New regulations in Virginia that deny road funding to subdivisions with too many cul-de-sacs was named one of the year’s most ingenious ideas by the New York Times magazine.
The rules, established by the Virginia Department of Transportation under the leadership of Gov. Tim Kaine, sparked a battle between suburban developers and land use advocates. The goal of the regulations is to reduce the number of cul-de-sacs in future developments, which will ease traffic congestion on main roads. The idea is to increase connectivity.
If subdivisions fail to comply, Virginia won’t provide maintenance and snowplow services, a big disincentive in a state where the government provides 83 percent of road services.
Virginia expects the new rules to relieve its strained infrastructure budget: through streets are more efficient and cheaper to maintain, and they take pressure off arterial roads that otherwise need to be widened. “It’s about connecting land-use and transportation planning and restricting wasteful and unplanned development,” Kaine said in March.
BizSense covered the issue earlier this year.