Talking Transit with Taskforce Member Doug Hunt
A Lincolnway West 2020 Demographic Report by Matthew L. Sisk, Ph.D.
It is largely the South Bend African-American population that has to shoulder the burden of underdevelopment of the LWW corridor. The African-American community is 25.41% of the South Bend population but nearly 50% (48.45%) of the LWW population.
Even so, The LWW labor force is a little under 10% of the total South Bend Labor Force, so it's obvious that unemployment in the LWW is well above the Citywide unemployment rate.
So the "people potential" for good employment that benefits the employee's family and in turn, benefits the community is significant.
At the same time, the neighborhoods need help. As we all know from Mayor Buttigieg's 2013 "Vacant and Abandoned Properties Report," a great many of such sites were concentrated in the Lincolnway Corridor (see attached).
Now, however, there is serious interest in new housing and many folks within and from outside the Lincolnway neighborhood are pursuing ways to use the vacant sites for new attainable housing of a variety and suitability for many income and family situations.
All institutions -- government, education, business, medical -- need to work together in this effort.
Finally, the effort that led to this 2020 census research was made in support of a proposed study for a "modern streetcar" system to serve the Lincolnway West corridor and run from downtown, possibly all the way to the airport and South Shore station.
This kind of development -- including a strong statement in support of a modern streetcar in this corridor -- "rails in the ground" -- was urged by the City of South Bend's favorite urban consultant (Torti Gallas) in its 2014 report.
Now is the time to support the work already underway in housing and employment and, if the proposed study concludes such, to make the Lincolnway West Corridor a true and thriving "transportation-oriented district.