Comment 110199

By LeeEdwardMcIlmoyle (registered) - website | Posted March 13, 2015 at 11:14:39

This is my optional comment in the LRT Initiative petition:

Dear Premier Wynne and Our Provincial Government,

We have a cultural problem in Hamilton. Our City Council won't listen to City Staff recommendations on its many traffic and transit plans, because it has drinken too much of the Robert Moses Kool-Aid about cars being the prime mode of personal transportation.

We all know that vehicle traffic is needed for moving masses of people and products around. But there is an orthodoxy, bordering on religious fervour in this city, that states: Anyone who does not own a car is not a real citizen, and has no right of expectation to easy transport around the city. It's a conflation of Plutocratic thinking that those who have the most money make the rules, and only those who participate correctly in our economic hierarchy should have a voice. This is patently absurd, and yet the myth persists because our City Council will do nothing to reeducate the populace.

This series of blunders is getting so hard to take. Hamilton's City Council has been hijacked by a bunch of irresponsible politicians who have no interest in seeing our lower city recover from the neglect and poor management of the last twenty-odd years. There is a growing groundswell of support for innovative solutions to our population, transit and taxation problems, but due to shortsightedness and deliberate misinformation and confusion of the residents of Hamilton, there is still no proper consensus on things like the LRT portfolio.

Everyone knows we need to make changes, but no one wants to commit because they don't want to be seen as 'tax-and-spend'. Too many people in Hamilton have been conditioned to think all investment expenditures are equally bad in Hamilton, and will only endorse familiar old thinking like 'roads and houses first'.

The city's 'vision' priority is now set for filling potholes, of which we have many, because of the same mismanagement and shortsightedness that is going to lose us this golden opportunity.

Sadly, Hamilton has a fairly well-established history of investing in the wrong projects and doubling down on the future of urban sprawl and Single Occupant Vehicle road traffic. The dream of Robert Moses has been proven to be a mistake, but Hamilton City Council is set to commit us to at least ten more years of inactivity and deferral, and another attempt to revive and move this city forward will be swept out of our reach.

I'm tired of this. I've lived in this city virtually my whole life (except those three months I spent in Oakville; don't tell Hamilton, please), and for the first time in my life, I'm seriously considering leaving for good, because Hamilton simply cannot grow up and out of its infantile dependence upon cars.

So my ask of you this day is to please, commit to Hamilton's need for Light Rail Transit. Please do so in unequivocal terms, so that the myriad voices of doubt in our community will be reassured once and for all on this issue. Hamiltonians need to see that this is not chicanery; not more political smoke and mirrors designed to stick us with a tab we're so deathly afraid of that we won't even order dinner.

It's time for this province to move forward, and I think we can all agree that if Hamilton doesn't come along, the whole project is going to be weighed down by the same wasteful foot-dragging practices that have gotten us this far, which is to say, absolutely nowhere. Help us to help you. Many of us are determined that LRT is an essential part of the formula for our rebirth. Without it, new investment and urban intensification will stall, and we'll lose our core and the city will fall so deep into debt that it winds up bankrupt like Detroit; a fate no city should have to suffer in this country.

I know I've reiterated a few of my regular points about this stuff, but I figured it bore repeating for the Premier, whom I suspect does not follow me on Twitter, or reads my pithy comments on RTH.

Comment edited by LeeEdwardMcIlmoyle on 2015-03-13 11:17:59

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