Why Traffic Sucks

Why Traffic Sucks

We've known for a few weeks that Dallas-Fort Worth was growin'. Sure, it isn't swelling the fastest. That honor goes to Lincoln, a suburb outside of Sacramento, California, which had an explosive growth rate of 236 percent since the 2000 census, according to Forbes online, which paid an outside research firm to analyze the growth of our country's 'burbs -- sub-, ex- and otherwise.

But the DFW cuddles a dozen of the nation’s 100 fastest growing suburbs, a fifth of which are in Texas. Why Texas? Growth in Texas is almost completely unregulated, contributing mightily to housing affordability. Says Forbes: “There is plenty of supply to meet demand.” Downside: Transportation expenses are high.

Top Texas burb on the list is Frisco, ranking 7th after three Arizona burbs dubbed Buckeye, Goodyear and Surprise (hey, spring-training home o' Your Texas Rangers), plus Plainfield, Illinois -- undoubtedly the new Plano. With a population of 80.5k, Frisco has surged 128 percent since 2000, though we think that’s mostly due to the more professional of the Rangers' franchises.

Other DFW growth spots are Wylie, ranking 8th with a population of 32.7k at 109.3 percent growth; McKinney, 13th with 107.5k at 91.7 percent; Rockwall, 21st with 32.2k at 73.2 percent; and Sachse, 22nd with 17.6k at 71.6 percent. Allen slips at 33rd, with a population of 45k at 62.5 percent.

The bulging burb trend is part of a historical migration, Forbes contends, away from large cities and tony metro areas, driven primarily by housing affordability. The more regulatory costs and exclusionary growth restrictions politicos heap on an area, the less its affordability and the greater its propensity toward atrophy. Not surprisingly, Texas is the most affordable housing prices of all regions Forbes measured. --Mark Stuertz


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