Apr 16, 2012

Tourist (or town planner) jam?

Driving in Naples, FL can take a tediously long time …

But are the tourists to blame?
The above figure shows a map of Naples (top) shown in comparison to three other places I've lived: (1) Cape Cod, Massachusetts,  (2) Tucson , Arizona and (3) Harford County, Maryland.  The yellow rectangles enclose the same area on each map.  I was surprised to see that town-like density of Naples actually sprawls over a county-like scale that, in Cape Cod and Maryland, actually covers multiple towns and villas.

As much as we’d like to blame everything on them,

Turns out this could be a town planner problem instead.

What we call Naples is actually on the same scale of the county I grew up in. Of course the geographic concept of Naples has grown over the same time span. I wasn’t born in Naples, but on the very same day I was born up in Maryland the house that I currently live in now was outside the edge of Naples in a place they previously called the swamp.

Fast forward forty years, that same exact spot is in the middle of town.

Later I would move up to Cape Cod.

In order to get to work each day I had to drive through a couple towns plus drive a pretty good stint on Route 6. Total drive time was twenty five minutes ... sometimes more.

Getting out into the country can be a long drive in Naples, Florida.
Not in Harford County, Maryland where it's usually right around the bend.

With the same drive time on the Naples map I still haven’t left town.

Okay, I’ll admit, it’s more fun to blame it on the tourists!


Tabor said...

That whole southern edge of Florida has developed into many gated communities and shopping areas...last time I was there. Traffic was horrible. Of course, they were tearing up one of the main roads to add to the chaos.

pguzek said...

I love the weather down there but hate the traffic. I can't believe how much development is now east of I-75. It's all in the swamp. Not sure if I can officially call it Everglades but it seems it to me.