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The Boston Globe

West

I-495 study focuses on adding jobs

Avoiding sprawl is key, area planners say

Cities and towns along Interstate 495 could more than double the region’s workforce if officials and developers channeled growth to town centers and vacant industrial parks while also preserving forests, farms, and orchards, according to specialists who have studied the transportation corridor.

But everyone might have to wait a century before the region achieves its maximum potential for hiring if current building patterns that encourage sprawl continue, authorities on the subject warned. The problem, they said, is the sprawl-related costs of new roads, water lines, and traffic congestion undermining the benefits of development.

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