Nation's Streets Hopelessly Clogged by Traffic Blockage

America’s great cities have become increasingly constipated by a growing blockage of transportation gridlock. Ever-increasing traffic is overloading an already fragile urban environment. This alimentary obstruction is a major source of toxic emissions, noise pollution, hazardous runoff of road salt and motor oil, even the aesthetic pollution of strip malls and endless parking lots which are a direct result of increased traffic on our streets, not to mention the thousands of hours of wasted productivity, the social and communal stresses of an entire nation stuck in traffic. Our country’s highways and byways on the ground and in the air are clogged with automobiles, busses, pedestrians, motorcycles and airplanes of every stripe. How many more lanes of endless traffic do we need? How long will our environment and communities suffer for the momentary and frivolous mobility of a poorly-planned me-first capitalist society?

A Hidden Path of Hope

But turn off that congested highway onto the hidden artery that runs right through the heart of every block: the alley. Here, just moments around the corner, you have left behind the mad race of modern society and found respite in the calm serenity of a simpler time. Where is the stress and road-rage of bumper-to-bumper cell-phone addicted SUVs? Where is the smog-belching gridlock? Where is the loud roar of the buses and scooters? Where is honking of aggressive and reckless taxis? Here in the alley you can travel safely and at your own leisure. Here in the alley you can rediscover what life was like in calmer, quieter age. Here in the alley you can re-learn what it is like to be a human instead of merely a consumer. Stay a while and imagine what it would be like to travel by alley all the time. Imagine what it would be like to live and travel in the city without having to fight the constant congestion of too much traffic on our streets and avenues.

City of Alleys

Obviously this, then, is the solution to the massive infrastructure problems of gridlock and pollution constricting the modern city. The alley is the model which will lead us to a better urban future. Imagine the paradise of an entire city of alleys! There will be no need for highways, streets, parkways, avenues, &c. in this progressive city of the future. It truly will be the “City in a Garden” which we aspire to, with quiet lanes winding among fruit trees, summer patios and hollyhocks. It will be a beautiful backyard metropolis.

A Democratic Foundation

Pretension has no place in the alley. Neighbor greets neighbor over backyard barbeque. Contented workers of every class relax together after hard labor on a back patio. The alley is a pragmatic place, down-to-earth and democratic. There are no false fronts here, no attempts to impress with grandiose architectural gestures or signifiers of wealth and privilege. All citizens are equals in the alley.

De-Street the Metroplex

Obviously, to remove every street in the city and replace them with alleys will take some time. There will be disruptions and disagreements. But great visions of the future require great visionaries. Two hundred years ago our grand city was nothing but a stinking swamp. And yet great leaders with great visions saw the possibilities here. If they had not had the courage to dream, our city and all that we know would never have happened. Now it is our time to step up to the plate, to create a future much better than the present course which is headed for environmental and social disaster. To redirect and take control of our future will take sacrifice, courage, and faith in the possibilities of urban living. And our city leaders need to respond to these urgent needs by taking the lead to show the rest of the nation how urban transportation can work with the environment to create a more livable city. Its time for the future. It is time to De-Street the Metroplex!

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