A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed on by CR Douglas for his regular segment on politics on Fox Q13. Douglas delved into the recently released Puget Sound Sage report on the impact of light rail on the Rainier Valley. Here is the whole segment which runs about 4 minutes.
My take on the report is a bit more critical than some. I think it is important to remember that communities in the Rainier Valley wanted light rail for many of the same reasons the report now points to as bad things, including increased property values, more people visiting and moving into the Valley, and an overall boost to economic activity. In a very real sense light rail is working just the way everyone hoped it would.
Whatever you think of the report, it has raised some issues that consistently get raised when expansion of light rail is considered like increases in housing costs. But too often what gets missed is the decreased costs in everything else created by the many benefits created by light rail, including decreased dependance on owning a car. There have been efforts to capture these savings that I have written about before, the residual income approach to defining affordability and the Center for Neighborhood Technologies metric of affordability which includes transportation costs.