By Dom Nozzi
June 17, 2016
Much of the extreme, angry, repetitive opposition to nearly all local development proposals these days is based on many factors, but two stand out in my mind.
First, there is concern about the noise, the increase in car traffic, and the loss of easy parking.
Second, there is the worry that the new development will not fit in with the character of the neighborhood.
Key ways to reduce hostility (NIMBYism) is to ensure that new development is familiar, “main street” sort of development in character. It uses traditional, timeless design. It avoids bizarre, “innovative,” modernist experiments that nearly all citizens react to with understandable horror.
It is also important that transit serving the neighborhood be frequent enough to alleviate traffic and parking concerns. Spillover parking concerns can be substantially reduced if the neighborhood is served by frequent transit.
Similarly, traffic calming is an effective tool to slow cars and make drivers more attentive. This can be a powerful way to ease concerns.
Familiar traditional design, frequent transit, and traffic calmed street design can lead to much more neighborhood acceptance of infill development in or near existing neighborhoods.