What do Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives), Bag End (the Hobbit) and Knot’s Landing (severely dating myself here) all have in common? They are all incarnations of fictional cul-de-sacs. The term cul-de -sac literally translated to “the bottom of the bag.” But, we’re not speaking about a smooshed brown banana, crumpled, faded Whole Foods receipts, or that chapstick you swore you bought but could never find. We are talking about streets with one way in, and one way out.
The Egyptians first used cul-de-sacs in 1900 BC to house the pyramid builders, and ancient Greeks used them for defense against marauders. Today, we use them in urban planning to give a nice, secluded and private locale to build a home. Cul-de-sacs are great streets on which to own a house, and is a great option for the contemporary home buyer looking for an A+ location.
Here are Seven Ways cul-de-sacs make the best streets:
- They can relate – Cul-de-sacs breed a closer sense of community. Folks on these womb-shaped byways get to know one another. They often form tightly knit bonds and promote social cohesion simply because of logistics. The design of the cul-de-sac itself seemed to facilitate neighborliness. Cup of sugar, anyone?
- Bad seeds be gone! – Have you ever heard the term, “See something, say something”? Well, cul-de-sacs embrace this phenomena wholeheartedly. Neighbors look out for one another, and will often report suspicious behavior or vehicles. Because a cul-de-sac is not a thoroughfare, you do not often see unsavory characters lurking about. You can rest assured that your neighbors are keeping a close eye on what comes down the street.
- Crosstown Traffic – Little ones, old ones, Olympic sprinters; what do they have in common? None of them are a match for a speeding automobile. In this day and age of narcissistic swashbuckling commutation, it’s nice to know that cul-de-sacs do not encourage pass-through traffic. Also, an onslaught of cars constantly parading through your front yard is annoying. Cul-de-sacs don’t cause that vexation.
- Beauty is truth, truth beauty – Enjoy that view down the street of the busy, four-laned intersection? How about the vista of the large industrial park at the end of the block? Or, maybe you prefer row after row of endless houses that disappear into oblivion. Cul-de-sacs have a quaintness and cuteness that other routes do not. They are a pretty little world unto themselves, and John Keats would most certainly agree.
- They throw down – Inflatable birthday bounce houses, basted block barbecues, Fourth of July jubilees, full-contact cornhole tournaments; these are just a few of the liberties residing on a cul-de-sac can afford. Here in El Segundo, one of the single most exhilarating events of the winter holiday season is our very own Candy Cane Lane. Where is it? East Acacia of course…a nicely appointed cul-de-sac.
- 100 Blocks of Solitude – Along with the sense of community, cul-de-sacs provide a layer of privacy from the outside world other types of streets do not. Sometimes it’s nice to sit in your yard, enjoy an ice cold lemonade [beer] and not see another car drive by for an hour or more.
- Show me the money – Having a nice place to live makes you happy. It makes the other people that live there happy, too. Happy people take good care of their homes and neighborhoods. This adds value. Cul-de-sacs have a sense of neighborhood and pride of ownership that is stronger than most standard boulevards. It’s always about location, and a cul-de-sac has got it in spades.
Bonus: Cul-des-ac – hairstyle frequently sported by middle aged men, although unintentional in design. No hair on top, but hair all the way around the back and sides.
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