Which transportation improvements should get top priority in our region? The Northeast Ohio Regional Environmental Priorities Project, a program at Case Western Reserve University which has called suburban sprawl one of the region's greatest environmental threats, says we should favor transportation projects that will:
- Preserve open space.
- Minimize public health threats from air pollution.
- Minimize duplication of infrastructure.
- Preserve or enhance a sense of neighborhood and community.
- Use multimodal strategies to reduce automobile use (i.e., maximize use of pedestrian, mass transit and bicycle-friendly options).
- Do not substantially contribute to further erosion of the tax base of any existing urbanized community in the region.
- Reduce the need for travel by promoting compact, mixed-use development.
The key thing to remember is that the need for costly transportation is a sign that places are inconveniently located; the less transportation the better. We should focus on taking care of places, rather than increasing the mobility of cars between places.
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