Stories from other Communities

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota provided research assistance to investigatge the impacts on communities similar to Cedar Riverside when light rail stations were developed in their neighborhoods.

The Research Assistant has identified the impacts of light rail on other communities similar to Cedar Riverside.

Portland, Oregon:  Interstate Corridor – The Northeast area of Portland is home to the City’s African American community.

  • Elder man, PortlandPortland MAX LRT Yellow line servicing the area opened in 2004. The City of Portland created an Urban Renewal Area to spur investment within the neighborhood.
  • Median home price increased 74 percent between 2000 and 2010 which made homeownership unaffordable to existing residents.

San Francisco:  Mission District – Home to more than 50% of San Francisco’s Latino community.

  • Two BART stations within eight blocks of each other opened in 1973. The Dot-Com boom of 1990 lead to an influx of high-income residents who found the neighborhood’s high accessibility to be an atrtractive amenity.
  • On Valencia Street, the businesses are locally-owned and serve the low-income Latino community. In 1998, 50 percent of the businesses that existed in 1990 had gone out of business. Rental evictions tripled, and owner move-in evictions quadrupled between 1997 and 1999.
  • Vanity Fair magazine described Valencia Street as “the hippest in America” in 2004.
  • The ownersof El Herradero Restaurant faced a 63 percent increase in rent.

Seattle, WA:  Ranier Valley – Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Somali and all types of Middle-Eastern and Asian owned businesses make it the most diverse neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Genesee area at Rainier Ave. S.There were a large amount of businsses closures with Black-owned businesses faring the worst. There was a 40% decline in African American-owned business between pre-and post-construction levels. Twenty percent of Asian-owned businesses closed and 19 percent of White-owned businesses closed.
  • Property values increased 87 percent with a quater-mile of the Central Link LRT station since it opened.
  • Businesses anticipated increased noise from the train and decreased safety for pedestrians
  • The Environmental Protection Agency reported that the negative environmental impacts were concentrated in this section of the light rail.
  • Sound Transit would have to buy all or part of more than 300 properties in Southeast Seattle where the Rainier station is located. Sixty-nine of those would be commercial or industrial sites. In the Northern stretch, Sound Transit would only have to purchase all or part of 49 properties because much of the route would be underground.
  • Sound Transit would spend roughly $154 million per mile on the Northern stretch but just $47 million per mile on MLK Way.

Los Angeles, CA: Boyle Heights Neighborhood – Historically an immigrant reception area and now almost 100% Latino community in East Los Angeles

  • Mariachi plazaMetro’s Gold Line LRT Eastside Extention opened in 2009 with four stations in Boyle Heights.
  • The extension is nicknamed the “sushi-torta express” because the six mile line connects Little Tokyo to the Latino community in Boyle Heights, cutting through ethnic commercial districts
  • Mariachi Plaza’s construction impacted the mariachi community, a staple of the neighborhood business community. Business decreased by 90% during construction.
  • Landlords began evicting tenants and increasing rents in anticipation of the LRT opening.

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Cedar Riverside neighbors plan for Central Corridor station