Mar 22, 2009

Love Wash Post, Love Virginia

New Virginia Rules Target Cul-de-Sacs.

"The state has decided that all new subdivisions must have through streets linking them with neighboring subdivisions, schools and shopping areas. State officials say the new regulations will improve safety and accessibility and save money: No more single entrances and exits onto clogged secondary roads. Quicker responses by emergency vehicles. Lower road maintenance costs for governments.

"When you have 350 to 400 miles a year of new roads you have to maintain forever, it's a budgetary problem," said Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who pushed the new regulations through the Commonwealth Transportation Board last month. Virginia has had to cut more than $2.2 billion from its six-year transportation spending plan. "But it's not just about the money. It's about connecting land-use and transportation planning and restricting wasteful and unplanned development.'

"If a firetruck or ambulance is stuck in traffic on the Fairfax County Parkway, they just can't turn in to a subdivision and go through local streets, because they don't connect," said Nick Donohue, assistant secretary of transportation."

Tell me that this doesn't make sense to you and I will freak out. Virginia is taking down the suburbs with rationality. I don't know if you've ever driven all the way from one end of Tilghman to another, but you may notice that, as you move westward, more and more cars stack up at the lights even though the population gets less and less dense. It is because of suburbia. All those subdivisions (have you ever driven through Green Hills? It is CRAZY) pretty much have only one option to get to the highways: Tilghman. Unless, of course, they want to take Snowdrift to 309 North and then wait at those ridiculously long lights to get on the expressway.

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