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Dan Savage: Doing Something Real About Gentrification and Displacement

Urbanites' complaints about gentrification have much in common with suburbanites' complaints about commutes. Scarcity due to the ridiculous amount of land zoned for single-family housing deserves as much blame for displacement as gentrification.
May 24, 2017, 7am PDT | Todd Litman
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"The only thing worse than listening to suburbanites bitch about being stuck in traffic? Listening to local politicians pretend they can actually do something to "Make Commutes Great Fast Again."

"Way, way back in the '50s and '60s, people got it into their heads that they had a constitutional right to live in the suburbs and drive in or through the center of a city—to jobs, to stores, to stadiums, to hookers, to suburbs on the other side of the city—going seventy miles an hour. Our local politicians can't bring themselves to tell these entitled shits the truth: It's never going to be the 1960s around here again, when expressways were expressways, not parking lots. We can't build our way out of this. We can only build alternatives to cars, aka mass transit. (Preferably rapid transit, which is grade-separated transit. Without taking lanes away from cars, which we aren't going to do, BRT is not rapid transit. It's an oxymoron.) Mayors and city council members and county council members in cities with with [sic] functioning mass transit systems don't have to make serious faces and reassure entitled drivers that they're gonna do something to speed up their commutes.

"At roughly same time suburbanites got it into their heads that they're entitled to drive through the center of the city at 70 MPH, urbanites got it into their heads that the center of the city is cheapest place to live. ("Downtown, where the folks are broke!") And for a while the center of the city was the cheapest place to live. But that's no longer the case."

More from Dan Savage's article after the jump.

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Published on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in The Stranger
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