The research, in multiple cities in multiple countries, is clear: Higher order transit can trigger intensification and redevelopment in a radius as far as 800 meters from an LRT route, provided certain favorable conditions are met.
A key condition to foster the redevelopment effect of higher order transit is the availability of either vacant land or land of depressed value.
Parking my car at Queen and Lynch, it doesn’t take long to identify four parcels of land that are under used. Some of them already have signage pertaining to redevelopment.
These vacant and underused lots are all within a literal stone’s throw from each other. A five minute walk would reveal even more such lots. The Queen Street corridor stands head and shoulders above Four Corners in terms of such opportunities, as downtown lots have existing uses that would need to be bought out and relocated (significant, up front, sunk costs that make redevelopment fiscally unattractive to a developer). So certainly, Queen Street satisfies the “potential” condition.
Other key conditions are favorable zoning and plans regulations, together with redevelopment charges that encourage intensification. In other words, developers need to know they can build on a scale that will yield a profit. Otherwise, the incentive remains to buy up less expensive farm land and build sprawl until Brampton runs out of land. Where does that get is?
The Queen Street corridor has a degree of higher order transit, and the potential to evolve that transit to even higher orders (LRT, etc). The question now is: will the city institute a favorable scheme of transit oriented zoning and planning regulations and development charges that make it economically feasible for higher density developments to take root?
The Brampton Bruin is working on a proposal for making intensification and redevelopment more attractive for developers in a way intended to reflect that higher densities will ultimately provide the recurring tax base the city needs on annual basis is to supply and sustain deliverable municipal services to residents.