Re: Cohousing traffic studies - Nyland
From: Midcoast Cohousing (
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2021 12:50:44 -0800 (PST)
Hi, Dick and Liz, thanks for your comments.

Yes, we hope to have a few shared Els and no doubt a number of residents will 
own EVs, so the carbon emissions issue will more or less take care of itself 
over time — Maine’s brand new climate plan includes lots of incentives for 
broad adoption of EVs.  

We hope to use CLT and wood fiber insulation and other wood products to cut 
embedded carbon drastically in our buildings.  Fortunately there is a new small 
company in Maine about to put such products on the market so we don’t even have 
to transport them far.  And Maine’s climate plan includes forest management 
that ensures we don’t take more wood than we add, since our forests already 
offset the great majority of emissions in the state and we want to keep it that 

And yes, we hope that there will be less driving around after Covid is over - 
we’ve even discussed how to build in shared office space in our plans - but 
that’s an unknown at this moment.

The traffic study is helpful, however, for a different question that has been 
raised:  the impact on traffic jams on Route One, a busy road already that 
people must use at times.  If there is a study, even an old one, that indicates 
a smaller traffic impact than a conventional development might produce, it’s 
one advantage we can point to if people ask.



Rozanna Patane
Midcoast Cohousing LLC
PO Box 592
York Harbor, ME 03911
H  207-363-7748
C  207-351-5042

> On Jan 7, 2021, at 9:53 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
> wrote:
> None of those pieces of information are likely to affect zoning board
> approval. What zoning boards need is studies that show that this has
> worked in the past.
> Those are all good hypotheses and I hope they will prove to be true.
> The way to find out is to do studies.
> Liz
> Mosaic Commons in Berlin, MA
> On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 9:31 AM Dick Margulis <dick [at]> wrote:
>> Hi Rozanna,
>> I'm sure that would be an interesting study, and good luck with finding
>> it. But having watched the bulk of the construction at Rocky Corner over
>> the last couple of years, I wonder if that 25% even matters anymore.
>> Consider:
>> 1. We've had a year of training ourselves (by we, I mean all of us) to
>> make fewer trips to grocery stores, fewer trips to stores in general,
>> fewer trips anywhere. Yes, eventually the pandemic will end, but all of
>> us will still spend less time driving to work, driving to meetings,
>> driving to the airport to fly to a business conference, driving to a
>> mall to shop for some doohickey we can find in an instant online.
>> 2. The amount of diesel fuel consumed in land clearing, excavation, road
>> building, and all the other work of site preparation and construction
>> for a modest, 30-home community, not to mention the amount of
>> sequestered carbon in vegetation and topsoil that gets released in the
>> process, let alone the carbon footprint represented by the building
>> materials, might equate to between ten and twenty years' worth of
>> residents' gasoline consumption (maybe more; I don't have enough data to
>> actually compute that). So in the big picture, that 25% saving is nice
>> but maybe not a persuasive argument in favor of the local community's
>> approving a new construction project.
>> 3. The internal combustion engine, as a way to move individuals and
>> families around, is going away. A decade or so from now, that
>> construction equipment may still be running on diesel, but your car and
>> your pickup truck will be electric. So how much less gas you use than
>> the condo next door might no longer be a relevant comparison.
>> Again, I'm not saying it isn't a worthy goal. It just may not be one
>> that's worth a lot of time and energy to document.
>> Dick Margulis
>> Rocky Corner
>> Bethany CT
>> On 1/6/2021 1:53 PM, Midcoast Cohousing wrote:
>>> Hi, Friends,
>>> I asked about this topic last fall for a new cohousing project I’m working 
>>> on in Maine.  In the string of previous emails about this topic (see 
>>> below), Sheila Braun of Champlain Valley Cohousing mentioned that she’d 
>>> post a copy of an EPA study of Nyland in Colorado that found that residents 
>>> made 25% fewer car trips per household than adjacent condos and 
>>> single-family homes.
>>> I haven’t been able to find the study on the website (but I have no idea 
>>> how to do that!), so I wonder if someone could send me a copy?  My email to 
>>> Sheila was bounced back.
>>> And any other info on traffic studies in cohousing would be great.
>>> Thanks!
>>> Rozanna
>> _________________________________________________________________
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> -- 
> -Liz
> (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
> Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
> Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries
> 508-450-0431

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