Monday, October 20, 2008

There Are A Lot Of Places Like This

Where the economics of land prices have run smack into stupid zoning and land use policies.

Rockville Pike between the NIH and downtown Rockville is an ugly mess of an edge city. Like Tysons, it has too much density to be truly car friendly, but all the ugliness of suburbia: strip malls set back behind acres of surface parking.

Essentially these are the worst of both worlds kind of places, dense enough to have the unpleasant aspects of density but without the sensible land use policies which would allow the good effects of density to appear.

I'm not confident than many of them can be sensibly reshaped, but the ones which probably can be are the ones which are on a decent transit line. Access to mass transit reduces car dependency at least for some, as if someone in your household can use it to commute you can have one fewer car.