Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Sprawl Is Back in New Jersey

McMansions are again in the rise on the Meadowlands. Photo: WalkBikeJersey
McMansions are rising again in the Garden State. Photo: WalkBikeJersey
false

It's starting to look like 2005 again in New Jersey. That's what Andrew Besold at Network blog WalkBikeJersey has been noticing on his bike rides lately. Tracts of large houses are popping up again in formerly rural areas, and it's threatening to overrun what's left of the state's unspoiled areas:

Prior to the Great Recession, the housing bubble was eating into vast swaths of what makes New Jersey the Garden State. During that time I personally saw many wonderfully charming, quite rural roadways straightened, blown out and widened to modern "safety standards" to accommodate large new car-dependent developments and traffic demands 30 years into the future.

With a slight uptick in the economy my rides have once again been filled with the sight of new housing starts like that seen below. While the rediscovery of urban centers and urban living have been absorbing much of the housing boom here in New Jersey, old habits still seem to die hard here in our state. Also the massive amounts of wealth being generated in New York City and the region make the dream of a house out in "the country" (well it was the country till all of you moved here) all too attainable and attractive for those who can still easily afford this style of living.

We've talked about the connection between sprawl and the degradation of New Jersey's wonderful rural road cycling before (if you don't understand it, read that old blog article). Luckily there is something we can all do to slow and hopefully stop New Jersey sprawl once and for all. On this Election Day you can vote YES for Ballot Question #2 which would permanently dedicate a small portion of the state corporate business tax to fund openspace preservation, park maintenance, new trails (!) and new park facilities.  Support is strong for this question in the local New Jersey media.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Transportationist sets out to determine which is a bigger risk: car collisions or pollution caused by cars. Vibrant Bay Area writes that there aren't enough smaller homes in America for the growing number of seniors who want down-sized, walkable living. And City Block says there's a "missing middle" in urban housing: the increasingly rare duplex and other small multi-family units.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Car Crashes by City Workers Cost NYC Taxpayers $180M in Payouts Last Year: Report

A record number of victims of crashes involving city employees in city-owned cars filed claims in fiscal year 2023 — and settlements with victims have jumped 23 percent, a new report shows.

April 16, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Driving Inflation

Driving — specifically, the cost of car ownership — is one of the main factors behind inflation, according to the Eno Center for Transportation.

April 16, 2024

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 16, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Bring Another Setback

The Biden administration's new rule requiring states to report their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation was dealt another blow when the Senate voted to repeal it.

April 15, 2024

‘The Bike Is the Cure’: Meet New Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Mike Thompson

Meet the incoming co-chair of the congressional bike caucus — and learn more about how he's getting other legislators riding.

April 15, 2024
See all posts