The Hamilton Spectator

Burlington can’t give in to transit NIMBYism


On Thursday, Burlington Transit will conduct a public meeting to receive resident input on complaints about its Aldershot/Central/Appleby bus Route 4.

The service connects the west end of the city to the east end via; LaSalle Park Marina, Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington Art Gallery, Joseph Brant Museum, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Spencer Smith Park, The Pier, city hall then to Central Library and Burlington Seniors Centre on its way to Appleby GO. A single journey bus route that links Aldershot residents, seniors and students in the west to all the city’s amenities, attraction­s and essential services. A transit planning gem that bigger cities would gladly emulate, also providing the only single journey bus route bringing east Aldershot residents to LaSalle Park Marina, an amenity the city has invested heavily in recently, to encourage its wider use.

The current routing, four years in effect, eliminated a previously dangerous turnaround at LaSalle Park Towers.

The route serves 114 apartment condominiu­ms at Aldershot GO, 62 street level condominiu­ms along Plains Road, close to 1,000 apartment dwellers at Plains Road, Daryl Drive and Fairwood Place, 240 condominiu­ms on the corner of Daryl and Plains, the Wellington Square townhouses on Plains at Daryl and 100 residents at LaSalle Park Tower.

Some 2,500 to 3,000 families are served by the No. 4 route in the study area. Some 350 residents at four long-term-care facilities, CAMA Woodlands, LaSalle Park, Hampton Terrace and Oaklands Park Avenue, their families, PSWs and LTC staff rely on the No. 4 for work, visits and outings. Five hundred students at Aldershot High School, their parents, teachers and staff rely on the service from the Warwick Court and Surrey Lane along Townsend Avenue.

Aldershot residents ask: “Why would Burlington Transit consider changes to such a vital transit link?” It appears that a handful of residents along Northshore Boulevard, home to Burlington Golf and Country Club and a private roadbed townhouse complex on Fairwood Place, most of whom have never actually needed or used a bus, believe their sense of privilege should deprive Aldershot High School next door and the 1,000 Drewlo Apartments directly across the road from them, of an essential bus service. In protecting that privilege, they disingenuo­usly cite, noise, road safety and diesel fumes. Objections which are easily refuted.

Noise: Is the noise of a half-hourly bus more harmful than the noise of the summer lawn mowers, leaf blowers or winter snowblower­s employed along these roads by the landscapin­g contractor­s, often by those same complainan­ts? Gaspowered tools, so dangerous to human hearing that ear protection is mandated in their use? No authority mandates such safety measures for a bus going by.

Road safety: Does a half-hourly bus, driven by a profession­ally trained and regularly tested driver, present more of a danger on local streets than the on-street parked, road blocking trucks employed by the many landscapin­g companies plying Northshore Boulevard and Fairwood Place? Are their operators qualified and tested to the same degree as Burlington Transit drivers? The gasoline fumes from these activities over prolonged work periods in a day, are surely more harmful to the environmen­t and personal health as a half-hourly bus.

Burlington for Accessible, Sustainabl­e Transit remains optimistic that a city committed to improving public transit to meet its growth, intensific­ation and environmen­tal goals, while encouragin­g business, commerce and recreation in that Plains Road-Waterdown Road-Lasalle and Fairwood block and throughout Aldershot, will not allow a handful of entitled residents to deny affordable and essential transit to thousands of residents, seniors, students, workers and their employers and derail a well planned transit grid, implemente­d only four years ago after months of public consultati­on during which the complainan­ts chose not to participat­e.

 ?? GRAHAM PAINE TORSTAR FILE PHOTO ?? Jim Young discusses an attempt by some Burlington residents to change a transit route plan that he argues makes sense and works well.
GRAHAM PAINE TORSTAR FILE PHOTO Jim Young discusses an attempt by some Burlington residents to change a transit route plan that he argues makes sense and works well.

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