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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I-495 study focuses on adding jobs - West - The Boston Globe

Cities and towns along Interstate 495 could more than double the region’s workforce if officials and developers channeled growth to town centers and vacant industrial parks while also preserving forests, farms, and orchards, according to specialists who have studied the transportation corridor.

But everyone might have to wait a century before the region achieves its maximum potential for hiring if current building patterns that encourage sprawl continue, authorities on the subject warned. The problem, they said, is the sprawl-related costs of new roads, water lines, and traffic congestion undermining the benefits of development.

“We see the Route 9/495 corridor as really being the sprawl frontier,’’ said Heidi Ricci, senior environmental policy specialist at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, one of the members of the 495/MetroWest Development Compact. “We know at some point development will pick up again. Will it follow the same pattern or can we chart a better path?

I-495 study focuses on adding jobs - West - The Boston Globe

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