Urban Sprawl

"North Carolina prides itself on possessing many superlatives, but it now must include one on the negative side. Two areas in the state are rated in a report as among the nation's most sprawling metro regions. Rated just behind the Riverside-San Bernardino, California, metro area are Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, known as the triad, and the Research Triangle Park area, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.

Sprawling metro areas have more pollution and traffic accidents, many of them deadly, because of increased reliance on cars to get to work and everywhere else. Sound familiar? Wilmington and its environs qualify as a standard metropolitan statistical area, and it certainly is sprawling, and getting sprawlier. (I know, that's not a word.) Sprawl is seen as desirable by some people, most of them are in real estate and the building trades. But for people who have to put up with it, although they have contributed to it themselves, sprawl becomes a curse. And it happens before anyone realizes it."