|Sources and credits as above in the figure.|
|Having coffee supplies at an easy biking distance |
is important. And fun. (and yes, this is a free and
unsolicited plug for Iconik.)
"...expansion on the suburban fringe, is fiscally ruinous for our communities, largely because of the colossal mismatch between the new public infrastructure those homes on the suburban will need and the tax actually generated by new suburban construction..."--Daniel Herriges, in Strong Towns
There are a lot of problems with sprawling outward. It gets you less taxpayers per acre for those utilities (roads, water, sewerage, electric and gas, etc) that someone has to maintain once the infrastructure gets old and the developer has left with cash in his pocket. It requires auto transportation for those long distance trips (see Albuquerque) and therefore more roads and parking. With less active transportation, you don't get the health benefits of biking or strolling to the coffee roaster's place. (With a compact city, we have quite a few of those coffee shops in the City Different including Betterday right here in Casa Solana.) And of course with more transportation requiring car travel, you get more CO2 emissions contributing to the dynamics of climate change. Surface transportation is already a major pipeline getting sequestered carbon deposits into the biosphere.
Seems the city might get this one right. I'd like to see the Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee endorse this project. I'm sure there will be the usual hue and cry of others claiming tenants will be finding places to dump cars in other people's neighborhoods. But given the distances involved between the Pen/Cordova location and everywhere else, I don't know if that will happen. Of course, someone could always buy some land and rent it out as car storage. That's a good thing. Rather than zoning parking minimums into the development code and forcing developers to waste space on car storage, let folks pay for it the old fashioned way: supply and demand. Maybe capitalism works.
Finally, if there is a worry, it is that since the Pen/Cordova site is hemmed in by Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive, getting from these apartments to the city center, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Just About Anywhere Else, etc. will be impeded by the lack of bicycle and pedestrian friendly connectivity. The Rail Trail will be a boon, but it is only one resource. Fortunately, Cordova is manageable and with some improvements to encourage cycling across St. Francis, this could be a winner. Bottom line? A bicycle friendly city has to stop building stroads (to be fair, Santa Fe's stroads are provided courtesy of the New Mexico Dept. of Transportation) and recognize that when you build stroads like St. Michaels, Cerrillos, and St. Francis, you are working at cross purposes to a bicycle/pedestrian friendly community. My suggestion is that any time a state highway passes through a city, design authority should pass to the city.
Have the Drivers won?
|Cartoon courtesy of |
But drivers have not won and in fact, the Bicyclists Can Use Full Lane signage drive shows that if anything, the tide is turning against auto-centrism. It's not time to give up.
There will always be buttheads, whether armed with a Ford or a Fabrique Nationale. Its up to society to push back against misuse, whether we use a carrot or a stick. Keep riding, Mr. Mang. I'll be out there with you.
Related Reading: Charles Marohn, PE, "Why Do People Keep Being Killed On This Road"