Twin Cities Study Shows Light Rail is a Healthy Option

Light rail construction along University Avenue in Minneapolis.

A Health Impact Assessment has just been released for the rezoning ordinance that could help implement transit-oriented development along the central corridor light-rail line in the Twin Cities. The line runs along the 11-mile stretch of University Avenue connecting downtown Minneapolis with downtown Saint Paul.

The assessment was conducted to look at the potential impacts of infrastructure development on the health and well-being of existing communities in the central corridor.

According to the findings, there were mixed feelings among residents who stand to benefit from increased transit access, new development, and greater opportunity to regional resources. On the one hand, many of these residents, representing racially diverse and low-income communities, were looking forward to the promise of this new light rail line and accompanying transit-oriented development: economic opportunity, affordable housing, increased transit access, and public investment in pedestrian safety and streetscaping. On the other hand, many were concerned that the increased desirability of the corridor will increase housing and small business costs, and price current residents out of their homes and businesses. They worried that the social support systems and the ethnic markets they depend on will not be able to withstand the community changes.

Read the report summary at:

Photos by Flickr user Mulad. Used under Creative Commons license.

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