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Walter Peace

1220021 Jacqueline Chan 1134678 Hoyan Ko GEOG 1HB3 Human Geographies: City and Economy Assignment 2 LRT Route Proposal for Central Hamilton: North-South Route Dr. Walter Peace Christina November 27 , 2012 (3:30 – 4:20) November 27 , 2012 Introduction The purpose of this project is to determine three stations of a route that links the north-end of Hamilton where the harbor is located with south Hamilton, which is where the Hamilton International Airport is at (Peace, 71). Students are given a boundary to plan their route between Queen Street and John Street, and within King Street and Barton Street. In order to find the best locations for each station and ensure the route flows smoothly, the field study guidelines are followed to insure proper field notes are made and to ensure the safety of the students. By completing this assignment, students will have learned basic knowledge on how the transportation system function within the city of Hamilton (Peace, 71). As this is a group task, students will develop or improve strong cooperation skills. The compulsory field study will allow students to experience the authentic process of drawing sketch maps and making field notes and will give them the opportunity to connect the dots between what they have learned in Geography 1HB3 to real life scenarios (Peace, 71). Three stations have been determined within the boundaries that will run on the north-south route. The first station is at James and King Street. This location is very popular to citizens of Hamilton since it is the busiest intersection of Central Hamilton, as it is known as the Jackson Square Mall. The next station is located at York Boulevard and Bay Street. This intersection is located in a transitional area between downtown Hamilton and a residential area. It is very close to the Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, the Hamilton Public Library, Salvation Army, Federal Building and the Copps Coliseum. Last but not least, the third station is at Barton and Bay Street. This station is designed to be built in a residential area which has no public transport station nearby. It takes twenty minutes to walk to Jackson Square. Therefore, a public transportation is needed in this 2 area to make Hamilton more accessible for these residents who do not have cars. In depth reasons behind the choices of these stations are discussed throughout the report and the reasons will be justified and support by the field surveys. Background Information LRT, which stands for Light Rail Transit, is an urban electrically powered transportation (What is LRT, 2011). It can carry a high capacity of passengers and as a train that runs on an „on-the-surface‟ rail, it provides easy access for passengers of all ages (What is LRT, 2011). This transit is more than an addition to the transportation system, it is an affordable and zero-emission way of transport for the citizens of Hamilton. Even though it runs on the streets with other vehicles, LRT is given the private right-of-way. It is guaranteed to be safe, comfortable, and smooth (What is LRT, 2011). Subways and buses are known to create a high volume of annoying noises, but LRT is not the same. It is quiet and can be integrated into the landscape of the neighborhood IWhat is LRT, 2011). It is environmentally friendly and reliable as it can continue its operation when snow and ice cover the roads (What is LRT, 2011). As a whole, this citywide project is more than bringing people from one destination to another. Hamilton‟s LRT project brings multiple benefits to the city. The benefits can be separated into five categories. First and foremost, LRT will strengthen Hamilton‟s economy by increasing land value and its assessment value, creating jobs, and stimulating urban development as it attracts investments by private sectors (Key Benefits, 2011). LRT will also „refresh‟ the city as it will make downtown Hamilton to be more attractive, increasing community development, connecting different mixed-use communities, and reducing traffic congestion in the core of the city (Key Benefits, 2011). Furthermore, LRT 3 will improve the quality of life by making Hamilton a more accessible city, saving money as it aims to provide an affordable way of transportation, and stimulate healthier lifestyles (Key Benefits, 2011). Not to mention, LRT will be the most environmental friendly public transport available as it helps to reduce air pollution, noise pollution, traffic congestion and decrease the use of cars therefore creating clean air for everyone (Key Benefits, 2011). Last but not least, LRT is the key to linking significant destinations, it will bring people back and forth from commercial areas or municipal areas to residential areas (Key Benefits, 2011). LRT is vital to help move Hamilton forward. The advantages of this rapid transit listed above are just the predicted key benefits. Certainly, this project will bring more opportunities and benefits as it expands from the downtown core of Hamilton to the rest of the city. Though this project requires a hefty amount of funds and takes years to construct, it is worth every penny because it keeps Hamilton moving forward. Justification For The Chosen Route In this assignment, the route has been set to run from south end of Hamilton, which is where the Hamilton International Airport is located, to the north of Hamilton where the harbor is. Within the boundaries, the starting point of this route is at the intersection of King Street and James Street, then go north for a block and make a left onto York Boulevard where the station will be situated at York Boulevard and Bay Street, and will end at Bay Street and Barton Street. This route will have three stops within the set boundaries. It is designed in this particular order because of various reasons but the biggest concern that influence the decision making process the most is to maximize the accessibility of Central Hamilton for everyone. 4 First of all, the route is chosen to go along James Street because it has multiple lanes. Building the LRT track is the first and most crucial step to guarantee the effectiveness of this transportation and to ensure that it will run through the downtown core smoothly. Looking at the field notes and sketch map that were recorded and drawn on the field study to Central Hamilton, there is a minimum of 4 lanes on the road from this intersection of all the way through until the number of lanes are significantly reduced on Barton Street and Bay Street. LRT tracks must be built on roads that are wide enough to let the train travel through Central Hamilton at ease and most importantly, it cannot affect the flow of traffic on the streets. Besides the width of James Street, the income level and the preference concerning the ways of transport preferred by the residents and people who live and social around downtown Hamilton are put into consideration as well. Based on the observation and field notes that were made, it is clear that most of the people go through Central Hamilton by walking or busing; particularly the group people who spend most of their time at the Lloyd Jackson Square. According to the 2006 Census conducted by Statistics Canada, 64% of downtown residents aged 15 and over have incomes below $20,000 per year, compared to 43% for the City (City of Hamilton, 2006). Citizens prefer using the public transportation system instead of owning a car because it reduces their financial burdens. Therefore, a stop will be situated at the crossroad of Bay Street and Barton Street because this intersection is in a residential area within Central Hamilton (Planning and Economic Development Department City of Hamilton, 2006). The purpose of this route is to make downtown Hamilton more accessible for people who live in different areas. For that reason, this route is aimed to go through some essential buildings and areas within the community, such as schools, central park, 5 the Copps Coliseum and even a retirement building. The accessibility of these places would be maximized as the LRT travels on this designated route, allowing citizens from different communities to share their resources and will build a more sustainable Hamilton. Also, the LRT provides an affordable way of transportation for people who go in and out of Central Hamilton everyday and this route would definitely help them to save time and money compare to taking the bus or walking in the long run.
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