Stranded in Toledo
Posted by clubsodaandsalt on June 28, 2008
There’s been a lot of talk about the death of the exurb, brought about by increasing fuel prices and transportation costs (combined with a slowing economy). What you hear less about (well, what I hear less about) is the new isloation being faced by semi-isolated medium sized towns. These places are too far away from large cities to effectively benefit from their infrastructure, but are also too close (and too small) to support effective infrastructure of their own. Toledo is a good example of this, being 2 hours from Detroit and Cleveland, and it’s about to get hit pretty hard by the cuts in flying amongst the major airlines.
Expensive oil is a double-whammy for places like Toledo. Their air links will continue to be severed as airlines are forced to cut back. Meanwhile, driving 90-120 minutes to DTW or CLE becomes a lot harder when gas prices are over 4 dollars a gallon. We have started talking a lot about investing in transit infrastructure in our metropolitan areas, and we should. But we should also remember that after decades of neglect in favour of cars and planes, our intercity rail infrastructure is a joke, and places like Toledo and Bakersfield and Harrisburg — places that are close to being in the middle of nowhere, but not quite — are probably about to be cut off as a result. Something to keep in mind as we (hopefully) have more success in getting politicians to address the problems of cities.