Arlington – A Nice Place to Raise a Car.

First, I have to attribute the clever title inspiration to a quote from Geoff Nunberg, but it made me think about raising children in Arlington. There are many challenges to raising children here, yet people tend to keep doing it.

Living in an area with such significant health dangers is probably the biggest concern. Our ozone levels have been clearly linked to increased death and disease rates and Governor Perry's refusal to investigate gas well pollution of air and water does not bode well for public health.

Arlington's refusal to evolve from the car centered transportation model leaves our children with out easy access to outdoor activity or even safe areas to ride bicycles. The threats from our local tea party wacko's that they would run over any bike riders that ventured onto proposed bike lanes, makes even the most dedicated bikers in Arlington nervous.

The recent transformation of Arlington from a quiet suburb to an industrial zone with gas wells and pipelines in every neighborhood has devastated our property values and our city's future prosperity.

So why do people with kids stay? Increasingly they don't. And many of the remaining have no choice due to economic circumstances. But there are some, like us, who remain.

It is hard to abandon an area you have called home your entire life. Connections of family, friends, nostalgic memories and hope that things will change can be powerful forces, not to mention the amazing power of denial.

I fear, however, that even intelligent and honest people with eventually adopt the creed of the “New Texan,” to whom this is a place to come and make a quick buck at any cost, and then get out as soon as possible, leaving a polluted and devastated wasteland.

But for now, we'll keep fighting for a future in which our children can thrive in hopes we can change course before it is too late.

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