Sunday, May 21

Losing Another Opportunity in Texas

From time to time, I make a post lamenting how our fellow people needlessly miss opportunities to make communities easier and safer for people not in cars to get around. For example, here, I showed how a brain-damaged developer in Keller put up a fence that prevented kids in the development from walking to a school (in the same development) a couple of hundred feet away and how the locals cut a hole in the school fence to allow kids to walk. A couple of years later, here, I showed how our local city spent a lot of money on a road "improvement" that turned a local street into something hostile to safely and legally operating cyclists, not to mention driveways that cut across the remaining sidwalks. In that post, one thing I noted was the "Cute Path to Nowhere." That path runs in my own development, but it doesn't go anywhere. It simply turns around.

Things seem to be getting closer to home. Right next to my development, someone got approval to put in a "gated" community. Gated communities are an excuse, IMO, to avoid integrating with the local community. People buy there to feel "safer." Well, maybe, or maybe it simply satisfies the urge to "be better." Few gated communities help anybody but themselves. The "Strong Towns" blog has noted this repeatedly. ONE example is noted here.

In this case, I fear the opportunity to connect with a newly building shopping center via foot or bike will soon be lost. The "Cute Path to Nowhere" may become the "Cute Path to Nowhere That COULD have Served All of Us." I brought this up at our HOA meeting a while back, but I didn't sense any urgency on the topic from our HOA board. They seemed more concerned that someone would use this "back route" to enter our HOA neighborhood rather than the far simpler access via city streets. Whatever...

In the top photo, you can see the end of the "Cute Path to Nowhere" at location 1. The photo below is take from location 1 towards the disappearing forest that's getting taken by the gated community.

Photo looking from Location 1 Towards the Disappearing Forest
Locations 2, 3, and 4 show views where the forest has been chopped down, as seen just beyond the end of the "Cute Path to Nowhere"

Photo 2, Showing the End of the New Cul de Sac. Oddly, There's no Fence Here

Photo 3, Looking Northeast Where a Pedestrian Bridge Would be WONDERFUL, but There Won't be One.
Colleyville Parks Said "No"

Photo 4 - Looking East Along the New Subdivision "Back Wall" and the Start of the Fence
Finally, Photos 5 through 7 show just how easy it would to add a crushed gravel path to connect to a MUP (Photo 8) the city REQUIRED the developer to put in.

Photo 5. Looking East Along the New Subdivision Fence
Photo 6. Interestingly, the City Required no Erosion Control.
Note how the Developer Protected the Side Toward the "Back Wall"
While doing Nothing on the other Side of the Stream.
I Suspect Someone Will Regret that Choice

Photo 7. The Eastern End of the "Back Wall" Looking Toward Heritage Avenue
Photo 8 - Looking North Along the MUP that the "Path to Nowhere" Fails to Connect.
New Shopping Mall is Ahead and to the Right. A Short Walk.

Bird's Eye View of the Disappearing Forest
For reference, a "bird's eye view" of the area from Google Maps is shown above.

1 comment:

mike w. said...

Like yourself, i live in a part of the world that has been gerrymandered by gated communities and cul-de-sacs. i have taken to exploring ways to find possible bike travel routes through some of these "communities" without the interference of their sentries and gatekeepers. The cul-de-sacs favoured by suburban planners are especially annoying. As my local example, the nearest grocery store is 3/4 of a mile away by what should be a direct route, but to drive there it is just under 2 miles. i often wonder how much crucial time is lost to emergency services (police & fire) due to the circuitous navigation forced upon them by bad suburban planning.

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