With the end of WWII came the beginning of the modern American lifestyle EXPERIMENT. Major highlights during this period are the wrecking and tearing down of city centers for interstates. The suburbs and malls built on endless expansions of farmland. The progressive consumption and disposal of land was fuelled entirely on our racially divided society. The demise of public transit and inter city rail and vibrant neighborhoods in exchange for suburban sprawl and isolation from one another established a poverty of the soul in America. This was the 60 year experiment of land use policy that favored cars to maintain a segregated America. Now here we are kinda FTh! if you ask me. But, there is no letting up that is readily apparent from policy makers or speculators. One case in point is the NFL Vikings franchise in Minnesota.
The team owner, developer Ziggy Wilf, is nothing but a bluffer who has threatened to take his team to another city if he doesn’t get a new stadium paid for by Minnesota tax payers or county tax payers. This stadium is nothing but a playground for 65,000 season ticket holders and corporate expense accounts. Out of a population of 3 1/2 million people the public expenditure further isolates the haves from the have-nots. Ziggy’s big idea was to dangle development scenarios to the public for exchange of property that was so far out in the county it made absolutely no sense. This option was to pit Ramsey county against a Minneapolis location that included tearing down the current stadium. This seems to be a complete bait and switch tactic. Make everyone believe the stadium was going up in the sticks and then get backers on board to tear down the perfectly fine dome that houses at best a mediocre team. This bait and switch is standard in development circles and the winners are the developers with the losers being tax payers. As the depression of the 2000’s continue you only have to look around wherever you go. Malls are dying and downtowns have soaring office vacancies. Development is at a standstill. Banks are hoarding investment dollars as leadership fails to acknowledge a true lack of vision. Could we employ some foresight with a new vision that is contrary to the past 60 year experiment? Take off the beer goggles, better set focus, and imagine for the first time in 3 generations the big slow down. Get out of our cars and return to the city center to build lifestyles around another form of transportation meant for compact urban environments.
The streets were meant for bike riding. It’s just that good people forgot this when they got caught up with car driving. We have seen the worst in people from the 60 year lifestyle experiment. Now we can bring out the best in those that want to participate in life changing behavior that they control.
The depression we are in with the year 2012 dawning is going global. It’s not just the land policy forcing change but air and water too. This is a plea to bike ride to all of my peers, the baby boomers who have sold out. You were once a hero, young and free. What happened when you grew up? Yeah, well get on your bike and ride and be a hero again. The air and land and water are calling you to it.