An opinion column that had the unusual distinction of appearing in both the Star-Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press over the weekend was written "In Defense of Suburbs," as the Star Tribune's headline put it.
In his op-ed, locally-based city-planning consultant Tom Martinson beat back a range of criticisms frequently levelled against suburbs:
As suburbia expanded coast to coast over the past decades, criticisms only increased. Suburban subdivisions are not "walkable," so people have to drive everywhere. Suburban traffic is terrible. ...
As an antidote, suburban neighborhoods should be made as citylike as possible, with very small lots resulting in much higher densities, emphasizing increased walking, bicycling and reliance on public transit.
The City of Fridley has instituted transit-oriented development in the area around the Northstar Commuter Rail station, and has made efforts to increase the city's friendliness for walking and biking.
What do you think? Are suburbs fine as they are or do they need to change?