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Mayor Hickenlooper in “Sprawling from Grace”

By | January 31st, 2010

“Sprawling from Grace” is a 2008 documentary that claims to explore “the ravages of American suburban sprawl” and how we are “trapped behind the wheels of our automobiles,” according to the DVD case.

Among those interviewed is Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. He does not appear in this clip online, but it gives you a sense of the tone throughout (cars BAD, mass transit GOOD)…

Below are two of Hickenlooper’s on-camera statements, which lead us to wonder how he plans to travel Colorado (running for governor) in the suburbs around Denver and every other part of the state where folks use their cars and trucks to get from A to B.

“If you really begin looking at the roots of why we’ve had this incredible increase in vehicle-miles traveled, in number of car trips per day, per family – I mean we’re up around 13 or 14 car trips per family per day; to me unfathomable until you actually look at people’s, you know, our lifestyles have become so segmented,” said Hickenlooper in one clip.

The chief salesman of FasTracks (which faces a projected $2.5 billion shortfall and doubts about environmental claims) gets downright dreamy about transit-oriented development…

“I’d love to imagine flying over in a small aircraft – a very energy-efficient small aircraft – and you would see these little pockets of these villages of eight- and ten- and twelve- and fourteen- and, who knows, eighteen-story buildings, all around, each one around a transit stop,” said Hickenlooper.

“So that you’d have the maximum opportunity for people to get what they want without having to get in a car. You know, as young people move out here, and aren’t growing up with cars, the probability that they could live in one of these little nodes, in one of these little villages – and have a social circle that’s connected, almost like jewels on a necklace – where they could go from one to the other, and have a high likelihood that they would have someone interesting. Let’s say it’s a guy they want to date, if it’s a woman or whatever, but their social life could be, not have to go be pulled off in some direction where you need a car.”

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