“Regionalism” is the left’s big plan to make us live our lives in accordance with its vision rather than as we want to live it. This plan has made significant headway in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. Now it is being sprung on the Twin Cities area.
Katherine Kersten has the details on the Metropolitan Council’s plans to remake the Twin Cities. In essence, The Council will do all it can to steer new jobs, homes, and economic development to areas within one half mile of major transportation stops. These stops will mostly be in the urban core and inner-ring suburbs.
In these favored areas, tax dollars will be lavished on high-density housing, bike and pedestrian amenities, and subsidized retail shops. The money thus lavished will come from people who live elsewhere.
The transportation needs of the rest of the metropolitan area will take a back seat. Money to improve highways and bridges will shrink. Congestion will grow and traffic safety will suffer.
Nor will this be the only punishment doled out to those who choose to live where leftists would prefer they don’t. Kersten notes that suburbs will pay an economic price, as the Council’s plan distorts the market through large tax subsidies designed to lure jobs and investments into high density areas.
But in reality, the punishment is likely to occur across-the-board. Kersten points to the experience of Portland, which has been at the vanguard of this sort of “regionalism.”
There, she says, streets are crumbling and won’t be repaved until 2017, bus service (used mainly by the poor) has been cut, transit ridership’s share of city commuting is falling, and many retail shops (designed with insufficient parking) are failing.
Who are the winners in this sort of central planning? Savvy developers and those who own property in the areas favored by the government.
Plus anyone who enjoys sardine-can living.