Virginia Declares Dead End for Cul-de-Sacs
This spring, Gov. Tim Kaine put in place new regulations that require subdivisions to have cut-through roads connecting them to larger roads. No longer can suburban neighborhood developments - like the ones plaguing the congested Northern Virginia suburbs outside of D.C. - have just one main entrance with dead-end branches reaching out in every which way.
If you've ever driven around one of these cookie-cutter neighborhoods, where the houses look like aluminum-sided clones, following directions that sounded straight out of "Alice in Wonderland" (make a right on Silver Lake Road, left on Silver Lake Lane, and another right on Silver Lake Court ...) you're likely cheering this decision. And you're not the only one: The New York Times Magazine just included the ruling in it's 2009 Year in Ideas.
Virginia home builders aren't happy, but if they fail to comply when constructing new subdivisions, the state won't supply road maintenance, snowplows and other services.
This means the end of the "gated communities" and their single, schmancy front gate and the fake security that come with them. Doesn't that gate really says "hey burglers, come around back because this is where the rich people live."
Gov. Kaine says the cul-de-sac design is putting a strain on the few artery roads, clogging them up and limiting access for emergency vehicles.
Score one for smart growth!