Comment 118370

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted May 08, 2016 at 15:12:47 in reply to Comment 118361

Agree Eastgate needs to happen sooner than later. That said:

We are one of the biggest active local LRT advocacy group, also working with members of the original hamiltonlightrail.ca group too and many other new members. Nicholas Kevlahan, the author of this article, also attends our advocacy team meetings as well. Almost a thousand follow us on our social media, after only barely beyond six months of having started up.

We definitely advocate quick incremental extensions, including being patient until nearer 2018 or 2022 elections due to unfavourable politics in Stoney Creek. Those politics can could end up sabotaging the rest of the LRT if people try to blindly grassroots-push too quickly into Stoney Creek -- it needs thoughtfulness and respect to their electorate -- That said, it likely will take a few years before voters change their mind. When the electorate feels like they are missing out, they will eventually turn around and vote for the LRT. Especially if Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo (opens by 2018) show tremendous success.

We are observing very quick incremental extensions in both Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo occuring, becoming funded even before they finish construction of Phase 1.

incremental

incremental

Phase 2 OTTAWA: http://www.stage2lrt.ca

Phase 2 KITCHENER-WATERLOO: http://rapidtransit.regionofwaterloo.ca/...

Ottawa begins Stage 2 construction immediately after Stage 1:

ABOUT STAGE 2 RAIL

Stage 2 will change the way we move around Ottawa. Think about it: 30 kilometres of rail and 19 new stations. That means shorter commutes, cleaner air, and a stronger economy.

You will be able to get on a train as far east as Place d’Orléans, travel traffic-free through the downtown tunnel, and arrive as far west as Bayshore or Algonquin College. If you’re coming from the south, Stage 2 will extend the existing O-Train Trillium Line to Riverside South, while adding stations along the way at Walkley and Gladstone.

The Stage 2 LRT project was approved unanimously by Ottawa City Council in 2013. We plan to start construction in 2018. Upon completion in 2023, Stage 2 will bring 70% of residents within five kilometres of rail.

...and their Stage 1 is still under construction!

Ottawa approved Stage 2 five years before the scheduled completion of Stage 1, to achieve contiguous construction. Hamilton's equivalent will be getting Stage 2 approved shortly after a favorable 2018 election, and barring that, another opportunity during 2022.

We must advocate this. At the same time many of us feel it is a mistake is to panic about a "build and forget" mentality. Yes, I know, "Hamilton" and our well known defeatist mentality, but we are not Toronto -- and many opportunities of funding pitch-ins will occur between now and 2024 and the politicking that goes with all of this.

This is what we are aiming for: advocating for quick incremental extensions, beginning Phase 2 construction right after Phase 1 when the electorate in Stoney Creek generally warms up to it. This can potentially include grassroots campaigns to convince Stoney Creek electorate to vote for LRT.

Many parts of Kitchener-Waterloo, despite complaints about construction, and some cooling off on LRT, many have warmed up to the LRT too. There are also many who wished they did not vote against the LRT and now want Phase 2 to be accelerated.

Many of us WILL do a strong push. Many independently, many within our advocacy, and/or other groups. But many are also are observing other cities, and realize we should wait a small bit (on certain Eastgate advocacy elements) for all the above reasons. But it is never too early to begin talking to residents near Eastgate/Stoney Creek -- at least residents willing to listen now well before the benefits of LRT becomes more obvious/visible.

Comments and help is always welcome! (And we eventually need volunteers on the Eastgate/Stoney Creek front) -- contact[at]hamiltonLRT.ca

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2016-05-08 15:57:55

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