As city centers are becoming more and more desirable places to live, rising property values are making it impossible for the less fortunate to stay. Those who are being priced out of the cities are migrating into the sprawl of the suburbs where living is more affordable.
Historically, poverty has been concentrated in urban and rural areas, however, over the last 16 years, the number of poor people living in suburban areas has surpassed the number living in urban areas and continues to grow precipitously, according to national census data.
It is an unfortunate reality today that the places where infrastructure does not support safe walking, the very places that were designed for heavy vehicle use have a growing population of those who cannot afford cars, according to transit advocate, Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism.
These sprawling suburbs and exurbs are bisected by main roads which were not intended for foot travel and people are finding themselves either cut off from resources within walking distance or in harm’s way when attempting to walk there. Walking along these roads often means walking on the shoulder of the highway because there are no sidewalks provided.