A team of people who are tasked with meeting twice a year with almost 11 hundred businesses and residents along Hamilton’s LRT route have completed their first visits.
David Derbyshire, spokesman for the Community Connectors Program, has presented their initial findings to the city’s LRT implementation subcommittee.
Derbyshire says that common concerns include construction, parking, customer access, deliveries, left hand turns and congestion.
Interestingly, he adds that 13% of those they spoke to had no idea what LRT was or that it was coming to their neighbourhood.
Of those who did have an opinion, he notes that they heard everything from LRT “will carry this city into the future” to those who think it’s “the devil incarnate”.
Community Connectors will knock on doors along the route, between McMaster University and the Queenston Traffic Circle, twice a year throughout the life of the project.
The subcommittee has also heard that it may be too late to reconsider the routing of Hamilton’s LRT system.
City Manager Chris Murray stresses that under the terms of their memorandum of agreement with the province, the construction contract needs to be awarded and the shovels basically in the ground before the next provincial election in 2018.
That’s despite requests from some downtown businesses, such as Denningers and the Black Forest Inn, who suggest building LRT along Main Street instead of King Street through the core.
A spokesperson for the long standing businesses believes that would give them a better chance of surviving the construction.