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Glen Brand Speaks for the Sierra Club
Friday, May 17, 2002 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
"By scaling back the mega-mall the Taubman Corp. and other mall boosters
have finally recognized publicly the absurdity of the original mega-mall
scheme. Nevertheless, by proposing a major mall at this location they are
showing contempt for the thousands of local citizens, farmers, businesses
and government officials who spoke out and defeated the mall two years ago.

Realizing they couldn‘t get Ohio taxpayers to subsidize a private highway
interchange for the mall, they are now attempting to obtain a taxpayer
subsidy through the back door of the planned 63 interchange improvements,
which are necessary to address the traffic congestion there created by
poorly planned sprawl in the first place.

ODOT and OKI have a responsibility to withhold funding for the 63
improvements if it merely will be counteracted by traffic congestion
generated by a mall. By state policy, ODOT may not fund traffic
improvements for "economic development" purposes. The mall traffic
congestion would also run counter to the ongoing plans of the North/South
Initiative to provide congestion relief on I-75 in the future.

Finally, the reasons that the mega sprawl mall was a terrible idea two
years ago are truer today: the mall would be the catalyst for major
unplanned sprawling over-development, destroying thousands of acres of
precious green space and farmland between Cincinnati and Dayton, and
causing catastrophic traffic congestion, worsening the area‘s already
serous air pollution problems.

Glen Brand
Sierra Club‘s Midwest Regional Representative
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