sprawl hurts

Two articles from the Sacramento Bee this Sunday illustrate how sprawl hurts us all.

How much water a community gulps varies across the Sacramento region (SacBee 2014-03-09)

The article highlights the remarkable variation in the amount of water used per capita by different areas in the region, with Granite Bay being the poster child for extensive lawns and landscaping. These exurban areas suck up the water that could be used for more productive domestic or agricultural purposes. This is not a lifestyle choice, this is extravagant misuse of our common resources. Where does this happen? Almost always in the exurbs. But many of these people still work in the urban core, their commutes eased by the freeways and arterials built with the money taken from the rest of us taxpayers. They have us coming and going. Literally.

Sacramento ‘ruralpolitans’ feed the animals, then don suits for city jobs (SacBee 2014-03-09)

The article highlights people who live in rural areas close to the urban core and commute to regular jobs. Another seeming lifestyle choice, made possible by the freeways and arterials that make it easy for people to live in a seeming rural paradise but work where the jobs are higher paying. They pay low property taxes, but benefit from the transportation network and other services that all of us pay for. If these people were actually serving some agricultural purpose, I’d be a lot more willing to provide some subsidy to their lifestyle, but they are only playing at agriculture, contributing nothing to the rest of us.


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