Good gates?

From today's Pioneer Press St. Paul Pioneer Press | 06/14/2006 | Good fences, good neighbors?. The article says " ... America is looking more like Capetown every day. USA Today reported that 40 percent of new homes in California are in gated communities. About 6 percent of America's households are now behind walls and fences."

Gates have their uses I suppose, but this notion that owning property prohibits all uses of it by others, including travel across it has evolved over time. Before publicly owned road (Say the Middle Ages) "a road is better conceived of as a right than as an object. A road is a right of passage on another’s land, rather than the paved surface owned by some central authority that we imagine today. The highway constituted ‘good passage’ rather than the beaten track, so if the track were in poor condition, travelers could skirt it. The English word ‘road’ comes from the same root as the word ‘ride’ – the Middle English ‘rood’ and Old English ‘rad’ – meaning the act of riding (Webster’s II 1984)." (From Financing Transportation Networks (Chapter 2)).

One hopes these gated communities also have private roads.

This is just another form of enclosure.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on June 14, 2006 7:10 AM.

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