But the first real surge in activity would come only after voter approval and could be restrained even then because of the transportation project's long timeline, he said. "I'm not necessarily in a position today to buy land I'm going to sit on for seven to 10 years while some massive public works project validates my assumption."
It just costs too much to buy land and hold it for a decade, until light rail comes along, Shapiro said. "Most people have to see that it's really happening. When the construction starts, then everyone takes it more seriously."
Once a light-rail route and station sites are finalized, Johnson said, property values would "really take off."
Transportation leads to access which leads to development. So the argument that its just for developers is really a non-starter because opponents development of choice is just not the development that is environmentally sustainable. And right now with the awareness of climate change, they are losing the war. Haven't you noticed the noise machine turning its volume up to 11? They are getting scared and like a caged animal are attacking with their backs against the wall. Thats when they are most dangerous. Thats also when they get ridiculous and start proposing toll tunnels under cities and super freeway expansions.
So when we are talking about light rail or streetcars and development, don't let anyone get away with the argument that its just a ploy for developers. There are always going to be good developers and bad ones on both sides of the coin. And yes they make a good amount of money, and they take a sizable amount of risk to make it. But if it is between sprawl and compact transit oriented development, I'm in favor of the access transit provides to build the compact stuff. Just don't forget to lower the parking requirements.