Growth Boundary Not Needed

<p>This editorial argues that a growth boundary is not the right way to control suburban growth in Salem, Oregon.</p>
February 17, 2008, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"The vast majority of the traffic does not comprise trucks running between Interstate 5 and greater Polk County or the coast, but rather automobiles commuting from the West Salem suburbs to the downtown core. This is much more a local problem than a regional problem."

"As a result, their traffic modeling shows that the further away from the downtown core the prospective bridge is located, the less effective it becomes. My previous thoughts of a Lockhaven/I-5 connection would be largely ineffective in relieving congestion downtown."

"Salem's inner neighborhoods, on the other hand, are neglected while the city instead chooses to emphasize growth around its outer fringes. Is this really a sustainable model for our city, as transportation costs soar for those in increasingly outlying areas while inner neighborhoods, with their shorter commutes, decay? What will that model look like if gas is $6 or $10 per gallon? Can we even predict what transportation costs might be in 30 years?"

"Choosing to live in an outlying area always has brought increased commute times and related expenses -- it's a package deal."

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Published on Friday, February 15, 2008 in Statesman Journal
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