Plan Bay Area 2040 is one of many examples to today’s penchant for top-down micromanagement. The proposed solutions to climate change are veritable morasses of long-range central planning replete with massive investments in public transit and transit-oriented development.
This 4th of July, might be a good time for We the People to think about solutions other than micromanagement of our lives. For example, folks like Joel Kotkin are saying, Want to be Green? Forget Mass Transit. Work at Home. Here is a brief look at Mr. Kotkin’s June of 2017 article.
True, in a handful of large metropolitan regions — what we might call “legacy cities” — trains and buses remain essential. This is particularly true of New York, which accounts for a remarkable 43% of the nation’s mass-transit commuters, and of other venerable cities, such as San Francisco, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
“Legacy cities,” ouch! Are San Francisco and other metro centers that focus on expensive transit-oriented development hung up on legacy plans? Apparently so, according to Kotkin. Not only that, the cheaper alternative is already here and growing.
…the proportion of the labor force working from home continues to grow. In 1980, 2.3% of workers performed their duties primarily at home; by 2015, this figure had doubled to 4.6%, only slightly behind the proportion of people who commute via mass transit. In legacy core-metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the number of people working from home is not quite half that of those commuting by transit. In the 47 MSAs without legacy cores, according to the American Community Survey, the number of people working from home was nearly 250% higher than people going to work on trains or buses.
Interestingly, other news sources have reported that IBM and Yahoo, both early adopters of working from home, have eliminated WFH options, citing the need for face-to-face collaboration as means of increasing innovation. Thank goodness we are not into conspiracy theories, or we would be asking if there is really a big difference between collaborating around a table at the office or collaborating via video conferencing.
Thank you to a Nine-County Coalition participant for forwarding a link to Joel Kotkin’s article, and noting that this 4th of July is a good time to enjoy our freedoms – while we can.
The Nine-County Coalition wishes everyone a happy and safe 4th of July.