Blair Lee says the region's real problem is not growth but "people ... driving their cars more" because of two-wage-earner families and use of day care {"Bashing Developers Is Fun -- But It Doesn't Stop Growth," Close to Home, June 3}.

But much of that driving results because developers have created -- and politicians have allowed the creation of -- residences and workplaces incompatible with walking, bicycling and mass transit. This includes housing and office space, some of it very high-density, not within walking distance of stores or even bus stops. Thanks to cul-de-sac street layouts, what bus stops exist offer little sense of personal security because they are isolated rather than on the sidewalk in front of homes as in older neighborhoods with grid layouts. As a result, buses are infrequent and little-used.

Don't tell me day car and transit are incompatible. When my daughter was in day care, I regularly drove her there and then drove to a nearby park-and-ride lot before using Metro; my one-way "commute-with-day-care" consisted of 3 miles driving and 14 miles of Metrobus/Metrorail.

Taking a page out of federal law, which requires automakers to meet corporate average fuel economy standards, local government ought to limit the amount of auto-dependent development a given firm can create. Better yet, developers should voluntarily change the kind of growth they ar creating. Developers indeed are a big part of today's traffic and clean air problem -- not because they are building, but because they are building without consideration for the need to reduce our auto dependence. ROSS CAPON Assistant Project Director, Campaign for New Transportation Priorities Washington