Monday, December 29, 2003

Save me from the suburbs!

I haven't blogged in ages, as this weekend I was busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. Here goes.

I was at my sister's for Xmas, which meant venturing into the dreaded suburbs. I probably come off as a metropolitan snob, but I have very good reasons my disdain. They are:

1) Suburban development overstrains local roads, requiring more state money for highway expansion. Like the movie says, "If you build it, they will come" and so it has proven with roadwork. Widen a highway today and in five years it will once again be over-capacity.

2) Suburbs ruin the cities by encouraging white flight. The white folks leave, taking their tax dollars with them and shrinking the tax base. The cities respond by raising taxes on those who remain, further encouraging departure, while suburban municipalities lure city businesses with low-tax office parks.

3) Suburbs increase auto dependency. The 'burbs are built for people with cars; hell, some of their streets don't even have sidewalks. That increases fuel consumption and air pollution, makes auto accidents more likely, and denies to an already dangerously sedentary society an opportunity for exercise.

On top of all these reasons, there's something else that has always nagged at me. One of the primary reasons people give for moving to the 'burbs is safety, yet once they relocate, nothing changes. They still lock their doors at night, drive their children everywhere because they think walking around is unsafe, and they still buy and keep guns. I don't know if these people are statistically safer, but they sure don't act as if they are safer.


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