People love places like downtown Willow Glen, Los Gatos and Mountain View. They stroll the streets and linger, with or without laptops, at coffee shops. People who work in stores or nearby offices rarely get in their cars at lunchtime because it's so easy to walk to Aqui or Kuleto's or The Cantankerous Fish.
It's no coincidence that these are older neighborhoods. Since the 1950s, zoning in the United States has discouraged building them. But a bill moving through the California Legislature this month would make it easier for communities to mix stores, offices and different kinds of homes in new, walkable neighborhoods that mimic popular older ones.
The editorial goes on to endorse the proposal by Assemblywoman Patricia Wiggins, AB1268. "It should be required reading for local officials all over the state," the newspaper says. "Cities that haven't been thinking about this kind of planning ought to be."