Comment 66010

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 11, 2011 at 22:30:59 in reply to Comment 66006

Again, why should we assume, even in a worst case, that LRT won't attract any development in Hamilton, when it is remarkably successful at doing this everywhere else? It seems to me that the worst case is that it merely won't attract new development as quickly as we might hope - though the city can do a lot to ensure success with an effective secondary plan that eliminates arbitrary barriers to urban investment and allows for dense, mixed use development.

Yes, there will be a cost to the city, but:

  1. There are a number of tools available to finance the city's contribution in addition to tax increases, including Tax Increment Financing. The Rapid Transit office is studying a number of options and will present them to Council for consideration.

  2. The cost of not building LRT is continued growth in suburban sprawl, which is steadily worsening the city's finances since development charges do not come close to covering the cost of that kind of development. Compared to that, the amortized cost of a city contribution to an LRT system that makes much more efficient use of existing built infrastructure is quite modest.

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