I have been meaning to write about this article in the WSJ concerning the planning perils of cul-de-sacs; I started a post on the 5th and then Jonathan Miller at Matrix beat me to it. For some local context, read Charlottesville Tomorrow’s post last year.
For many families, cul-de-sac living represents the epitome of suburban bliss: a traffic-free play zone for children, a ready roster of neighbors with extra gas for the lawnmower and a communal gathering space for sharing gin and tonics. But thanks to a growing chorus of critics, ranging from city planners and traffic engineers to snowplow drivers, hundreds of local governments … have passed zoning ordinances to limit cul-de-sacs or even ban them in the future.
For all the criticism aimed at them, cul-de-sacs do seem to have one last defender: the free market.
In short, planners don’t like them, but the buyers do. Where does one find the compromise?
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