Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hillsborough Street

Amy Denton has an op-ed at NCUS's Technician today.
I have a response:

Amy Denton might be wrong about Hillsborough Street. She cites the money already spent, says businesses would survive longer, and eatery variety would improve by installing the proposed roundabouts. She neglects the costs.
The $260,000 already spent, ought to be considered a sunk cost. Suppose you drove to the movies to see the Greatest Movie Ever. When you got there it wasn’t playing. Instead This Movie Sucks was showing, and cost $20 a ticket. You already suffered the expense of getting to the theater, so shouldn’t you still see what’s showing? No, and neither do past expenses justify future ones on Hillsborough Street.
Second, the proposed changes may subsidize some businesses at the expense of others. For example, there are two florists located on Hillsborough Street. If the changes do improve commerce for these florists we should be happy, right? But there’s another florist just a few blocks away on Peace Street. If customers gravitate towards the others, he will lose business. The Hillsborough Street florists are benefiting from tax dollars spent improving their location. Some of those taxes were no doubt paid by the Peace Street business. It’s unjust. The local businesses should pay for the improvements themselves.
Finally, Denton abuses Bowls, which happens to make a very nice croissant sandwich besides serving cereal. She neglects many of the fine eateries on Hillsborough Street, some of whom are in today’s paper. You can eat Chinese, Korean, Irish, Mexican, and American here, and the pizza is good, too.

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