Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Tag: sprawl

On Transportation, Bob McDonnell turns Virginia “back toward the 1950s”

The always on-point David Alpert GreaterGreaterWashington nails Bob McDonnell, and deservedly so, for escalating his ongoing war on smart growth/transit-oriented development. What McDonnell's doing here is almost the exact definition of "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," aka "insanity."  It's also a guaranteed way not only to keep us addicted to dirty, expensive fossil fuels, but actually to increase that dependency when we should be moving in the exact opposite direction. Here's an excerpt from Alpert's article, but definitely read the entire thing:
...[Virginia's] making a U-turn as the Commonwealth Transportation Board threw out the new standards at a meeting last week.

This step is just one of many from Virginia statewide agencies in recent days that decisively push toward a 1950s view of growth, one which neglects established communities and crumbling infrastructure in favor of brand-new sprawl in the farmlands which ultimately creates even more traffic.

State officials are giving the thumbs down to Metro, light rail and bus transit in favor of highway lane expansion, skipping small but significant improvements that help neighborhoods or key growth areas like Tysons Corner to instead spend billions on megaprojects that drive the region farther apart, and lose focus on key repair needs while weakening the street connectivity standards.

If you live in Virginia, please speak up at a hearing tonight at VDOT's (non-Metro-accessible) Northern Virginia office in Fairfax, or send in written comments.

I'm tempted to go, except that, appropriately enough, I have no desire to battle the insane traffic to get to this meeting. And if you think it's bad now, just imagine how awful it will be if sprawl-crazy, anti-smart-growth, ignorant ideologues and corporate tools like Bob McDonnell and Bob Chase's Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance get their way. Ugh.

Generation Y Hates Loudoun County

drive-by sprawlAt last week's National Association of Home Builders conference, panelists presented research showing the Millenials despise McMansions:
A key finding: They want to walk everywhere. Surveys show that 13% carpool to work, while 7% walk, said Melina Duggal, a principal with Orlando-based real estate adviser RCLCO. A whopping 88% want to be in an urban setting, but since cities themselves can be so expensive, places with shopping, dining and transit such as Bethesda and Arlington in the Washington suburbs will do just fine.

"One-third are willing to pay for the ability to walk," Ms. Duggal said. "They don't want to be in a cookie-cutter type of development. ...The suburbs will need to evolve to be attractive to Gen Y."

Outdoor space is important-but please, just a place to put the grill and have some friends over. Lawn-mowing not desired.

Makes you wonder. Who's going to live in all those McMansions when the baby boomers no longer need or want them? Will those areas redevelop sustainably? Become a new kind of outer suburban blight? Or revert to forest, The World Without Us-style?

Update 1/20: A follow-up on what Generation Y's love of Arlington means for some of Arlington's traditionally-quieter neighborhoods.