Thursday, October 29, 2009

Toll plans, TMC problems, empty nesters, Ashby regs

Yet again I've let the backlog of smaller items get too large, so I'm going to have to break them up into a couple of posts.
...demographers and economists have predicted that many aging baby boomers would opt for smaller, easier-to-manage dwellings once their children left home. Those predictions helped spur a surge in loft and condominium developments in many U.S. cities, as well as efforts to develop so-called walkable communities.

So far, the bet hasn't paid off. "The developers that anticipated a big increase in condominium living in center cities are sorely disappointed," says Gary Engelhardt, a professor at Syracuse University who's studied the influence of boomers on the housing market. The housing bust has led many people who might have sold their suburban homes to stay put. But even when the market recovers, Mr. Engelhardt says, "I don't foresee a massive movement back in center cities for older individuals."

Why not? From what I've heard, it's what you'd expect: not only do empty-nesters have deep ties to their current suburban community (church, friends, etc.), but they also want a home big enough to welcome their children and grandchildren for frequent visits.
UPDATE: Evidently the Fairmont Parkway has been taken off the current version of that map. Details here. It implies they may do it non-tolled. I hope they definitely keep the RoW here for a future freeway at some point. Tolled or not, it will be needed, if only to take some of the load off of overcrowded 45S. And the population out there is exploding. It's a great alternative to the waterfront and one of the Port terminals. Hat tip to Eric for the update.

The rest next week.

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