Archive for June, 2011

Hamilton LRT Planning Meetings Begin Tuesday

Monday, June 20th, 2011

This illustration shows an artists conception of LRT trains moving west along King Street, near Hess and Caroline Streets. - The City of Hamilton

June 27 update:

I attended the June 27 meeting, where about 35-40 people were in attendance. These meetings are part of the preparation of a secondary plan for land use along the B-Line corridor from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. The plan will establish future land use patterns and urban design direction for areas along the corridor. Some changes to zoning bylaws and regulations may result from this.

The meetings follow design charrettes that took place earlier in the day where a small groups worked with a local architect to come up with some potential future design ideas for the study area. 3D images of these potential ideas were presented at the meeting along with the design goals and concerns that lead to their development.  A discussion took place after the presentation and people were encouraged to express what they liked and did not like about the plan.

Original post continues…

Unlike people in Toronto or York Region, the folks in Hamilton will have a chance to bring their vision for a light-rail transit corridor to life during a series of public meetings around six key neighbourhoods along the proposed route. As mentioned in this article from the Hamilton Spectator, the following LRT Design Workshops will be taking place:

  • Longwood Road and Main Street West study area
    Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
    1107 Main St. W. (at Cline Avenue)
    Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m.
  • The Queenston Traffic Circle and Parkdale Avenue study area
    St. Columba Presbyterian Church
    1540 Main St. E. (at Weir Street)
    Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m.
  • Dundurn Street and King Street West study area
    The Scottish Rite Round Room
    4 Queen St. S. (at King Street)
    Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m.
  • The Delta and Ottawa Street study area
    Delta United Church
    47 Ottawa St. S.
    Tuesday, June 28 at 7 p.m.
  • Wentworth Street and King Street East study area
    Festival Banquet Centre
    747 King St. E.
    Tuesday, July 5 at 7 p.m.
  • Nash Road and Queenston Road study area
    Red Hill branch of the Hamilton Public Library
    695 Queenston Rd.
    Wednesday July 6, 7 p.m.

Current view of King Street

Waterloo Regional Council Votes 9-2 in Favour of LRT

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

According to the Waterloo Region Record, in a historic decision, regional council voted 9-2 Wednesday to build an $818-million rail transit system, the largest public works project ever undertaken in the region.

Critics fear trains will prove a costly blunder in a car-friendly community where commuters shun transit. Some critics argue rapid buses — at $702 million — are a cheaper, more flexible way forward. What the critics don’t realize is that for the extra $116 million in additional capital costs, the LRT system will cost less per year to operate than a rapid bus system.

The approved plan and latest timeline suggests that by 2017 you will see electric trains, drawing power from overhead wires, running 19 kilometres between Conestoga Mall in Waterloo and Fairview Park mall in Kitchener. Trains will pass every 7.5 to 15 minutes and stop at up to 18 platforms. Mall-to-mall travel time is estimated at 39 minutes, up to nine minutes faster than the schedule for express buses today.

Cambridge is getting buses instead of trains because transit ridership is lower there, redevelopment potential is less, and rapid transit is being implemented in stages to save money.

Work to relocate or encase utilities beneath streets could launch by next year, to prevent ruptures and maintenance from disrupting transit. Track construction could launch by 2014.

If only this could be built and running sooner. Toronto could certainly use a good dose of LRT Envy, and this is close enough for that!

Pro-LRT Rally in Kitchener this Saturday

Friday, June 10th, 2011

This is a little last-minute, but there will be a pro-LRT rally on Saturday in Kitchener in advance of a regional council vote to be held next Wednesday on the $818-million transit plan that would see light rail trains running from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to Fairview Park mall in Kitchener, with rapid buses running to the Ainslie Street transit terminal in Cambridge.

The hour-long Rally for Rails II, which runs Saturday at the corner of King St. E. and Frederick St. in Kitchener will begin at noon.