Re: "Streets" in Cohousing
From: Thomas Alexander (70372.267CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri, 29 Nov 1996 07:53:13 -0600
Diane Simpson wrote:

> My overwhelming impression is that the term "street" is a
> misnomer. They are not for cars; they are for pedestrians. 
        I realize this is a semantic issue, however, I use the word street
according to its primary definition - a public way in a city or town with
buildings on one or both sides.  There have been streets for hundreds
(thousands) of years before there were cars.  In fact, at work, I hung a sign by
my desk with the phrase "STREETS FOR PEOPLE" on it.

> If her community is designed like I assume it is,
        I think it was Muir Commons, or at least they were mentioned in the 
(i.e. "Unless Muir Commons has a 'No Trespassing' sign...")

> someone would have to park their car and go into the community and
> walk around. Why would you be walking around in a private development
> unless you had a reason to be there?
        I suppose that's my question.  Does it look like a private space or a
public street?  This "someone" could be walking in from a surrounding
neighborhood.  Don't tell me you've never walked up a street where you didn't
know anyone.
        My condo is a private development and because of the layout of the
streets ouside the condo, we don't get a lot of non-condo traffic (pedestrian,
or otherwise), but we could, conceivably get some.  For example, there is a
condo near where I work which has residential areas on one side and public
trails on the other.  One would be very tempted and would not feel like a
trespasser walking down their "streets" to the public trails.  Myself, I went
walking around their private development because I wanted to check out one of
the units for sale.  Both cases involved someone walking uninvited on privately
held land.  (Well, I suppose you could consider a "for sale" sign an
invitation.)  Why would cohousing be any different?

        Part of what I'm getting at is that part of my concern in the present
pattern of development is that there is no connection between neighborhoods.  In
my area, the only place to walk is up and down your own tiny street, or out onto
the main road.  Just as people are attracted to cohousing in part because they
can do more as a group than they can as individuals (e.g. organic gardening in
the city, or preserving land from development in the fringe suburbs), I would
like any group I'm involved in to be interested in building "streets" which link
to other streets from other neighborhoods so that kids and grownups have a place
to go and not be harassed by trucks and cars.


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