The Bulldog asked readers if they had heard a good reason to build light rail along the Macdonald Parkway. The request was made in the post Why The Parkway For Light Rail. Bulldog contributor Nicholas offers this scenario:
Honestly, it’s about money. With intensification around transit stops being the name of the game these days, imagine all the money the city is going to rake in with the 20/30/40/50 storey monstrosities along the waterfront (I mean outside of the land the NCC owns).
That’s a lot of development charges and property tax. Even the Richmond/Westboro secondary plan encourages height along the Parkway. “Coming soon to a waterfront near you. The Gardiner Expressway.”
Well if Nicholas is correct, that mean developers have much more control at Ottawa City Hall than most thought.
That would explain dumping Carling Avenue as a route and using the Macdonald Parkway. River views are much more valuable than strip-mall views on Carling.
Already the tunnel was built to placate downtown business that was afraid it would lose customers if any on-street parking were eliminated. So that’s a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars subsidy to downtown business. And if Nicholas has got it right, the Parkway LRT route is a subsidy to the development industry to give its members higher profits.
Intensification along the Parkway route puts traditional neighbourhoods such as Westboro Beach, Westboro and Champlain Park in jeopardy of becoming condo-havens.
But then the residents of Westboro Beach already know that with the city appeal of the Ontario Municipal Board decision on putting up two highrises in a residential area abutting the Transitway at 335 Roosevelt Ave.
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