By Dom Nozzi
August 15, 2006
We live in troubled times. Times that require wise, courageous leadership. Here is what I see in our communities, and what I plan to do about it.
Taxes are high and are constantly rising because new growth is not paying its own way.
All levels of government are financially strapped. Households are struggling to be able to afford the skyrocketing costs of transportation and rising property taxes.
Aren’t you tired of high and rising taxes?
Automakers keep producing gas-guzzling cars. There is no quality transit system. We have no transportation choices. Little Billy and little Suzie cannot safely go for a walk or ride a bike in their neighborhoods because traffic is too dangerous.
Our hard-earned money and national wealth is vanishing. Our money is being used to enrich Middle Eastern oil-producing nations—many of which are not our friends.
Aren’t you tired of our unhealthy transportation system?
The Quality of Our Neighborhoods and Communities
Our farms are vanishing because they are being paved over by sprawling subdivisions.
We keep getting dumb growth instead of smart growth. Our neighborhoods are afflicted by rising levels of noise pollution. We’ve lost the tradition of having neighborhood-based schools, which means our kids cannot get to school on their own. We have forgotten that a high quality of life is a powerful economic engine.
Aren’t you tired of the sprawl? The ugly, dangerous, costly, “Anywhere USA” strip commercial development that keeps popping up in our communities?
Let’s restore our communities.
- Imagine communities rich in transportation choice. A place where we and our kids can get around safely by car, by transit, by walking and by bicycle. Communities, in other words, where one has the choice to be able to walk to get a loaf of bread, instead of being forced to drive 4 miles to get that loaf.
- Imagine communities where our property taxes are reasonable and our government is able to afford to build quality public facilities and provide quality public services.
- Imagine communities where we don’t see our beautiful forests, natural areas and farms bulldozed, acre-by-acre, day-by-day, to build endless, sprawling subdivisions.
- Imagine communities where streets are not choked by rapidly growing numbers of cars.
- Imagine communities where we don’t see our roads torn up and widened every year, causing infuriating road construction delays.
- Imagine communities with pleasant, safe, beautiful, slow-speed shopping streets instead of communities full of 10-lane strip commercial monster roads.
- Imagine communities with healthy air and water, and neighborhoods that place public parks a short distance from our homes.
- Imagine communities that provides choices about how to live. Communities where one can happily live an urban, suburban or rural lifestyle.
- Imagine communities where it is actually legal to build smartly. Traditionally. Sustainably. Where building smartly is the rule, rather than the exception. Local government regulations encourage smart growth, and are not an obstacle to it. Communities that makes it fast and easy to build smartly, and makes it more difficult and costly to build crud.
- Imagine communities full of energy-efficient homes and offices.
- Imagine communities that are quiet. Where one can sleep peacefully each night without being awoken by endless sirens and the roar of traffic.
- Imagine places with a strong sense of community. Places that are a community, not a crowd.
Imagine communities, in other words, that we can be proud of.