Friday, May 30, 2014

Straightening the Curvy Roads

I am a driving enthusiast.  I love to drive on roads that allow you to feel one with the car you're driving, which means lots of twists and turns, with elevation changes requiring shifting of gears, etc.  Examples include many mountainous roads, and back roads in rural areas.  In fact, there's one very close to where I live that I love to drive.

Gorman Road runs near my neighborhood, and the stretch of road between Skylark Blvd. and Murray Hill Road is particularly twisty and enjoyable to drive.  But recently, one of the farms along this road was sold to a developer, who promptly chopped down trees and is in the process of leveling the land in readiness for the hundreds of houses that will be built.  Since Gorman Road along that stretch is not really conducive to this kind of development, the road itself is getting straightened out.  This bothers me on so many levels.  First of all, the idea that every ounce of land in the area has to be developed is frustrating to me.  Especially since it seems like the developers wipe out all of the trees on the land being developed, creating a barren appearance.  I hate it.  It takes away all of the rural characteristics that give the area its charm.

I've lived in my home for 13 years and I've watched this trend take place all over the area.  Stephens Road was a nice, quiet little road with cornfields and homes on large pieces of land.  Then the homes get bought up by developers who tear them all down, and place a dozen homes on the same piece of land that had one.  The cornfield was paved over and now there's a neighborhood with hundreds of homes in its place.  Traffic has increased dramatically.  A traffic light had to be placed at the Gorman Road-Stephens Road intersection because there are too many cars.  And many of the people who have moved in don't seem to have the same driving sensibilities of others, and far outrun the speed limits and don't understand the concept of stopping and looking before taking right turns on red.  I fear for my daughter who must cross these busy roads since she walks to and from school.

I know I'm getting older and grumpier as I go along, and this is the same kind of stuff that I remember my parents complaining about, and their parents complaining about, as I was growing up.  But I hate that our rural areas must be completely filled up with large neighborhood developments and multi-lane roads without any character.  It's getting so that I feel like I can't breathe.

I know I can drive a little bit west in my little 5-speed sports car and enjoy the roads out there, but I hate watching my home, which I bought due to the "out in the country" feel it gave me and my wife, get swallowed into suburbia.  Maybe I'm in the minority.  Maybe my neighbors all want this kind of development.  I sure don't.  There's plenty of developed areas already just down the road from me that I can easily access as needed.  I don't need it that badly, though I'm sure the sellers of these lands are looking for a big payday that the developers are more than willing to give to them.  Oh well.

As I said at the top, I'm a driving enthusiast.  I can always find roads to drive on that I find enjoyable.  I just have to go a little farther to find them than I used to.  But they're out there, and I love them.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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