Central location and (rising) gas prices

I saw this article from a local neighborhood list serv about how gas prices could be the end of the suburban migration pattern. I’m not sure it’s going to happen that fast, but I think it’ll certainly be something on people’s mind when shopping for places to live.

This probably really isn’t news to anyone who decided to live in Shaw. In fact, it was a big part of the reason I personally chose the ‘hood so if I thought of it– well, everyone else probably did too. But the article is a good read arguing for better urban land use.

Three cheers for central location and public transportation.

7 thoughts on “Central location and (rising) gas prices”

  1. I honestly dont think the suburban migration pattern will ever end in the DC metro area. The housing stock in the DC suburbs is too abundant for your average suburbanite to consider uprooting their lives for a DC rowhouse(more likely a condo). Besides the suburban way of life is too entrenched in the Amercian way of life to become the norm. Another issue to consider, where would everyone live? Also, if their was a massive migration from the suburbs into the city what would become of the suburbs, would they end up like the suburbs around Paris? Basically suburban slums

  2. Gas prices wont do it. its still way way cheaper to live in most suburban areas than urban areas.

    But i would disagree with the other poster about suburban lifestyle being irreversably entrenched in american society. We are a very pliable society. We adapt and change quickly. Suburbs, as such, have only been around for 2-3 generations. More than likely is that urban areas will expand, and “suburbs” will change their zonings to become urban.

    Thats seems to be whats already happeing in places like Arlington and Bethesda. They are growing upward and becoming more dense. more urban.

  3. SA, I agree with you. And gas prices certainly aren’t enough. But if you start considering other costs– like losing 2+ hrs of your day commuting… the ‘burbs start to get more expensive than just the direct dollars in transportation costs. Then again, if you work in the ‘burbs and live near there, you don’t have any of the issues so the ‘burbs aren’t really more expensive.

    Seems like the net effect is that land use may change to accommodate more density. I do think that people will begin to value closeness, walkability and access without cars– like much of Europe.

  4. If gas prices continue to rise then it could be feasible that the outward growth of the suburbs would decrease especially if local jurisdictions ceased expand the road infrastructures as well.

    The only thing that limits me from living in a condo is how few of them are three bedrooms or more. A two bedroom condo is Ok if it just you and a SO or if you have only a small child, but if you have two kids, you are already in the market for a townhouse.

    With larger condos, I think more people might choose to live in the city in a denser urban environment.

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