LRT in Hamilton Letter of Support (again)

Posted on 2016/05/17


DELIVERED ELECTRONICALLY TO: sam.merulla@hamilton.ca

Good afternoon Councillor,

I have written often in support of the LRT (Light Rail Transit) Initiative for the City of Hamilton. As you’re aware, I live in close proximity to the proposed eastern terminus.

Not only do I have much to gain personally from being closely located to the system, I believe that the City has much more to gain. Not only the simple gain of the economic activity related to the build process itself, but also the ongoing positive outcomes that LRT systems have seen when properly designed and supported by their municipality.

As one of Hamilton’s export businesses, I do the bulk of my work from Hamilton, with global foot-print customers and a head office in Seattle. While I understand that Seattle and Hamilton aren’t ‘comparable’ in the eyes of some city staff and councillors, it is important to note that it is a city that supports not just the legacy monorail to Seattle Center, but also operates commuter heavy rail, LRT, Toronto-style streetcars, electric trolley buses, traditional diesel buses, extremely short duration car rental (car2go), both Lyft and Uber, and a modestly successful bike-share program. I’ve seen what transit does to support our business in Seattle and I wish wholeheartedly as we build toward a Canadian office that I could make the argument to locate in Hamilton rather than Toronto – but the dismal state of public transit is holding us back – yet another investment that is about to pass Hamilton by.

I understand that some councillors have an interest in keeping our city down. Or rather, I am aware that some councillors feel this way – I cannot fathom the reasons that they repeatedly reach for the most regressive and poorly thought out ideas available. It is the behaviour of petulant children and has no place in the discourse of adults. As they seem to be unable to understand the impact of their pettiness, I agree with and support your idea of re-opening the Area Rating discussion and would offer useful opportunities for similar unpleasantness include The One-Way Conversion of Fennell / Mohawk, Tolls On Up-Bound Traffic, Re-routing Sewage Mains Southward To The Airport Lands, Conflict Of Interest Relating To Licensing (Taxi), and Extending LRT Into Ward 5 To Prevent Pouting By Councillor. Any of those would act to alter behaviour in a meaningful way.

Via the footnotes above and below, I have attached my public statements from the past as they continue to speak to a concerned citizen’s opinion on the matter.

Most importantly though, as the eastern terminus lies within your Ward, I would ask that you volunteer / arrange to be Council’s voice on whatever oversight committee is drawn up. We’ve seen the disaster that resulted when Councillor Ferguson was committing regular acts of oversight on the Stadium file. I can only imagine the kind of wreckage made possible by enabling Councillor Ferguson to have any input into transit that does not require the use of a ‘previously enjoyed’ ex-law enforcement vehicle as a passenger facility.

Please keep up your work advocating for a Hamilton that we’ll be proud to leave to our descendants and thank you in advance for ensuring that your learned colleagues on council receive the message of the citizenry.

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