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by Katie Pearce
Looks like the suburban lifestyle bravely soldiers on. Is this the end for the “back to the cities” theorists and social planners?
I wouldn’t get too excited. The suburbs that are growing are mostly getting an influx of retired baby boomers. This is the generation which grew the suburbs in the first place. It’s no surprise many would choose to retire there. I highly doubt later generations, like me, who have lived their entire lives in cities will suddenly decide to retire in suburbia. particularly when they’re nearing an age when they may not be able to drive. And there’s still the long term problems of higher per capita cost of infrastructure in sprawling areas. There will of course be some suburbs which survive long term, but I suspect these will be mostly pre-WWII suburbs built within a few miles or so of commuter rail stations. The residents of these areas will easily be able to bike those few miles to run errands, or take the train into the city for work or pleasure. On the other hand, car-oriented suburbs aren’t sustainable in the long run for many reasons.
“Finally, DOTs are admitting what the data has been telling them for the past ten years: Traffic is not increasing. It's flattened out overall and decreasing per person. This will lead to more sensible investments in transportation.”
In response to "It's Happening: Washington State Revises Traffic Forecasts to Reflect Reality"