The upside to sprawl?

The undeniable upside to sprawl is comfort and space. But are those luxuries really worth it?

Cyrus McCrimmon/AP/The Denver Post
A man walks his baggage through empty lines to pass through security in the main terminal in a quiet Denver International Airport. Kahn spends a quiet afternoon in a roomy airport and ponders the lure of sprawl.

I am at the enormous new Sacramento airport waiting to fly back to LA.  I have learned my value of time.  I could have paid $120 to take a 3 hour earlier flight to LA but I said no and I have gotten a lot of work done in this quiet airport that offers free wifi. I can even vouch for the men's bathroom quality and space.  Roomy!  Maybe sprawl and new infrastructure has its advantages as there are almost no people at this airport but infinite amounts of space and cushy seats and electric sockets for plugging stuff into.  The folks at JFK airport in NYC should visit Sacramento to compare their craggy airport to this one.

I have more mixed feelings about Amtrak. To start on  a positive note, this morning I took a $9 dollar ride from Davis to Sacramento on Amtrak.  But, Amtrak kept me up last night. My hotel was in the middle of downtown Davis and the railroad stops downtown and the train tracks are right there.  As trains travel through Davis , they blow their horn and I kept waking up.  The same thing happens to me in Berkeley and when I was in Raleigh recently, I was told that the same thing happens there.  I don't know if Amtrak blows that horn for safety reasons but does have some noise pollution effects.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.