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Falls Church, Virginia: an independent city asserting its identity through…stop lights?

After seventy years of steady and often astronomical growth—from 1940 to 2010—suburban Fairfax County Virginia finally slowed in the 2010s to a more modest pace.  It had no choice.  This county opposite the Potomac River from Washington DC is developed across about 75% of its 390-square-mile land area.  Even more impressive is that isn’t even

Hoboken NJ: gentrification in a time-lapse overdrive, but without all the improvements.

Hoboken, New Jersey isn’t a particularly obscure suburb.  Peering right across the Hudson River toward Greenwich Village, it’s a fortuitously located municipality that basically everyone in metro New York knows.  Odds are good that most adults living in the tri-state area have passed through it at one point in time.   Tiny though it may

“STUDENT DRIVER” strikes again…or do we expect hired drivers to be amateurs?

As I fine-tune and finish up a much longer blog post, I wanted to fill this dry spell with some amusing content that serves as a follow-up to an unexpectedly popular blog post from about a year ago.  I noted last spring the strange, recent proliferation of bumper stickers (magnets in actuality) alerting passers-by of

Footbridge folly: a century-old pedestrian amenity faces a decade of reckoning.

The US earns its reputation for encouraging urban auto dependency, largely by eschewing any good provisions for pedestrians and reducing far too many of its streetscapes to vehicular sewers.  Nonetheless, now and then we can come across some remarkable little pedestrian provision that surprises us.  And it doesn’t have to be in a historically pedestrian

Spring cleaning: comprehensive post-by-post upgrades.

As the end of April approaches, it’s time I at least provide an update of what’s been keeping me busy–and what has precluded me from getting my normal minimal goal of five analytical blog posts for this past month. It’s most definitely spring cleaning. As some of my most loyal readers my remember, I started

The endangered news rack: no longer a source of headlines, now more of a museum piece.

Hot on the heels of those Manhattan Irish pubs, several of which sit frozen in time after St. Patrick’s Day, we encounter another example of Mt. Vesuvius erupting and coating everything in ash.  But this time the Pompeii is a much more suburban setting.  The Interstate 270 corridor bisects Montgomery County, the most populous county

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