Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Sprawl (Debate?)


Sprawl is a constant consideration of mine and a frequent topic of the discussions found on this blog. This is for good reason, as many of the problems that concern us regarding the shortfalls and maladies of the city of Hartford can be directly attributed to this phenomenon which drew from the city so much of its vitality, energy, and population. Similarly, sprawl has also contributed to many of the environmental problems that inspire us the bloggers, and you the readers, to ride your bikes as much as possible in order to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and our dependence on fossil fuels.

An editorial in the Courant today not only reminded me of many of these issues but also solidified my opinions of how intricately connected all of these problems are to one another. Reading the comment section (I know, I know a recipe for frustration) it is clear why these issues are so pervasive as so many people either deny, discredit, or simply write off these issues. However, if we are to stop sprawl and advocate an environment friendly towards alternative transportation we need to inform ourselves and challenge those that reject this reality. This includes the following reader who had this to say...

"Sprawl" is a commie term for people expressing their freedoms, and anyone who hates it is jealous, and is anti-American. Screw you, you long haired smelly hippy bastids who use the social-control term "sprawl". Jeff H.

There is, however, several glimmers of positivity in these posts, including the following...

"Associating smart growth with a communist mentality is paranoid in the extreme. Fortunately, more and more people in the Hartford area (and nationally) are beginning to see the wisdom of growing more sustainably. To reiterate, there is a wide gulf between forcing people to live, work and shop in certain places and encouraging them to transact their personal and professional lives where their impact on the environmental and geographic landscape will be most beneficial. As some of the previous comments indicate, some people need to be educated about the connections between land use, gas prices and climate change. To the extent that the Courant and the cognoscenti can provide the information that will help people make better choices, the path toward a more sustainable region will be more easily traveled."

This blog is here to provide you with, or direct you towards this information. Take a look at the editorial and soak up some info.

P.S. A poster also provided this link, which while not about Hartford is well worth visiting and sets a worthy example:

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