· by Huzaifa Saeed
Monday, January 30th: Today, the City of Hamilton LRT Subcommittee passed a motion to formally endorse a proposal by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce for an additional stop within the B-line LRT project at King and Bay Street.
We believe the stop would act as a catalyst for a dramatic increase in transit-oriented development around a prominent downtown node that is currently underperforming its potential, with over 270 degrees of parking lots and low-density development. Several members raised the issue during the public consultation process of the project’s environmental design review. We reached out to key members in proximity to the stop and received significant support from all of them, compiling our arguments into a letter submitted during the City’s public consultation process.
The letter was also presented to the Hamilton City Council’s LRT Subcommittee on November 29th, receiving initial support from councilors and a formal request by Mayor Eisenberger to refer to staff for further evaluation. The proposal also received coverage from CHML, The Hamilton Spectator, Raise The Hammer and social media.
Today’s meeting received the previously request staff report; providing an estimated construction cost of $2.6 million as well as an estimated 50 seconds in additional travel time for the entire trip. While the station would be approximately 425 metres between the currently proposed James and Queen stops, the staff report and our research have uncovered several examples of downtown stops closer than the typical 600-800 metre distances.
In addition to the staff report, Councillor Jason Farr presented additional assessments from City staff. Their analysis suggested that the City is only recovering a paltry ~$111,000 in tax assessment from the King/Bay area, which could be grown to $6.1 Million based just on new residential growth, not including commercial revenue from mixed used developments. The motion also received virtually unanimous support from other councillors and stakeholders, citing it’s potential to service key destinations, create economic uplift and in connecting the King West, International Village, and Downtown commercial districts.
The motion will be received by Hamilton City Council, who will then be considering a motion to formally request the inclusion of this stop by Metrolinx in their final project plan.
We will continue to monitor the issue. In the interim, we encourage our members and businesses to contact their City Councillors in support of this motion.
For more information, please contact: Huzaifa Saeed | Policy & Research Analyst | Hamilton Chamber of Commerce | t: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org