Some questions about North American suburbs

I found this video and comment on Reddit through a link on MARGINAL Revolution.

I just watched this video from Not Just Bikes on YouTube, I have few questions.

Disclaimer: I’m from Slovakia, Eastern Europe, so bear in mind, I’m confusion.

He keeps on talking about how cities and suburbs have to meet certain types of regulations. For example the parking lot size, the road width, etc.

Then he says there can be only one family houses. There can’t be any businesses inside these residential suburbs and also no schools.

My questions are:

1. What do you actually do? Are you always stuck inside? What did you do when you were a child and couldn’t drive?

2. Why do you have these sorts of strange regulations? Are your officials so incompetent? Is this due to lobbying from car or oil companies? I don’t get it.

3. Why is there no public transport? It seems like the only thing is the yellow school bus. …

4. He says there can be only one family houses. Why? Why can’t you have … … [an apartment] block in the middle of such a suburb?  Or row houses or whatever.

5. Why are there no businesses inside these? I mean, he says it’s illegal, just why? If I lived in such a place, I’d just buy a house next to mine and turn it into a tavern or a convenience store or whatever. Is that simply not possible and illegal?

6. These places have front and backyards. But they’re mostly empty.  Some backyards have a pool maybe, but it’s mostly just green grass.  Why don’t you grow plants in your yards? Like potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes or whatever.  Why do you own this land, if you never use it?

Whenever I watched an American movie and saw those suburbs, I always thought these streets were located somewhere in a small village or something. Turns out these are located within cities up to 30 km away from Downtown…

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One Response to “Some questions about North American suburbs”

  1. silverapplequeen Says:

    I remember when there were busses going out to the suburbs. Some going pretty far out into the country. Those days are long gone.


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