It is easy to pick on the suburbs. This explains why city folk have spent much of the last half-century engaged in the sport: It is the forensic equivalent of a prairie dog shoot. But not all 'burbs are the bland, homogeneous entities of the common caricature. Drive up Central Avenue in Columbia Heights and you'll come across a more varied and vibrant commercial district than you'll find in downtown Minneapolis. And truth be told, there are quite a few neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul that don't seem much different from certain quarters of Edina and Roseville. Yet the Twin Cities suburbs do curse their inhabitants to a hellish reality, one that should give you pause should you consider moving to the land of lawns and malls: horrible, ever worsening, soul-crushing traffic. In its 2005 survey, the Metropolitan Council asked residents of the seven-county metro area what the region's biggest problem is. A full 40 percent of suburbanites listed transportation. By contrast, just 22 percent of city folk shared that view. You may ask: Is that because city people are more worried about crime? Fair question. The answer is no. City dwellers and suburbanites, according to the survey, rank crime similarly. But traffic—that's the enduring curse of the 'burbs, and a good reason not to move from your crappy, crime-infested digs in the inner city.


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