An aggressive rate of highway construction has been a primary cause of sprawl in Maryland, according to a new report released today by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group (MaryPIRG). The study, "Paving the Way," gives concrete evidence using detailed data from the State of Maryland documenting the effect of highways on property development. An analysis of all developed residential and commercial properties in Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore in relation to all major highways indicates that highways act as magnets, drawing development outward from urban areas. The report also looks at the long range transportation plans currently in place and concludes that much more sprawl will result in the future unless the state dramatically redirects its transportation priorities. "Wherever a highway is built, sprawl follows," said MaryPIRG environmental associate Gigi Kellett.Governor Glendening has proposed two bills for the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session that would invest in public transit and existing communities, which are alternatives to highway building and sprawl. The report also includes several mini-movies of the emergence of sprawl.
Thanks to Chris Steins