Burning Question: Cul De Sacked?

News has been floating around our fair state lately about putting an end to a suburban staple: the cul de sac. Lawmakers in Virginia are planning to take measures to penalize developers who continue to create neighborhoods filled with dead end streets (read about it here and here). As they see it, cul de sacs are inefficient – they limit connectivity, disrupt traffic flow, increase congestion and hinder emergency vehicles who may benefit from more grid-like through streets. But it’s obviously catching flack from developers and suburban lovers alike who adore the added safety and privacy of these closed off communities.


What do you think? Would you like to see the cul de sac preserved for future generations or are you happy to see it go the way of the do-do?

Image courtesy of Google Maps (it’s actually my childhood subdivision).


  1. sarah says

    absolutely preserve the cul de sac! i grew up on one and because there was no through traffic it was a very safe neighborhood. my dad spray painted a baseball diamond onto it as well as a four square box and us and neighborhood kids spent hours outside right in the circle playing!

  2. Rachel says

    The cul-de-sac is great as long as the neighborhoods are connected by walking / biking paths. In planning communities, our goal should be to make them more people-friendly…not car-friendly.

  3. D-ra says

    honestly I do understand the appeal of the safety and privacy, but I think there are other ways to build developments where you can still have this while ALSO having connectivity and walkability to stores.

    This legislation can’t come fast enough in my opinion.

  4. Brandi says

    I think it would be horrible to do away with the cul-de-sac! If you live in a neighborhood, why would you want it used as a pass-thru for traffic? I mean, who wants people using your neighborhood to shave a few minutes off their commute! Our last house was in a cul-de-sac and it was wonderful for our kids. We didn’t have to worry about people flying by and the street is wider so they could actually get a game of basketball going. All the neighbors had kids as well, so we would just sit out there in the evenings and hang out and watch the kids play. In our house now, people drive by like they’re in the Daytona 500–it really burns me! I say leave the cul-de-sacs alone!!

  5. Rena says

    Our current home and the last two are all on Cul de Sacs. We bought the first one (also in NOVA) because our children were little and we liked the safety. Having lived on regular streets and in cul de sacs I have to say I love cul de sacs. People drive slower in cul de sacs than on the regular street.

  6. says

    Anything that cuts down on the amount of traffic driving by at 2am is a good thing to me.

    Over regulation is going to be the death of this country.

  7. Heather says

    My grandparents house was in a Cul de Sac and I loved riding my bike around in circles and playing with the other kids on the block. There was so much privacy and lack of traffic that we could play endless amounts of wiffle ball. I understand that they are inefficient but my childhood wouldn’t have been the same without those weekends playing with my cousins in the Cul de Sac.

  8. Abby says

    If you read Freakonomics, the author pretty definitively proves that cul-de-sacs gives a false sense of security and that they aren’t really safer than through streets.

  9. Jenny says

    But where would all the neighborhood kids play kickball or four square? WOW what memories I have of growing up in Midlothian and all the neighbor kids meeting up at the cul de sac to play games until it was dark and our parents would yell for us. I remember thinking I was so cool because I was the house right on the cul de sac.

  10. Jonathan says

    Cul- De- Sacs, are the product of “segregation now” white bread republicans. the suburbs have been the decline of our nations sense of connection, and have ultimately lead us to this over the top excessive economy we are now all “benefiting from” if you need a safe place for your children to play, i have no idea who ever thought the street would be it. go to the park, or put a fence up in your back yard. I would get so mad if everytime i walk out to get the mail or the paper or pull out to go to starbucks (the suburban american treat)i had to be concerned about balls flying around, and kids screaming everywhere. USE THE BACKYARD!! if you need a paved surface, go to the playground or use the driveway. But then again in the suburbs, there are no playgrounds, or local parks, because that would be a place for “the riff raff” to loiter!

  11. KK says

    I live on a street where people FLY down it (even school buses) despite the two kid parks located along the same street.

    If they do away with cul-de-sacs (which is ridiculous, in my opinion) they should look to how other countries slow down traffic on neighborhood streets, such as round-a-bouts. The idea is, if you can see way down the road – your eye is focused on that point and you don’t realize how fast you are going.

  12. says

    When we bought our house that was are 1st requirement – be on a cul de sac. It’s great for the kids to be able to play without worrying about speeding through traffic. Are planned community has walking trails connecting us to other streets and neighborhoods, shopping, community center. Plus we have a great neighborhood cookout every year right in the middle of our cl de sac. We wouldnt be able to do that if we lived on a through street.

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