Urban Decongestion Solution: Expansion of Light Rail Transit
Clarke, Keith Tyrell
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In understanding the imminent growth of world population, the overpopulation of our metropolitan cities is a real concern. Be it the massive carbon footprint created by the many accelerating factors, the housing limitability and limited affordability, or the possible economic strain for cities and citizens to manage properly, the threat of overly congested metro areas is a threat to maintaining steady economic growth. Research on overpopulation has been conducted regularly specific to targeted metropolitan areas, attempting to not only identify that area’s specific issues, but to explore solutions to identified problems. This study examines the easing of overcrowded urban areas through Light Rail Transit (LRT). It tests the hypothesis that the expansion of LRT would spread the concentrated Metro-Seattle city population to surrounding cities (in this case, the Edmonds urban area), by offering living options outside of the metro areas with reliable transportation to and from city centers. The study uses a Pearson’s correlation between the area populations to identify any analytical relationship. This study identifies an r = .95 correlation between the two areas. Although a strong correlation was identified, the study does not find plausible evidence of congestion relief based on population alone. However, it does identify future research areas that may isolate the benefits of LRT expansion. Transportation polices that are pro-LRT may be the solution to decongestion, but more research is needed.
- MA in Policy Studies