The idea of walkable communities isn't some newfangled tree-huger movement. It's actually a conservative approach that says, "Let's bring our communities back to the way they used to be".
In the 50s and 60s something as basic as walking to school was common. Not anymore. Take a look...
That's why walkable communities are a popular idea in many conservative circles. Here's just one of many great quotes from The American Conservative about 'New Urbanism' (which includes walkability as one of its main tenets).
New Urbanism is an attempt to bring back good things from the past that we have lost. That is what conservatives also seek to do, on a broader scale. New Urbanism offers conservatism a new venue, one where we can couple our desire for traditional culture and morals with a physical environment that supports both.
Read the whole article.
What prevents communities from becoming walkable? Often it is over-regulation. Zoning rules (like those in East Stroudsburg) often limit the density of residential spaces within the downtown. Developers would love to build at higher densities, but local government regulation won't let them. Conservatives rally behind reducing regulation and freeing up businesses, in this case, developers.
Plus walkable communities are pro-small business. Higher density means more nearby residents to frequent local businesses. Walkability allows customers to easily go from one store to the next, without the hassle of driving to the next store over.
One of walkability's biggest benefits comes from the effect it has on crime. Crime flourishes in places where no one is watching. Empty streets, or streets where drivers are focused only on the car in front of them, allow criminals to operate unobstructed. Walkers are much more aware of their surroundings. More people walking means more eyes observing and more calls to report bad behavior. It's like adding dozens, or even hundreds of security cameras, at no cost.
So when looking for a conservative approach for improving East Stroudsburg, consider improving it's walkability.