Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Unbuild Alternative

In all Environmental Impact Statements it is required that the "no build" alternative be studied as a baseline. How about including an unbuild alternative? That's exactly what they are doing to "save" Flint Michigan; a planned shrinkage by demolishing homes.

You don't have to travel to the rust belt to see this happening. A couple of weeks ago they demolished a perfectly good home just up the street from me in Bellevue, WA. It was unoccupied and sat in the middle of three other unoccupied homes. In Flint the curse is unemployment, poverty and substandard living. In Bridle Trails in seems few people actually work for a living, the BMWs and Mercedes are more and more no longer the current model year and clearly as evidenced by the hundreds of offers I've had to buy and bulldoze my home the living conditions are substandard.

Given the ever expanding scope and cost of the 520 replacement maybe we should examine the "unbuild alternative" and just buy out everyone in Bellevue and move them into high density housing around the new Link stations.

Favorite quote from Dan Kildee, the Genesee County treasurer:
It will be a delicate process to decide which to favor, Mr. Kildee acknowledged from the driver’s seat of his Grand Cherokee.

I'm sure it will all be fair and equitable. We all know the money makes more money when developers ante up for favorable zoning and other perks in a growing economy. Therefore, in a shrinking economy the poor should be the big winners, right? Something similar has been repeatedly proposed for Buffalo, NY's urban wasteland, otherwise known as "the East Side", but there's been little progress. That's not surprising given the priorities of Buffalo politicians (ie, an expose recently showed that $30,000 in anti poverty funds were used for officials' Blackberrys). I wish Flint better luck.

NPR says, Flint, Michigan Sheds Foreclosed Properties
And the New York Times, An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It

1 comment:

Mikey said...

It's terribly selfish of you to raise your family on land that could be grazing polo ponies. Now those poor horses have to commute in from Woodinville.