News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Kunstler on Atlanta

James H. Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and, more recently, The Long Emergency, on Atlanta's particularly heinous case of the sprawls:
There was ... a gathering recognition among the prospering classes that the development explosion of the past thirty-odd years around Atlanta had begun to produce diminishing returns, as the geeks in econ might say, tending toward a decrease in the quality of life -- to use the kind of euphemistic, understated, neutral language that was commonly employed to describe the fucking mess that even hardcore suburban growth cheerleaders, in their narcotic raptures of consumerism and gourmet coffee, had begun to dimly apprehend. Above all, traffic had become intolerable. That was pretty much the sole criterion for the quality of life in Atlanta: motoring convenience (or lack of). You dared not venture out anymore to a restaurant on a Friday evening in Buckhead, the Beverly Hills of Atlanta, unless you wanted to spend half the night listening to books-on-tape in your SUV. Routine mid-day trips to the supermarket now required the kind of strategic planning used in military re-supply campaigns under wartime conditions. Mothers with children were spending so many hours on chauffeuring duty that they qualified for livery licenses. Motorists were going mad, literally, behind the wheel -- one berkserker tired of waiting at an intersection shot out the signal light with a handgun. The people of Atlanta were clearly driving themselves crazy with driving.

Whole article here.