40 miles SW of Toronto lies the city of Hamilton. It joins a select group of cities (Liverpool, Berkeley, and Nashville) in turning away bus lanes:
With a Wednesday night council vote, city staff will spend about $100,000 to get rid of the transit lane, which runs from Mary to Dundurn Streets. It was a close vote, with councillors voting 9-7 to get rid of the lane. Coun. Chad Collins moved the motion.
City staff said Thursday morning the bus lane will still be in effect until city staff remove the signage above the lane. City staff are expected meet before the week is finished to formulate a plan to remove the signs and markings.
Council votetd to kill the bus lane, even though it was working mostly Ok:
A staff information report last week had recommended keeping the lane with modifications. The lane added about five minutes to the stretch during afternoon rush hour, its report showed, and carried nearly as many people as the other two lanes. The majority of transit users and drivers liked it, the report said, as well as the 2015 Toronto Pan Am committee. The majority of businesses did not.
The bus lane was to be a precursor to a full blown light-rail line. But now the same City Councilors say they don’t want the light-rail either — even though the LRT is fully funded:
Hamilton’s mayor announced Monday that the province is willing to fully fund the capital costs of light rail transit here, but the news did little to sway the minds of councillors unsure about LRT. Those opposed or uncertain about LRT continued to raise objections and reiterate their opposition Tuesday.
The news didn’t convince Coun. Judi Partridge of Ward 15 in Flamborough, who says she’s uncertain on LRT even if it does get full provincial funding. “There is no change,” she said. “We still don’t have any information. We still don’t have a commitment. We still have confusion, but that’s about it.” Only eight of council’s 16 members confirmed a commitment to a $1-billion LRT system on Tuesday if it’s fully funded. Others say they have questions.
Partridge and Coun. Arlene VanderBeek of Ward 13 in Dundas cited unknown below-ground infrastructure costs as reasons they’re hesitant.
“My husband collects train sets. I can tell you that the train and the track are the cheapest part, and that’s just toys,” VanderBeek said. “That’s not the reality of transit for this city, which is so important.”
Is VanderBeek aware of how much the highway infrastructure costs? Automobiles are the cheapest part.