Transportation Expert Urges Napa To Support Higher Densities To Reduce Global Warming

<p>Transportation expert Reid Ewing appeared in Napa to tout higher densities and mixed-use development. The county is updating it transportation plan and considering a second attempt to pass a transportation sales tax measure.</p>
June 6, 2007, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Reid Ewing, a research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, "addressed more than 30 people at Napa City Hall Wednesday night (May 30) as part of a speakers series intended to raise public awareness of local transportation problems and solutions."

Reid Ewing, a research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, "addressed more than 30 people at Napa City Hall Wednesday night (May 30) as part of a speakers series intended to raise public awareness of local transportation problems and solutions."

"If Napa wants to get serious about combating global warming, it should be approving higher density developments that mix housing with stores and jobs as they will reduce the need for roads and vehicle trips, a major contributor to greenhouse gases," he said.

"Ewing conceded that many people do not like higher densities. Changing their opinion will involve "a lot of public education," he said. However, "as the public becomes more concerned about global warming, the politics of growth will change", he added.

"Several audience members asked if it made sense to expand south county roadways to handle congestion, much of it from people who can't afford Napa housing but work here.

"Free-flowing highways also encourage inefficient, sprawling development," Ewing responded. "If you can drive faster, you will drive farther," he added.

"Ewing said he was a contributor to a soon-to-be-released report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will tout the benefits of so-called smart growth to curb global warming."

Thanks to ABAG-MTC Library

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Published on Friday, June 1, 2007 in Napa Valley Register
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