Thursday, February 11, 2010


Three Feet Please? SB70 had an exciting day yesterday in the legislature. Voted down 4 to 3 and tabled indefinitely, then "smoked out" and passed to the full senate by 3pm. Good times. Like reality TV only real and not on TV. I was able to listen live (.mp3) to the discussion which is always informative. The Local Daily reported on the bill's progress in today's issue. I recognized some of the names mentioned in the article.

Today I sat in on a Plain Green 10 Conference planning meeting. That was sort of fun in a "I'm outside my comfort zone" sort of way. On the opening day Steve Clark of Bike/Walk Twin Cities will speak. I kinda sorta had a little to do this this. April's a long way away but his plan is to ride here to present. His plan also is to participate some in the April 30 South Dakota Bicycle Coalition Traffic Skills 101 course...which I believe is mentioned in the article I referenced in the first paragraph.

Circle closed.

Finally I came across and fully enjoyed these words today:
"Nobody is home in the cities of the future. In a decade, they saw real property defy reality in real time in these insta-neighborhoods that sprouted in what had been some of the world’s most productive farmland. In places like Lathrop, Manteca and Tracy, population nearly doubled in 10 years, and home prices tripled.

After inhaling all this real estate helium, some developers and their apologists in urban planning circles hailed the boom as the new America at the far exurban fringe. Every citizen a homeowner! Half-acre lots for all! No credit, no problem!

Others saw it as the residential embodiment of the Edward Abbey line that 'growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.'"
"In the meantime, during these low, ragged years, a few lessons about urban planning can be picked from the stucco pile.

One is that, at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state’s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.

Second, look at the cities with stable and recovering home markets. On this coast, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and San Diego come to mind. All of these cities have fairly strict development codes, trying to hem in their excess sprawl.

Developers, many of them, hate these restrictions. They said the coastal cities would eventually price the middle class out, and start to empty.
It hasn’t happened. Just the opposite. The developers’ favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls — Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this valley — are the most troubled, the suburban slums."
Full article...


Darryl said...

Hi, I just came across your blog. I'm always impressed when I hear about people giving up machines and living on their bikes. I love it. It sounds like you are a great cycling advocate and as a fellow cyclist I want you to know that I appreciate it. I can also tell you there there are countless others who appreciate it as well, even if you don't hear from them.
Keep up the good work. Looking for more great things from you.

Snakebite said...

I was expecting the quoted stuff to be attributed to Kunstler. I wonder, at which point in time, the number of people who "get it" reach a critical mass.

Briman said...

Mr. Minus,
I'm registered for Plain Green and will be looking for the SDBC Traffic Skills 101 on 4/30. I'll see ya before then, though!