Comment 50185

By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 22, 2010 at 14:45:32

This is a brilliant assesment of the LRT. Lets not put the cart before the horse. Actually this is the only mayoral candidate that seems to have it right. I know none of the candidate in Ward 3 are speaking this way and it really makes it tough not to think they don't understand the issue

Butani, Mahesh P.

I support the LRT. However, we have to move away from politicizing its need, and focus on quickly creating the other vital components that makes an LRT scheme successful.

One of this crucial component is the creation of 'economic conditions' that support the implementation of an LRT. Our current zoning and economic development policies do not support compact urban growth - and although political lip-service is paid often to such relevant growth, the reality is that many private sector investments and community driven initiatives in the urban areas have suffered irreparable damage on account of the anti-urban development policies that dictates our city's growth.

The other vital component being our political and institutional culture, which unfortunately continues to put the cart before the horse, and as a result many critical, progressive initiatives end up failing in our city, at much cost to the tax payers. We need to redevelop a culture that understands the sequence of community building, and respects the facts that certain blocks need to be firmly in place, before we can add more blocks on top of it.

In moving forward, our city needs to seriously begin driving the required economic conditions that will not only justify, but sustain the LRT scheme. Expecting the federal and provincial levels to entirely pay for the costs of the LRT project is unreasonable and far fetched in the absence of the underlying local economic conditions. Given the sorry state of our existing infrastructure, finding local council consensus for new transit infrastructure investment will not be easy.

Creating sound economic conditions to support the LRT is not nuclear science. It just requires a radical political shift in thinking - and the required planning & zoning policies, along with its resulting urban economic growth will flow from it.

Comment edited by turbo on 2010-10-22 13:46:58

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