by jess lewis
urban sprawl is one of my biggest dislikes, especially undeveloped urban sprawl. i’m surrounded by it. wooded areas razed to build new shopping centers that sit empty for years, often in poorly placed locations. low income housing demolished for shiny new developments of mcmansions (that take years to get even 6 houses built). some of these locations are maintained. they are the ones that become safe places for inexperienced teen drivers to practice their skills and newbie bicyclists to test out their balancing acts on a level surface. others are left to return to their natural state, but with the addition of street lamps, useless parking places, and meaningless traffic signs. some of the older developments are slowly filling with dollar stores, nail salons, smoothie shops, and the occasionally successful local business (while half of the center remains empty). i can’t leave my house in any direction and not pass one of these locations within a mile or two of my house. i’d love to see at least one of these places put to good use for the benefit of the community (a kick ass park or maybe a recreation/art center?). sadly, i don’t see that happening any time soon.