Hamilton's LRT project has produced thousands of pages of studies and plans over the past five years.
Tucked amid the details and charts and maps have been many concept images of what the system will look like at various places.
They include the tracks, the stops, the,bridges, the platforms. Here is pictorial ride along Hamilton's LRT project, thanks to a collection of that concept art, to help you understand what all the debate is about.
Most of these images are taken from an updated project design that went before councillors earlier this week.
They debated LRT for 13 hours Tuesday and heard pro and con arguments from dozens of citizens before delaying approving major changes.
Councillors were going to vote Tuesday on an update to a 2011 environmental assessment— essentially an updated plan — for the $1 billion system, which runs from McMaster University to the Queenston traffic circle.
- Hamilton councillors debate LRT for 13 hours, then delay approving major changes
That vote would have OK'd some major changes, including stopping the route at the traffic circle rather than Eastgate Square, a new maintenance and storage facility in the west end and making King Street — a major one-way downtown thoroughfare — two way in most places.
Now the report will come back on April 19. When councillors vote, it will be whether to submit the update to the province.
Here's an image-by-image tour of what the project is about, and what the people planning it imagine it will look like.
14 stops from McMaster: LRT-only bridge over 403
In addition to the terminus at McMaster there would be 13 on-street stops.
From McMaster, the line proceeds east along Main Street W. over Highway 403 on a yet-to-be-designed bridge over to King St. W. to go into downtown.
Here's what the proposed layout of a LRT-only bridge over the 403.
West end stop
The image below shows what a stop would look like, on King St. W. at Dundurn, near the Fortino's plaza.
James Street and the Gore
The main downtown stop will be at King and James. Here are three views of that stop, including one during a snowstorm.
The province wants to see a connection to GO Transit. The spur line the province proposed for James N is gone, but it still wants to see a pedestrian connection south from King along Hughson to the Hamilton GO Centre on Hunter street. This overhead image shows a concept for that connection. The GO station is at the top of the picture.
King St. E., International Village
These plans invoke memories of the dramatic arguments over the now-defunct bus lane, but take it up a level:
The road would be closed to cars between Catharine St. and Wellington St. The plans call for redirecting traffic from westbound to eastbound between Catharine St. and Mary St. so people can drive into the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Effort Square parking structure.
Wellington St. stop
Just past the International Village is a stop for Wellington Street. These two images give a different perspective on a stop, from almost eye level.
King St. and Main St.
Past downtown, the line would continue on King St. E. until the delta at Main St. E., when it would switch over and follow Main Street to the Queenston traffic circle. The new design shifts more of the system to a centre-running one. You'll notice that most of the new images include the overhead wires, which were absent from many of the initial images circulated.
The permanence of LRT is expected to inspire development along the corridor, and could prove especially influential along the eastern portion of the line.
CP Rail crossing
As the line moves east, an issue to be resolved was the CP tracks that cross the line just east of Gage Avenue. The LRT system will have to go underneath the tracks and here is a concept of how that might look.
LRT generic concept art
Here are some generic images that are hard to place as being at a specific spot in the city.
How some LRT stops would be laid out
The new design means most of the stops will be a central platform, shown below.