In­ter­na­tional Vil­lage LRT stop pos­si­ble

Plan­ners heard BIA con­cerns, pitch changes

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MATTHEW VAN DONGEN

Hamil­ton’s light rail tran­sit plan­ners are pitch­ing a new down­town stop to as­suage con­cerns of mer­chants in the In­ter­na­tional Vil­lage.

The city and project lead Metrolinx un­veiled a draft align­ment for the $1-bil­lion planned LRT line ear­lier this year. The plan called for only one lane of car traf­fic on King Street through the nar­row down­town pinch point and LRT stops at Catharine Street and Vic­to­ria Av­enue.

But even down­town fans of the con­tentious project bri­dled at the idea of skip­ping a stop within the In­ter­na­tional Vil­lage. “Years of pain and an­guish for what? ... A plan that doesn’t even put us on the map,” said In­ter­na­tional Vil­lage BIA head Susie Braith­waite at the time.

Plan­ners heard those con­cerns, said city LRT di­rec­tor Paul John­son, and are pitch­ing a Welling­ton Street stop rather than one fur­ther east at Vic­to­ria.

“We looked at it and fig­ured there was a vi­able way to es­sen­tially book­end the vil­lage,” he said, not­ing the Catharine stop would be so close to Mary Street that it can be re­named for that street, which is con­sid­ered the bor­der of the BIA.

Braith­waite said she was pleased with the change — and with the way project plan­ners con­sulted with the BIA.

“It was re­ally im­por­tant to us to have some­thing within the (Vil­lage) bound­aries,” she said.

At the same time, Braith­waite cau­tioned she can’t speak on be­half of all busi­nesses within the area when it comes to LRT sup­port.

“There are so many dif­fer­ent opin­ions out there,” she said.

Louie Petrou, of Leathers, near the pro­posed stop be­tween Mary and Catharines streets, pre­vi­ously told the Spec­ta­tor he didn’t care where the stops were lo­cated.

“Shut­ting down the street for a year of con­struc­tion, two years, is go­ing to run peo­ple out of busi­ness, pe­riod. Why would I care (where a stop is lo­cated) at that point?” he asked.

Sev­eral busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents have sub­mit­ted let­ters or want to present their po­si­tions on the project at a July 26 light rail sub­com­mit­tee meet­ing, where the staff pitch for a new stop will also be pre­sented.

A re­lated staff re­port briefly ex­cited Twit­ter users this week by ref­er­enc­ing plans for two-way car traf­fic on Main Street.

But John­son em­pha­sized the re­port refers ex­clu­sively to traf­fic flow along the ac­tual LRT route, which fol­lows Main Street West, then switches to King Street, be­fore end­ing on Main Street again be­yond the Delta.

While past Metrolinx re­ports have rec­om­mended a full con­ver­sion of Main Street to two-way traf­fic, plan­ners are “not talk­ing right now about con­vert­ing any street that is not di­rectly in­volved in the align­ment,” John­son said.

Con­sul­tants and city traf­fic engi­neers are sep­a­rately ex­am­in­ing how LRT would af­fect car traf­fic through the lower city — and may yet rec­om­mend for or against the con­ver­sion of Main’s long stretches of one-way car traf­fic.

But that ve­hi­cle traf­fic im­pact in­for­ma­tion won’t come be­fore Au­gust, John­son said, and a fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tion may take longer still.

Metrolinx and the city have now set dates for pub­lic in­for­ma­tion ses­sions this fall, how­ever, that should have new in­for­ma­tion about every­thing from traf­fic changes to po­ten­tial prop­erty ac­qui­si­tion needs for the project.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.