Funding Alternatives for Complete Streets

Posted on Oct 3, 2015 In Audio Latest Updates

“Simply put, a complete street is a street that has been designed with every road user in mind.”  

Ryan McGreal, Editor, Raise the Hammer

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The support base for the advancement of complete streets in Hamilton is growing and gaining strength.

In most quarters, discussions have turned to the practical question: How do we pay for complete streets given the fiscal challenges of local government? This question has been taken up by a number of local organizations, including the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this year, the Chamber/Renew Hamilton partnered with the W Booth School of Engineering Practice at McMaster University to co-lead a study on global best practices on alternative funding models for complete streets.

Two graduate students attending the W Booth School were selected to carryout the study under the supervision of Robert Fleisig, PhD, P Eng.

Kamran Khurshid and Catherine Burrows (pictured) – who have since graduated from the W Booth School – reported on their preliminary findings at a community event hosted by the Hamilton Sustainability Professionals Network on October 1 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

They shared several community-specific case studies – from Calgary and Memphis to Denver and San Francisco, to name a few – to illustrate innovative approaches to funding the design, construction and maintenance of complete streets. Key funding solutions (beyond conventional taxation) cited by the researchers include crowdfunding, mini bonds, public-private partnerships, gifts in kind and special street funds.

This study, which was funded in part by McMaster University through its Network for Community-Campus Partnerships, will help inform a number of local complete streets initiatives in Hamilton.

Special thanks to research adviser, Chris Higgins, McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics.

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