As part of development of our Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Horizon 2040, We’ve been having a series of discussions about the transportation needs of all SRTC’s members. The overall theme is the same- EVERYONE needs money for transportation fixes and improvements, but after that the needs vary. The WSDOT needs funds to complete the North Spokane Corridor. The City of Spokane and Spokane County have lots of maintenance and preservation that needs done. Spokane Valley needs a bridge over the river at Sullivan. And the smaller, outlying towns need more transportation options just to get people to goods and services.
So it was fitting yesterday when a colleague sent me this article on “Metropollyanna.” Not familiar with the term? Neither was I. It’s the belief that eventually everyone will move to the city and live happily ever after. And while a lot of the discussions we’ve had with planners, transportation providers, politicians, etc. have ended with “…they’re just going to have to move closer if they want to be able to access those services,” rural housing supporters disagree.
The folks at the Rooflines blog say they believe social service and safety net programs exist to help people wherever they happen to be and that Metropollyanna interferes with the liberty of rural Americans by expecting them to choose between their lifestyle and decent, affordable housing.
Here’s their argument why removing people from rural communities, even poor ones, would affect the preservation of the cultural and environmental diversity of America. What do you think?
Access services is correct, fewer and fewer services are available in rural areas, grocery stores and gas stations closing, but rural people do not need as many services as city residents. I do agree as you age you need to be closer to some services and so migrating to a city might be advantages, but not required.
I think that if elderly people are going to continue to live in rural areas, they need to have a REALLY good support system of family and friends. With the services pulling out of smaller towns like you mentioned, it's really important to have someone reliable to get seniors to stores, etc. There's an older gentleman I worry about all the time because he lives out in the sticks, has had a couple strokes, and would never ask anyone for help if he could get around it.