We’re in the midst of another snowstorm here in D.C., and once again, I’m thanking my lucky stars that I live in a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood. Just like last time, the roads are a mess and my car is buried under feet of snow. But I don’t have to worry about driving or stocking up on toilet paper. I can walk to the Metro if I need to get out of my neighborhood, and to a Harris Teeter grocery store or any number of corner stores when I need food or other items. There are also coffee shops, restaurants, drug stores, liquor stores and book stores within a half mile, so I have plenty of places to go if I get cabin fever. And while walking isn’t always easy in this weather, at least I’m not trapped in an isolated subdivision fearful of running out of supplies. What’s more, I get to enjoy all the social benefits of my densely built community. Shoveling becomes less of a chore and more of a chance for social interaction (badly needed when you’re snowed in for days!) as my neighbors and I chat across our walkways.
Grist had some interesting comments yesterday on how “smart growth even makes snowstorms better” – and how a blizzard can be the true test of a mixed-use development.
Now that driving is not an option, we can learn some valuable lessons about living in our D.C. neighborhoods car-free. How is your neighborhood stacking up in the snowstorm? Can you meet all your daily needs there?