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Transportation and housing have a backlash in common

February 15, 2017

Spencer A Brown : bizjournals – excerpt

Geary Boulevard’s Bus Rapid Transit system is now in the crosshairs of opponents.

Housing and transportation share more than a status as the Bay Area’s most serious, least tractible problems. Increasingly,
they share the same obstacles, while we collectively share the costs of our failure to make progress on them. The destructive backlash against housing development that has swept across the Bay Area in recent years is widening into an equally counterproductive atteIIlPt to block urgent transportation improvements.

As we reported online this week, Geary Boulevard’s Bus Rapid Transit system is now in the crosshairs of opponents. In the works for more than a decade, the project would reconfigure a perpetually congested urban artery, reserving one lane in each direction for buses only…

We get that change is difficult. But change to our creaking, overburdened transit infrastructure and systems is necessary. “Let’s just keep things as they are, and hope for the best” is not a strategy. It’s a delusion, and a dangerous one when the region is in the midst of historic growth spurt that will add more than 2 million people between 2010 and 2040.

Because our housing and transit problems share one other trait: They will most definitely not fix themselves… (more)

The backlash is coming from the citizens who oppose the methods and solutions to the problems outlined here. The backlash, as it is being labeled, is worldwide and growing exponentially.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of cities that have a “save our neighborhood” movement. One in LA has hit the ballot with a 2 year moratorium proposal. Details here:

Google save our neighborhoods and see what else pops up.


Missing Links and Politics

Nationally and globally, people have reason for simmering economic-based anger – despite incredible advances in living.  Political responses are banal – from lashing out to scapegoating to promises of change.  Missing is a response for a new economic paradigm and a vision for a new age of enlightenment.

Merely 120 years ago, people worked hard, had fun, dreamed aspirations – and then died at the early age of 40.  Growing population and life expectancy further stress economic trends, Conventional 9-to-5, non-service and living-waged jobs have wilted with the rise of organization, globalization, mechanization, technology, automation, robotics, sustainability and diversification.  Inflation-adjusted wages declined.  Income-disparity rose exponentially.  Jobs will be reinvented and reorganized at a faster pace – from workers, builders, soldiers, tinkers and tailors to architects, technocrats, doctors, lawyers and executive chiefs.

Politicians are reluctant to acknowledge transformations, clinging to traditional solutions to non-conventional economics.   From 1750 to 2150, the world’s population will have grown from 800 million to 9.7 billion people.  From 1841 to 2100, life expectancy will have increased from 42 years to 88 years.  If the concept of conventional work remains unchanged, older workers will work longer.  Younger workers will find constrained employment and wages – irrespective of education.  A new economic paradigm is inescapable.

…Howard Wong



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