Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A chance to do it right...

The past decade has revealed some incredible incompetency. Not just from Wall Street, but also Main Street (if people actually lived near anything that resembled a Main Street). In the past decade, our housing glut was powered by cheap houses built miles from nowhere that required a car. We created an architecture of our cities that was untenable, and more importantly unlivable. The building of roads at the beginning is actually pretty easy, since no one is on them, you just have to roll them out. But once you have traffic on them, repairing them is the real trick. Who is going to maintain these little roads for few people.

Granted, that mass transit use was up last year, mostly driven by the crazy cost of gas. But the cries of investing in mass transit miss the point, unless we choose the masses where our transit goes to, it's never going to solve our problems. So it's time to raze the exurbs, rebuild, infill and revitalize places closer to home and then the investments in mass transit will make sense.

The only way that is going to happen is if counties zone in ways that prevent mad developers, then the public won't be naively driven to short term housing. We have a unique opportunity not to just rebuild our roads, but rebuild the way we look at how we live.


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