| Things to think about
office buildings discourage the development of public transport
systems because they do not generate enough riders to justify
a transit stop.
The construction of large, isolated office buildings contributes
to the decline of city centers.
Not only do many of us have to drive to work, but also to the
grocery store, to our friends’ homes, to schools, and in some
cases to every single place we go.
indicator rates the largest new office buildings according to
the transportation options available to those who will work
there. When a major new office development is built, it reshapes
the areas surrounding it. New roads, homes, and shopping often
follow. If we can come and go only by car, we clog surrounding
roads, pollute the air, and waste tens of thousands of hours
every year. The location and design of office buildings count
perhaps more than any other development decisions we make.
AAA estimates that it cost the average driver $6,893 in 1998
to own one mid-sized (Taurus-type) car, and even more if you
commute more than the average distance of 288 miles per week.
Automobile-centered development means we pay extra, too, for
pollution, accidents, and construction of new roads. If we wish,
we can save by avoiding such development. The side benefits
will include improved energy efficiency, lower taxes, more competitive
businesses, better air, and more options for getting around.
and land consumption from sprawling new development is one of
the most serious environmental threats we face. The auto travel
required to reach scattered suburban office buildings pollutes
our air. When you look down on a typical suburban office building
from the air, the building is dwarfed by the parking lots surrounding
it. The rainwater that runs off these parking lots is called
"non-point source" pollution and has at least as large an impact
as pollution from sewers and factories (point sources). We have
done a good job in New Jersey of cleaning up our point sources,
but non-point sources continue to grow as a problem, degrading
single-use developments do not foster a sense of place or of
community. A lack of community, in turn, can exacerbate such
problems as high crime rates and lack of political participation.
Mixed office, retail, and service developments, on the other
hand, help build diverse communities of people who live and
only measures the state’s largest developments and might not
reflect trends in different regions of the state, where smaller
office buildings prevail. As such, it does not reflect the automobile
dependence of people who work in other sectors of the economy.
Source: Rutgers Transportation Policy Institute and NJ Department