Jason Leach is encouraged after meeting with the public works planners studying rapid transit.
By Jason Leach
Published April 30, 2008
I recently had a meeting with Jillian Stephen, Lisa Zinkewich and Jim Dalhmers from the city's public works department.
I honestly think we are going to get light rail transit (LRT) on the east-west line.
I really hammered home the points about economic development being prominent on LRT and not on bus rapid transit (BRT).
We discussed the fact that any obstacles to LRT on the A-line (North-South from James St. up to Mohawk College and then along Upper James) can be easily remedied. They had already thought of my idea of using the Claremont and exit to Mohawk College instead of James Mountain Rd, due to grade.
I suggested my cross-section for Main and King that I did last year with two eastbound lanes on Main and two west on King with LRT both ways on Main and all 1-King buses on King.
They agree that there is ample lane capacity on York/Cannon/Wilson.
I spoke to them about the modern streetcars instead of full-sized LRT vehicles. They said Hamilton can handle 80 foot long trains. That is awesome!
The Portland Streetcar is 66 feet long, so we can easily add another 15 feet to the length of the Skoda/Inekon cars. I left them some info about those vehicles.
I'm excited - I really see this happening. I told them that I was shocked at how quickly this has happened and they said, "so are we."
They had good questions about economic development along routes and I was able to explain the concept by using Red Hill as an example.
One of them asked, "How soon does economic development follow?" I likened it to the homes that starting sprouting up on top of Red Hill while it was still under construction. Same thing here, but it's urban, high density development, not low density.
Hamilton Light Rail / Transit Users Group are holding a public meeting on May 1. Make sure you attend!
The city is also organizing public information centres to get feedback on the study, on May 6, 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre - 780 Upper Wentworth St., and May 8 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Board of Education - 100 Main Street West.Visit the city website for more details.
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