Saturday, August 29, 2009

To raise a village

re: N&O Editorial: To raise a village 3/19/02

Thank you for your timely editorial on developing village-style, walkable communities. I agree that local governments should not be expected to prop up private enterprises. However we should expect local governments to support this type of growth by promoting conservation easements and landowner compacts, adjusting zoning codes and ordinances to create infill instead of sprawl, and controlling the impact of development on public infrastructure.

Well designed, compact, mixed-use development can dramatically reduce the automobile trips we choose to make. We will doubtless continue to desire to make trips beyond these villages. It is vital that we develop increased transportation choices. As our long trips become less frequent, we will more often find public transit and road bicycling to be attractive alternatives.

Personally, as a recent convert to bicycle commuting and tourism, utilitarian and recreational cycling, I've been amazed and thrilled to discover the practicality of this inexpensive, clean and elegant transportation mode. Biking to work daily, I get close to Blue Heron, Deer, Rabbits and the occasional fox. Biking home at night through downtown Raleigh I listen to the "trolley" on Glennwood, the people queuing up outside restaurants and the train passing under the Boylan street bridge. Spinning through countryside on weekends, I "discover" communities like Micro, Bynum and Seagrove, the beauty of the Haw and Eno rivers. As the Triangle embraces the new growth patterns you've described, I have no doubt that cycling holds great potential for making our travels more efficient and infinitely more enjoyable.

--Adrian Hands

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