Assessing Neighborhood and Social Influences of Transit Corridors


Yingling Fan, Andrew Guthrie

July 2012

Report no. CTS 12-19

This research investigates neighborhood and social influences of major transit improvements in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. To delineate a comprehensive picture, this research focuses on four transit corridors, Hiawatha LRT, NorthStar Commuter Rail, Cedar Avenue BRT, and Central Corridor LRT, each of which is at a different stage of planning, construction, or operation. The project undertakes a general quantification of neighborhood social change in transit served areas. For each corridor, the researchers also investigate inter-neighborhood and inter-corridor variations in social change, and examine residents' and business owners' perceptions of neighborhood social change, as well as of the specific impacts of transit corridors. A mix of quantitative analysis and survey research is used. By examining a wide range of system development stages including planning, construction, and operation, research findings will help policy makers determine at what point in the timelines of major transit capital projects policy responses are needed and likely to be most effective. By covering a variety of transit technologies including LRT, BRT and Commuter Rail, as well as a diverse range of urban and suburban neighborhoods, results from this research will help policy makers make more informed decisions about how to prevent and mitigate socially harmful neighborhood changes associated with various types of transitways. The research also presents strategies for engaging residents and businesses with negative, neutral and positive perceptions of transit projects in the transitway development process.

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