I have had the pleasure of living and being raised in the suburbs of Rockland County in New York State. For those of you who don’t know where that is, Rockland is the border of Bergan County, NJ. Back in the day, Rockland County used to be semi-rural, but after the Tappan Zee Bridge, Palisades Interstate Parkway, and other major roads were built, the county started transforming into suburbia. It’s a very diverse County, in terms of economic and racial-ethnic diversity. There are million dollar homes on the river and then there are low income housing in towns as well. I personally loved growing up in the Rockland. I feel it was the perfect place to grow up in and raise a family.
I liked that the environment was so “homey”. It never got too noisy like in the city but everything I needed was close enough that I could walk or quickly drive there. Most people live housing situation such as the picture shown below with a driveway and front/ back yard. Having a front a back yard made the environment comfortable. Everyone in our neighborhood had enough space between our houses where no one felt clustered. Even with all this room, we would still be able to safely cross the street and walk over to our neighbor’s houses, nothing is too far. A lot of families in these suburban areas took advantage of this space given to them by having pools, gardens, and or playgrounds in their yard. There was also many parks, shops and schools in the area, which I felt made Rockland a very family –oriented place to live.
One thing I actually dislike is how some houses are hidden. For example, the above picture shows a lane. You see two houses on one side but what it doesn’t show is that there is another house on the opposite side, see picture below. When it comes to space between neighbors, it was kind of implied that the lane would be evenly shared when it comes to parking. But because some houses like these are hidden, it becomes an issue when people have guests over and they think they can park anywhere because they don’t notice the house.
Rockland County is not typically a pedestrian friendly neighborhood. Some towns in the county, such as Nyack, Suffern, and Pearl River have walkable portions but to get around, it is most convenient to have a car. In the Healty Infastructure Plan for Rockland County, the master plan shows design ideas to make the area more welcoming to pedestrians. Our neighborhoods also have sidewalks on sides of the major roads to allow people to walk/bike alongside these roads to avoid traffic and accidents with cars. You can see the sidewalks in the picture depicted above. Altogether, I believe that Rockland is a good residential environment to live in.