Letter: Fargo Need Not Be A ‘dense’ City

Matt is going to make Mike Williams and his fellow travelers cry! 🙁

The Fargo area is rich in good people and plentiful land. Why would we want to model ourselves after crowded, densely populated cities with high crime, political corruption, clogged roads, lack of recreational areas and ever-expanding welfare rolls?

People are not commodities that can be sorted, stacked and made efficient by building high-rise apartments and condominiums. If we need to build more parks, ball fields, walking paths, roads and schools to live, then that is our prerogative. It is the result of a free, open market and democratic society. To suggest our lives would be better if we built a small-scale Manhattan, Chicago or Detroit in Fargo borders on the insane. To those who want that, I say “move.” I don’t want to live in Detroit or mini-Detroit. I like Fargo.

Children and adults are the beneficiaries of open spaces, recreational areas and neighborhood schools. Places like Fargo are conducive to happier families, stable employment and an enjoyable lifestyle. Try to find a neighborhood park in Manhattan where you can play soccer, play baseball or fly a kite. Try to get around town in Chicago without being frustrated by traffic.

Sure, there are families who survive in Tokyo in their 400-square-foot apartments for which they pay astronomical rents. Some prefer that life. I believe most tolerate it simply because they feel they can’t escape or just don’t know another option. I like to visit places that are large, historic and full of entertainment options. I know Fargo has its limits. But for living, raising a family and having access to recreation, I wouldn’t trade Fargo for Tokyo, Paris, Moscow or Manhattan. And I resent those who would imply that we are somehow backward for not wanting to emulate those big cities and all their problems.

When I look at urban planning, I don’t want to optimize any land-use or road-use factors based on saving money over doing what is right for people. I want to create an enjoyable community where people can live as they please, have access to recreation and not have to endure all the big-city problems we know we don’t want to import to Fargo.