Residents of Suburb Designed Around Transit Don't Want It, Say It Offers "No Benefit"

Image Credit Dan Reed

As Kaid Benfield notes, it is getting harder to tell reality from The Onion. Here is the bucolic New Urbanist community of Kings Farm, outside of Washington DC. It won all kinds of design awards for being "designed around a light rail line linking the town center to the subway station. Similar to Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, the light rail will be built along the principal boulevard. The town square, town center neighborhood and the office neighborhood are located along this street and mark the proposed stops on the rail line."

Except it won't. The residents don't want it, and complain about "the effect construction will have on traffic, parking, pedestrian safety and buildings."

king farms photo

Image Credit EPA Smart Growth

Given that the right of way is just sitting there, the disruption claim is patently ridiculous. But there is more; a city councillor who lives there sees "no benefit" in it. Kaid wonders:

A majority of King Farm residents and visitors will probably still drive. But that's OK, because even small mode shifts make a difference for the environment and, over time, ridership grows as newcomers who are attracted by the transit move in to the development; that's how it works.

But, if the residents see "no benefit," what's the point of designing for transit, exactly?

Seriously, what is the point, if the urban/suburban divide is so extreme that even communities designed for transit won't accept it? Who see no benefit in it? How will we ever change it?

Sigh. Read it all in Kaid Benfield's column at Switchboard. And read Ryan Avent on the urban/suburban divide. And weep.

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