Pursuing Quality in the Capital Region CDTC & CDRPC Issue a Draft Report

by Lynne Jackson

December 31 is the deadline for people to comment on the “Discussion Paper for Use in the Capital District Transportation Committee and Capital District Regional Planning Commission’s Quality Region Initiative”

The Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) and the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDTC) issued this report to begin a discussion on the quality of life issues in the Capital Region. Opening their report noting that “residents of the Capital Region can ‘have their cake and eat it too'” and enjoy the community-based cohesiveness of small town life while simultaneously reaping the benefits of major metropolitan activities.

The report notes on the plus side: the region has ample land, abundant water, clean air, strong schools, identifiable places, rich history, moderate climate, and established public infrastructure and an educated skilled work force.

According to the report, the minus side includes many disparities between the conditions faced by one community and another in the region, between one population group and another. A flat economy has led to few new well-paying, career-oriented jobs in the region. Also, there is an excess of underused industrial, commercial and residential properties in the urban areas, while at the same time recent suburban development has produced few good examples of community design to build to build upon and land consumption continues to grow at a much faster rate than the population.

The region faces serious threats in the coming years, including: future loss of key industries, increasing disparities and isolation, squandered opportunities for regional competitiveness, unhealthy migration patterns, excessive land consumption and degradation of environmental resources, increased auto dependency and declining personal mobility and threats and expenses related to security protection.

The most interesting statistic quoted in the report is that 11% of households in the Capital Region do not own a car. Many of the recent development proposals around the Capital Region are designed only to use cars as a transportation system, thus not accommodating the needs of a large percentage of the population.

The public is asked to comment on this important draft document. Comments will be accepted until December 31, 2002. To obtain a copy of the report, call CDTC at 458-2161 or CDRPC at 453-0850, visit cdrpc.org or cdtc.org or email cdtc@crisny.org.

Printed in the December 2002 Dinner/Hike Notice