Hamilton light rail will knock on every door on the route twice a year until it's done

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A city team is promising to knock on all 1,000-plus doors up and down the future LRT line — twice a year — until the $1-billion transit project is done.

Metrolinx will hire a specific "corridor engagement co-ordinator" — sort of a door-knocker in chief — to guide outreach efforts to specific businesses, home and property owners between McMaster University and the Queenston traffic circle, as well as along a spur to the west harbour GO station.

That massive effort is expected to start this May, alongside the public's first glimpse of an updated light rail transit line project design, said city LRT project co-ordination head Paul Johnson.

"We're out to ensure we've had a conversation with every property owner along that corridor," Johnson said. The city will keep a database of interactions with property owners along the route, he added, and visit with those residents and business owners twice a year through 2024, when LRT cars are supposed to hit the track.

One-on-one engagement with business owners in particular is "a significant part of our strategy," added city project communications manager Kelly Anderson. She noted early conversations have already started with BIAs along the route, but efforts will ramp up heading into May.

Information about related traffic impacts won't be available, however, until the fall — nor will details about potential expropriation requirements, Johnson added.

It's not too early to have "adult conversations" with as many business owners as possible along the route in view of the looming construction disruption, said Coun. Sam Merulla, who moved the original motion asking for fast-tracked talks with property owners.

"This is a good project for the city, but there will be collateral damage. We can't pretend there won't be," he said, noting road construction along various parts of the LRT corridor will stretch from 2019 into 2024.

"If you're a business along the route, it's never too early to take a close look at your business plan, whether your customers are driving that route."

The Spectator has reported internal design discussions dating back to January included the long-debated possibility of a downtown pinch-point closure of King Street for a "transit mall," as well as left-turn restrictions and parking changes.

Johnson stressed project designs continues to "evolve," with new additions and discards to the preliminary plan made as recently as two weeks ago.

The LRT planning team is still five weeks or so away from presenting the updated design to the public — but Johnson stressed even then, there is room for "tweaks" based on public feedback through the environmental assessment process.

Coun. Terry Whitehead asked if LRT planning officials with the city or Metrolinx were "strategically" withholding specific, controversial details about the LRT project such as expropriation plans or the prospect of converting Main Street to two-way traffic.

"We're holding back all information until we have a final design to show people," replied Johnson.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

Hamilton light rail will knock on every door on the route twice a year until it's done

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A city team is promising to knock on all 1,000-plus doors up and down the future LRT line — twice a year — until the $1-billion transit project is done.

Metrolinx will hire a specific "corridor engagement co-ordinator" — sort of a door-knocker in chief — to guide outreach efforts to specific businesses, home and property owners between McMaster University and the Queenston traffic circle, as well as along a spur to the west harbour GO station.

That massive effort is expected to start this May, alongside the public's first glimpse of an updated light rail transit line project design, said city LRT project co-ordination head Paul Johnson.

"We're out to ensure we've had a conversation with every property owner along that corridor," Johnson said. The city will keep a database of interactions with property owners along the route, he added, and visit with those residents and business owners twice a year through 2024, when LRT cars are supposed to hit the track.

One-on-one engagement with business owners in particular is "a significant part of our strategy," added city project communications manager Kelly Anderson. She noted early conversations have already started with BIAs along the route, but efforts will ramp up heading into May.

Information about related traffic impacts won't be available, however, until the fall — nor will details about potential expropriation requirements, Johnson added.

It's not too early to have "adult conversations" with as many business owners as possible along the route in view of the looming construction disruption, said Coun. Sam Merulla, who moved the original motion asking for fast-tracked talks with property owners.

"This is a good project for the city, but there will be collateral damage. We can't pretend there won't be," he said, noting road construction along various parts of the LRT corridor will stretch from 2019 into 2024.

"If you're a business along the route, it's never too early to take a close look at your business plan, whether your customers are driving that route."

The Spectator has reported internal design discussions dating back to January included the long-debated possibility of a downtown pinch-point closure of King Street for a "transit mall," as well as left-turn restrictions and parking changes.

Johnson stressed project designs continues to "evolve," with new additions and discards to the preliminary plan made as recently as two weeks ago.

The LRT planning team is still five weeks or so away from presenting the updated design to the public — but Johnson stressed even then, there is room for "tweaks" based on public feedback through the environmental assessment process.

Coun. Terry Whitehead asked if LRT planning officials with the city or Metrolinx were "strategically" withholding specific, controversial details about the LRT project such as expropriation plans or the prospect of converting Main Street to two-way traffic.

"We're holding back all information until we have a final design to show people," replied Johnson.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

Hamilton light rail will knock on every door on the route twice a year until it's done

News Mar 29, 2016 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A city team is promising to knock on all 1,000-plus doors up and down the future LRT line — twice a year — until the $1-billion transit project is done.

Metrolinx will hire a specific "corridor engagement co-ordinator" — sort of a door-knocker in chief — to guide outreach efforts to specific businesses, home and property owners between McMaster University and the Queenston traffic circle, as well as along a spur to the west harbour GO station.

That massive effort is expected to start this May, alongside the public's first glimpse of an updated light rail transit line project design, said city LRT project co-ordination head Paul Johnson.

"We're out to ensure we've had a conversation with every property owner along that corridor," Johnson said. The city will keep a database of interactions with property owners along the route, he added, and visit with those residents and business owners twice a year through 2024, when LRT cars are supposed to hit the track.

One-on-one engagement with business owners in particular is "a significant part of our strategy," added city project communications manager Kelly Anderson. She noted early conversations have already started with BIAs along the route, but efforts will ramp up heading into May.

Information about related traffic impacts won't be available, however, until the fall — nor will details about potential expropriation requirements, Johnson added.

It's not too early to have "adult conversations" with as many business owners as possible along the route in view of the looming construction disruption, said Coun. Sam Merulla, who moved the original motion asking for fast-tracked talks with property owners.

"This is a good project for the city, but there will be collateral damage. We can't pretend there won't be," he said, noting road construction along various parts of the LRT corridor will stretch from 2019 into 2024.

"If you're a business along the route, it's never too early to take a close look at your business plan, whether your customers are driving that route."

The Spectator has reported internal design discussions dating back to January included the long-debated possibility of a downtown pinch-point closure of King Street for a "transit mall," as well as left-turn restrictions and parking changes.

Johnson stressed project designs continues to "evolve," with new additions and discards to the preliminary plan made as recently as two weeks ago.

The LRT planning team is still five weeks or so away from presenting the updated design to the public — but Johnson stressed even then, there is room for "tweaks" based on public feedback through the environmental assessment process.

Coun. Terry Whitehead asked if LRT planning officials with the city or Metrolinx were "strategically" withholding specific, controversial details about the LRT project such as expropriation plans or the prospect of converting Main Street to two-way traffic.

"We're holding back all information until we have a final design to show people," replied Johnson.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec