COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: The majority must be heard on LRT

Opinion Dec 03, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Elizabeth King, special to the News

Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal has been temporarily stopped in its tracks. Although it has been thoroughly reviewed and analyzed, the voters’ choice for mayor might reflect a growing ambivalence.

Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger rightly sensed the apprehension. At the first debate in September, he took a stand and never wavered: He personally supports the LRT, but wants to assemble a citizens’ panel to review it again.

And even though I support the LRT, maybe it is time for us to pause for some sober second thought.

When the mayoral debates began, the LRT became the prickly issue, dominating the commentary and letter sections and sparking online squabbling.

Brad Clark, who placed second in the mayoral race, pulled out of LRT, opting for Bus Rapid Transit. Later he pulled back even further, suggesting more buses.

Brian McHattie, who placed third, firmly supported the LRT. As for the city councillors, three days before the Oct. 27 election, the Hamilton Spectator summarized each candidates’ position on LRT.

Of the winners, five were for it, eight against it, and two were undecided. Certainly there’s less support for the LRT on the new city council, but it’s definitely not over.

If the LRT was the crucial issue for voters, Mr. Eisenberger wagered rightly by predicting his opponents had overbid and underbid.

He took a moderate position, astutely offering it back into the hands of the people.

It’s hard to argue with a reasonable man and it gave hope to both opponents and proponents.

I’m a Mountain resident and I support the LRT. I lived near the B-line at one time and relied heavily on public transportation. Prior to this, I suffered for years on overflowing city buses.

The environmental reasons for LRT are indisputable, and an efficient transportation system attracts riders, businesses and consumers.

However, while I initially saw Mr. Eisenberger’s position as simply a tactical move — and it is — it also proves he’s listening to the public.

If the majority hasn’t been sold on the LRT, there’s no harm in waiting. Furthermore, if the provincial Liberals provide the capital costs, we still need an estimate as to what it will cost Hamilton.

As much as I support LRT, and as much as reviewing the process feels like another “Groundhog Day,” nothing is more important than the majority making the rules.

Elizabeth King is a Mountain resident and mother of three.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: The majority must be heard on LRT

Opinion Dec 03, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Elizabeth King, special to the News

Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal has been temporarily stopped in its tracks. Although it has been thoroughly reviewed and analyzed, the voters’ choice for mayor might reflect a growing ambivalence.

Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger rightly sensed the apprehension. At the first debate in September, he took a stand and never wavered: He personally supports the LRT, but wants to assemble a citizens’ panel to review it again.

And even though I support the LRT, maybe it is time for us to pause for some sober second thought.

When the mayoral debates began, the LRT became the prickly issue, dominating the commentary and letter sections and sparking online squabbling.

Brad Clark, who placed second in the mayoral race, pulled out of LRT, opting for Bus Rapid Transit. Later he pulled back even further, suggesting more buses.

Brian McHattie, who placed third, firmly supported the LRT. As for the city councillors, three days before the Oct. 27 election, the Hamilton Spectator summarized each candidates’ position on LRT.

Of the winners, five were for it, eight against it, and two were undecided. Certainly there’s less support for the LRT on the new city council, but it’s definitely not over.

If the LRT was the crucial issue for voters, Mr. Eisenberger wagered rightly by predicting his opponents had overbid and underbid.

He took a moderate position, astutely offering it back into the hands of the people.

It’s hard to argue with a reasonable man and it gave hope to both opponents and proponents.

I’m a Mountain resident and I support the LRT. I lived near the B-line at one time and relied heavily on public transportation. Prior to this, I suffered for years on overflowing city buses.

The environmental reasons for LRT are indisputable, and an efficient transportation system attracts riders, businesses and consumers.

However, while I initially saw Mr. Eisenberger’s position as simply a tactical move — and it is — it also proves he’s listening to the public.

If the majority hasn’t been sold on the LRT, there’s no harm in waiting. Furthermore, if the provincial Liberals provide the capital costs, we still need an estimate as to what it will cost Hamilton.

As much as I support LRT, and as much as reviewing the process feels like another “Groundhog Day,” nothing is more important than the majority making the rules.

Elizabeth King is a Mountain resident and mother of three.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: The majority must be heard on LRT

Opinion Dec 03, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Elizabeth King, special to the News

Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal has been temporarily stopped in its tracks. Although it has been thoroughly reviewed and analyzed, the voters’ choice for mayor might reflect a growing ambivalence.

Mayor-elect Fred Eisenberger rightly sensed the apprehension. At the first debate in September, he took a stand and never wavered: He personally supports the LRT, but wants to assemble a citizens’ panel to review it again.

And even though I support the LRT, maybe it is time for us to pause for some sober second thought.

When the mayoral debates began, the LRT became the prickly issue, dominating the commentary and letter sections and sparking online squabbling.

Brad Clark, who placed second in the mayoral race, pulled out of LRT, opting for Bus Rapid Transit. Later he pulled back even further, suggesting more buses.

Brian McHattie, who placed third, firmly supported the LRT. As for the city councillors, three days before the Oct. 27 election, the Hamilton Spectator summarized each candidates’ position on LRT.

Of the winners, five were for it, eight against it, and two were undecided. Certainly there’s less support for the LRT on the new city council, but it’s definitely not over.

If the LRT was the crucial issue for voters, Mr. Eisenberger wagered rightly by predicting his opponents had overbid and underbid.

He took a moderate position, astutely offering it back into the hands of the people.

It’s hard to argue with a reasonable man and it gave hope to both opponents and proponents.

I’m a Mountain resident and I support the LRT. I lived near the B-line at one time and relied heavily on public transportation. Prior to this, I suffered for years on overflowing city buses.

The environmental reasons for LRT are indisputable, and an efficient transportation system attracts riders, businesses and consumers.

However, while I initially saw Mr. Eisenberger’s position as simply a tactical move — and it is — it also proves he’s listening to the public.

If the majority hasn’t been sold on the LRT, there’s no harm in waiting. Furthermore, if the provincial Liberals provide the capital costs, we still need an estimate as to what it will cost Hamilton.

As much as I support LRT, and as much as reviewing the process feels like another “Groundhog Day,” nothing is more important than the majority making the rules.

Elizabeth King is a Mountain resident and mother of three.

If you would like to write in this space, call editor Gord Bowes at 905-664-8800 ext. 335.