Maine vs. sprawl
Rant on. Driving across Texas today, we wound up on a long stretch of road that skirts the southern edge of the Houston metropolis. After about 20 miles of suburbia, the gentleman riding with me remarked "we've been passing this shopping mall for the last 10 miles". I too had noticed that in every new town we crossed into, the pattern seemed to repeat itself, with the same stores and restaurants appearing to show up at regular intervals. It was almost bizarre, and I realized after about 20 more miles that you couldn't tell one town from the next in that area.
Even in the more widely separated towns/cities elsewhere in the state, they all seemed to have the same look, the same chains, and the same traffic patterns and conditions.
It reminded me of the arguments we have on AMG about this sort of development, and also brought home why I like rural Maine; the towns still have their own individuality, some have pursued the same sort of development I see down here and some have fought it as hard as they can.
If Maine ever gets as "same" as (fill in yoru favorite place here, i.e. Texas, NJ, Mass.,.....), I think we will have lost something truly special.
To those of you who think this is where we should be headed in Maine, please look around the rest of the country, and if you must develop your town with these businesses, at least find a way to make it look different than the town next door.