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Where We Drive: Chain Stores, Strip Malls and Sprawl

John Dankosky

Why is it that Americans are so fiercely individualistic, so protective of their rights to be “different," yet we all shop at the same few stores with the same products, in places that look the same?

If you’ve got a morning commute down a commercial thoroughfare, just look around...how many Dunkin’ Donuts do you pass? How many Walgreens or Subways? How did we get to a place where chain retail sprawl has become the norm?

Today, the Hartford Courant’s Tom Condon, a student of sprawl, joins me for a trip down Route 44. It’s part of my commute every day.

While it is by no means the most heavily commercialized section of road in the state - you see the same patterns as you do on the Post Road and the Berlin Turnpike.

We’ll look at how chain stores are taking over our landscape, and whether that’s necessarily a bad thing.  

This episode originally aired on May 15, 2013.