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  #1681  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2011, 5:41 PM
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A few comments

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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Here's a rapid transit history refresher excerpted from Light Rail Technology Overview & Analysis (PDF) (P.Topalovic/L. Lottimer/M. Pepito, City of Hamilton Public Works, April 2009):

Historical Context of Rapid Transit in Hamilton

Hamilton has a long history of rail use in passenger, commercial and industrial contexts. The first street car lines in North America were established in New York City during the 1830s. These inter-city rail networks enjoyed great success for many years until the popularity of the automobile began to compete with rail. By the 1950s, most street car networks were dismantled in favour of more flexible buses that were thought to alleviate congestion and decrease the cost of infrastructure associated with the streetcar (Taplin, 1998).

The Hamilton Street Railway was dismantled in 1951, in favour of trolley buses powered by overhead wires which, after 1992, were replaced by a bus-only transit network (Wyatt, 2007). At the height of rail passenger transit in the city there were four independently run lines connecting Hamilton’s inner city with Brantford, Dundas, Ancaster, Binbrook, Burlington, Stoney Creek and Niagara. These lines served innercity connections, such as the Hamilton Street Railway, and regional functions, such as the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo (TH&B) railway. Most lines travelled East-West along Main, King, York, Aberdeen and Lawrence road. They also ran North-South using Mountain Brow Boulevard and Beach Boulevard to Burlington.
Binbrook never had any kind of rail service, radial or steam/diesel. And there was no service of any kind on Mountain Brow Boulevard. I think someone checked a very bad map, and confused the old Hamilton-Caledonia rail line with Mountain Brow Blvd. Niagara is accurate, as Beamsville is in the NW corner of Niagara Region. Odd that Oakville isn't mentioned.

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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
The first mention of rapid transit in Hamilton can be found in a Hamilton Spectator Article from 1962 which states “If the city has built up a well-planned rapid transit system, mass transportation moves about smoothly to nurture development of the municipality. If only more buses and automobiles and commercial vehicles are crowded onto existing streets, it can strangle the city’s lifelines and end its growth” (Marshall, 1962).

A city report on transportation and transit from 1962 indicated that two North-South lines using James and Ottawa Streets were needed in addition to an East-West line running from Highway 102 (Hwy 403 bridge) to Hwy 20 (Centennial Parkway). For many years thereafter, the two types of systems that dominated transit planning discussions were subways and elevated rail tracks or monorails. Much of this speculation came from the building of Toronto’s Younge subway line in the 1950’s, the Disneyland Monorail and Seattle Monorail built for the 1962 World’s Fair.
In the 1959 report on whether or not the city should buy the HSR, mention was made that a future subway line should be built between Hwy 102 and Centennial Pkwy. By the way, Hwy 102 was not Hwy 403, but Cootes Dr.

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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Hamilton’s drive for rapid transit continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in a variety of transportation studies which chose the North-South Corridor as the area of choice for rapid transit, because it was projected to have the highest population growth. This line would run from Mohawk Road and Highway 6 to the downtown core via Upper James Street and the Claremont Access, ending at Civic Square (Jackson Square). Another would run from Mount Albion to Barton Street and then onward to the core.

East-West Lines along Main and King from Main Street West (King’s Highway 2) to the downtown core were also considered important corridors. These three lines would all meet at the current site of the Hunter Street Terminal. While the technology was not specifically identified, proposals for monorail, subway and light rail transit systems were put forth. This lead to a 1974 plan for a monorail system, promoted by Mayor Victor Copps, which followed the North-South route while using Burlington Street to end at Kenilworth Avenue. It was projected that future expansion would link the airport and the Nanticoke Stelco Lake Erie Works to the downtown core.

I've heard of this idea, but not read much about it. But Nanticoke? Seriously?

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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
The Ontario government’s urban transportation policy of the 1970s and their formation of the Urban Transit Development Corporation (UTDC), now the Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) division of Bombardier, enabled the province to fund, design and eventually build a system similar to the original Hamilton Transit Plan backed by Mayor Copps, referred to as ICTS (Intermediate Capacity Transit System). Hamilton was to be a test city for a new rail technology using driverless trains on elevated guideways, powered by linear induction motors and magnetic fields. The cost of the system was projected to be $100 million with 90% of the funding coming from the federal government and the province, who wished to promote a new technology that propelled the train using a middle track and positional wheels, rather than traditional rail methods. This system is currently running in Vancouver as the Sky Train and in Toronto as the Scarborough RT.

The proposed Hamilton Rapid Transit Project of 1981 looked at a variety of corridors connecting the upper escarpment with the downtown core including two tunnelling routes, one starting at Fennell Avenue and Upper James and ending at lower James Street; the other starting at Inverness and Upper Wellington and ending at the start of the Claremont access and the Jolley Cut. The other two routes were to be built above ground using elevated guideways. The preferred route, “W” (see Figure 30) was chosen to run from Mohawk Road to the core using a tunnel at James Street.



Figure 30 - Four Proposed ICTS Alignments (Metro Canada, 1981c)
An example of the elevated guiderail and car can be seen in artist renderings of familiar Hamilton streetscapes. The first is a view of James Street South at the escarpment tunnel exit:


The second is at the Royal Connaught in the downtown core:


Proposed station stops included Upper James and Mohawk, Upper James and Fennell, St. Joseph’s Hospital, MacNab and King William Streets. The elevated track was to be a made-in-Hamilton design comprised of concrete in some areas and composite steel in others. Along the mountain corridor trains would travel along a median guideway carrying two way traffic, and a one-way looped guideway as they entered the central business district. Portions of the TH&B lands (at the present day GO terminal) were to be used as a maintenance facility. The full capital costs of the system were determined to be $111.1 million and operating costs were projected to be $3.5 million per year (Sicoli, 1981, June 17). Ridership estimates in peak hour traffic were 3,000 passengers per hour in 1986, and in 2001 they were projected to be 6,500 passengers per hour.

Early on in the transit planning process, during the 1970s, citizen and political support for the system was high; however as the more detailed planning and public consultation processes began in the 1980s, public opinion changed and support for the system dwindled, until the plans were eventually dropped in December of 1981. Some of the concerns included:

• Unsightly elevated guideways
• Negative impact on property values
• Burden on the taxpayer, especially due to unknown operating costs of the system (Rapid Transit Load Will Fall on City, 1981).
• Lack of political will, leadership and organization where rapid transit was concerned
• Improper timing and lack of need as transit needs are well served by bus routes.
• Population growth projections were too high.
• Coalitions of neighbourhood associations against the system.
• Reliance on un-proven, experimental technology.
• Insufficient access for the disabled.
• Traffic, emergency and personal safety hazards due to concrete guideways.
• The UTDC cars were to be made in Vancouver and not in Hamilton.
• Bus routes may still be required along ICTS routes since stations are too far apart.
• Bus routes require upgrading before money can be spent on new infrastructure.
• Does not service the proper areas such as the bayfront industrial core, which have a higher transit demand.
• Poor public engagement/consultation and an inability to answer to citizen concerns, coupled with reports of failure to provide accurate, unbiased reports on public opinion (Sicoli, 1981, Sept. 15).
• Distrust of the province’s intentions and the ability of the UTDC to deliver on their promises of prosperity and system functionality.

In addition to these concerns, Hamilton-Wentworth Regional transportation planners stunted the new transit system’s planning and installation by ranking it 8 out of 13 essential transportation projects for the city, far down the list from the top which contained mostly freeway projects including the Red Hill Valley and Lincoln Alexander Parkways (“Report Says No Urgency”, 1981). However, others believed that “rapid transit will be the thing of the future. We can’t keep constructing roads and carving up the escarpment for more automobile accesses.” (Scicoli, 1981, May 2).

For more info on the failed ICTS proposal
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  #1682  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2011, 8:11 PM
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The 1981 ICTS proposal wasn't the first time Hamilton considered a new form of rapid transit. According to a Chamber of Commerce record from 1966 that my friend found, Hamilton was considering this system of buses on fixed guideways:


http://www.pittsburghtransit.info/skybus.html

Apparently they sent representatives to Pittsburgh to see their test system, and they came back converted.
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  #1683  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2011, 8:18 PM
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Based on the video it went fast too.
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  #1684  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2011, 8:27 PM
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http://www.thespec.com/opinion/edito...is-for-council

If in fact Murray’s directive and the mayor’s ad hoc comments signify an official change in position, this matter needs to go back before council at the earliest opportunity. At least one councillor — Lloyd Ferguson — is openly wondering why the matter hasn’t gone back to council already.
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  #1685  
Old Posted Jul 19, 2011, 8:41 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
All that article in the Spec is saying is that they have fullfilled the mandate of the study. They can't do anything else until the report is done and handed over to the province and council for consideration. Once decisions are made based on the report they can proceed accordingly.

I wouldn't read anything into the fact that they have sent staff back to their regular duties. If they have nothing further to do with regards to the study, it only makes sense that they be given other tasks for the time being. Lobbying for all day GO service is a good use of their time.
Exactly. I am amazed by all the hand wringing and fist shaking going on over this. It's truly a tempest in a teapot.
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  #1686  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 12:22 AM
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Metrolinx: LRT and GO Can Co-Exist [Emma Reilly, Hamilton Spectator, July 19, 2011]

“It is important to remember that both rapid transit initiatives planned for Hamilton — the Hamilton LRT and all day GO Train service from Toronto to Hamilton — are viable and can co-exist,” said Malon Edwards, media relations and issues specialist at the regional transportation agency. “Hamilton’s current rapid transit situation is not an ‘either-or’ scenario.” Metrolinx also says Hamilton’s first LRT line is among its “priority projects.”
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  #1687  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 1:10 AM
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  #1688  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 2:22 AM
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interesting sidebar in that spec article, most councillors are on board in principle with LRT but all say wait and see. Clark Powers and Partridge no surprises they had nothing to say, but a number of those from wards away from the B-Line are offering support. In fact the message here from council is pretty unequivocal. What I don't get is why this was done in such a grandiose fashion by Murray and Bratina. Surely this didn't have to take place via all this CHML stream of consciousness by Bratina.
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  #1689  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 4:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Dalton View Post
The 1981 ICTS proposal wasn't the first time Hamilton considered a new form of rapid transit. According to a Chamber of Commerce record from 1966 that my friend found, Hamilton was considering this system of buses on fixed guideways:


http://www.pittsburghtransit.info/skybus.html

Apparently they sent representatives to Pittsburgh to see their test system, and they came back converted.
Thanks Jon. Hadn't heard of this one, I've got to do more reading and then maybe write another article.

This is the second proposed Hamilton transit project that I've come across this week. A couple of days ago I found this 1913 map at Archives Canada

http://data2.archives.ca/nmc/n0022384.pdf

If you look at the Mountain, you'll see 'Proposed Hamilton Mountain Electric Railway' running along Upper James and along Fennell. Judging by the map date, I assume WWI came along and wrecked the plan.
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  #1690  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for these historical transit tidbits. A lot of very interesting info there.

Of course, I'm quite sure that in 25 years a new batch of transit/urban enthusiasts will discover the details of our LRT plans and wonder what could have been...such is the nature of things in the Hammer.
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  #1691  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 11:37 AM
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South Aldershot

^ nuff said!!

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  #1692  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Talking

So now getting GO to James North is a bad thing?

It amazes me how the histerical class are painting this as an either/or situation. LRT is not being abandoned and anyone who is suggesting that is being disingenuous. The reality is the Rapid Transit office had a specific mandate and delivery timeline before next steps for LRT are examined by council. As was pointed out by several councillors a week or so ago (most notably Clark and to a lesser degree Collins), scope creep was setting in. All that Murray has done is his job, which is to make sure staff resources are where they are required.

Getting GO to James N has always been a higher priority both for the City and Metrolinx. If one takes time to review Metrolinx' plan it clearly identified a GO Station at James N as a quick hit project to be done in he first five years of its overall Big Move plan. LRT in Hamilton was slotted in the next set of projects to follow the quick hits.

From a city point of view, in the context of logistics for hosting Pan Am events, construction of LRT wouldn't begin until after the games are over. However, all day GO train service should be in place in time for the Games. It only makes sense that all day GO trains be the top priority.
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  #1693  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 6:58 PM
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It's been an interesting few days, for sure. If nothing else, a poor sense of the optics.

Ferguson Adds Clarity to LRT Discussion [Graham Crawford, Raise the Hammer, July 20, 2011]

Rapid Transit Manager on Vacation When LRT Program Suspended [Ryan McGreal, Raise the Hammer, July 20, 2011]
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  #1694  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 7:10 PM
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Getting a GO Station at JamesNorth is a GREAT thing!
..lowering our expectations/standards to become a suburb of a suburb is NOT a good thing! THAT is the point behind the comic, hence "South Aldershot"

It's too bad some ppl just don't get Editorial Cartoon humour.

To be honest, I think this is Bratina throwing another Temper Tantrum and throwing ideas around like rice at a 1970's wedding! (or Pens at a Council meeting, for that matter!)
Remember his campaign? "This for you, that for them, De-amalgamation for everybody!!!"

There is a LOT of misinformation being thrown around by all parties involved except maybe Metrolinx (who is doing some damage still by not giving full, clear, precise answers).

Who knows, maybe this is even Bratina's way of saying, "Hey Dalton! WTF is going on? You're ignoring our requests and giving very vague answers - what is going on!?"

We'll see! ..this is clearly just the beginning (of the Ontario Liberals Campaign lol)
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  #1695  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 7:51 PM
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There has definitely been a lot of misinformation bandied about by all parties involved. It probably would have been better if Chris Murray wasn't away so he could clarify exactly what was being messaged in his email. The worst thing about electronic communication is how non-verbal nuances are absent and the reader tends to second-guess missing nuance, tone and intent.

It's also difficult when the Mayor tends to speakly freely and frankly, and is not one to practise the dubious art of political double speak. In this way Bratina reminds me of Mel Lastman, whose similar open discourse caused many a raised brow or chortle among the Toronto Political Elite during his mayoralty (yet was arguably one of the more successful Toronto mayors in recent memory).

It also doesn't help when you have a print media that is openly hostile to the mayor looking to sensationalize a story to help drum up sagging sales during a traditionally slow summer news season.

PS I do get the humor in an editorial cartoon, when there's truth and humor present in it, that is...
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  #1696  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 8:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hamtransithistory View Post
Thanks Jon. Hadn't heard of this one, I've got to do more reading and then maybe write another article.

This is the second proposed Hamilton transit project that I've come across this week. A couple of days ago I found this 1913 map at Archives Canada

http://data2.archives.ca/nmc/n0022384.pdf

If you look at the Mountain, you'll see 'Proposed Hamilton Mountain Electric Railway' running along Upper James and along Fennell. Judging by the map date, I assume WWI came along and wrecked the plan.
That's a nice map. You can see all the radials in it too. I've been thinking of trying to make a map of Hamilton that shows all of the once-existing railways, radial railways and streetcar routes all at once. That map would be a good place to start.

About the Skybus system, I don't think it ever got past the idea stage. It was pretty funny listening to that Chamber of Commerce record hearing them talk about the transportation plan at that time, they were talking about a crosstown expressway as well. I expect when troubles began with Pittsburgh's system, our leaders quickly lost interest.

Of course, Pittsburgh learned from their mistakes and brought the focus to light rail.
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  #1697  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Dalton View Post
That's a nice map. You can see all the radials in it too. I've been thinking of trying to make a map of Hamilton that shows all of the once-existing railways, radial railways and streetcar routes all at once. That map would be a good place to start.
Already done

This site has several maps, Google and otherwise

http://hamiltontransithistory.host-ed.net/docs.html

These two sites have downloadable maps in the form of Google Earth files
Electric lines
http://cermc.webs.com/
Ontario Railways
http://ontariomap.webs.com/
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  #1698  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2011, 1:27 AM
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edit, don't drink and post.

I'm having a hard time understanding the LRT, in that why do I want to go to Eastgate or Mac? So it will increase development, so people are suddenly going to want to live at say, the Queenston Traffic circle so they can get on a LRT to go to either Eastgate or Mac? or perhaps downtown? But don't we want the development concentrated downtown? So people are going to want to live downtown in a condo so they can take the LRT to where? I'm believing Bratina now in that developers aren't getting in line because of a proposed LRT. Other than the LRT looking cool I'm having difficulty understanding how a billion$ train track is going to do anything?

Last edited by realcity; Jul 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM.
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  #1699  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2011, 12:31 PM
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I haven't been to Eastgate Sq since Christmas shopping 2010. And I haven't been to Mac since 2005. Both places I prefer to avoid like .... aliens- scrap that - like mormons - scrap that - or like McHattie's Peoples' Republic of Wards 1 & 2 Army. Where I should be growing my own staples on my front lawn and if I'm 22-floors up in a condo, I should be growing my food in a group-hug-farm. Maybe McHattie's Peoples Republic will find a way that we can eat our dog poo and call it vegan.
Wait, what?
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  #1700  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2011, 3:42 PM
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I searched Buffalo LRT and read an article from hamiltonlightrail, because their line seems somewhat similar to our B-Line and the article blames Buffalo's falling population for its failure. But our numbers show that our lower city is actually losing population too and it has for some time now. The mountain surpassed the lower city in population decades ago. And the trend is not reversing. The article also goes on to blame Buffalo's failure because the LRT has an underground section and it's old technology. These things didn't hurt Toronto's subway.

No I believe our LRT will function more like Buffalo's and not like Portland or Charlotte, because Portland and Charlotte are totally different cities. Charlotte has doubled in size in the last 30 years and Portland created a urban boundary and stuck to it. Hamilton is more like Buffalo.

I think GO will do a lot more for downtown than LRT would from Mac to Eastgate. We might get a cluster around James North similar to what happened to North York's condo boom after the Sheppard line.

Besides if and when LRT gets built it's 25 years away. It's been a campaign promise since the 2004 already. And who knows what Hamilton's downtown will be like in 25 years. If it repeats the last 25 we'll be in big trouble. A couple condos here and there are not that promising when places like Burlington's waterfront and even Kerr Village is getting a twin condo tower and Toronto's canyon of condos built in the last 20 years compared to our couple new smallish condos is hardly keeping up with the trend.
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