelTown
Apr 17, 2008, 2:18 PM
I think for the A-Line the LRT should be done in phases. Phase 1 waterfront to Mohawk, Phase 2 Mohawk to Rymal. Than Phase 3 from Rymal to Airport, I know the Airport in the past said they would be willing to help fund rapid transit to the Airport so maybe they could help Phase 3.

raisethehammer
Apr 17, 2008, 2:18 PM
what happens when the spec offers mcgreal a job?

incidentally, i agree that we shouldn't run a line all the way to the airport. that's a lot of extra track and there's no demand right now...which brings into question the whole idea of running lrt on upper james. don't have an answer for that one.

easy. turn it around at the mountain transit centre.
believe it or not, 27-upper james is the busiest route on the mountain.
LRT would be great along there.

I'd say Mohawk Rd could use one too.

If Mcgreal gets a job at the Spec he can infiltrate from within and put them out of business. lol

Jon Dalton
Apr 17, 2008, 2:49 PM
Marseille France - 8% grade, while accelerating fast and turning corners smooth
http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj194/jondalton/trip/marseilletram.jpg?t=1208483588


Surely the consultants and the decision makers in this process know that Hamilton is not unique in having railway underpasses and pedestrian walkways.

JT Jacobs
Apr 17, 2008, 3:06 PM
Implementing an Upper James line would probably transform that ribbon-fringe development-style street into something more urban in appearance. The commerce would change gradually.

I agree that adding a Mohawk line, say to Ancaster to Upper Kenilworth, or something, would be utterly brilliant for the upper city.

raisethehammer
Apr 17, 2008, 3:20 PM
Marseille France - 8% grade, while accelerating fast and turning corners smooth
http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj194/jondalton/trip/55080270.jpg
apologize for garbage quality, but you get the picture.

Surely the consultants and the decision makers in this process know that Hamilton is not unique in having railway underpasses and pedestrian walkways.


Hey, that looks like Hamilton!! Lol.

realcity
Apr 17, 2008, 5:10 PM
Implementing an Upper James line would probably transform that ribbon-fringe development-style street into something more urban in appearance. The commerce would change gradually.

I agree that adding a Mohawk line, say to Ancaster to Upper Kenilworth, or something, would be utterly brilliant for the upper city.

Mohawk would be nice but don't end it at Kenilworth, take into the Mohawk Sports Park.

Also I would like to the Main East West travel along Cannon for part of the route. Canon would really benefit from the economic spin off. But I'm also glad it's on Main... removing some of these streets might slow down the traffic and make the street livable.

DC83
Apr 17, 2008, 9:56 PM
^^ Mohawk line would be great, but I think it's totally necessary. Hopefully the city decides on it for the east-west mountain RT line. Meadowlands - Mohawk Sports Park. It would really transform the Meadowlands for the best!

If 2-way Main isn't possible, the 3 lanes of LRT & 2 lanes for east-bound traffic would be even better. IV has flourished b/c of the traffic slowing of King, so it will def work at Main... plus it'll have a sexy LRT!

FairHamilton
Apr 17, 2008, 10:59 PM
^^ Mohawk line would be great, but I think it's totally necessary. Hopefully the city decides on it for the east-west mountain RT line. Meadowlands - Mohawk Sports Park. It would really transform the Meadowlands for the best!

If 2-way Main isn't possible, the 3 lanes of LRT & 2 lanes for east-bound traffic would be even better. IV has flourished b/c of the traffic slowing of King, so it will def work at Main... plus it'll have a sexy LRT!

3 Lanes of LRT??? Are you against proper bicycle lanes???? How about 2 lanes for LRT, 1 for dedicated bicycle lane, and 2 lanes for cars.

Bike shorts on the right person can be sexy too you know...........

hamiltonguy
Apr 17, 2008, 11:36 PM
I think personally for the Mohawk LRT it should follow the route to Downtown rather than Mohawk Sports park.

I was thinking though that possibly it could have Two Branches.

Meadowlands to Sports Park and Chedoke Branch to East End.

DC83
Apr 18, 2008, 2:18 AM
3 Lanes of LRT??? Are you against proper bicycle lanes???? How about 2 lanes for LRT, 1 for dedicated bicycle lane, and 2 lanes for cars.

Bike shorts on the right person can be sexy too you know...........

hmm I dunno bout those shorts... But from the report it seemed like it was going to be 2 widened 'general purpose' lanes (driving), one lane for drop off/stations/platforms, the other 2 lanes for RT. But I think a bicycling lane should be worked in somehow for sure.

sbwoodside
Apr 18, 2008, 2:50 AM
the tunnel is 175 million of that proposal, so eliminating that brings it down closer to 900 million. airport extension is like 250 million, so doing bayfront-limeridge (without a tunnel) AND mac to eastgate would be like 650 mil -- plus getting up claremont, so maybe 700 mil? WHAT A DEAL!

Where did you get the $175m figure for the tunnel?

Also, it's not a big deal, but what's wrong with going up the jolley cut? It could turn left off of James at St Jo's, go up the cut, and then zip right back over to Upper James. The deviation from the prescribed A-Line route would be minimal, it seems like the deviation would be less than going up claremont.

Or is there another advantage to Claremont that I'm missing?

--simon

beanmedic
Apr 18, 2008, 3:28 AM
Where did you get the $175m figure for the tunnel?

Also, it's not a big deal, but what's wrong with going up the jolley cut? It could turn left off of James at St Jo's, go up the cut, and then zip right back over to Upper James. The deviation from the prescribed A-Line route would be minimal, it seems like the deviation would be less than going up claremont.

Or is there another advantage to Claremont that I'm missing?

--simon

The grade. I believe the Claremont Access is less steep than the Jolly Cut.

NuclearNerd
Apr 18, 2008, 4:48 AM
...which brings into question the whole idea of running lrt on upper james. don't have an answer for that one.

Mohawk College. Besides which, Lime Ridge Mall isn't the start and end of the world. There's lots of destination spots on Upper James - movies, shopping, restaurants. With rapid transit, there'll be lots more in the future. It makes sense for the city to lead the market a little. It's called "transit-oriented development"

NuclearNerd
Apr 18, 2008, 4:51 AM
Marseille France - 8% grade, while accelerating fast and turning corners smooth

Betcha it couldn't climb that grade if the tracks were icy. Marseilles rarely gets below 0deg. Steel wheels really don't do hills well.

Jon Dalton
Apr 18, 2008, 12:34 PM
.There are LRT vehicles that handle well over 5% grade, for example the system in Sheffield, England has a maximum grade of 10%. During one severe winter storm, traffic was halted throughout the city but the LRT kept running up and down those hills.

The vehicles that do it:
http://www.transportimages.com/gallery/d/40803-2/Sheffield+Tram+05+1994.jpg
Source - transportimages.com
http://www.bathtram.org/tfb/sheff2.jpg
Source - bathtram.org

These are similar to what's used in Edmonton, Sacramento, San Diego, Portland, etc. 8 axles, all driven.
Specs:
http://www.supertram.net/uploads/vehicleinfo.pdf

realcity
Apr 18, 2008, 2:36 PM
I'm afraid just because it's done in other cities is no guarantee Hamilton will do the same.... It seems the arguement is already slanted to favour busses.

coalminecanary
Apr 19, 2008, 3:44 AM
Where did you get the $175m figure for the tunnel?

Report says 405 mil for b line LRT, 620 mil for a line LRT, 75 mil for a servicing yard and 80 mil for lrt vehicles.

of the 620 mil for a line, the things that i think could be considered "very negotiable" by simply being more picky about the route and the cars used, include the tunnel (175 mil), rebuilding the th&b structures (30 mil) and the airport link which I think should be a separate proposal (247 mil)

raisethehammer
Apr 19, 2008, 11:59 AM
Where did you get the $175m figure for the tunnel?

Also, it's not a big deal, but what's wrong with going up the jolley cut? It could turn left off of James at St Jo's, go up the cut, and then zip right back over to Upper James. The deviation from the prescribed A-Line route would be minimal, it seems like the deviation would be less than going up claremont.

Or is there another advantage to Claremont that I'm missing?

--simon


I think they could close down the West 5th access ramp from the Claremont for transit only. this would bring the A-line right to Mohawk College. There are 4 upbound lanes on the Claremont. 2 of them on the northern edge of the bridge could be converted to LRT and run down to Main. It could use the existing B-line tracks on Main St from Hunter to Wellington and right up to the college.
Eventually it would be nice to have a local streetcar route running up/down James St from the escarpment to waterfront.

markbarbera
Apr 19, 2008, 2:25 PM
Jolley cut has a slightly higher rate of incline than Claremont and the turn radius at the top would be challenging for rail.

hamiltonguy
Apr 20, 2008, 5:56 PM
Jolley cut has a slightly higher rate of incline than Claremont and the turn radius at the top would be challenging for rail.

I still don't think it'd be that challenging.

Hamilton only has a few Accesses.

Beggers can't be choosers.

markbarbera
Apr 20, 2008, 6:47 PM
LRT generally require minimum 60 feet clearance for turning radius. The hairpin curve at the top of Jolley Cut would require 120 feet clearance to do the full 180 degree turn. The tram would be swinging out into the abutting lane as it negotiates this turn, which would make it impossible for a lane of automobile traffic to travel alongside it. Jolley really cannot be exclusively LRT, which is probably why it is precluded as a potential site for the route. James Mountian road is planned to be closed to all traffic to accomodate the BRT for similar reasons, but closing this access is much more manageable than closing Jolley. Claremont, on the other hand, does not have any tight turning radius and enough clearance to allow both LRT and automobile lanes. That's why I think it is probably the best candidate for LRT access to the upper city.

Jon Dalton
Apr 21, 2008, 4:00 PM
I believe Ferguson is now in support of light rail running in mixed traffic. It's not LRT, or rapid transit for that matter, without its own right of way, but it's good to know he's at least partially on board.

raisethehammer
Apr 21, 2008, 4:29 PM
who cares what he thinks in all honesty.
When you see stupidity like his and the crap from Dolbec in today's Spec it gives you a great glimpse into the old, creaky antiques that have been the power-brokers in the Hammer for too long.
They need to just enjoy living their lives like it's 1950 and stop embarassing themselves in public.

flar
Apr 21, 2008, 4:35 PM
Dolbec's piece was ridiculous. Too many so-called "leaders" simply parrot anecdotal nonsense they've heard from people who don't know what they're talking about. He says the perimeter road idea is dead, didn't they just complete the last leg of the the ring road in November? I'm sure trucks will still be able to get to the 403 if LRT is built. Besides, it's a lot more difficult for trucks to move around in Toronto, but that city seems to be doing fine.

HAMRetrofit
Apr 21, 2008, 4:52 PM
Trucks are prevalent on many of Toronto's downtown roads. This is especially important to bring material to the multitude of construction projects ie. Avenue/University, Jarvis, Adelaide, and Richmond all function as de facto arteries for trucks.

JT Jacobs
Apr 21, 2008, 5:40 PM
Dolbec's piece was ridiculous. Too many so-called "leaders" simply parrot anecdotal nonsense they've heard from people who don't know what they're talking about. He says the perimeter road idea is dead, didn't they just complete the last leg of the the ring road in November? I'm sure trucks will still be able to get to the 403 if LRT is built. Besides, it's a lot more difficult for trucks to move around in Toronto, but that city seems to be doing fine.

I sent this letter to the Spec today in response to Dolbec's claims. The example of Toronto's lively commerce with reduced traffic is the crux of the argument. We'll see if the Spec prints it (I didn't write it with a red crayon, after all):

To the Editor,

Mr. Dolbec's limited understanding of what constitutes a thriving commercial downtown core is disappointing. As a former (and returning) resident of Hamilton, I wish to contribute to this important issue.

Naturally, trucks are an essential aspect of any contemporary North American city for the transportation of commercial goods. However, I must take issue with Mr. Dolbec's claim that implementing traffic-calming measures ("diminishing lanes") in urban centres is "jumping on the bandwagon."

I would ask Mr. Dolbec to examine other North American cities' cores. Toronto's Queen Street West and Bloor Street both have traffic calming measures that allow only one lane of traffic in either direction and one lane each for limited parking and commercial stops. Neither street, quite clearly, suffers economically from limiting vehicular traffic. On the contrary, both streets enjoy a bustling and burgeoning economy. Trucks still drive down Bloor Street and unload goods for Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Lacoste, after all. That they do so more slowly does not disrupt Bloor Street's robust economy.

There is a direct correlation between traffic volume and healthy urban commerce. Paradoxically, reducing traffic enhances commerce. Otherwise, Hamilton--a national leader in one-way, inner-city expressways like King Street, Main Street, Cannon Street, and York Boulevard--would also be a leader in downtown commerce. But we know that Hamilton currently isn't, and won't ever be until authenticated planning practices like traffic calming are implemented.

Traffic-calming practices like lane reduction, two-way traffic, speed-limit reduction, dedicated car-pooling and transit lanes, are sound, proven urban planning techniques for enhancing downtown environments, revitalizing communities, and stimulating commerce, that have been endorsed and implemented by leading cities for over twenty years now. A quick glance at Portland, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary will confirm this. I encourage Mr. Dolbec to look beyond Hamilton's borders and then to reconsider his view.

Regards,
Tim Jacobs

DC83
Apr 21, 2008, 5:44 PM
Dolbec's piece was ridiculous. Too many so-called "leaders" simply parrot anecdotal nonsense they've heard from people who don't know what they're talking about. He says the perimeter road idea is dead, didn't they just complete the last leg of the the ring road in November? I'm sure trucks will still be able to get to the 403 if LRT is built. Besides, it's a lot more difficult for trucks to move around in Toronto, but that city seems to be doing fine.

I think 'The Perimeter Road' was the name of a proposed inner-city expressway, pretty much an extension of Burlignton Street to the 403 around Cootes Paradise. I think the plan was to follow the train tracks... THAT 'perimeter road' is dead, HOWEVER, they did just complete a perimeter highway this fall. You're new'ish to Hamilton, Flar... sad thing is, Dolbec should know. Unfortunately, he's one of the many uneducated Hamiltonians who (like you said) just repeat what they've been hearing for decades w/ no willingness to readapt to the 21stC.

flar
Apr 21, 2008, 6:31 PM
I know about the old perimeter road idea, it's just unnecessary now that there is a ring road around Hamilton-Burlington, or should I say Burlington-Hamilton;)

DC83
Apr 21, 2008, 7:19 PM
I know about the old perimeter road idea, it's just unnecessary now that there is a ring road around Hamilton-Burlington, or should I say Burlington-Hamilton;)

Oh hellll ya hahaha Completely unnecessary!

There are, however, some powers that think it's still needed: Hamilton Chamber of Commerce & Hamilton Port Authority come into mind... but they are also stuck in the 50's. Hell, if it were profitable, I'm sure they'd still be dumping in the bay! What else would that body of water be there for? Recreation? haha

hamiltonguy
Apr 21, 2008, 8:30 PM
LRT generally require minimum 60 feet clearance for turning radius. The hairpin curve at the top of Jolley Cut would require 120 feet clearance to do the full 180 degree turn. The tram would be swinging out into the abutting lane as it negotiates this turn, which would make it impossible for a lane of automobile traffic to travel alongside it. Jolley really cannot be exclusively LRT, which is probably why it is precluded as a potential site for the route. James Mountian road is planned to be closed to all traffic to accomodate the BRT for similar reasons, but closing this access is much more manageable than closing Jolley. Claremont, on the other hand, does not have any tight turning radius and enough clearance to allow both LRT and automobile lanes. That's why I think it is probably the best candidate for LRT access to the upper city.

Getting on to Claremont from Carlton, as some have proposed, would require a much tighter curve than the Jolley Cut.

But yes I see your point. they could still run in mixed traffic though.

raisethehammer
Apr 21, 2008, 10:40 PM
Hunter or Main St to Wellington would be the best way to access the Claremont.
Then it can run right up to Mohawk College.

hamiltonguy
Apr 21, 2008, 11:09 PM
My Only Concern is bypassing St. Joes and James South.

SteelTown
Apr 28, 2008, 7:03 PM
Is anyone going to Metronauts on May 3rd? I'll buddy up with someone if you go. Metronauts is a group where you can share your ideas with the people who have the power to implement them (officals from Metrolinx, Rob MacIsaac will likely be there). So this is a serious group to attend.

matt602
Apr 28, 2008, 7:22 PM
Is anyone going to Metronauts on May 3rd? I'll buddy up with someone if you go. Metronauts is a group where you can share your ideas with the people who have the power to implement them (officals from Metrolinx, Rob MacIsaac will likely be there). So this is a serious group to attend.

Not me. Doors Open is one the same day. I'll be busy with that, and dead tired after :whip:

raisethehammer
Apr 28, 2008, 8:21 PM
Metronauts?? Is that really the name of the group??:haha:

SteelTown
Apr 28, 2008, 8:29 PM
http://www.metronauts.ca/

Metronauts Hamilton: An Unconference About the Future of Transportation
Saturday, 3 May 2008 - 9:00am
McMaster University
Kenneth Taylor Hall

DC83
Apr 29, 2008, 6:44 PM
Just read an interesting Wikipedia article about Charlotte, NC's brand-new LRT line (Opened Nov 07) Lynx Rapid Transit. Very interesting stuff. According to the article, it took them just under 3 years to officially complete the 15.45km ($427 million) line.

Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LYNX_Rapid_Transit_Services

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/LYNX_Car_104_at_TremontStation.jpg

raisethehammer
Apr 29, 2008, 6:55 PM
there are videos on SSP from a forumer in Charlotte too. Check it out.
Hopefully we can post vids from our new LRT in a few years!!

DC83
Apr 29, 2008, 7:05 PM
Hopefully we can post vids from our new LRT in a few years!!

So say LRT is approved June 25 (I think that's the decision date, right?) 6 months for an EA, Groundbreaking in Jan 09, completed Nov-Dec 2011? Sounds good to me :D hahaha

I believe ours could get done quicker than Charlotte's... they seemed to have some unique problems.

raisethehammer
Apr 29, 2008, 8:50 PM
So say LRT is approved June 25 (I think that's the decision date, right?) 6 months for an EA, Groundbreaking in Jan 09, completed Nov-Dec 2011? Sounds good to me :D hahaha

I believe ours could get done quicker than Charlotte's... they seemed to have some unique problems.

actually, it won't be that quick.
Once they decide on either rail/bus or a hybrid of both then they have to decide actual routes and whether or not other routes will be eliminated. that will be the longest process, and knowing Hamilton, will be a VERY long process.

matt602
Apr 29, 2008, 11:07 PM
Apparently someone has taken the initiative to get the word out. Found this a couple of days ago at Queenston and Nash.

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k201/sugarton/Downtown%20Hamilton/lrt.jpg

Unfortunately after checking today, it has since been ripped down.

raisethehammer
Apr 29, 2008, 11:16 PM
haha....gotta love those people around town who always rip down posters and signs on poles.
Then they make sure their double thick curtains/drapes are closed fully each night to keep out the blinding light from the mega-billboard 4 blocks away.

SteelTown
Apr 29, 2008, 11:22 PM
Aw I would put some of those posters up if I had copies.

coalminecanary
Apr 30, 2008, 12:44 AM
my poster is famous!

time is short but i have a few left... care to grab some for your area?

raisethehammer
Apr 30, 2008, 2:09 AM
awesome piece from Seattle.
Copied from www.hamiltonlightrail.com

Note: "no multi-family housing had been built here without pubic subsidies in 3 decades".


Rail doesn't just move people; it shapes cities
Light rail isn't just tracks and trains full of commuters. It's also a way to build better cities, channel growth and slow sprawl.
Published in the New Tribune (Tacoma, WA) on April 28, 2008.

Light rail isn't just tracks and trains full of commuters. It's also a way to buil better cities, channel growth and slow sprawl

The South Sound needs it as a reliable alternative to Interstate 5 and to spur intelligent urban development in the corridor between Sea-Tac Airport and Tacoma.

A good example of intelligent development can be found in Seattle's Rainier Valley. The light rail line through Seattle is still a year away from opening, but it has already begun to transform the communities it will run through.

The Seattle Times reported last week that private developers are proposing to build more than 1,500 condominiums or apartments within a short walk of what will become Sound Transit rail stations in the Rainier Valley. Seattle officials say they'll be the first multifamily projects built there without public subsidies in more than three decades.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the valley's main drag, is now dominated by old strip malls, parking lots and the like. It's the corridor the car built, and it takes a lot of driving around to run errands, shop or get anything done. The new, rail-oriented development promises a denser population with stores and other amenities - not to mention the train station - within walking distance.

The Puget Sound region as a whole will never look like this. There will always be suburbs and single-family homes - that's an option many people will always want to have.

But the dense, transit-intensive option is also crucial. It draws people inward to urban services, easy commutes and rich entertainment and retail offerings.

The creation of multi-story apartments and condominiums near the stations in the Rainier Valley demonstrates the magnetism of light rail. The extension of rail transit from Sea-Tac to Tacoma would have the same effect on development in that corridor. As the region's population grows, the result would be much greater housing density along Highway 99, where the line would mostly run.

This makes infinitely more sense than pushing newcomers out to new developments around small towns and in rural areas - a pattern that has overwhelmed country roads with traffic and spread large numbers of people far beyond the logical reach of sewers, utilities, police and other urban services.

Light rail alone won't halt sprawl, but it's an important part of the solution. Regions with large populations don't work unless most people live in cities - the denser the better. Rail transit makes that an attractive choice.

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 2:29 AM
my poster is famous!

time is short but i have a few left... care to grab some for your area?

Got an electronic copy? I'll print some out and post them up around work (McMaster).

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 11:32 AM
Clean, green and good for the city's future

April 30, 2008
Paul Wilson
The Hamilton Spectator

Nicholas Kevlahan is a math professor at McMaster. His specialty is the theory and computation of fluid turbulence.

Don't worry. We've come to him today for another reason.

On his own time, Kevlahan is passionate about LRT, or light rail transit.

He talks to groups all over town about it -- the chamber of commerce, the house builders association, regular citizens -- the very people he'll be talking to tomorrow night, as city hall tries to decide whether light rail or rapid bus is the way for Hamilton to go.

It was love of a woman that led the professor to love LRT.

Kevlahan went to France for four years on a post-doctoral fellowship. And in Paris he met Catherine Cox. She was from Grenoble, a city with a metro population the same as Hamilton's.

In the 1950s Grenoble ripped out its streetcar system, like many other cities, including Hamilton.

But 20 years ago, Grenoble was among the first to bring back LRT. Kevlahan says it's been a great success, and the city has gone from one line to five.

Now there are cities all over Europe and North America shedding buses and moving to the quick, quiet and yes, sexy, electric trains.

Ten years ago, Kevlahan joined McMaster. He and his wife, a translator, live in a 152-year-old stone cottage in the core. They don't own a car, but do walk over to Avis at Jackson Square a couple of times a month to rent one.

Most days, Kevlahan rides his bicycle to work. If the weather's bad, he takes the bus.

All that makes him a rare bird indeed in Hamilton. This city drives to work, to play, to shop.

We're finding out that's bad for our world, our wallets, our nerves.

So last year, the province announced a big Move Ontario program, with $300 million for Hamilton to build two rapid-transit lines -- McMaster to Eastgate, and Upper James to downtown.

City hall could decide this summer whether to go for buses or light rail. Kevlahan's hoping for the latter and right after that transit announcement from Queen's Park, he and others got together and formed Hamilton Light Rail.

"LRT has the potential to really transform Hamilton," Kevlahan says.

Yes, LRT will get people out of their cars in a way buses can't. Even people with briefcases.

And yes, LRT will be good for the environment.

But Kevlahan thinks the biggest bonus is what light rail can do for the economy of Hamilton.

Developers are drawn to rails. Housing, stores, offices spring up along them and municipal assessments climb. It's already happened in cities like Portland, Ore. and Charlotte, N.C..

Closer to home, the region of Waterloo has completed its transit study. The findings there:

"The benefits associated with LRT are more than double those of Bus Rapid Transit, although the costs of LRT are higher ... LRT has a much greater potential to attract transit ridership and to shape urban form than BRT."

Kevlahan knows all that. But he also knows constructing an LRT is more complicated than the bus option. "It will be a bit disruptive, a bit controversial. The politicians will want to know there's public support... The whole city has to feel it's to their benefit."

So that's why he's out on the speaker's circuit.

"The biggest hurdle is deciding this is what we want and not being distracted by minor issues," he says. "If we dither and say, 'Maybe later,' the province will say, 'There are others who want to go ahead. Get back to us in 10 years.'"

A public meeting on LRT versus BRT will be held tomorrow evening, May 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the FRWY Cafe, 333 King St. E. at Wellington. For more information -- and an eight-minute Kevlahan video on LRTs -- go to hamiltonlightrail.com.

coalminecanary
Apr 30, 2008, 1:16 PM
Got an electronic copy? I'll print some out and post them up around work (McMaster).

better late than never!

http://neenerneet.net/brt-lrt-v2.pdf

thanks :-)

coalminecanary
Apr 30, 2008, 1:20 PM
GREAT TO SEE THIS IN THE MAINSTREAM PRESS!

amazing!

raisethehammer
Apr 30, 2008, 1:21 PM
there were a couple beauty pictures too.

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 1:24 PM
Okay I'll post a few around during my lunch break. Final exam is over but I'll place them on bus shelters anyways. I'll mostly focus on bulltin boards for employees.

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 1:45 PM
I've posted a few already, I'm on a roll

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v174/Appster/2.jpg

coalminecanary
Apr 30, 2008, 2:01 PM
thanks guys! I'm hoping for a great turnout... this should be a good night -- is anyone from SSP going?

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 2:44 PM
A-Line
DATE: Tuesday, May 6, 2008
TIME: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Presentation at 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre - 780 Upper Wentworth St.

B-Line
DATE: Thursday, May 8, 2008
TIME: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Presentation at 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Board of Education - 100 Main Street West

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 2:47 PM
Here's Hamilton Rapid Transit website.....

www.hamilton.ca/rapid-transit

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 3:04 PM
•PICs would be held during the week of May 5, 2008.

•Report back to PW Committee in June 2008 with findings of the public consultation process.

•Conduct Class EA studies for rapid transit. Examine routes, staging, and opportunities to operate both BRT and LRT in the same corridor.

•Design, construction and implementation of rapid transit routes, stops and stations.

•Continue to work with Metrolinx to determine availability of funding for rapid transit projects in Hamilton.

Jon Dalton
Apr 30, 2008, 3:11 PM
I managed to hit James South and the Go station and they seem to be holding up. Posters, that is.

chris k
Apr 30, 2008, 10:39 PM
A great article about a man that is doing many great things.

I am attending the meeting tomorrow. and the one at sackville but im afraid i cant make the one for the b-line :hell: i really wanted to go to that aswell. Atleast i can make it to some.


Cheers

SteelTown
Apr 30, 2008, 10:56 PM
If you miss an open house you can go to the rapid transit website and fill out the comment form instead.

raisethehammer
May 1, 2008, 2:10 AM
I'll be going!!! Been dreaming about this day for years!!

DC83
May 1, 2008, 6:56 PM
from hamiltonlightrail.com:

May 1, 2008: BRT or LRT? Comparing Alternatives, with Lessons from Waterloo Region

Date: May 1, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: The FRWY Cafe
Address: 333 King St. E. (at Wellington St. N.) Hamilton ON L8N 1C1
Admission: free

Is everyone going? I'll be there!

chris k
May 1, 2008, 7:58 PM
If you miss an open house you can go to the rapid transit website and fill out the comment form instead.

Alright perfect! Even though i'm sure many will be saying the same things i will in the email i will send it anyway, the more the better.

@DC83
I couldnt imagine not going, its free anyway.:tup:

matt602
May 1, 2008, 8:03 PM
I think I'll be going tonight.

raisethehammer
May 1, 2008, 9:01 PM
exciting night coming up!!!

coalminecanary
May 2, 2008, 1:46 AM
WHAT A TURNOUT

at least what... 70 people? more? Great presentations and lots of LRT excitement

I can't wait to see those rails go down!

holymoly
May 2, 2008, 2:21 AM
Great stuff. I would love to hear more details.

Millstone
May 2, 2008, 3:01 AM
cool, LRT would be quite the thing for Hamilton

matt602
May 2, 2008, 3:18 AM
I wasn't able to make it, but I hear that the turnout was great anyway. I think more of the city is getting behind LRT than we ever thought would.

HAMRetrofit
May 2, 2008, 3:29 AM
I think Hamilton remembers the time when it had streetcars. There is nostalgia there and bitterness towards them being removed in the first place. Streetcars are an easy sell for Hamilton because of this embedded history.

flar
May 2, 2008, 3:39 AM
^^I hope you're right.

We have to keep getting the word out though, there are still people who don't know about LRT.

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 12:35 PM
I heard an interview this morning on CHML with one of the Light Rail members. Awesome. CHML is even pumping LRT.
Everyone make SURE you attend these upcoming meetings and send in your glowing feedback! This is the moment!!

DC83
May 2, 2008, 12:46 PM
^^ 70 people? Hmm, maybe 70 ppl sitting down, don't forget all the ppl who were standing!! (yes, it was standing room only by 7:01pm).

What an awesome turnout! What a relief hearing the City official(s) talk about LRT they way they were. Just looking at that Hamilton planner, I wasn't sure what her stance was. But when she got going, it was obvious she (and everyone else up there) was Pro-LRT. *pewph*

I don't think the City is going to F this up!! :)

My favourite line came from the City of Hamilton planner; "It's not a matter of 'if'... it's a matter of 'what [type of technology]'."

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 12:58 PM
Yea, I got the impression when I met with them last week that they are pro-LRT.
We got talking about the underpass on James St and the one guy said "it'll be no problem. We just shave the roadway down a little and widen the gap".

It was nice, for once, to hear city of Hamilton staffers with simple, good ideas instead of always saying 'no' to everything.

I heard on the radio that there was about 120 people there.

Jon Dalton
May 2, 2008, 1:10 PM
Best question of the night (and I paraphrase)

'this may work for good cities but we know our own city is crap. How do you know it works in bad cities too?'

Almost made me shout 'Pittsburgh' or 'Sheffield'

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 1:20 PM
HAHA...someone actually asked that??? Classic!

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 1:21 PM
Portland WAS crap before LRT and urban revitalization.
Same with Tacoma, Manchester etc.....

DC83
May 2, 2008, 1:26 PM
^^ hahaha Ya, there were some pretty interesting questions (tons re: accessibility. I dont' think ppl understand Modern LRT v. Toronto Streetcars... YET).

Bureaucrats are so funny. Always so serious. I think I saw Ms. Stephen smile once or twice! hahaha

oldcoote
May 2, 2008, 1:39 PM
Margaret Shkimba
The Hamilton Spectator

(May 2, 2008)

Transit can be a tough sell these days. With the disruptions caused by last Friday's midnight strike by Toronto transit workers, the arguments against a publicly funded and fully accessible transit system gained support among those looking for another reason to buy a new car.

However, in this time of rising gas and food prices, heightened health concerns over air quality, and, last but not least, global warming, our reluctance to embrace more responsible, economic and environmental methods of transportation will leave us all ill-prepared for the future.

This is an exciting time for transit advocates. Governments at all levels are recognizing the need to invest in and support the use of public transit.

In Hamilton, the situation is enough to make one positively giddy. It couldn't have come at a better time.

The Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is desperately in need of a major rethink and overhaul of all services. Much more is needed in order to create a system effective and efficient enough to lure people away from car dependency. But it's a start.

I take the bus every day. To say the route I ride is popular with students would be an understatement. The stop I get on at services four different routes, yet some mornings buses go by too full to take on more passengers. Crammed to the door, passengers are pushed up against the front window, well past the yellow caution line. Buses leapfrog one over the other as they make their way along King Street toward the west end.

When passengers do get on, they are jammed and jostled against each other as the driver negotiates busy traffic on bumpy roads. Add a stroller, scooter or wheelchair during peak hours and there's an accident waiting to happen. I'd be interested to know what the HSR pays out in accident claims each year for passenger injuries.

At present, the City of Hamilton is considering adopting either a bus rapid transit (BRT) or light-rail transit (LRT) system to take us forward into the 21st century.

The transportation needs across Hamilton are varied; the system has to take into account how people use it now, how they could use it more, and how to use it better. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that a major east-west rail line is sorely needed; as is a quick and convenient way up the hill and down to the harbour. To continue with buses on some routes, whether rapid or not, is to replicate what we already have.

To be frank, the buses alone can't cut it. Not for the needs of our community. They may work in terms of moving people from neighbourhoods to main lines, as short-run feeder routes, but they're not big enough, they can't accommodate enough people and most importantly, they are not designed for passenger comfort or safety.

Imagine the King line with a train. It's a long line. It would go all the way between west of Dundas and east of Eastgate Square, out to the ends of the municipality.

There could be a car just for strollers and scooters, one that can accommodate bicycles, other cars could be added or subtracted as needed.

Close your eyes and envision the ride. Smooth, seamless. No jostling, bumping, slipping. Quiet.

The car doors open, people get off, on, there's lots of room to sit or stand. The trip's quick, done in half the time it would take a bus. And if we're wise in our planning, the trip will be free.

This past Sunday afternoon, I took the King bus from downtown to Eastgate Square. The bus was packed both going and coming. The ride was bumpy, a quick touch to the brakes sent us all jerking forward.

The trip took almost 40 minutes and it cost $9.60 for two people to get there and back.

No wonder no one wants to take the bus.

Hamilton has the potential to become a world-class city, but that demands an investment in the future; an investment in a vision of what makes a people-friendly, environment-friendly, business-friendly community. It demands that we consider the needs of the entire community when we spend public funds.

Public transit should be baseline transportation in Hamilton. Public transit should be an essential service, with transit workers compensated accordingly.

Public transit should be publicly funded.

This issue is all about choice. In order to increase transit use, riders need to choose public transit, they need to want to take transit.

At present it's not that attractive a choice.

A system that is flexible, fast and free, a combination of both bus and rail would bring together the best of both worlds.

I think the people of Hamilton deserve the best.

Margaret Shkimba lives in Hamilton. She is a freelance writer with an interest in social issues.

DC83
May 2, 2008, 1:57 PM
(sorry) another thing about last night is that City Officials kept stressing 'PUBLIC INPUT' all night. They really want to know what we think/want!!!

So spread the word, and get anyone/everyone you can to email rapidtransit@hamilton.ca with their ideas/suggestions/opinions. It takes 2 minutes to write a simple email that may change Hamilton forever!

coalminecanary
May 2, 2008, 2:02 PM
the comment forms are available online too. i'm going to print a bunch for friends and co workers, and then collect them and hand them in for them.

if people are too lazy to send their ideas in, i'll go out and collect them!

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 2:06 PM
ahhh, I love that description above of riding a future LRT along King or Main. this is too exciting!

ryan_mcgreal
May 2, 2008, 4:33 PM
Hi All,

I've lurked on SSP for a while but this is my first post. :)

I was one of the organizers for last night's meeting, and I can tell you I spent the past few days worrying whether anyone would actually show up.

I took a visual attendance count at 7:30, and there were around 125 people - the place was packed with light rail enthusiasts asking excellent questions that sustained the excitement and in some cases generated applause.

Jill Stephen and Lisa Zinkewich, the public works managers running the rapid transit feasibility study, deserve tremendous credit for agreeing to participate, making a solid presentation that took into account many of our methodological concerns, providing forms for public input (every form they brought was used), and answering audience questions with candour (including acknowledging that they've already received plenty of feedback from the public, mostly in support of light rail).

From now on, it's absolutely crucial for everyone who supports light rail to communicate that to the city via the public consultation process:

http://www.hamilton.ca/rapid-transit

Every message helps! Every single comment tips the scale a bit more in favour of light rail as the superior choice.

At the same time, be sure to contact your councillor as well to express your support for light rail.

http://raisethehammer.org/article/450/

One final note: there seems to be an idea on this forum that the May 6 public information centre concerns the A-Line and the May 8 meeting concerns the B-Line. That's incorrect. Both meetings are making the same presentation regarding the RTFS and public input, so you don't have to attend both to participate fully.

DC83
May 2, 2008, 7:43 PM
quote from "let's talk about one-way streets" thread:
If we get LRT than I would support keeping Main St as one way, as long it's reduced down to at least 3 lanes. Right now it's 5 lanes so one lane for LRT, 3 lanes for cars and the rest for sidewalk improvements.

For King St that's tricky, from Wellington to John keep the same expect take away one curb side parking for LRT lane. Really I would keep the streetscape design from International Village for King W instead of two way but if not I wouldn't oppose two way for King St W as well, just keep a lane for LRT.

Jillian Stephen (public works lady at the meeting) mentioned that they are looking at keeping King & Main one way w/ the trains travelling the same direction in it's own dedicated lane. So I don't think two-way conversions along Main and/or King will happen WHEN (;)) LRT is built.

However, I still prefer all trains along Main rather than EB trains on Main and WB trains on King. It's just cheaper, no?

SteelTown
May 2, 2008, 8:10 PM
quote from "let's talk about one-way streets" thread:


Jillian Stephen (public works lady at the meeting) mentioned that they are looking at keeping King & Main one way w/ the trains travelling the same direction in it's own dedicated lane. So I don't think two-way conversions along Main and/or King will happen WHEN (;)) LRT is built.

That's something I would support. It'll have a profound change as your changing the streetscape for not just one but two Streets in Hamilton (King and Main). Tie that in with fixing and sprucing up Gore Park and wham a big change. Keeping the one way lanes will also keep drivers satisfied and it wouldn't require a complete overhaul of the 403 ramps on Main and King. Also cyclist can share the transit lane as well, a multi use lane basically (LRT, cyclist and taxi can share)

HAMRetrofit
May 2, 2008, 8:34 PM
Jillian Stephen (public works lady at the meeting) mentioned that they are looking at keeping King & Main one way w/ the trains travelling the same direction in it's own dedicated lane.

I can't foresee any possible advantage to this but to each their own. I am just happy Hamilton seems to be going the LRT route.

Quite honestly I think the best route to take is to run the LRT in both directions down the center of Main. Keep two lanes east and one lane west on Main. Use the extra space for bike lanes. Leave King street exactly the way it is. The singular west lane can turn right at Dundurn so modification is not needed to the 403 ramps.

This way there is balance for east and west lanes and LRT is kept together in each direction. Also, there will be no extra costs to revising King St.

SteelTown
May 2, 2008, 9:04 PM
Because having LRT on both Main and King instead of the centre of Main you can share transit lane for cyclist as its not in the centre lane.

Most think bicycle lanes should be on both side of the road for bidirectional traffic but with King-Main cyclist can use the lane on Main heading East and King heading West just like cars.

raisethehammer
May 2, 2008, 9:40 PM
I can't foresee any possible advantage to this but to each their own. I am just happy Hamilton seems to be going the LRT route.

Quite honestly I think the best route to take is to run the LRT in both directions down the center of Main. Keep two lanes east and one lane west on Main. Use the extra space for bike lanes. Leave King street exactly the way it is. The singular west lane can turn right at Dundurn so modification is not needed to the 403 ramps.

This way there is balance for east and west lanes and LRT is kept together in each direction. Also, there will be no extra costs to revising King St.


the benefit to having both ways of LRT on Main is cheaper construction costs as well as much more convenient transit use for riders.
Who wants to walk from Main to King (especially in Central Hamilton where they separate) just to catch an opposite bound train.
If they do both LRT ways on Main, they would also do both ways on King for the King buses. perhaps the south curb parking on King would be converted to an eastbound traffic lane.

anyhow, I'd support this idea since Main St would effectively be reduced to 2 lanes and function with LRT having right of way, not timed lights and all the BS we have right now.

Oh by the way, now people can stop guessing that I'm Ryan McGreal! haha.

coalminecanary
May 2, 2008, 10:53 PM
THe only reason the city is looking at LRT east on main and west on king is because they asked for the preliminary report to investigate BRT and LRT using the existing "alignments" - the route plan they'd already come up with back when they were looking only at buses.

The report said "use both streets" for the same reason the report said to build a tunnel up the mtn.

I imagine that the savings would be significant if both directions were on one street. Especially if overhead wires are used for all or part of the route.

So I would expect that when they start doing the full evaluation of LRT, they'll opt to put them both on one street in order to get more distance for the dollar... unless there are specific reasons to separate the lines (such as trying to get TOD on two arteries).

Main could remain one way even if LRT ran 2 ways on it...

SteelTown
May 2, 2008, 10:54 PM
Did they give a timeline for rapid transit?

coalminecanary
May 2, 2008, 11:05 PM
nope they wouldn't commit

raisethehammer
May 3, 2008, 1:02 AM
that's my worry...we might decide in June to go with LRT and still be arguing about it in 10 years.

DC83
May 3, 2008, 12:08 PM
that's my worry...we might decide in June to go with LRT and still be arguing about it in 10 years.

I dunno... they seem pretty dedicated to get it done NOW. The money is being waved in our faces, why wouldn't we jump? haha

You said yourself, rth, that the Public Works Dep't was surprised at how quickly this is moving along. This is a new thing for Hamilton bureaucrats.

And ya, re: EB on Main/WB on King; it needs to be stressed that the city is just exploring ALL options (like the KW ppl explained). Hell, the KW ppl even studied the feasibility of PRT (Personal Rapid Transit... like the Jetsons haha), that doesn't mean they're going to do it. They/we just need to cover their/our asses so that any resistance is met with hard data.

So Public Input is recquired here as well; if you want both directions along Main, email them and let them know that's what you want. They're pretty much going to do what the public wants.

ps: They also admitted that they read blogs & forums online *ahem*