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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Urban sprawl consumes Woodbridge, Va.

Urban sprawl is spreading across America (John S. Allen)
Urban sprawl is spreading across America (John S. Allen)

I remember when I would sit on my back deck in Woodbridge, Va. looking out over the field that seemed to never end. There were cows grazing in the summer. In the winter, when it snowed and we had no school, my friends and I would jump over the small barbed wire fence that kept the cows in, and we would go exploring.

Since I have moved out of that home, much construction has taken place. The cow owners that lived behind my house were slow to pick up on the corporate deals that consumed the rest of the area, but they couldn’t hold out forever.

So now, the view – which was once a pleasant pond, a cow-grazing field and acres of woods for exploring – is dominated by a parking lot. There are a few small patches of woods for the Woodbridge hobos to live in; the rest is an evangelical Baptist mega-church.

In walking distance from my house there was, 10 years ago, a small family owned go-cart track, a few small locally owned stores, a gas station and a small junkyard. Twenty years ago there were still dirt roads everywhere.

Now there’s a Lowe’s, a Home Depot, a Kohl’s and several strip malls with all the major chain stores, plus the traffic-congested Prince William Parkway.

The strip malls keep being erected, as do the traffic lights. What was once a 10-minute walk can now be a 20-minute drive.

The 20-mile drive to D.C., as it is shown on the map, is deceiving, since it can take several hours to get there in heavy traffic.

Granted, I know that the Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, and D.C. areas have it worse than most places in this country, but this trend is occurring all over. How long will it be until the entire east coast is one megalopolis?

The local governments don’t really care about the natural environment or the people affected by traffic congestion. They consider the money from corporate sprawl to be more important.

The rich don’t worry about such petty things as urban sprawl. After all, they need to make jobs for the poor, and allow the benefits to work their way to the rest of society. It’s pretty clear how well this trickle-down economic philosophy is working, right?

We would only be making Americans even lazier if we gave them such a silly thing as public transportation. Imagine that, trams on the east coast of God’s own U.S.A.

Any fool can see that the more cars that are produced, the more lucrative gas will be consumed. People need places to go in cars, so let’s build more malls.

Once the money from these people – money that could be used for feeding and clothing children – is spent on fleeting goods, more money will go into the market.

The rich elite have control of this money since these poor suckers obviously don’t know how to manage it. Then they introduce tax breaks for everyone – particularly those who make more than $200,000 per year.

God bless the unlimited profit possibilities in America. It is so easy; all it takes is deceiving those that think they love God and country and enslaving the rest.

I realize that as populations increase, there is a need for construction, and the fields full of cows in a metropolitan area can’t remain forever. It is unfortunate, however, that the desires of regular people are ignored if a big businessman wants something different.

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