I have for a number of years, been a strong advocate of integrated rapid transit solutions in Hamilton, including Light Rail Transit (LRT). I had the opportunity a few years ago to witness LRT in action in western Canada and was thoroughly impressed with the impact this form of rapid transit had on the entire community. I witnessed the advantages of LRT connecting the city, altering transportation habits for the better and enhancing community growth and its ability to integrate with other rapid transit options.
That prompted me on my return to engage in the debate, penning Op/Ed’s in the Spec. and on social media, and engaging with the City, the Hamilton Street Railway and the Amalgamated Transit Union. I felt it was time to lend my voice to protecting current and future investments in Hamilton’s integrated rapid transit solutions.
My family has a long and rich history here in Hamilton, serving its industrial base and supporting unionized workers. I’ve been that worker. And I’ve been that supervisor, manager and business owner. I’ve worked in ‘for profit’ and ‘not-for-profit’ companies. I support publicly funded transit, though I also understand the commitments made to date and fiscal challenges at this stage of moving away from a public-private partnership solution toward solely public options. Therefore, I will strongly advocate for the compromises which have been reinforced to date between City Council and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) with respect to operating LRT, with the cornerstone being that workers be represented by ATU.
For many years my husband and I have cycled around the City of Hamilton with our children, and on more than one occasion we narrowly missed catastrophe – not that we were riding unsafely, or that motorists weren’t paying attention — there is simply the reality that both cyclists and motorists can be easily distracted, sometimes through no fault of their own.
I believe in the spirit of ‘Vision Zero’ adopted by a number of municipalities around the globe, which challenges all of us to achieve zero fatalities and serious injuries, by re-thinking road safety. To make human error part of the equation and thereby aim for safer streets through improved education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement.