Is the Writing on the Wall?


Here are a couple thought-stimulating quotes from a New York Times article from July 2, 2008, “Fuel Prices Shift Math for Life in Far Suburbs”

 “More than three-fourths of prospective home buyers are now more inclined to live in an urban area because of fuel prices, according to a recent survey of 903 real estate agents with Coldwell Banker, the national brokerage firm.”

“In March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles on public roads than in the same month the previous year, a 4.3 percent decrease — the sharpest one-month drop since the Federal Highway Administration began keeping records in 1942.”

“In 2003, the average suburban household spent $1,422 a year on gasoline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By April of this year — when gas prices were about $3.60 a gallon— the same household was spending $3,196 a year, more than doubling consumption in dollar terms in less than five years.”

and my favorite from a person owning a McMansion in suburban Denver:

“I was so glad to get out of the city, the pollution the traffic, the crime,” she said. Now, the suburbs seem mean. “I wouldn’t do this again.”


5 Responses to “Is the Writing on the Wall?”

  1. joshuadfranklin

    Any reason not to link to the article? Fuel Prices Shift Math for Life in Far Suburbs

    I can’t believe Denver (metro population 2.4 million) has 36 light rail stations. How embarrassing.

  2. dan bertolet

    Andrew from Seattle Transit Blog sent me this link:

    If anyone can figure out what her point is — other than people still drive cars, which isn’t a particularly original observation — please share your insight. I’m baffled.

  3. JoshMahar

    City dwellers aren’t the only ones interested in doing errands on foot. Planning for suburban communities includes retail, employment and entertainment options that operate as mini-Seattles.”

    To me it really seems like she just doesn’t quite understand her concepts of city and suburb very well. I think a suburb community, by definition, means that SFHs dominate and zoning is limited to residential. With such ridiculously low density there is no chance she will ever have retail and employment options.

    What I think is going on here is that she is a proud Eastsider who is sick of people telling her to move to Seattle. That’s fine by me, as long as she is willing to accept condos next door, possibly noisy retail centers, and some major office towers as well.

  4. Renee

    I just returned from 2 weeks in the midwest (Indiana, Ohio, Michigan). Gas prices are lower there than in Seattle, but the pain is much stronger. There were so many “for sale” signs in new developments that only recently replaced farmland. People can’t afford the houses they own and they can’t afford gas. In Cleveland, it is so bad that people are breaking into houses when owners are at work and ripping out copper piping. Owners return to water damage and no pipes.

    Some cities are working on transit (Indianapolis) while others are reducing transit service while increasing transit user fees (Cleveland).

    I raised the issue of the need to return to the days of compact urban living and mass transit – days that many of the relatives I was visiting remembered keenly. But, for now, they are all still clinging to the notion of the American Dream (their words) of an acre of land, a big new house and two cars in their driveway.

    I was so glad to return to Seattle and Metro and bike lanes and curbside recycling.

  5. real estate brooklyn ny

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