Rural project disregards smart-growth principles
A recent News editorial praised the careful planning for the proposed “WNY STAMP” manufacturing park in Genesee County. From a smart-growth perspective, however, the proposed location for this project represents poor planning.
The project would be developed in the rural town of Alabama, which has very little population or infrastructure. Such a large-scale project in an undeveloped area represents sprawl at its worst. Taxpayers will have to support the costs of new sewer lines, power grids, road improvements and other services that would have already existed in an urban setting.
Furthermore, the remote location of the site means that nearly all of its employees will have to commute significant distances. This is wasteful in terms of travel times, greenhouse gas emissions, roadway wear and increased accidents. The project location is not conducive to alternative transportation options such as public transit or walking. Consequently, anyone lacking a motor vehicle would have difficulty considering employment at this site.
While the project will certainly bring benefits to our region, the benefits would be greater if the project adhered to smart-growth principles and moved to an urbanized part of the region.
Robert A. Krohn