Dean Clough

September 11, 2023

Portico Darwin: Why I Hate Cars, Chapter Gizillion


1 Minute Read

Today is September 11.   

I'm sure World War II was something, but 9/11, the 2009 financial crash, the pandemic, and January 6 were quite enough for this blogger.

Onward, into an awkward transition . . .

For today's post to make much sense, you'll need to first look at this from LinkedIn:

It is a residential home builder trumpeting their latest development.  The exact subdivision is shown below, in the upper right portion of the photo.
Screenshot 2023-08-10 061005.png

This is sprawl being created right before our eyes.  Look at the freeway infrastructure required to support this kind of fiasco.  Notice also that this "wonderful" new neighborhood in question has barely 3 ways in or out.  And it is virtually impossible to walk - anywhere.

As you look at this new subdivision - of which the builder is SO very proud - consider the following graphic.  I found it on Reddit, and have also posted it on LinkedIn.

Yes, I do know I bang on and on about this.  

But consider these facts:

  • People spend thousands on vacation to be on a cruise ship
  • People spend thousands on vacation to be in Disneyland or Walt Disney World
  • People spend thousands on vacation to visit European cities and places like Boston, New York, Chicago, and SF - and Savannah and New Orleans, too

It's not hard to see what these places have in common:  you don't need a car and you can walk to most everything.

Add the fact that more dense and walkable neighborhoods nearly always command higher real estate values, and it does beg the question:

Why are we only offered more sprawl and more car dependency by America's developers?

More?  Watch this video from my hero CityNerd.  In this week's episode, he explains how the United States had the best passenger trains - by far - in the world. 

In 1923. 

But we let that go to shit.  For cars . . .

. . . and the comfort and luxury of jet travel.

And for those who think that passenger trains are an elitist/coastal thing, I especially hope you'll watch the CityNerd video. 


Let me just say our first rave f'ing kicked ass.  As did its venue, The Midway, here in SF.  I took this before they blew us all away.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.


Here's my big Thievery Corporation playlist.  I get that these guys are nothing new, but wow, were we impressed.  Maybe this all will encourage Nicki Vale (October 21 at The Mission Ballroom in Denver) or Steven Simon (October 22 at The Radius in Chicago) to be cool like us?  I can assure them or anyone who enjoys music:  You'll never regret it, and there's a reason why it's called chill

But Thievery Corporation live is also one hell of a groovy and real rock show, and easily Diamond Certified.

About Dean Clough