Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Some crazy person in the Phoenix area wants to be able to walk to things.

Phoenix grew into the nation's fifth-largest city through a reliable pattern: Build affordable homes on the metro area's edges, welcome waves of new buyers, and then roads, schools and retail centers follow.

Home buyers relied on that pattern. Buy an affordable home on the edge, watch it quickly appreciate, then sell at a good profit and move again to a bigger home in an established area.


Karen Madison lives in the neighborhood. She shares a car with her husband, who works during the day.

"I feel stranded most days because there's nothing close enough for me to walk to," said Madison, who sometimes walks a few miles, pushing her daughter in a stroller, to fill prescriptions. "We were so excited when we saw the shopping center go up just a few blocks away. But there's nothing there."

This family has violated the "one car per driving age member" rule, presumably because of expense. And it's expensive!