Friday, May 22, 2009

Walkable Community Good For the Bottom Line

This NY Times article the other day debating car-free communities in America was a good read (tip: GGW). This quote from Christopher B. Leinberger of the Brookings Institution quantifies the benefits of living in a neighborhood like ours:
American families who are car-dependent spend 25 percent of their household income on their fleet of cars, compared with just 9 percent for transportation for those who live in walkable urban places. That potential 16 percent savings could go into improved housing (building household wealth), educating children or that most un-American of all activities, saving.
Spending time close to home is actually a huge boon to your household bottom-line. With this in mind, keep pushing for the city to spend a fair share of money improving our streetscape. We still need significant improvements in the walkability of our neighborhood. A walkable community provides more jobs, places to play, and places to live within a short distance of each-other.

There is an aging list of projects to make the north end of Mt. Vernon Ave more pedestrian and bike friendly. The Arlandria small area plan could have gone a long way towards creating a very appealing and walkable neighborhood were it implemented as originally scheduled.

Some members of City Council are trying to establish resources in Planning and Zoning committed to our neighborhood. The city is about to begin working a new action plan for the North End of the venue. The current schedule says they'll begin this process in November, though that doesn't mean we should wait to identify our priorities for the neighborhood. Much of the last action plan, in the heyday for Alexandria's revenue stream, fizzled and died on the vine. Residents in the area can't let up on city government to follow up with actions they identify and schedule for the community. Check back as we'll have more information about the planning for and creation of this action plan for our community.
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