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Midpeninsula mayors, tech company transportation leaders convene to talk traffic

Original post made on Apr 20, 2019

In view of a hulking manzanita tree branch hung from the wall at the Unitarian Universalist Church in south Palo Alto, mayors and other elected officials from Redwood City to Sunnyvale met with transportation program leaders from the area's biggest employers on Thursday, April 18.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:59 AM

Comments (34)

24 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2019 at 9:31 am

We need to create a mid-peninsula transit agency funded by the tech companies. VTA is too focused on San Jose. SamTrans is too focused on the area between the airport and San Francisco. The cities in the middle are cut off from regional transit right now. Palo Alto and Mountain View and Stanford have their little bus shuttle systems, but they do not integrate and help people commute from one city to the other. With public transit so messed up in this area, it is no wonder that single occupancy cars are so popular.

11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 21, 2019 at 12:05 am

Do any of these blatant ELITISTS solo-drive to work? I'd bet every single one of them does. I guess its time for "low income" people to give up their privilege of solo driving.
The hypocrisy is too much around here.
What if many of the people cluttering up the roads are illegal immigrants, seeing as we're a Sanctuary State now? They never talk about that. Nothing but endless spending and mindless experimenting to "reduce solo driving" which never works and instead of "reducing solo driving" it EXACERBATES CONGESTION.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2019 at 7:37 am

Cupertino is starting an on demand shuttle service. Web Link This type of idea would help with first and last mile as well as other short trips. Can it be looked at for the Peninsula?

7 people like this
Posted by Court Skinner
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 21, 2019 at 10:58 am

This was a productive meeting. After decades of development and propaganda re cars as the only alternative to transportation, it was refreshing to hear a recognition of that, as well as how the origins of this region as a relatively bucolic community rather than the metropolis it has become precluded the approaches that are used by many regions who have had longer to address these issues. The New York City subway comes to mind. They had traffic problems worse than ours when there were no cars. The assembled city and company representatives seemed ready to take on the problems and recognized that small local TMAs, while also valuable, are not the whole answer. I'll be attending future meetings of the Manzanita Talks.

8 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Apr 21, 2019 at 1:21 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I attended the meeting and agree that the participants came with positive energy to address mobility challenges in our sub region of the peninsula.

The idea of local governments and companies working together to expand non car commuting options can only help our cities.

Thanks to Joint Venture and the Bay Area Council for organizing these conversations.

20 people like this
Posted by John Guislin
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm

This effort is overdue but welcome. Our traffic congestion is the result of economic forces that value private profit over public good. The companies stepping up to find solutions did not invent this model but they have benefited from it. They now have the opportunity to earn the appreciation of residents by developing and funding solutions that address our traffic congestion.

The last US census identified California as having the highest urban population density in America. Our public transportation offerings lag significantly and we all bear the consequences. So let's hope this group has the stamina to develop at-scale solutions that support an cleaner environment and better quality of life for everyone.

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm

>> "surrounded on three sides by water and ringed by permanently protected open space."

Permanently protected open space?

Only until a subsequent generation votes to do something else with it.

10 people like this
Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2019 at 7:48 am

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

This is a worthwhile project. I recommend that
1. the schedule be tightened up. Delay thru Oct probably is not necessary.
2. sub-regional leadership should evolve sooner than later. For example, one carefully chosen mayor, citizen and transportation officer within a sub-region should be come three co-chairpersons with responsibility for a set of recommendations from the founding process
3. funding for this scoping process should be public information and without restriction as soon as feasible
4. the Bay Area Council, MTC, SVLG, et al have a history of non-delivery, over-budget and massive complexity. Avoid their involvement as much as possible. Build this up from the level of several small cities. A facilitator such as Aaron Aknin is essential.

21 people like this
Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 22, 2019 at 8:15 am

Allen Akin is a registered user.

I think this project gets a lot of things right -- it works across city and county borders, it leverages the road system rather than relying solely on Caltrain, and it enlists the companies that are causing the transportation problems in the effort to reduce them.

There are lots of details to work out, but I'm impressed with the thought that's gone into the project so far, and with the people who are involved. Let's see what they can do.

38 people like this
Posted by Incredible As Usual
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 22, 2019 at 9:11 am

Most people don't like to ride busses (unless they are professional musicians traveling in a tour bus).

People around here like to drive CARS & nothing is going to change until business stop situating here & local city councils initiate a building moratorium of sorts.

The problem is that the slick-talking local politicians actually welcome the business as it increases tax revenues...both commercial & residential.

You cannot have it both ways...increases in one with reductions in the other.

It's not rocket science but simple physics.

These joint conferences/steering committes are utter BS.

14 people like this
Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2019 at 10:11 am

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

Incredible has a point. We are an incredible region with incredible issues.

However, a sub-regional TMA would much more than shuttles. Organized and funded properly, it would be a systems approach based on demand and ability of "us" to shift how we choose to go to work, etc.

Furthermore, I am hopefully that there are existing models in US which will provide clarity and confidence. Nevertheless, a regional TMA would be a real challenge requiring leadership levels and funding I have not seen on the Peninsula.

22 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 22, 2019 at 11:27 am

Pat Burt is a registered user.

Palo Alto has funded a pilot TMA for our downtown over the last three years. It has been successful within its limited scale, primarily through subsidizing transit and ride share passes for lower income workers. The result, on its limited scale, has been less traffic, reduced demand for parking and fewer GHG's.
The problem is that there are not dollars to scale the TMA citywide or regionally. And the TMA funding to date has had to come primarily through city funds since the business community did not step forward, despite their initial commitments.
To make this work we need the business community to pay their fair share to mitigate the problems that they have primarily created. Tonight, the city council will consider a work plan for a business tax to fund local transportation (including grade separations) and, hopefully, affordable housing. Surprisingly, Silicon Valley is a region with exceptionally low local business taxes, especially big highly successful ones. At 1/3 the rates that San Francisco charges businesses, we could expand or TMA citywide, add local shuttles, fill much of the grade separation funding gap, and double to triple our rate of new affordable housing.
The council needs to hear our support for this effort.

26 people like this
Posted by Parker Leahy
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 22, 2019 at 11:44 am

Parker Leahy is a registered user.

"The problem is that the slick-talking local politicians actually welcome the business as it increases tax revenues...both commercial & residential."

"You cannot have it both ways...increases in one with reductions in the other."

Makes sense to me. Uncontrolled commercial & residential growth equates to more gridlock.

"These joint conferences/steering committes are utter BS."

No kidding. So instead of cars cluttering up the roadways, we will have more buses doing the same.

Picture a ubiquitous run of regularly scheduled TMA caravans as a solution.

23 people like this
Posted by Downtown TMA
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 22, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Downtown TMA is a registered user.

This program has had some limited success in reducing solo driving by a few percentage points. However, the current council majority (McCormack, Kniss, Fine, Tanaka) recently voted to remove the downtown office cap which will increase the number of employees downtown at a rate that will more than offset the percentage of employees who use the TMA.

17 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 22, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Annette is a registered user.

"Russell Hancock, who moderated the discussion, explained that for better or worse, Silicon Valley is a center for innovation and continues to create jobs."

A more realistic comment would be to say "for better AND worse" b/c the problems that engulf us are the result of unprecedented success. I agree with Allen Akin and others that this is a good idea that should be given a chance to succeed. But like so many other good ideas, it will be undermined if we don't curb commercial development. That single step is critical to moving the needle on transportation and housing issues. I think we will not realize any measure of success until we bite that particular bullet.

33 people like this
Posted by Stop Acting Like the Demand Side Isn't the Problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"explained that for better or worse, Silicon Valley is a center for innovation and continues to create jobs. There were 79,000 new jobs generated in Silicon Valley last year, and the region is in its eighth year of continuous economic expansion.
And yet, he added, the region is "surrounded on three sides by water and ringed by permanently protected open space. It's no surprise we're placing tremendous pressure on infrastructure.””

TMA is only ever going to take the edge off the problem is will never be self-sustaining, it will always require a lot of work for a modest result. The results described in the article are too much a drop in the bucket to even be noticed.

Worse, there is something insultingly elitist about TMA. What isn’t being said here is that people value their time, even poor people want to spend time with their families or on the other jobs they have to hold, or young entrepreneurs building the next big thing in their garage. When problems are solved this way, it puts the burden of the loss of productivity and time on the poor. Even in a place like Hong Kong with around 90% usage of public transit, they still have commute times comparable to Los Angelenos, and consequently, it is the wealthiest crust of Hong Kong who continue to use cars. The transit is for all those poor folk whose time is considered less valuable. This push seems geared to make the roads the domain of the rich people again.

In a world with better alternative energy sources, single-occupant vehicles driven by individuals are actually the most efficient from the standpoint of broad productivity across the population — except in situations where transit is fundamentally a better solution, such as a train through a mountainous tunnel, or transit for tourists who don’t want to drive in a strange place. The time savings and productivity savings of tens of thousands of people daily is not being factored in here.

In these discussions, people assume that commuters commute only for affordability, when they typically choose to commute to afford a better standard of living. Densifying this place is only going to entrench the commuting from long distances. Continuing to throw up our hands as say “for better or worse, we’re just going to get more and more jobs” is simply idiotic. It is far easier and more holistic a solution for government leaders, in concert with job creators (who are not paying their way but expecting the public to pay for their choices and just live with the huge degradations in everyone’s quality of life), to find a way to expand the number of job centers that are desirable for companies to locate and grow.

Hong Kong couldn’t do anything differently, it is an island. But this country is huge, and many former population centers are in decline, even in California. Cities arose for historic reasons that no longer apply, but the existing civic infrastructure and density have their own gravity and naturally attract more people.

That same gravity can be created by investment in other places so that companies find them desirable and frankly, leave. We don’t have to worry about Palo Alto losing too many of them, they can ALL go away, and Stanford will still be there to generate new ones. In fact, the birds that have grown too big for the nest should go find their own place to grow and multiply.

No need for TMA, it is too much money and effort for doing nothing to really solve the bigger problem, which is that this area is the mother ship for tech companies and no one wants to go somewhere else. The real helpfulness of governments and groups like this would be to fundamentally solve the problem by multiplying the number of job centers — then and only then can workers live nearer their homes and have the quality of life they want.

We should be taxing non-retail companies with more than 50 employees a progressively higher amount of money to help them make the choice. The money should go half into fixing some of the damage they’ve done here, and half into creating civic amenities and infrastructure in other towns that want the investment. And zoning codes should be strengthened, not weakened, so that the overgrown baby birds stop squashing and pushing out the low-income people who are already getting displaced in record numbers (because density pushes up the value of land and only attracts more investment dollars and ratchets up the cost of everything).

If only for safety and economic/national security, we should be focusing on better distributing concentrations of jobs.

Stop acting throwing up your hands and saying “for better or for worse” this gigantic company dodo bird is squashing everyone else, and help it find a more fitting home.

15 people like this
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm

As an intellectual exercise and example, and to pick up on one of 'Stop Acting's points above, how could Facebook be induced to cancel its expansion plans in Menlo Park and move half of its operations to Stockton? A lot of its employees probably live over that way anyway.

33 people like this
Posted by TMA Is Pure Folly
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm

> These joint conferences/steering committees are utter BS.

>...there is something insultingly elitist about TMA.

> The transit is for all those poor folk whose time is considered less valuable. This push seems geared to make the roads the domain of the rich people again.

You hit the nail on the head!

Rich people don't ride commuter buses because to them, their time is far more valuable than that of the peons & self-importance warrants certain privileges.

Another consideration regardless of the socio-economic factor...cars provide a sense of individual freedom & one doesn't get that 'vibe' when riding a bus or light rail. Instead a person is trapped alongside 40+ other riders & subject to the driver/operator's scheduled stops.

When gas prices periodically increase, people (rich & poor) might complain but no one ever boycotts buying petrol. And that's because driving is an integral part of people's lives in Amwrica & regardless of the gridlock, most would rather be driving their own car than be stuck riding a bus.

One possible alternative/solution is joint ownership of a car. My business partner & I went in on a vintage Ferrari 246 and take turns driving each other to work...one drives while the other rides along as a passenger.

Other times (weather permitting) we ride our Harley Softails to work & being able to advance between cars stopped at signals, we are always at the head of the line when the light turns green! During those times, traffic gridlock doesn't even exist in our universe.

Riding a bus is OK & I've done it in a pinch but generally speaking, most people prefer driving their own cars regardless of the traffic stoppages and delays.

27 people like this
Posted by Stop Acting Like the Demand Side Isn't the Problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2019 at 10:38 pm

@TMA is Pure Folly,
The freedom of driving is, if anything, even more important the lower one goes on the socio-economic ladder, because life is already so burdened for people who have fewer resources. Being able to go to costco, work a second job later than the buses run and be safe, pick up the kids at the home of a friend who watches them (on the way home from work) -- all of those things make life possible. It's really alarming how the well-meaning seem to think it's okay to trap people in a permanent underclass.

I just wonder at what point these companies are willing to look at the damage their laissez faire attitude to all wanting to crowd into the same spot is doing to both that spot and the occupants who were already struggling to lead their lives here? Yes, the solution is to get them to leave, but they won't of their own accord, it will be necessary to create additional places with public money for them to want to go. I think a lot of Bay Area residents would want to move to such places.

41 people like this
Posted by Flex and work from home
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 23, 2019 at 6:13 am

Bad traffic got markedly better in the 90's when companies embraced flex hours and working from home, at least on one or two days per week.

In Dotcom 2.0 companies demanded butts in the chairs from 9 until 5. That killed us, traffic wise.

Demand companies either embrace flex working or pay a HEFTY city tax for road use per each employee they have

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2019 at 7:40 am

The best way to reduce traffic is to reduce the commuters who travel at the same time 5 days a week. Give them an efficient, affordable alternative to driving solo will work. Google, Facebook and Apple have proved this. Similar schemes that everyone can use for work so that the riders can sleep, work, or surf rather than get exasperated with traffic congestion sounds appealing to me.

21 people like this
Posted by TMA Is Pure Folly
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2019 at 7:57 am

>> it will be necessary to create additional places with public money for them to want to go. I think a lot of Bay Area residents would want to move to such places.

Your point is well-taken but this migration/relocation from the SF Bay Area will probably end up being somewhere outside of California for a number of reasons. Let's look at the most densely populated areas of the state...San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco/East Bay, San Jose & perhaps even Sacramento.

Except for maybe Sacramento (in terms of climate & lack of a 'big name' university) all of these regions have (1) major universities in the immediate area, (2) major corporations situated there, (3) atypical & preferred California climate, (4) major sports teams, (5) interesting places to regularly visit. and (6) a sense of regional culture (in the case of LA, for better or for worse).

People are drawn to that & you're not going to get these options living in the Central Valley or up north even though there is a UC Merced and various smaller state colleges scattered in other areas. In other words, a lack of culture & interesting outlets (other than outdoor recreational activities) is not going to appeal to suburbanites considering relocation. And besides, the areas that could possibly handle CA migration are predominantly RED counties while the most densely populated CA regions are BLUE. Even Orange County in Southern California is shifting towards BLUE & though San Diego has traditionally been RED, people seem to get along because San Diego County is not 'redneck central' like like of the more rural CA areas.

It's going to be difficult getting people to exit their comfort zones within the state of California and a certain 'allure' is going to have to be established befor it is even considered. Timewise, that could take a generation or more...25-50 years.

Otherwise, people would have been relocating en masse to places like Barstow/Death Valley, Modesto/Manteca/Madera/Merced, Modoc County et al decades ago & all their friends & colleagues would want to join them!

Upscale Californians do not want to reside in hellholes regardless of attractive real estate prices. Thus, they congregate in preferred locations.

12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2019 at 8:56 am

The entire premise that build "TMA strategies" WILL reduce solo-driving is fundamentally erroneous. It's seen as a foregone conclusion that our only solution is to reduce solo-driving.
What bothers me is that they take *punitive measures* to reduce service to drivers in spite of the fact that the majority of people drive.
Part of the reason for severe congestion, along with jobs & overpopulation, is that TMA and similar organizations induce punitive measures to make life hell for solo-drivers and they've been doing it for a while now.
So TMA takes taxpayers dollars and the upshot is that they use it to make traffic even worse. Doesn't anyone else see the completely broken logic here.

13 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2019 at 11:42 am

What is a 'tech company transportation leader". And since mayors in a city manager style municipal government are purely a title, we can expect to see a lot of progress being made.

They probably enjoyed their luncheon & the PowerPoint presentation.

8 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Annette is a registered user.

About the demand side . . . on 4/24 the Redwood City Council will be deliberating on the Sobrato project at 101/Woodside. Per the weekend edition of the Daily Post, this project has been in the works since 2015. The project calls for 420,000sf of office space and 520 apartments, plus 10k sf for a childcare center and 26,000sf of new retail. A nice, reasonable sounding mix - until you factor in context and impact.

Using the very conservative formula of 250sf/person in office space, the project adds 1,680 new desks which means that this project alone ADDS at least another 1,140 jobs to the demand side of the jobs:housing equation.

The project is also projected to add an additional 3,777 new cars DAILY.

There is so much wrong with this picture that one hardly knows where to begin. No peninsula city should be approving projects like this until there's significant improvement on the jobs:housing front. To do so is irresponsible and, at this point, arguably inhumane.

TMA is a laudable idea, but maximum impact of an effective TMA will never be realized as long as our City Councils keep the commercial development tap open at full flow. At the very least they need to turn it down to a trickle. Better still, turn it all the way off for a few years.

10 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 23, 2019 at 12:58 pm

"The problem is that there are not dollars to scale the TMA citywide or regionally."

Because transit is a capital-intensive endeavor. You need scale to justify the high entry and maintenance cost of a transit system.

We are a city of residentialists. We don't want density. So TMAs will never ever have the dollars to scale. Period.

Stop with this nonsense.

9 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 23, 2019 at 2:48 pm

The area is suffering from serious overpopulation and the infrastructure is incapable of supporting it. No meetings of this kind would mitigate this crisis. The demand needs to be sharply decreased through a reduction in population, to be achieved by companies going elsewhere and not squeezing in more bodies into this sardine can, no new housing, lower birthrates, etc. Any talk of new housing should be considered as sheer insanity.

5 people like this
Posted by SmartGrowth
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

SmartGrowth is a registered user.

The state of CA has embraced "SmartGrowth." It is a more economical, efficient and environmentally-sound way to develop as the population increases. CA is a major producer of food, so maintaining agricultural areas and open spaces is considered to be critical for the state's well-being and for state and national food security. Essentially, we are to become more dense; not sprawl out. Increasing population and jobs is a given; not an option. The cities need to figure it out or - as we are seeing - have the state pass something like SB50 which would be a disaster for many places, but most definitely for Palo Alto.

10 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 24, 2019 at 2:08 pm

I'd like to take a moment to peripherally note/whine that Palo Alto has simultaneous construction going on every single east/west through street in South Palo Alto.

Really City Planners? Every street at the same time?

5 people like this
Posted by Reducing congestion
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Reducing congestion is a registered user.

What increases congestion is more people driving. They do this for lots of reasons.

"Traffic on the Dumbarton Bridge, he said, is up 70% from 2011, indicating that people are traveling longer distances to get to employment centers."

There are rideshare apps that connect people with potential carpool partners. Companies could promote these apps and transit options. Stanford and other local companies and organizations could be required to moderate their growth plans until we have a train/transit system with capacity to serve their growth needs. (Maybe that would motivate them to help solve these problems.) We could expand Shuttles and provide better headways and connections to other modes of transportation. For instance, imagine if it were easy to get to the airport by train or bus as it is in many cities in Europe. Imagine if more local buses easily connected to the train. Imagine if the Dumbarton supported train service.

We can't expand many of our local roads any more. The city doesn't own enough right-of-way to do that without exercising eminent domain. Drivers need to understand that making the road wider for their convenience is not an option in many impacted locations.

Today I watched my able-bodied neighbor get in her car to drive to the grocery store for one bag of groceries. She does this often. Good grief. It would have been an easy seven minute bike ride. Her car trip took longer.

I'm not saying that people should never drive, but let's try to choose more sustainable options that reduce auto congestion as often as we can. Our children and grandchildren will thank us for that.

WE are the traffic. Driving solo is inefficient and it's killing our planet. We can do better.

12 people like this
Posted by A Consultant's Work Is Never Over
a resident of University South
on Apr 24, 2019 at 3:05 pm

What an easy job...being a TMA staffer.

All you do is create ludicrous charts & graphs with unrealistic hypotheses and then present them to a bunch of gas bags who are seemingly listening intently while probably contemplating other things they've got planned for the day/evening.

And you get paid well for doing so!

Where do I submit my resume?

8 people like this
Posted by Christine Czarnecki
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2019 at 12:20 pm

For many local tech workers, being able to commute on a company bus is a wonderful change from driving to work.

My husband recently changed employers to a Mid-Peninsula one, and he stopped driving his car to work and takes the company shuttle. For two decades, he worked at a South Bay tech company and drove 31 miles each way, as there were no other practical alternatives to get him from Palo Alto to his lab deep in the Almaden Valley.

As a result, we will be getting rid of our second car, as it is no longer needed. We will do wonderfully with just one car and an Uber account, for the few times we both need to be out. We had planned to do this after he retires, but are able to do it sooner, thanks to his employee shuttle.

Do not discount the employer shuttles as they do, indeed, get commuters and their cars off our roads, and can do so permanently. We are proof of that.

Like this comment
Posted by I'm local. I bike and ride transit.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 25, 2019 at 12:57 pm

I'm local. I bike and ride transit. is a registered user.

Please don't speak for me. I'm local, and I bike and ride transit as often as I can.

6 people like this
Posted by Keep it local
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2019 at 1:17 pm

All these ideas do is stretch out the time before "the limit to growth" is reached. You can't widen El Camino or the side streets that people use after they get off the freeway and that is your limit. That limit will be reached when the Giga-companies find they can't get and keep good people because of the awful traffic, high housing costs, and long commutes. They will then set up and hire in areas where most people want to live, not where the CEO wants to live.

All the people who are invited to these confabs are of the mind set that growth is and always must be forever. Well, it isn't. More here: Web Link

The entire NYC metro area is one big TOD (transit oriented development) with packed buses, subways, and trains (subsidized with high taxes) yet commute times are the worst in the country and it is (relative to median income) the most expensive metro area in the US.

A - High density vs B - affordable housing - choose one,
A - Convenient public transit vs B - low density housing - choose one,
A - Lots of jobs vs B - easy commute - choose one,

Some will choose set A and some will choose set B. Looking at the choices people make, we see Charlotte, NC grew 90% (since 2000) while the SF Bay area grew 15%. Minneapolis grew 22% while LA grew 8%. Austin TX added more residents than the entire SF Bay area since 2000. Looks like most people choose set B. More here: Web Link

Everyone wants a single family house near shopping and work but sort of remote from congested big cities with a pleasant small town atmosphere. You can't have it all and when they have to make a choice most clearly opt for the affordable low density single family home. So longer commutes, and more suburban sprawl. More here: Web Link

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