Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Could transit help the Rangers win the World Series?

Thanks to my mom (in-law) for finding this one.

If you believe the pundits, Cliff Lee would have had the Rangers competing for championship titles for the next few years. However, in a move that shocked the baseball world, he spurned more expensive contract offers from the Rangers and New York Yankees to sign with Philadelphia Phillies. Turns out, the money and competing for championships weren't the only reason.

In the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Bud Grant wrote of Kristen Lee, Cliff's wife, and her desire to be in Philadelphia. Select quotes from his story.

"Kristen Lee wanted her husband to return to the Phillies because of "how easy it is to get from point A to point B" in Philadelphia, she was quoted as saying by the Philadelphia Inquirer."


"'Even in Dallas," Kristen Lee was quoted, "[from] where we were staying, it was hard to get to the ballpark.'"

"Kristen Lee's fondness for transit isn't limited to commuter rail.
She's also happy to be a 11/2-hour train ride away from road games in New York or Washington.
"We liked the easy travel on a train for our kids to other cities," Kristen Lee was quoted."

This isn't just a sports issue here. It is going to effect cities in the future. As I have posted before, the younger generation is fundamentally changing how we live. The baby boomers and their parents set up the suburban model. Gen X on down is rethinking that idea. (Should point out, baby boomers becoming empty nesters and moving to the city is also reinvigorating cities)

It also serves a different point. Both of the Lee's are from small town Arkansas. It is from these places you often here the every one wants a house and car, no one wants to live in a dense area. Simply put, that isn't true. Some may want the typical offering. However, others don't.

What should be noted here is the need for some form of balance. Areas that offer one type of living arrangement may be great at some point, but it will never be sustainable in the long run. Single-family cities will find folks leaving when parents watch the kids take off and then leave themselves as they become empty-nesters. Those cities that offer a balance of urban and suburban will have a better advantage in the long run.

Perhaps if Arlington were one of those cities offering balance, they would also have a World-Series-winning team.

No comments: