Comment 52560

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 02, 2010 at 16:58:48

Borelli >> No mention of public good? If billions of investment spread around downtown, an increase in the city's tax base, a reduction in traffic, and the mitigation of the environmental problems with idling cars and single-person car trips doesn't somehow work towards the public good, I'm not sure what will satisfy you, Smith.

Ryan has made specific claims in his article in the Spec in support of an LRT, not one of which was based on promoting the "public good". Instead, he mentions numerous times that LRT is about getting new private investment...

1) "It provides an anchor around which Hamilton can attract billions of dollars in new private investment"

2) "we have hard numbers from cities across North America and around the world proving that LRT really does attract the investment Hamilton needs."

3) "When a city builds LRT and streamlines the regulatory investment process... a walkable stretch of land about half a kilometre to either side of the line — the return on investment is impressive."

4) "For every dollar the city invests in building LRT, developers invest up to $10. That translates into real, sustained growth in the city’s property tax base"

5) "As residents, commercial businesses... transform from a hollowed-out, underinvested pass-through... into a real centre that attracts both investment and people, and generates steadily rising property tax assessments."

6) "Even if you never come downtown and have no intention of ever setting foot on LRT, you should still support light rail in Hamilton — if only because a lively, economically healthy downtown means less pressure on your property tax bill."

Read his article again and tell me what his main theme is. He never mentions the words traffic, environment or poverty. It's a piece aimed at selling people on the ECONOMICS of LRT.

That being the case, why can't Ryan answer MY question regarding the economics of LRT? That's his primary argument in favour of LRT, at least when talking to the unquestioning public, so why bring up "public good" now?

If the economic case for LRT is so positive, why not answer my question and prove me wrong, instead of bringing up the separate issue of the "public good"?

Lovelt >> This is probably what bugs you the most, and you do not want to see the benefits for the city as a whole.

I would rather more money go to poor people. There was a recent poll that suggests that poverty, not LRT, is the primary issue amongst voters, so why not address this issue first?

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