Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The wasted suburbs

Today I made use of Sacramento public transit for the first time. A beautiful morning began with a brisk sunlit walk through downtown with my lovely partner, then onto the sac to roseville commuter bus. A quick twenty miles down interstate 80, and I emerged on the street in front of the Westfield galleria, just blocks from my office. Someone else did the driving while I read, and I even got some exercise. Brilliant.

I know that having a car means getting home sooner,which proves critical if little Cody needs a ride to ballet, or little Katie a lift to b-ball practice. I, not being possessed of little ones, have found another valuable reason for having a car in a place like Roseville. Put simply, to avoid having to experience the absolute crap land use that defines contemporary suburbia.

Above is an example of a sidewalk and setback on a major arterial. The concrete sidewalk is about fifteen feet wide, plus landscaping that pushes to ten feet in spots. Then the setback begins, fifty feet on some spots. What's the reason for this depth?Ostensibly, the size of the arterial requires such a distance. But if that is true, why not increase the greenspace, or the bike lane? I was the only one walking, and I don't need fifteen feet of sidewalk.

It has been said that suburbanization is perhaps the greatest misuse of resources in human history. Get out of your cars and start looking around, and ask yourself, is this really the best we can do?

-- Post From My iPhone

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