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  #81  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2012, 8:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
We need legitimate candidates, not more wingnuts like Boyd or left-wing loonies like MacPherson. Adams would have little chance given his record. It would certainly be nice to see someone with a strong business background offer though.
Exactly. Kelly wasn't even that "conservative" per se, just in relation to the wingnuts who colluded against him.

Kelly was a pushover though, let's hope whoever becomes mayor can deal with all these forces in council who seek to disrupt freedom in this city by opposing everything and imposing laws on what we can and cannot do.

Let's let people develop empty lots and allow people to raise chickens... although proponents of these two concepts think they are different, it boils down to freedom.

Ultimately, no matter what your point of view, we are being legislated to death in this city and province.
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  #82  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
Exactly. Kelly wasn't even that "conservative" per se, just in relation to the wingnuts who colluded against him.

Kelly was a pushover though, let's hope whoever becomes mayor can deal with all these forces in council who seek to disrupt freedom in this city by opposing everything and imposing laws on what we can and cannot do.

Let's let people develop empty lots and allow people to raise chickens... although proponents of these two concepts think they are different, it boils down to freedom.

Ultimately, no matter what your point of view, we are being legislated to death in this city and province.
Well put!
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 1:14 AM
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Kelly was a pushover though ...
That was my biggest problem with him as mayor. I don't think he's a bad person, and I think that he genuinely worked hard for the city. Ultimately, however, he failed to rally people around important causes and follow through on them. In particular Halifax needs a lot more direction when it comes to transportation planning and investing in the downtown core, because the default state of affairs is for most councillors to care only about their own district.
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2012, 2:16 PM
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The biggest thing that excites me about this election cycle is that the combo of the reduction in districts and the fact that there will be a new mayor is a great opportunity to have serious discussions in the lead up to the election about where we want to go as a city. No doubt at the end of the day that is stuff that goes in a municipal plan, but it has to start with having people in place who are willing to see things through and are willing to be innovative in their thinking.

The last 20 years have shown that the status quo does not work, so let's start having a conversation in this city about what we are, what we want to be, and how we want to do things differently so that we can get there. After an election may be too late, so the time is now.
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 12:33 AM
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Is there any potential mayoral candidate that is really pro-rail? Commuter, LRT or streetcar?
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 7:24 AM
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Ironically, Peter Kelly has been since the '90s...
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 7:30 AM
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If I had to guess, I'd wager that Fred Connors is pro-rail; as a hairstylist and the owner of a hipster mecca in the North End, I would assume he'd be at least somewhat image-conscious, and rail is great for a city's image.

The Dal student (I forget his name) is from Ontario, where rail transit already exists in a couple cities (or considerably more if you count GO stations), and I would guess that he'd be more open to emerging trends than an older politician.

David Boyd is a taxi driver. Not sure if he'd support major transit initiatives.

This leaves Mike Savage, and tbh I don't really know what his stand is on anything. These are all complete guesses anyway.
edit: forgot the ex-cop. Again, I don't really know what his priorities would be, other than public safety. I suppose improved transit reduces the number of car crashes.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
Ironically, Peter Kelly has been since the '90s...
Yeah. That highlights what a lot of people are talking about when they mention something like "creative thinking" (or perhaps "mayor windsock").

Kelly ran on what you might consider a pro-rail platform even during the 2000 election, but he never seemed to have much of a plan and whenever there was some hiccup the whole thing would languish for 5 years. Instead we need the kind of leadership that switches gears to overcome problems, and that comes up with more robust, modern plans so there are fewer problems to begin with.

It is the same with so many other issues, like the streetscaping projects downtown. They are needed but somebody wasn't happy with the plans so the whole thing died on the table, and years later nothing has been done. Real leadership means taking important projects like that and doing what needs to be done to get them implemented.
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 7:02 PM
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A pro-rail stance is somewhat irrelevant from an applied point of view.

Hasn't metro transit codified language that basically is circumventing any rail option? Also, CN doesn't appear like they want to play ball.

To be honest, all the anti-development / anti-spending groups would probably be against rail. "It costs too much" blah blah blah.

The combination of these factors plus council means that rail is definitely a stretch.
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 9:08 PM
RyeJay RyeJay is offline
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The notion that rail costs too much is rampant.
Costs too much? It costs too much not to...

Rail seemed like a stretch for HRM before, but the amount of people supporting it (and other forms of public transit) is getting bigger and louder. Aside from how environmentally concerned much of the city's population is, people are struggling with affording to own and operate a vehicle. A car is simply not an option anymore for an increasing number of suburbanites.

In trying to think long-term about this issue, upon the market's status of being mostly hybrid/electric vehicles, which would obviously save from expensive trips to the pump, the costs of everything else will keep rising regardless. And people want to live in the suburbs affordably.

If people want to keep living in the suburbs then these public transit options must see investment. A candidate would be smart to speak up during any moment within news coverage of the frequent jumps in gas prices.

Any bets on how expensive gas'll be this summer?
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2012, 9:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
The notion that rail costs too much is rampant.
Costs too much? It costs too much not to...
The rail cost argument is based on the straw man of commuter rail systems in major cities. It is like arguing that you can't afford to buy a house because Bill Gates' mansion cost $150M.

In reality there are many, many different approaches and technologies available and the costs to implement them vary by orders of magnitude. Halifax could have streetcars, hybrid streetcar/LRT, LRT at grade, LRT in its own right of way above or below ground, a full subway, etc. Some of those options are unaffordable, like the subway, but others would not be particularly expensive as far as Halifax infrastructure projects go. Some rail lines have been built for around $60M. That is perfectly reasonable if you're talking about replacing routes like the 1, which handle 10,000+ people per day.

As I've said many times I think we should be looking at a streetcar/LRT type of setup to serve the core (and avoid bottlenecks) combined with expanded MetroLink-style service for the suburbs. HRM also needs to look at transit-oriented development when planning transit projects -- that is something other cities have been doing for years.
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2012, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
A pro-rail stance is somewhat irrelevant from an applied point of view.

Hasn't metro transit codified language that basically is circumventing any rail option? Also, CN doesn't appear like they want to play ball.

To be honest, all the anti-development / anti-spending groups would probably be against rail. "It costs too much" blah blah blah.

The combination of these factors plus council means that rail is definitely a stretch.
The official stance in the Regional Plan is that rail was not envisioned to be feasible in the short-term, but that rail corridors and potential multimodal transfers should be protected for when the city eventually decides to implement rail. There has been a gradual shift in attitude and language in subsequent staff reports, and the current Metro Transit 5-year plan asserts that some form of LRT will likely be NECESSARY within 10 to 15 years. There appears to be a lot of inconsistency in terms of what is considered "LRT" and what is considered "commuter rail" (some departments/councillors absolutely use the 2 terms interchangeably but others do not, while also failing to acknowledge that others do)
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
HRM also needs to look at transit-oriented development when planning transit projects -- that is something other cities have been doing for years.
Mill Cove, Birch Cove and Dartmouth Cove are all being planned as transit-oriented communities based around hypothetical transit systems that do not actually exist yet.
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Mill Cove, Birch Cove and Dartmouth Cove are all being planned as transit-oriented communities based around hypothetical transit systems that do not actually exist yet.
Yes. Transit is often mentioned when high-level plans for different areas are created but then there are many transportation reports that analyze the cost/benefits of things like commuter rail without accounting for TOD. There seems to be a disconnect. I suspect the problem is that HRM transportation planning is behind the times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
The official stance in the Regional Plan is that rail was not envisioned to be feasible in the short-term, but that rail corridors and potential multimodal transfers should be protected for when the city eventually decides to implement rail. There has been a gradual shift in attitude and language in subsequent staff reports, and the current Metro Transit 5-year plan asserts that some form of LRT will likely be NECESSARY within 10 to 15 years. There appears to be a lot of inconsistency in terms of what is considered "LRT" and what is considered "commuter rail" (some departments/councillors absolutely use the 2 terms interchangeably but others do not, while also failing to acknowledge that others do)
I've noticed the inconsistencies too. They appear in staff reports, councillor statements, and in the media. A big problem in Halifax is simply that people do not seem to be aware of the options and technologies available. I think there would be a lot of value in having a study to present what these different options might look like in Halifax. With the commuter rail plan council has not been looking at alternatives properly.

Halifax does need better transit in 10-15 years. By then the region will be approaching 500,000 people, and traffic along major corridors and at bottlenecks will be much worse. Council is hesitant to widen roads and road widening is very expensive, so if they want the core areas to continue to work properly our existing transportation space will have to be used more efficiently. The way to accomplish this is to get more people on transit. An LRT route would be an extremely efficient use of space and would be a great way to avoid having to aggressively widen roads to accommodate new traffic.
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Last edited by someone123; Feb 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM.
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2012, 6:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
The notion that rail costs too much is rampant.
Costs too much? It costs too much not to...

Rail seemed like a stretch for HRM before, but the amount of people supporting it (and other forms of public transit) is getting bigger and louder. Aside from how environmentally concerned much of the city's population is, people are struggling with affording to own and operate a vehicle. A car is simply not an option anymore for an increasing number of suburbanites.

In trying to think long-term about this issue, upon the market's status of being mostly hybrid/electric vehicles, which would obviously save from expensive trips to the pump, the costs of everything else will keep rising regardless. And people want to live in the suburbs affordably.

If people want to keep living in the suburbs then these public transit options must see investment. A candidate would be smart to speak up during any moment within news coverage of the frequent jumps in gas prices.

Any bets on how expensive gas'll be this summer?
I'm not saying its my point of view, its just been stated by councilors, etc.
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  #96  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 1:22 AM
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Interesting discussion on rail. I had no idea Kelly was pro rail. Maybe i should have asked if there was a pro-rail candidate with the will and political conviction to push through a commuter rail network against the NIMBYs and "too expensive" types.

Someone who'll get things done over seemingly endless and expensive studies.
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  #97  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
The official stance in the Regional Plan is that rail was not envisioned to be feasible in the short-term, but that rail corridors and potential multimodal transfers should be protected for when the city eventually decides to implement rail. There has been a gradual shift in attitude and language in subsequent staff reports, and the current Metro Transit 5-year plan asserts that some form of LRT will likely be NECESSARY within 10 to 15 years. There appears to be a lot of inconsistency in terms of what is considered "LRT" and what is considered "commuter rail" (some departments/councillors absolutely use the 2 terms interchangeably but others do not, while also failing to acknowledge that others do)
Interesting... this begs the question: How are they determining that rail is not feasible? Sounds like a load of b/s to me. Most infrastructure projects are "feasible", they just might have significant capital costs initially.

If rail is necessary in 10-15 years they better get started now, how are the moes going to lay all that track? Vinyl siding on the trains?
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  #98  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2012, 1:26 PM
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The municipal elections are quickly approaching (October 2012).

Here is some news about District 8, Peninsula-North-Ward. (Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...-face-off.html)

My perception of Councillor Sloane has changed during the past couple of years. At one time I thought that she was anti-development. But Councillor Sloane has been a proponent of the Nova Centre and HRM Stadium. Both Councillors really care about the city. Personally, if I lived in north Halifax, I would vote for Councillor Sloane but I would feel bad to see Councillor Watts lose. I had the opportunity to meet both Councillors in person on January 19 2010 and I left my toyish looking stadium model with Councillor Sloane - http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...&postcount=657 (PS: if it is still at City Hall then it is ok to dispose of it). Councillor Hendsbee and Councillor Fisher were two others big proponents of an HRM stadium and both seem to be pro-development (in my opinion).

Quote:
Veteran councillors duel for District 8
CBC News
Posted: Jul 23, 2012 8:49 PM AT
Last Updated: Jul 24, 2012 3:37 PM AT


The number of councillors in Halifax will decrease from 23 to 16 in October, forcing two incumbent councillors to face off in District 8. (CBC)

Two incumbent Halifax councillors who often see eye to eye are going head to head for the same seat in the upcoming municipal election.

Under the new municipal boundaries the number of councillors will be cut from 23 to 16 and the boundaries have changed.

Coun. Dawn Sloane has won in the downtown district three times, but now District 12 will essentially be split in two.

She's now running in the newly formed Peninsula-North-Ward against another incumbent Connaught-Quinpool Coun. Jennifer Watts.
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Last edited by fenwick16; Jul 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM.
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  #99  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2012, 2:47 PM
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Novel idea: neither of 'em!
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  #100  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2012, 3:26 AM
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Well I have some news. You might have caught it already on twitter or the Coast, but I have decided to run for council in Dartmouth Centre. It's definitely time for some new faces on council. Dartmouth Centre is turning out to be a really crowded race with Jim and Gloria plus 4 other challengers and myself. It's a full field! I'm going to be releasing a series of videos over the campaign that will, together, make a video policy platform. I will have several on planning/development issues, which may be of interest to you guys. You can check out my first on Downtown Dartmouth at the link below or on my website, samaustin.ca:

http://youtu.be/ScBJTX0rbdo

So with Waye Mason and myself running, there are two forumers running in the election!
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