The Chronicle has done it again.
The geniuses at our local paper have cribbed the following article directly from the Associated Press, but then took the additional asinine step of rewording the headline to this:
ARLINGTON, Va. — Caitlin Jones and her fiance, Evan Oxfeld, grew up in suburbs where getting anywhere worth going required a car. When the couple started looking for their first home together, they wanted something different: walkability.
“For me at least, that was the thing I missed most about college — just being able to walk everywhere,” Oxfeld said as he and Jones strolled through Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood, where they are moving into a condo.
Young professionals like Jones and Oxfeld, both 24, are driving a national trend toward more walkable communities, says the author of a report to be released today by the Brookings Institution.
The report ranks the Washington region first among the country’s major metropolitan areas in the number of “walkable places” per capita, thanks to changes in just the past 15 years.
Christopher B. Leinberger, a real estate developer and visiting fellow at Brookings, set out to quantify the walkability trend by counting the number of “regional-serving walkable urban places” in each of the 30 biggest metropolitan areas in the country. “Regional-serving” means the place is not just a bedroom community, but has jobs, retail or cultural institutions that bring in people who don’t live there.
Leinberger, who also teaches urban planning at the University of Michigan, counted 157 such “walkable places” — including the Houston area’s Sugar Land Town Square, one of many built-from-scratch “lifestyle centers” to make the list.
Aside from that one tiny mention, the entire rest of the article (which you can read here) doesn’t have a goddamn thing to do with Houston. However, that’s not going to stop the Chronicle from giving the article a new headline which would indicate the complete opposite.
If you’re going to have an article with a headline like “Houston among top walkable cities,” maybe you should actually take the initiative to write a thoughtful article that discusses why this is, or perhaps discusses the areas of Houston that are considered “walkable.” I mean, for a concrete jungle like Houston to be even remotely included in a list of “walkable” cities is a huge accomplishment for us. Think about what an insightful and interesting article — or series of articles! — could be written about this!
Or you could just go on lamely cribbing pre-written articles like you always do, and continuing to display your astonishing lack of creativity and journalistic skill. The smart money is on this option.