As has been pointed out, I have previously been very supportive of the LRT project for Hamilton. I voted to receive each report even though I asked many tough questions along the way. I continue to support an LRT done properly, but currently there are too many unanswered questions inconsistencies and obvious deficiencies in this plan.
King vs Main
Main St is substantially wider than King St through the downtown and specifically at International Village. Main St was never properly looked at to see if the implementation of an LRT would have less of a negative impact during construction, as well as a less disruptive impact on traffic afterwards.
There are substantially more heritage properties on King than Main that may also present problems with either the LRT construction or with future redevelopment along the line. According to City report PW09034 there are 450 cultural heritage resource properties along King St between Paradise and the Delta. There are 286 on Main between Paradise and the Delta.
In terms of any potential economic uplift, staff tell us King vs Main would result in a nearly identical uplift. There is no significant uplift reason to choose one alignment over the other.
A King St alignment is also more expensive than a Main St alignment as the route is nearly 500 meters longer. It also requires the construction of a separate overpass bridge at the 403. Main St being wider would not require a new bridge to be built and would also be a shorter more direct route for passengers. The cost to build the bridge is estimated at between $30-35 million with an additional $25-30 million for the extra 500 meter length. Why are we spending $55 – 65 million extra on this alignment when we could spend that money instead on providing a longer route that could service more people either in the east or the west end?