Sunday, September 18, 2016


One common assertion over the past several decades is that the suburbs grew because the suburbs are popular and who are you to interfere with THE MARKET stupid hippie. I'm not one of those urbanists who denies that this is true to some extent. Some people would prefer basic suburban living even over an idealized urban existence. It is what some people want.

But that's only part of the story. The other part is the policies that haven't exactly made good urban living an option in most of the US, even for the people who would want it. Some of those policy choices are big and obvious, some less so.
In other cities, the motorist might have noticed a pedestrian walking along a busy, high-speed street such as Georgetown Road because it likely would have been illuminated by the most basic of city services — a streetlight.

But not in Indianapolis.

Here, city officials stopped adding streetlights more than 35 years ago to save money on the city’s $2.9 million annual electric bill. Compounding the problem, they also failed to build any new sidewalks for 20 years during that time.