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Viriginia’s Cul-de-Sac Regulations one of New York Times’ Top Ideas of the Year

Note from PCJ Editor Wayne Senville:

A land use story near & dear to the hearts of many planners is among The New York Times "top ideas of 2009" published on Sunday: cul-de-sacs. The article highlights changes to Virginia law that should lead to greater connectivity when new developments are built.

To read the full article: Cul-de-Sac Ban

Here is a short excerpt:

"Nothing divides suburban developers and "smart growth" advocates as much as the lowly cul-de-sac. ... For decades the developers have been winning this battle. But this fall, Virginia, under the leadership of Gov. Tim Kaine, became the first state to severely limit cul-de-sacs from future developments. New rules require that all new subdivisions attain a certain level of "connectivity," with ample through streets connecting them to other neighborhoods and nearby commercial areas.

If subdivisions fail to comply, Virginia won't provide maintenance and snowplow services, a big disincentive in a state where the government provides 83 percent of road services. ..."

For a related article worth reading, see Death to Dead Ends: Will the New Suburbia Omit Cul-de-Sacs, by Michael Cannell (on Fast Company, Dec. 29, 2009). Note: thanks to John Michlig for posting about this article on the Planning Commissioners Journal Linkedin group page.

For more details on the Virginia regulations, see Virginia's new street connectivity regulations: the specifics, by Joey Katzen (Greater Greater Washington web site, Mar. 26, 2009).