Poster Paper: Transit Stations and High Quality Transit Areas in Los Angeles

Sunday, April 9, 2017
University of California, Riverside

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Risheng Pan, Xiyue Wang, Xiuxiu Li and Jeannette Jaramillo, University of California, Irvine
Currently there are many debates that call into question whether sprawl can continue with growing populations and whether sprawl should be avoided given its effects on the environment. These discussions have led to the emphasis of smart growth in development; smart growth aims to concentrate physical growth into development centers in order to minimize the travel required between routine destinations. Smart growth has several principles; one of them is the use of a variety of transportation choices for the community. High Quality Transit Areas (HQTA) are being proposed as solutions to better manage the transportation issues associated with local development. Currently, there are no federal or state government policies that directly require transit oriented development to occur.

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), however, does provide financial incentives for cities to practice Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Apart from funding benefits, SCAG argues for TOD and HQTA development by underscoring the various benefits of well-planned transit. These benefits include job creation, economic growth due to facilitated movement of resources, and environmental benefits. Studies on the effects of transit on property values and development remain unclear. Consequently, there still remains uncertainty regarding TOD and HQTA as sustainable and economically viable forms of development for Los Angeles.

In order to address these concerns we will consider whether or not transit oriented development is a viable option for Los Angeles. Our research will attempt to answer this question by examining the effects of proximity to transit on property values of the areas around metro stations (increases in property value would indicate more desirable spaces and as spaces are more desirable more development will occur).

We will develop general trends on the effect of LA metro stations on property values of nearby neighborhoods, and examine in detail any areas that have unusual results.
Our research will measure economic effects of transit by observing the changes in property values as seen by changes in contract rent around Los Angeles Metro stations.Median contract rent changes for census blocks within a half mile of Metro stations will be compared to equivalent blocks one mile away from stations; this will be done for 1990 and 2015. In sum, this research will provide two insights on transit and development. First, it will determine the effects of proximity to transit on property values. Secondly, it will provide recommendations on how to optimize the positive effects of transit on economic development. In sum, this study on transit and land valuation will evaluate Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as a technique for future growth and development in Los Angeles.

The effective development of TOD and HQTA is essential for growing communities as SCAG describes them. Aligning a high quality transit network, new housing and jobs produces more complete communities that offer a variety of transportation while simultaneously reducing the negative impacts of automobile use on public health and the environment.