Municipal Class Environmental Assessment for the Hamilton Multi-modal Transportation Terminal
The city of Hamilton is currently undertaking phases 3 and 4 of a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment to determine the optimal function and design characteristics for the development of the MacNab Street Multi-modal Transportation Terminal.
This initiative is the result of Hamilton’s Downtown Transportation Master Plan Class Environmental Assessment (DTMP), completed in 2001. The DTMP addressed Phase’s 1 and 2 of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process identifying the need to build an expanded and consolidated transit terminal in the downtown core and demonstrating that development of the transit terminal would result in improved transit service delivery and would reduce the current environmental impacts associated with transit service in the Gore Park area. The DTMP Environmental Assessment evaluated a number of potential terminal locations within the downtown and identified the MacNab Street area, between King Street West and Main Street West as the optimum, most practical location for terminal Development.
The DTMP is the Project File Report for a “Schedule B” (Phases 1 & 2) Class Environmental Assessment identifying the need and general location for the expansion of a downtown core area transit terminal. The DTMP also outlined the need for additional investigation concerning the functional configuration and feasibility of the terminal and other planning aspects related to the development of a mixed-use transit terminal facility with pedestrian links to and from the MacNab Street bus transfer area.
As part of the Municipal Class EA process a Functional Assessment Report was completed to assess how the preferred site would serve as a multi-modal transportation terminal. The Functional Assessment Report represents the first in the completion of a Phase 3 and 4 Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process to determine a detailed functional planning analysis for development of the Downtown Transportation Terminal.
Municipal Class EA Process
This project has been following the Schedule C Municipal Engineers Association’s Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (June 2000, as amended in 2007) process which requires all four phases of the planning and design process. In September 2007 the Municipal Class EA was amended to include a new Municipal Transit chapter. Prior to the amendment, there was no approved planning and design process under a Class EA for municipal transit projects. The updated Class EA Chapter adds a section outlining the types of transit projects and their associated project schedules.
Option A - MacNab on street (building, redesigned platforms, directional changes) along with Hunter north side on street (2 way traffic)
This would be considered a Schedule A+ project under the Transit chapter of the Municipal Class EA and these Schedules require public notice prior to implementation. Schedule A+ projects are not subject to Part II Orders.
Since the on-street option (A) would only include ROW lands, the potential environmental impacts to the community are much reduced. As a result of the changes to the Municipal Class EA a Project File Report or Environmental Study Report are not required and not subject to Part II Order requests.
Option B - Expanded MacNab Street (includes existing MacNab Street and vacant land & parking lot between CIBC building and Pigott building)
This is considered to be a Schedule B project, therefore subject to a Part II Order, (appeal) under the Transit chapter of the Municipal Class EA.
Option A is the preferred alternative due to cost and timing however, Option B can still be reviewed in the long term. Staff will continue with the public consultation component to fulfill the intent of the City’s commitment to consult with the Public. An Environmental Report would be prepared for public review as an A+ project, but the project would not be subject to a Part II Order request (appeal).
Public consultation is an important aspect of developing good community projects. As part of this study stakeholders in the immediate vicinity of the Transit Terminal site were interviewed by the project team in August, 2006. The intent of the interviews was to:
Inform stakeholders about the study process, goals and timeline;
Provide information on relevant background studies and processes which have led to this initiative, and to the preferred location for the Transit Terminal including the initial phases of a Class Environmental Assessment, the Downtown Hamilton Transportation Master Plan, and the Functional Assessment Study;
Review the geography of the study area and review the current conceptual functional configuration for transit terminal development;
Discuss and record stakeholder views on the initiative, including concerns, issues and opportunities which stakeholders felt were important to address through the process or which were relevant to the current functional configuration;
Outline next steps in the process, including additional opportunities in which stakeholders would be able to provide input and feedback into the study.
A Stakeholder Workshop was held on May 16, 2007 and the minutes of that workshop are attached.
PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE No. 1
A Public Information Centre was held on May 29, 2008 inviting study area land owners and the general public to learn about the Environmental Assessment and to provide feedback and input. Notification of the Public Information Centre was published in the Hamilton Spectator for two consecutive weeks on May 16 & May 23, 2008 , providing the time and location of the Public Information Centre Meeting (Notice is attached). If you would like to be added to the mailing list please contact Lorissa Skrypniak, Project Manager at the contact information noted below.
Interested persons may bring questions, outstanding issues and concerns to the attention of the Project Manager at any time during the Assessment process, or to receive an update on project progress and status. If you have any questions or comments please contact:
Project Contact Person
If you have any questions or would like more information on this project please contact:
Lorissa Skrypniak, MCIP, RPP
Senior Project Manager
Public Works Department
City of Hamilton
Tel: 905-546-2424 Ext. 2732