Sunday, April 22, 2007

Costly buses - The Brampton Guardian

Costly buses
Saturday April 21 2007

One thing is abundantly clear about the city's new AcceleRide program. The meltdown of the city's finances is inevitable. Timing is the only uncertainty.

AcceleRide will be Brampton's great disaster of the 21st century.

Say goodbye to downtown parking and the hoped-for downtown revitalization. Say hello to skyrocketing property taxes.

Say goodbye to quiet residential streets downtown. Say hello to worsening gridlock.

Be warned and look for the first of the "For Sale" signs to go up along Main Street.

And be sure to wave at AcceleRide Project Director Dave Roberts and Mayor Susan Fennell as they drive their cars to work.

Michael Rodgers, Brampton
Mr. Rodgers' concept of the neighborhood, is, well, factually wrong on almost every single point he makes.
  • AcceleRide will not cause the meltdown of Brampton's finances. It will be caused by the fact that you cannot finance a city on regressive (property) taxes. You need a tax base which is directly tied to income.
  • AcceleRide will not be Brampton's great disaster of the 21st century. It will be the greatest triumph in transportation planning to date. The disaster would be to do nothing.
  • You forget that there are three large municipal parking lots in downtown Brampton, and that the on-street parking you refer to is actually the cause of downtown congestion in the afternoon rush hours. I say good riddance, because a single bus could carry more people than the on-street parking could handle. The downtown revitalization is not in jeopardy, as a public transit system will make such a district more accessible to all people. Property taxes may rise, but only because property values will be on a one-way ride to the moon.
  • Gridlock is caused by too many cars. Buses carry people who would otherwise be in cars. Therefor, cars decrease. Buses do not magically spawn cars onto residential streets.
  • Any for-sale signs along Main Street will be because skyrocketing property values has caused property owners to cash-out.
I don't like Susan Fennell, but I'll be sure to wave at her next time I see her. Not the cynical wave you describe, because I give credit where credit is due.

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