It has become clear that Newgeography.com is a broadly anti-urbanist site. This bizarre post is a mixture of inventions and distortions of “Smart Growth and New Urbanism.” Exhaustively cataloguing its fallacies would be time-consuming and hopefully unnecessary. Some of the highlights:
Smart Growth planners advocate short blocks in a grid pattern to distribute traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) evenly within a development. These short blocks produce a multitude of 4-way intersections, and add a multitude of those trendy “turnabouts,” to make a bland site plan look more interesting.
I am actually unsure what he’s getting at here. I have no idea what a turnabout is, or how they could make bland site plans look more interesting.
To make matters worse, the majority of vehicular vs. pedestrian accidents occur at intersections. Smart Growth designs have many more intersections than conventional suburban plans . Even more dangerous, Smart Growth walkways are placed close to the where the cars turns.
So, pedestrians would be best served if all our roads were highways? This might have been written by le Corbusier (though he would have written it more felicitously).
Nobody can argue against the character of a tree-lined street… no one, that is, except the city Public Works department that must maintain structures being destroyed by trees growing in close confines to concrete walks and curbs. Smart Growth/New Urbanist compact front yard spaces are typically 10 feet or less. This simply cannot provide for enough room for tree growth when there is a 4’ wide walk typically a few feet away from the curb, the area where street trees grow. Without trees to define the street, these solutions have very little organic life to offset the vast volume of paving in front of each porch.
Is he seriously suggesting that New Urbanists are opposed to trees?
Not all of Newgeography.com’s posts have been equally absurd, but the site certainly does seem to have an agenda, and not a good one.