Sprawl is on the naughty list

This is Santa. We need to talk. I just can’t stay silent anymore: Sprawl in America is really killing me and my Christmas Eve productivity.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get nine reindeer motivated to charge up and take off, just to travel 100 feet and land on the next suburban roof, over and over and over again? I went through five tons of reindeer snacks last year alone! And trying to keep track of which house is which with all of those twisting dead end streets and cul-de-sacs—it’s maddening! I spent two hours last year wandering the exurbs, phoning the elves to see if it was Twisted Pine Drive that I already hit, or Bent Pine Court.

Look, I hate to be that old guy just pining for “the way things used to be,” but 75 years ago I could just park the sleigh on a tree-lined street corner and hit hundreds of kids in no time. Stop on the roof of one modest 12-unit building and boom—hit two dozen chimneys lickety split! I know urbanist Twitter is all about the “missing middle housing” these days, but I watched it disappear firsthand, and I need it back!

I’ve been reading Smart Growth America’s blog this year, and I know how expensive it is to serve all these far-reaching subdivisions with water, sewers, electricity, and roads. But the impact on Kris Kringle here doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

So here’s the thing. I know it’s a long process, but you need to get back to building and living in a more productive way. I just can’t take another 60 years of sprawl—Mother Earth certainly can’t either. Fortunately, there are folks at Smart Growth America working hard to help us do things better.

Show how much you care about the reindeer and I by supporting Smart Growth America this year. Put “Santa Claus” in the honoree line and I’ll be sure to keep your name on the “nice” list this year.

Get on Santa’s nice side