TAKOMA PARK, MD – As Takoma Park residents post their summer excursions on their social media pages, it is clear that they love dense, walkable cities, but only while they are on vacation in other countries.
“A Parisian-style neighborhood is great for my holidays when I’m looking to relax and be happy,” said Howard Dingle, 68. “But daily life shouldn’t be about being relaxed and happy. It’s about making each day as inconvenient and resource-intensive as possible, and only America’s suburbs can do that for me.”
Even though many Takoma Park residents live in a literal historic district, cities built before the 19th century are a little too historic for them due to the difficulty of driving on narrow streets designed before cars were invented.
“It’s so incredible how these old towns were designed with everything I need within walking distance,” said Anne M. Beetroll, 64. “I’ve really enjoyed not needing to rely on a car for the past two weeks, but it would be way too inconvenient for me to live in a place like this and have to constantly look for parking for the three Priuses I own plus additional spaces for when I have guests.”
Density is also an uncomfortable experience for Takoma Park residents. Even though architects and urban planners come from all over the world to study historic foreign capitals, self-described experts from Takoma Park know that any structure taller than two stories is completely out of character for a neighborhood.
“People keep pushing this European-style urbanism on American cities. I admit it’s probably better, but they forget that we are not Europe and this will never work here,” said Beetroll while wearing a t-shirt advocating for socialized healthcare. “We can’t just up and change the system we’ve been using for decades. That’s impossible.”
When asked if she would like to see some pedestrian-friendly features, such as more housing located in commercial areas and near public transit, transplanted from larger cities like Paris, Rome and Dublin into smaller American suburbs, Beetroll responded, “Takoma Park already has 18,000 people. We’re full.”