Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/tag/coronavirus.html
There's a black man with a black cat
Livin' in a black neighborhood
He's got an interstate runnin' through his front yard
You know he thinks he's got it so good
The pictures below are from our neighborhood, specifically the single family homes across the street. The homes cost $450K and up. Directly behind the tree line is I-295.
If you can afford $450K for a house, why would you choose one with an interstate highway for a backyard? This is Richmond VA, we aren’t hurting for building space like SF or NYC. Our townhouse is about a mile (as the crow flies) from the highway, far enough that we never hear it. I walk through this neighborhood almost daily, and the highway noise is loud. I imagine it becomes background noise after a week or two of living there and maybe you don’t really notice it most of the time, but I can’t imagine you can ignore it when relaxing on a backyard deck that literally faces the interstate.
Glen Allen does have the best schools in the Richmond area, and I know that drives a lot of the people in the townhouse section. But the Richmond area isn’t that expensive, you can buy a nice house for $450K in Glen Allen that isn’t sitting on an interstate highway. Also, although I wouldn’t classify this as a “black neighborhood” ala Mellencamp's lyrics it is definitely more diverse than the stereotypical suburb. We are the minority in the townhouse section, and from walking through the single family section it feels like a pretty equal mix of white, black, and Asian families, which in general would make it an awesome place to live. Maybe that makes it worth dealing with the highway? The old location, location, location thing with real estate doesn’t seem to apply here. The houses are very nice, but our neighborhood has a zero walkability score, and the more expensive parts of it sit on an interstate highway. Maybe it is all about the school system?