Light Rail for Dummies
Quote: “……..scrapping bike lanes to make way for diverted car traffic defeats the purpose of LRT”
Exactly! To reduce congestion, one must reduce road space, but provide an attractive and affordable transit alternative.
LRT has proven to be that attractive and affordable alternative, something that TransLink and the Metro mayors have yet to learn.
LRT advocates torn over ‘extremely frustrating’ plan to eliminate bike lanes
Hamilton urbanists say scrapping bike lanes to make way for diverted car traffic defeats the purpose of LRT
By Samantha Craggs, CBC News Posted: Jan 30, 2017 5:44 PM ET
It’s a new frustration for Hamilton urbanists. After years of rallying, they’re finally getting their $1 billion light rail transit (LRT) system. But now the project is threatening their other prize — some of the lower city’s hard-won bicycle lanes.
‘It doesn’t make sense.’ - Dave Heidebrecht, chair, Cycle HamiltonCycling enthusiasts will speak up this month on a list of proposed bike lane losses to allow for LRT.
The current plan jeopardizes existing bike lanes along Dundurn Street North, and York Boulevard from Queen to Dundurn, as well as proposed bike lanes along Main Street West from Macklin to Cootes.
“It’s frustrating,” says Dave Heidebrecht, chair of Cycle Hamilton. (Courtesy of Dave Heidebrecht)
“It’s frustrating,” said Dave Heidebrecht, LRT supporter and chair of Cycle Hamilton. LRT and bike lanes are supposed to work together to encourage people to leave their cars at home. So removing bike lanes “doesn’t make sense.”
Ryan McGreal, editor of the urbanist blog Raise the Hammer, called the bike lane loss “extremely frustrating.” The traffic issues would be solved, he said, if the city made Main Street two way. (LRT traffic planners have said that’s not necessary.)
Cycle Hamilton is encouraging cyclists to make their voices heard. The city and Metrolinx will take feedback until Feb. 3.
‘This is not about throwing bike lanes out. What we said was we need to be up front. We need more lanes of traffic.’ - Paul Johnson, the city’s head of the LRT projectEven if some bike lanes disappear, Coun. Jason Farr said the city would try to replace them — on parallel side streets.
For Heidebrecht, it depends on how the city does that. The replacements would have to be at least as useful as the bike lanes are now. And he doesn’t want them to take years.
Paul Johnson, the city’s head of the LRT project, said the main portion in question is the York Boulevard and Dundurn area. Hamilton’s B-line LRT plan is primarily modeled on an environmental assessment from 2011, he said. The lanes deviate from that design.
‘We need more lanes for traffic’
“This is not about throwing bike lanes out,” he said. “What we said was we need to be up front. We need more lanes of traffic. We’re saying we need what it was in 2011.”
There are no plans to remove the Cannon bike lanes, implemented to much fanfare in 2014. “The current plan is we’re not recommending they need to come out for any traffic related to the LRT,” Johnson said.
City council’s LRT subcommittee voted Monday to add a stop at Bay Street, which will add about 50 seconds to the B-line route from McMaster University to the Queenston traffic circle.
Johnson isn’t sure what the additional stop will cost, or how it’ll fit into Metrolinx’s $1 billion budget. Construction will cost at least $2.5 million. That’s not including property acquisition.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce asked for a Bay Street stop. City council still has to approve the ask, and Metrolinx has to agree to it too.