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slefain Dork
5/11/09 10:29 a.m.

I'm fascinated by all the "ghost town" subdivision around Atlanta. My favorite is this place It's called Woodbridge Crossing and was built for all the suckers who think Mableton/Smyrna = Vinings. They built the most beautiful entrance and gates with stonework, and finished about 30 free standing houses (pretty much a condo with a 5-foot ring of grass around it).

Then there is this one behind my parent's house: There were concrete forms set up for a long time and they actually rotted away, never being used to pour the foundations.

This one was graded, paved, and has fancy street lights and a half finished club house, but nothing else. Every few months somebody mows it with a bush hog.

All three of these are as Google Maps shows, just the first few houses/condos, then nothing. The first one should have had over 300, but it's just a forest of PVC pipes standing where houses should be. Anyone know of a ghost subdivision bigger than that?

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/11/09 10:36 a.m.

I want to hold an autocross in one of these.

We've got one locally where a developer raped a pretty and fairly damage-prone piece of land, laid down concrete streets and then...nothing. Banks won't lend money for houses built on spec and nobody's foolish enough to pay the prices the dirt pimp is asking. Don't know how big it was supposed to be though. Covers a fair bit of area.

PHeller HalfDork
5/11/09 10:50 a.m.

Cul de' sacs ruined America.

ignorant SuperDork
5/11/09 10:51 a.m.

So sad.. How stupid we all are........ Ugh..

ignorant SuperDork
5/11/09 10:51 a.m.
PHeller wrote: Cul de' sacs ruined America.

No crap... I'm glad I sold my house on one.. Never again. I have learned from my evil ways.

aircooled SuperDork
5/11/09 11:15 a.m.
ignorant wrote:
PHeller wrote: Cul de' sacs ruined America.
No crap... I'm glad I sold my house on one.. Never again. I have learned from my evil ways.

Please explain. I have never lived on one.

My general opinion though has always been somewhat negative. They are a pain to street park on and they always reminded me of a bunch of people sitting around a round table staring at each other... creepy.

Keith GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/11/09 11:22 a.m.

They're good for street hockey!

mistanfo Dork
5/11/09 11:38 a.m.

Cul de' sacs, and neighborhoods developed around them generally make traffic worse (often a single entrance in/out of the subdivision). Also, they make it harder for emergency vehicles to get to where they are needed, as they cannot turn off of a backed up main artery, and take the side roads. The side roads aren't connected to any other roads, except for at a single point. In Virginia, they are working on legislation that will make developments that only has a single entry pay for it's own road maintenance. I like it.

mistanfo Dork
5/11/09 11:44 a.m.

No, street hockey should be played on a through street. Nothing like hearing the kids ye'' out "Car!", watching them cart the nets off the street, and then pull them back on after the traffic has passed. Ah, memories.

mtn Dork
5/11/09 11:49 a.m.

Ours Cul De Sac is nice, but its kind of between three subdivisions without being in one itself, so its kind of different I think it was built in the 1950's, and before anything else around it. You really can't extend it; you run into a lake. Overall, I've really liked living on it. Great for playing games in the street.

jpod999 Reader
5/11/09 12:09 p.m.

I once ran into one of these subdivisions somewhere back east. It had asphalt that was in perfect condition and sounded curbs. I wished that I had my E30 SO BADLY...it was a prime location for some drifting.

PHeller HalfDork
5/11/09 12:17 p.m.

Cul De Sacs also place higher strain on infrastructure due to inefficiency. They ruin the sense of place provided by towns with long straight roads. They also hamper infill development and future redevelopment.

They only thing they were good for was real estate value. Usually the house on the left in the Cul De Sac is the one with the highest market value, values drop as houses progress closer to the main artery, why? because the traffic can only travel on those routes, making them less desirable to live on.

What has since happened this is even more wasted space, because developers won't build within sight distance of the main artery. So you've got developments that are made up of tons of cul de sacs with nothing on the main road.

Stupid, really.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/11/09 12:18 p.m.

We used to actually do testing in a so-called ghost town a little north of here--miles of roads and all sorts of neat turns. Rumor has it that Callaway once even shook down one of their Daytona cars there. Construction finally began a few years ago, and JG now lives at Turn 1 of what was once Palm Coast International.

I once did a TSD rally through another ghost town down near Titusville. I believe it was called Rocket City.

And cul de sacs: While growing up on Long Island, we called them courts. Is that a regional thing? I don't think I heard the term cul de sac until I moved to Georgia.

EricM HalfDork
5/11/09 12:23 p.m.

We have them around here, and we don't call them subdivisions, we call them race tracks.

mistanfo Dork
5/11/09 12:25 p.m.

Well, growing up in Ontario, short roads that ended in a cul de sac were often given the title Court, whereas roads that simply dead-ended without a "nice" circular section were knows as Street, Road, etc. I think that cul de sac is a way that the developers try to make even more money though.

PHeller HalfDork
5/11/09 12:27 p.m.

If I had a truck I could probably take advantage of some of the delayed development in the area. They pour the nice curbs, install the sewer, but don't finish the streets, so the manhole covers sticks out like 8 inches. This is fine and good, but the chance for disaster is slightly higher than I'm willing to risk.

I've got my country roads.

SVreX SuperDork
5/11/09 12:39 p.m.

As a builder, I find this discussion interesting.

I think it is worth noting that there has never been a developer who built anything that he didn't think he could sell.

It's a little unfair to blame the developers, when the consumers were pretty clear that cul-de-sacs were what they wanted to buy. There may be arguments about price point, quantity of land resources, etc., but it is ultimately consumer driven, and we should accept the blame ourselves.

Same reason malls have replaced in-city commercial districts.

Xceler8x GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/11/09 1:00 p.m.

Moped-cross in those areas.

I'm thinking a spec series of those cheap-o chinese jobs. Get some serious gear on, nothing over 50cc's, and rail like they do on MotoGP.

If you could find one without curbs that would work better. Just flat grass for runoff.

Woody GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/11/09 1:10 p.m.

Go Karts!

DrBoost Reader
5/11/09 1:28 p.m.

My wife and I looked at a house in a new development back, RIGHT before the bust. I remembwe were talking to the agent about the association fees and she said "If you moved in right now, you'd be the first and could write your own rules, till more folks move in." Well, we didn't want a new clone-a-home so we passed, but there have been no houses sold, so we'd be the only ones there. My association rules would be 1) must have GRM sticker to have car in the neighborhood for more than 24 hours 2) Must have no problem with an unmuffled Turbo-Dodge "tuning" at any hour 3) Front yards were meant tor project cars

gimme some more rules folks.....

slantvaliant Reader
5/11/09 1:28 p.m.
aircooled wrote: ... (Cul de' sacs) always reminded me of a bunch of people sitting around a round table staring at each other... creepy.

As opposed to what? A bunch of people sitting at a picnic table staring at each other?

slantvaliant Reader
5/11/09 1:37 p.m.

My main complaint about the cul de sac I live on, besides having neighbors, is that apparently the city was a little short on cash when buying street names. Imagine living on Grassroots Avenue, which is really a court, and is parallel to and one block from Grassroots Street, a through street which becomes Grassroots Avenue a block down. (Street names have been changed to protect ... me.)

PHeller HalfDork
5/11/09 1:39 p.m.
SVreX wrote: I think it is worth noting that there has never been a developer who built anything that he didn't think he could sell. There may be arguments about price point, quantity of land resources, etc., but it is ultimately consumer driven, and we should accept the blame ourselves.

While yes, houses in "Circles" or cul de sacs sold like the dickens there for about 30 years, there were always better way of obtaining the same quiet little neighborhood without such an inefficient design.

That's part of the problem. Developers, property owners, builders, and to some extent planners (traditional zoning ordinances) have made cul de sacs, gated communities, and "No Outlet" part of the norm, even when they don't have to be. The ants we are tend to follow along with the trend, and developers and builders are going to go with whatever is the cheapest and easiest solution.

Some of the highest valued homes in urban areas are the places that manage to be connected to everything, yet on the single street in the middle of a metropolis, it is quiet and for the most part "secluded" from the rest of the city. The street is connected to major arterial roads, it's a two way street, but because of surrounding neighborhoods, those few houses get a very rare setting. These situations are hard to mimic because because it isn't always quantifiable WHY the high class urban alley even exists.

I think that's what cul de sacs attempted to create. They wanted to give a few people their private lane, but planners allowed such development, and in turn, the tax payer as a whole have to pay for the inefficiency. If you want to live in a gated community, go ahead, but don't expect emergency crews, sewer, or electrical infrastructure costs to be covered by your neighbors.

SVreX wrote: Same reason malls have replaced in-city commercial districts.

If you look at the areas of new commercial development you'll see trends reverting back to urban retail districts and mixed use commercial space. More and more land planners are advocating a return to walkable communities, and I think the target audience is agreeing with them.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/11/09 1:45 p.m.

I grew up on a cul-de-sac. our development was an older one, built in the 50s, so our cul-de-sac was the ONLY one in the development. the rest were actual streets and we had several access points to the rest of the city.

It was in the middle of Ocean City New Jersey, my parents bought it in 73 for 15,000, sold it in 93 for 120,000, it was recently on the market again for half a million.

only had 8 feet of kerb.. but the back property line was 100 feet.. and overall it had a quarter of an acre. Our neighbor had a third. I know, I used to mow them both once a week

Rusty_Rabbit84 Reader
5/11/09 1:49 p.m.

theres a couple up in forsyth county in Cumming, perfect for testing some suspension work you might have completed. You could set up a start, go all the way down into a cul-de-sac, setup a cone to go around and come back timing yourself and friends... winner gets a case of beer...

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