Friday, July 6, 2007

What if ...

Instead of asking for improvements and mitigations from a developer like New England Development (at Chestnut Hill Square), the City asked for a one-time payment to do the work itself?

To the extent that improvements were for the benefit of motorists and mitigations to minimize the effect of motorists, the work done would constitute a developer-funded subsidy to motorists.

The outcome is no different when there's no money being exchanged and the developer does the work himself as a condition of getting approval from the city.

So, as we think about the Planned Multi-Use Business Development, which lists as its criteria substantial roadway improvements, and we think about the likely Chestnut Hill Square special permit application, related to which New England Development will tout its $13 million plus roadway improvements, we should be asking ourselves, "Why the enormous subsidy for motorists?"

What if the City, through developers or on its own, radically cutback the subsidy for car travel and re-allocated it to transit improvements?

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