Monday, July 19, 2021

Hellscape, USA


It’s true that I spend a lot of time scanning Twitter for local stories. As you know, sometimes I come away with what I call “Other People’s Tweets.” Today’s is a doozy.

Was in Columbia, MD yesterday and it was a total car-dependent hellscape, best place to live in America?  Totally nuts that people see that and like it

Bulldoze and start again

include beavers on the planning team

Give me a city or give me a cabin.

Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Out-of-Towner. Don’t hold back, now.

For some contrast, I hopped over to the Columbia Association website to see if I could find some descriptions of Columbia’s original intent and what we say we are proud of. Silly me. The website has changed. I knew where I was going on the old website. If you are interested in Columbia history you get one page with links to go somewhere else. (The Columbia Archives.) Well, heck.

I’ll just have to speak for myself for the moment. The truth is, I agree with what Mr. OOT writes, and yet I also love living here. It’s complicated. We absolutely are too car-dependent. Now, where I live, one can easily walk to the Village Center, the Walgreen’s, Blandair Park, the pool (when it’s open) and schools. Do I avail myself of these opportunities? Rarely. 

I’m pretty sedentary and driving is just easier. And, let’s face it, Columbia reinforces that frame of mind. Yes, we have the lovely pathways but they are largely for enjoyment, not to take you places you need to go. 

I find myself in the awkward situation of saying, yes, it’s a car-dependent hellscape and yet somehow I love it here. It’s quirky and earnest and comfortable. I do love all the grass and trees.

Do we need to bulldoze and start again? Sometimes I wonder. No matter what, I’m definitely intrigued by the prospect of including beavers on the planning team.

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