Friday, August 4, 2006

Hometown Week: Transit-Oriented Development in the Suburbs?

[Hometown Week]

   Yesterday I wrote some optimistic comments about transit-oriented development in the suburbs; today, I'm not so sanguine.  The closest subway stop to my summer locale is the Takoma stop, just over the D.C. line from the famously liberal town of Takoma Park.  When the Metrorail was built here in the '70s, however, local opposition to a large parking lot (there are large Victorian homes nearby) ensured that the only way to commute from this stop is to walk or take the feeder bus, thus deceasing the Metro's potential popularity for those who don't live very close by.  Currently, the Metro authority wants to revive the idea of transit-oriented construction by building a condo complex on station property.  There has been strong local opposition. The reason?  A postage-stamp-sized green space that serves mainly as a visual buffer between the station and the affluent houses. 
   The fundamental desires of human nature are food, shelter, sex, and NIMBY -- not necessarily in that order.

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