One of the reasons being used to justify large expenses on light rail systems is that they can help create compact neighborhoods where commuters and shoppers use mass transit instead of cars.  But the Cascade Policy Institute of Oregon recently studied one of Portland’s first such developments known as Steele Park, and found these expectations largely derailed.  While planners assumed each home would only have one car per unit, virtually everyone had two cars or more, causing chronic parking problems, and even a fire hazard.  But worst of all is that Steele Park residents don’t regularly use light rail, even though it is close by, and have caused more traffic on local roads than an ordinary subdivision would have done in the first place.

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