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An idea whose time might be here

   As we complain bitterly about the price of gasoline, it makes sense to look at  alternatives … like perhaps building homes or living in places where the things we need are close at hand. Maybe we should transform existing communities into places that serve people, not cars.

   A design movement known as the "walkable community" could reduce our dependence on automobiles and driving. It's new to most Western New Yorkers, though it's been around for 20 years and hundreds of successful walkable communities exist elsewhere in the United States.

   Try visiting this site and you'll watch a visual transformation of traffic-choked landscapes into walkable ones. Visit npr.org and listen to a report by National Public Radio reporter Elizabeth Shogren's story called "Atlanta Family Slashes Carbon Footprint." It's about a walkable community called Atlantic Station.

     Do you think the walkable community has a future in Western New York? Why? Would you or wouldn't you choose to live in such a development?

   --- Irene Liguori

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