Behold.. The Crooked Creek Superblock

This is a little outside the normal NUR area of interest but I thought it was an incredible case study into the lack of foresight that many of our cities and subdivisions have around connectivity and the importance of the effective network. The case relates to the Crooked Creek subdivision in Milton that is located along highway 9 between Bethany Bend and Francis Rd on the west side of the highway.  

The golf subdivision is looking to install gates to curb 'cut-through' traffic.  (Full disclosure, I live in a gated subdivision and would prefer that the gates be removed lest ye think me a hypocrite)  There are a couple hurdles Crooked Creek must clear before it can be done and I'm completely uninformed as to the prospects but I'd wager that it passes both.  The first is the 67% HOA vote.  The second is approval from the city.  The criteria for city approval is basically whether it is in the best keepoing of the community and the city and that it does not impact the surrounding community.

The city will no longer have to maintain ~7 miles of road which is a huge plus.  But, at the same time, its grid is being clipped and there will be one fewer connection in an area that is already, and will be moreso in the future, starved for connectivity.  I'm not sure what is worth more and Milton will ultimately need to decide on that but I generally side on more connectivity and you could definitley argue that gating this subdivision will negatively impact the surrounding community.

There are ways to make roads safe, even for children, without gating them.  The main road, Creek Club Dr, is WIDE and thus encourages and accommodates higher speeds.  The lanes are 12 feet in each direction.  That's as wide as an interstate lane.  No wonder Crooked Creek has a speeding problem on their 'cut-through' road.  

Pinching in the road and adding traffic calming would significantly reduce speeds while still enabling connectivity.  I use Vickery Village frequently to illustrate a place that has high connectivity with safe driving speeds.  Anyone can drive in Vickery and kids are ALL OVER the place.  The car just isn't given free reign to drive at unsafe speeds.  Ultimately, if you narrow the roads and you increase safety.  

Gating this subdivision will hinder connectivty and will significantly reduce pedestrian and bike options for those living around Crooked Creek.  They are already almost non-existant but that doesn't mean no effort should be made to keep what little connectivity exists.

My point on this is illustrated below.  Clipping the grid, so to speak, takes what were two superblocks of 670+ acres each and creates a single superblock of 1347 acres.  The perimeter of the new 'block' is 6.3 miles.  That's 10% of the ENTIRE I-285 PERIMETER which is just a little over 63 miles.  So, you're effectively creating a mini-perimeter in Milton and those living ITP will be the only ones benefitting.  (well they will have to pay for their roads with no subsidy from the rest of the city's tax rolls)

Superblock 1

Superblock 2

Superblock 3

For additional insight, check out the article on the subject here

Get Social.. Follow NewUrbanRoswell on Twitter and Facebook