More in Letters to the Editor:
Letter submitted by Orangevale resident Mark Dempsey–
Several letter writers protest apartments “behind Raley’s” and at Sunrise Mall, and given the experience of sprawl development and modern “planning” (barely a suggestion), one can’t blame them.
Nevertheless, if there’s a pedestrian connection (not acres of asphalt) to the Mall itself, it could revive what is clearly some declining commerce (check out the vacancies for yourself). Mixed use “lifestyle” centers that put residences next to commercial development make as much as 50% more than standard, single-use sprawl commercial development (per square foot). People, particularly the elderly, love them.
One letter writer wishes for wider streets. This is conventional thinking about street design: it means less congestion if you get wider streets. It’s just not an effective solution.
The Southern California Association of Governments (that region’s equivalent of SACOG) mathematically modeled all kinds of congestion remedies, up to and including double-decking the freeways. Their conclusion: only one solution made a significant impact in reducing congestion: Mixed use.
The problem with widening roads is called “induced demand.” People hear about the wider road and start commuting on that road… and soon the congestion is exactly the same as before the widening… only we don’t get a multi-million dollar refund of the widening costs when that “solution” doesn’t work.
Better to make local shopping centers multi-story, mixed use than applying the same sprawl remedies repeatedly, hoping for a different outcome.
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