Cul-de-Sacs are evil?

22 May 2010 by Wes Bredenhof

Tim Challies posted a link to this, “How Cul-de-Sacs Are Killing Your Community.”  We live on a cul-de-sac.  We’ve always wanted to live on such a street and after nine months I’d say that it has been everything we wished for, and more.  We’ve lived on busy city streets where drunk rock stars race their Ferraris at 2:00 in the morning at 250 Km/h.  We’ve lived on streets where people party all summer long and the police make regular visits.  By contrast, the cul-de-sac mostly has quiet family folk whose kids like to play out on the street.  And the parents don’t have to worry about vehicles driving through at unsafe speeds.  Moreover, people on a cul-de-sac get to know one another and develop relationships.  Isn’t all this part of building a community?  I think the article reflects a bias against families — as if the only thing that matters for “community building” is vehicle use.  But to play along with that bias for a moment, there’s no reason why urban designers can’t include pedestrian walkways that open up access from cul-de-sacs to arterial roadways.  FWIW.

One response to “Cul-de-Sacs are evil?”

  1. George Helder says:

    I mostly agree with your positive assesments of cul-de-sacs, Reverend. Although our situation is a little different in that our street dead-ends at a park, it has the same benefits plus the park access. One reason that the planners do not include walkways is that they have found them to be hang-outs for the local teen-agers and a consequent illegal, unsafe, and anti-social behaviour and of vandalism to the neighbouring properties. On top of that there is the pain and expense of maintanence for the municipality. Most have been closed off in the areas where they have had them as a result.

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