Thursday, May 7, 2009

San Francisco's Exurban Values

I stumbled across this article on two contrastingly walkable exurbs of Washington DC. It's a well written explanation of what makes a place pedestrian-friendly or, more often, doesn't.

In his critique of the archetypically suburban-minded Leesburg, Virginia Bed Adler says:
The problem of pedestrians attempting to cross these roads in Leesburg is so severe that the town government has taken up the issue. The main strip-mall shopping area -- home to a Wal-Mart and outlet stores -- sits on a six-lane highway bypass with vast distances between pedestrian crossings. People who live directly across the road have been known to run across the street rather than hike to the nearest crosswalk. The town decided to curb this threat to public safety not by making it safer to cross but by putting up a roadside fence. So now people jump over the fence to get to the Wal-Mart across the street. -Ben Adler
Sound familiar?

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