The Effects of Light-Rail Transit on Affordable Housing in Seattle, WA
MetadataShow full item record
Since the creation of public transportation in the realms of the late 19th, its main purpose has been to move citizens throughout a specific area efficiently and safely. As public transit developed further into the 20th and 21st century, its goal became to provide alternatives so that fewer cars could be on the road and so that anyone car owner or not could get to their points of interest quickly and frequently. When designing and building public transit lines, many factors fail to receive the attention they deserve with regards to effects on the communities that they serve. Public transit lines have positive and negative, direct and indirect, effects on certain communities. Unfortunately, many of those potential negative indirect effects are overlooked. This paper looks at Seattle’s Sound Transit Central Link Light-Rail system, and the effect that its creation has had on housing affordability in five South Seattle neighborhoods in reference to five separate transit stops. The five neighborhoods being profiled in this study are some of the most racially and economically diverse in the city. They include the neighborhoods and stations of Beacon Hill (Beacon Hill Station), Mount Baker (Mount Baker Station), Columbia City (Columbia City Station), Dunlap (Othello Station), and Rainier Beach (Rainier Beach Station). The Link Light-Rail in Seattle opened in 2009, making it one of the newer light-rail systems in the United States. This paper uses demographic data from the most recent 2010 U.S. Census, 2000 Census, American Community Survey, and Sound Transit to identify the connections between the implementation of light-rail and housing affordability This quantitative study also integrates information from previous literature, newspaper articles, and a neighborhood Jackson 5 walking analysis to examine whether light-rail has an effect on housing affordability in these communities.