Light rail in Houston benefits the surrounding community.
That's according to research by Qisheng Pan, a professor at Texas Southern University, who studied the impact of light rail and found measurable positive impacts, at least on the Red Line along Main Street, according to "The Urban Edge," a blog of Rice's Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
The study found that within three miles of new rail stations, benefits occurred such as attracting more businesses and housing units. Property values also increased.
Another study by Ipek N. Sener from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Richard J. Lee from the Washington State Department of Transportation analyzed changing land use within half a mile of the Red, Purple and Green lines. Their analysis found that commercial development – which had begun before the Red Line was built – increased after the line was completed.
There was also more development on vacant property along those rail lines. "This is a good thing, as vacant land in cities like Houston tends to represent a lack of investment. Even as the Houston region continued to face a shortage of affordable housing supply, residential units along these rail lines increased – a trend across the country as living close to transit becomes a more attractive option." writes Dian Nostikasari in "The Urban Edge."
Read the entire article here.
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