...[Virginia's] making a U-turn as the Commonwealth Transportation Board threw out the new standards at a meeting last week.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.
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.
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.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?
"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.
Update 1/20: A follow-up on what Generation Y's love of Arlington means for some of Arlington's traditionally-quieter neighborhoods.