Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, April 07, 2006

Another Vote for "Soulless Suburbia"

Seems someone else agrees with me about the advantages of suburban living. And of all things it's a columnist for the Seattle P-I, Bill Virgin:
What? You want me to tell you what I think of living in the car-dependent suburbs? Geez, not around all these people, it's too crowded.

Here, let's move to a quieter, more secluded spot.

Now, you want to know what I think of living in the suburbs?

I like it.

There, I said it. I like the convenience, flexibility, independence and, yes, safety, that having a car brings. And I like my peaceful little green-lawned corner of suburbia with parks and nearby library and shopping area and restaurants and more abundant wildlife than the occasional crow or pigeon.

And as long as we're making provocative statements, here's one more: Suburbia is filled with a lot of people who feel the same way.


But, but, but ... can't we just make everyone give up their cars and walk or bicycle to work?

Well, no you can't, because people don't want to. People are no more likely to give up their cars than they were likely to give up their horses a century ago because they were told, "Have you seen what they're doing to the streets?"

The environmental aspect may prove irrelevant, anyway. If the Hubbert's Peak folks are right, and worldwide oil production is in decline, that merely accelerates the day in which we power our cars with something else (which may even be more environmentally benign than gasoline).

People aren't wedded to the internal combustion engine. They are wedded, and quite happily so, to having a mode of transportation they own, control and schedule. They are indifferent to what they're putting into their cars. As long as it moves them down the road, that's what counts.

But, but, but ... don't people secretly loathe the suburbs?

No, they don't.


Simon said...

I don't secretly loath them.

Ray Lindquist said...

Welcome aboard Simon... And since your out of the closet, I had best join you, I don't loath them as well.

April E. Coggins said...

Is there any neighborhood anywhere anytime that wasn't suburbia at one time or the other? Isn't suburbia defined as new houses and neighborhoods on the edge of town? How can any neighborhood be built without being labeled as suburbia?