Monday, October 13, 2008

The Road To Sprawlville Runs South, Too; Chapter XXIII

A picture says the proverbial thousand words in this Chicago Tribune story about unfinished subdivision decay in the wreckage of the housing collapse.

While gasoline prices are falling, I think buyers and builders alike have learned their lessons and will focus on housing in cities, where transit, bike paths and sidewalks offer connections to jobs, schools, retail and entertainment.

We'll know if the message has been absorbed in southeastern Wisconsin when the state, or Waukesha County, or both, pull the plug on that $25 million I-94 Interchange to Nowhere.

The interchange threatens to become an icon for sprawl and a symbol of bad planning and wasteful public spending.

The interchange would connect I-94 to empty land at Pabst Farms that is still without one turned spade of ground for the shopping mall once described as upscale, but now looks on paper more like another ho-hum collection of big box stores and non-descript mall businesses.

Why spend millions to direct motorists to a site that will drain money from merchants in nearby traditional Main Streets downtowns?

Tip of the hat to CNU in Chicago for sending the story along.

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