I agree with my colleague Matthew Cantirino below, who, it should be noted, does not mean to defend the policies Kurtz criticizes. Further, I wonder if Kurtz, an opponent of regulation, would join in calls to abolish free parking and otherwise relax zoning codes.
Suburban sprawl is not, after all, the product of wholly free choices but of highly constrained, bizarrely conceived, and economically distorting zoning laws. Minimum parking lot requirements systematically subsidize driving, to the disadvantage not only of pedestrians but also of builders and property tax payers whose bills go up when so much land is given over to empty concrete. Meanwhile, separate-use zoning and large setbacks make dense and mixed-use neighborhoods illegal. Perhaps the most immediate and powerful way to deregulate American life is to oppose the laws that make suburban sprawl not only possible, but in many jurisdictions legally required. Repeal and replace, I say.