Public statements from other supporters
Jacklyn Campbell says,
I am extremely disappointed at the short-sightedness of the elected officials who want to scrap the bus lane.
- David Capizzano supports this.
- Matthew D Thomson supports this.
Matt Jelly says,
This project began with a mostly unanimous council, and was entirely funded by the province. After a year of study, City staff advise keeping the lane, with a series of modifications to make the lane work better. Now, with a divided council, we seem poised to ignore our staff, squander any potential long-term value from the investment, and send a signal to the Province that Hamilton can't handle even the most basic forms of transit infrastructure.
As a graphic design professional, I feel the bus lane project had some problems from the start, in terms of communicating the reasons for the lane to the public, and clarity on it's function. This should have been visible, and publicized well in advance. This has been the source for most of the problems with this project, real, perceived and fabricated. Clear communication was non-existent, and many feel it was set up to fail.
Transit riders do deserve a place on the road, in the busiest transit corridor in the City, and shouldn't be punished for initial mistakes in implementation. We should take the advice of city staff, and make the most out of this investment. 50% of the residents travelling on King Street are doing so by bus- they deserve the same efficient passage that cars enjoy city-wide.
In all of our mission statements and master plans, we say we're a city who recognizes the myriad benefits of transit use, and encourages transit use- to reduce auto emissions, provide affordable transport and to reduce our contributions to global climate change.
In practice, we do everything to discourage transit use, particularly in the classist way some of our leaders approach the issue.
Until council has a better alternative for transit riders, the lane should stay- as the only serious investment we've made to better serve transit riders in a generation.
- Stephanie Ross supports this.
Cameron Kowalchuk says,
The bus lane is an important step in Hamilton's evolution into a truly great city. Making public transit a priority now will pay huge dividends in the future.
Zach Cano says,
The transit-only lane is an important step towards improving Hamilton's transit system, which has been neglected for far too long! Why spend money to remove it when simple improvements have been recommended? Think positively!
Ron Mears says,
I also support having the 21 UPPER KENILWORTH route expanded to Heritage Greene Shopping Centre, on Stone Church Road East/Paramount Drive, so that Upper Stoney Creek can be connected to Downtown Hamilton.
- Jamie smith supports this.
Rochelle Martin says,
Our bus lane is a small, imperfect, but very important first step in moving forward with a sustainable transit plan for a growing Hamilton. I ride the bus many times each week, and appreciate the bus lane. I drive a car many times each week, and still appreciate the bus lane!
Dennis Goldsberry says,
Hamilton needs to look to the future by creating a city that does not center transportation on the private car but public transportation instead.
Kevin Dunn says,
The transit system in Hamilton has definitely been improving over the past 14 years I have used it. The bus lane is one of those improvements.
If HSR is looking at this from a business perspective (pretend they are a private company), then they would want to boost ridership. Advertising that you have a dedicated road lane to get you moving faster is a selling feature. Let's tell the public about it from that angle.
Keep the city moving forward, and keep the message positive.
John Nicholson says,
Any rapid transit system aside from a subway necessitates a dedicated lane to expedite the transit bus/train. An efficient and fast system will sway drivers to leave their cars at home. Yes drivers don't like the congestion but they have a choice by using mass transit. Businesses wanted two way streets to slow traffic to drive business, well this dedicated bus lane helps slow traffic down as well
- Morghen Jael supports this.
- Morghen Jael supports this.
- Marie Vander Kloet supports this.
- Stephanie Vegh supports this.
Debra Potter says,
I think the bus lane is very important, it encourages the population to take transit which has an immediate impact on the city, pollution and in the summer air quality. I highly encourage the city council to keep the bus dedicated lanes!! Its a huge step backwards to close it down. The ppl that complain are the self centered single vehicle passengers that care more about a few minutes of morning commute. Hope we do the right thing this time around.
Nicholas Kevlahan says,
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I am writing to urge you to vote to keep the bus lane on King St that has been tested as a pilot project for the past year.
You prudently decided to wait to receive the staff report before making a final decision on the bus lane despite complaints by some residents. The data and recommendations in the staff report have shown how wise that decision was!
The staff report is very clear: despite the impressions of some people, on all important measures the bus lane has been a success and achieved its objectives. It has significantly improved bus service while only increasing motorist travel time at rush hour by a few minutes.
The pilot project did identify some deficiencies of the design that can be easily rectified (restore curbside parking to the north side of King west of Bay and add signal priority for buses) and these changes should be adopted.
Most importantly, the report makes it very clear why the bus lane is justified and fair:
- The bus lane alone carries as many people as 3 other lanes of traffic! This more than justifies dedicating a single lane to buses. What would cancelling the bus lane say about how the city respects the interests of all those bus riders? Are they worth less than 1/3 of those who choose to drive?
- Ridership along the B-line corridor has grown by 20% in the last five years (despite minimal improvements in service apart from the bus lane) while ridership has only grown by 4% overall. This one transit corridor now accounts for 42% of the ridership of the entire HSR. This justifies significant investment in this corridor to improve transit service since the demand is clearly there. It also reminds us once again why this was the route chosen for LRT.
Again, I urge you to vote to keep (and improve) the transit lane.
Not doing so when the staff report tells us it is urgently needed and is successful would be a waste of taxpayer dollars and deeply unfair to the thousands of Hamiltonians who rely on efficient transit every day.
It would also say loud and clear that Hamilton isn't serious about improving transit or planning for the efficient transportation network our city needs to thrive in the future. We need to have the courage to start making these changes now. As the staff report says:
"[I]f current auto mode share trends continue, most of the escarpment crossings in Hamilton will be well over capacity by 2031. In addition, many downtown streets including King Street would operate at a poor level of service with volume exceeding capacity."
Similar, and much broader, recommendations were made in the 2010 HSR operational review by IBI, and in the the Rapid Ready report adopted by council in 2013. It is now time to start acting on these recommendations!
Meg Smith says,
It really bothers me that council wants to choose to spend the leftover budget to kill the project before it even has a chance to improve and give us important data. Knowing how a dedicated transit lane can best serve us will be helpful in determining how best to implement LRT and will inform future transit improvements. I fully support using the leftover budget to make the city staff recommended improvements.
Catherine Cox says,
I strongly support the bus lane and urge you to improve and extend it.
Ron Dick says,
Maybe one day politicians will lead, not follow.
Pam Smith says,
I live on the mountain and work at Mohawk College. Students would certainly benefit from the dedicated bus lane and associated more accurate bus schedule.
- paul Trebilcock supports this.
Graham Crawford says,
We need to move our residents and our City forward. The bus lane is much more important than it appears on the surface. The New Hamilton is about becoming the City we can imagine, not the City we can remember.
Garry Sled says,
A bus lane is about more than mass transit. It indicates a vibrant city, a growing city that concerns itself not only with the needs of specific groups, but with the needs of the community as a whole.
John Treen says,
Supporting bus lanes show our resolve for improved transportation to eliminate downtown congestion. Let's not be derailed!
Michael Moniz says,
Just because I live in Winona doesn't mean I don't support inner city transit. Wish more suburban ward residents understood the benefit of urban transit for everyone rather than complain about what they don't get in their ward
- Jeff Stock supports this.
kathleen beckett says,
Please continue to improve Hamilton transit be continuing and refining the bus lane!