How can rail transit affect the problems of urban decay?
Transportation is a powerful force affecting the development of a metropolitan area. An exclusive reliance on the automobile creates sprawling development patterns that encourages suburban growth while discouraging investment in older, more densely developed areas such as the city of Rochester and the villages. Rail transit can move large numbers of people into centralized areas, thereby allowing for denser development patterns. How do sprawling development patterns contribute to the decline of a city? As more offices, factories and residents leave the city for the suburbs, the tax base of the city declines. As the tax base of the city declines, the decrease in services and the increase in taxes creates a vicious circle that leads to greater urban flight. Also, a city needs strong neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown. Downtown Rochester is perceived as being “dead” after 5PM, and many of our city neighborhoods are weak or decayed. To a lesser degree, the same factors are also present i