Recent construction of light rail transit systems in a number of North American cities raises crucial questions about their possible effects on land use and urban development. Although serving passengers and keeping construction costs down have been the primary aims of new rail investments, the possibilities for joint development and land use are numerous. This paper explores light rail transit's potential influence on urban growth and revitalizing central city areas. Some cities are integrating light rail transit with pedestrian malls as part of downtown redevelopment. A significant number of others, however, are downplaying the development potential of light rail transit by aligning their systems principally along abandoned railroad rights-of-way and industrial belts in order to cut costs. For most cities in the preconstruction stages of their projects, policymakers need to recognize the trade-offs involved when the lowest-cost corridor and alignment are chosen. On the whole, the land use potential of light rail is moderately high, where there are pro-development policy environments and other complementary forces.

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  • Accession Number: 00386388
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM