Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cheaper Than

Cincy Streetcar blog has had some interesting quotes lately:
“Streetcar,” says Donohue. “It will make development in Over-the-Rhine happen. I think it’s cheaper than subsidizing every single unit in the neighborhood.”
Now we all know that transportation investments create the impetus for investment in suburbs or cities. In the case of the streetcar, it will increase the pedestrian shed and create demand for greater density. But this comment seems out of whack to me. I can't quite place my finger on it but there is something not right about the inference that it might be an option to subsidize every unit explicitly. As if all urban development needs to be subsidized to happen. Maybe if they didn't have to build so much parking.

1 comment:

Randy Simes said...

The comment is in reference to the slew of new development that has already occurred in Over-the-Rhine. That new development has been able to happen thanks to a variety of tax credits and other creative funding mechanisms.

The debate is that the need for such creative funding mechanisms will be reduced with the streetcar around (like you said, less parking). It's fairly common in just about any American city that urban development relies on government help in some form to make the bottom line work for developers.