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Reclaiming Communities

I’m fascinated about things like traffic. People are annoyed about sitting in traffic, driving to work, the lack of free parking. They are also annoyed about traffic in their neighborhoods, the speed of cars, the fact that no one walks anymore, the fact that kids don’t play outside anymore.

And, of course, they are annoyed about the price of gas, the effect of emissions on the environment, and the import culture this creates in a nation who defines itself by its independence.

It’s cognitive dissonance. (Feeling conflict by holding onto competing values.)


  • Are these annoyances/frustrations caused by a force beyond our control? No.
  • Are these things we can fix? Yes.
  • Why don’t we fix them? Because we’re focused on treating symptoms instead of addressing the core problems.

Adding to this fascination? Projects and proposals to remove highways from urban areas. See, doing that actually reduces traffic in the long run and recreates neighborhoods. But how would I get to work? Easy. You don’t.

Equally intriguing questions which look at the macro level about the way our society does things.

I mean… we can’t just tell people to live within walking distance of their work…. can we? I mean… we can’t just tell people that green lights just make people drive faster than a community needs… can we? I mean… to do that I’d have to reshape everything I do. We can’t have that! Or can we? 

I mean… we can’t just change the behavior that’s absolutely driving us crazy…. can we? 

Can we? 

Wait. We can’t?

One Response to Reclaiming Communities

  1. youthleadergina May 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I have a general rule…I must live within walking distance of good coffee, I want to hear the bell toll from my open window, and I want to be able to walk and pick the kids up from school…SO we DO! We LOVE living in downtown El Cajon where all those things come true! Tower Bell is coincidentally above Starbucks! Our co-workers mock us thinking we live in the slums…but we LOVE it. My husband even rides his bike to work (he teaches at a local middle school). We live in creatively designed and lovely Row homes with our front door facing a busy street full of life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Community Reclaimed!!!

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