When I moved to my house in 2001, I loved my drive to work. About 13 miles, through cornfields, no stoplights, a straight shot up country roads. Now it’s turning in to a nightmare. They built houses in all the cornfields. They actually shut down the main road I used to take and built a huge office park, causing me to have to detour. There are stoplights and stop signs. They lowered the speed limit.
Why do they let these developers build so many houses when the infrastructure clearly was not designed to handle it? These country roads can’t stand up to the increased traffic. They don’t have left turn lanes, which was fine before but now there are shitty subdivisions on both sides of the street and huge backups as there is no way to go around someone who is waiting to turn. The road that I had to detour onto was completely inadequate to handle the increased traffic- and they had to have known that a lot of people would start using it because it is the only road within 5 miles that has an overpass to get over an interstate. The road fell apart almost immediately after they closed the main drag. Half the road literally slid into the ditch. So what did they do? They put up a sign that said “Rough Road.”
Can’t they make the developers upgrade the roads before they grant them a permit to build there?
Plus, there is this fucking bus. It stops at several houses on one particular street. Not at a bus stop, that all the kids could walk to and wait. It stops at all their houses. Which would be ok, except these fucking kids wait until the school bus actually stops at their house to start getting ready to go. I can see them running around their living rooms, putting on their coats, pulling on their boots, putting their shit in their backpacks, while the bus sits there with its fucking red lights flashing. When the kids finally emerge for the looooong walk down the driveway, they are clearly in no hurry to get to the bus. Luckily I am driving the opposite direction as this bus, so even though I usually get stopped it is only once per day. If I was behind the bus and had to stop at every house I would go on a fucking killing spree.
Don’t you just love the irony, Shecky? Our neighboring pseudo-upscale yuppie city is basically a bunch of cookie-cutter McMansions (many now in foreclosure), plopped onto what used to be farmland. Developers see a stretch of pretty, rural land then scrape it flat, concrete it over and, with no irony at all, name the “neighborhoods” after what used to be there. Oak Glen. Forest Creek. Maple Ridge.
And of course the developments, taking advantage of the nice rural atmosphere, feed off appropriately small roads that were merely picturesque instead of inadequate before all that traffic got dumped onto them.
My favorite symbol of the problem is the suburban Strangled Tree. Many of these developments have some spindly young trees, planted optimistically in yards or near curbsides. Check out sometime how many are ruthlessly girdled by manicured circles of mulch or rock, then reinforced by nice little cages of plastic edging, decorative interlocking bricks, etc. It’s like residents of Shady Oak Acres are scared shitless their few poor surviving trees might flee at night in shame if not properly confined.
Yes. Albuquerque is discussing (or just passed) a law that forbids “leap frog” development. This is where the developer starts on the opposite end of their land from the city, and begins to work in. The effect is that the city basically has no choice but to lay sewer, build roads, etc. all the way out to these houses, while they aren’t yet making any revenue from the land. I don’t understand the specifics, but the intent is to get the developers to pay for the infrastructure.
It’s stories like these that make one of my life goals to be the guy who owns the farm that adjoins the last house in the HOA/subdivision. And then mercilessly and deliberately find out the HOA rules (which don’t apply to me ha ha) and violate all of them flagrantly.
Ugh. This is one of the best things about moving to go to grad school - I left a place that was suburban sprawl hell and moved to a rural area where no houses have been built since the 1980s. I still have that lovely country drive in to school, along a misty river bounded by trees, and have a pretty good assurance that it will still look like this when I leave.
You need to blame your local government. They approved all these changes - the developers couldn’t have done anything if they’d stood up to them. I was amazed at how little opposition there was in my last area when yet another subdivision of sprawling monstrosities was vomited up onto the landscape. “Oh, brown stucco? How very original!”
All around here, we have today’s traffic on 1930’s highways.
That’s bad enough, but then people moan and bitch about how horrible their commute is. Hey Biff and Buffy, traffic on Highway 4 in and out of Antioch has always been rotten. You could have asked me ten years ago, and I’d have said that the road goes from four lanes down to two and that it was a good road to avoid. Now, acres of McHouses (Oooh Honey! This one’s got LIGHT tan stucco with a red clay tile roof! And the giant hanging light fixture in the foyer is antiqued brass!) have sprung up in the past four years as if someone’s playing SimCity, and thousands more people are jamming themselves into that bottleneck. Next time you pick a spot to call home, try doing just a teeny bit of research on the area?
As for the OP - you have my sympathies. You had a nice ride, and someone else mucked it up piecemeal.
So would I. My blood pressure went up just reading this, and I am NOT a road rage-type person. I would probably go on a killing spree if I were a student on that bus, and had to sit on a bus for 45 minutes twice a day to go a few km down the road.
The same thing happened in my town while I was growing up. The population quadrupled over the 15 years or so that I remember. There is ONE main street that almost everyone seems to take to go downtown to work, and the new rapid transit system? Goes down the same fucking street. Woohoo, we no longer have to wait while people pay the driver - but we still have to sit behind hundreds of commuters’ cars. There has been no planning for this growth; it’s just a question of how many half million dollar houses they can shove in a given field - even the houses across the road from the dump are going for that much.
It’s one of the joyful ironies of my life that my extremely self-righteous environmentalist friend grew up in one of these subdivisions, the kind of place where you need to get in your car just to leave the gated community and get to a corner store. Every time I see her prattling on on Facebook about how she alone can save the environment, I want to point out that she grew up on Comfort Lane.
We’re the last 20-acre piece left in a sea of subdivisions. We still have our old barn, and 3/4 of this is still hayfield. I keep threatening to put up a clothesline. Heh.
OP, I agree with Smeghead - the city/county government should be regulating development. In our city, developers pay for many of the needed improvements (sewer mains, traffic signals, paving). It’s only fair.
Oh, I’m sure they’re regulating it alright. Check out the planning commission and see if one of them put an extension on his house in the past 18 months. Guarantee that’s the guy who rubber-stamped the development.