Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck United States Technology

A 2:15 Alarm, 2 Trains and a Bus Get Her To Work by 7 AM (nytimes.com) 588

From a report on The New York Times: Sheila James starts her Monday, and the workweek, at 2:15 a.m. This might be normal for a baker or a morning radio host, but Ms. James is a standard American office worker. She is 62 and makes $81,000 a year as a public health adviser for the United States Department of Health and Human Services in San Francisco. Her early start comes because San Francisco is one of the country's most expensive metropolitan areas. Ms. James lives about 80 miles away in Stockton, which has cheaper homes but requires her to commute on two trains and a bus, leaving at 4 a.m. Plenty of office workers get up at 5 a.m. or a bit before, but 2:15 is highly unusual. "Two-fifteen is early enough that some people are still having their evening," she said on a (very) early morning. But she likes to take her time and have coffee. She keeps the lights low and the house quiet and Zen-like. "I just can't rush like that," she said. When the second alarm goes off at 3:45 -- a reminder to leave for the train in 15 minutes -- her morning shifts from leisure to precision. It is a seven-minute drive to the station, where she catches the Altamont Corridor Express train.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A 2:15 Alarm, 2 Trains and a Bus Get Her To Work by 7 AM

Comments Filter:
  • by computational super ( 740265 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:24PM (#55035095)
    Imagine if you had young children you were trying to get to school. I live in north Texas, where it's not nearly as bad (although it's creeping that way), and I have to drop my kids off at school no earlier than 8 AM - which means I hit the freeways at the worst possible time, which means I'm lucky if I'm in by 9 AM.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Having children is a choice, in most circumstances, and rearranging your life accordingly is one of the costs that should be accepted.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:36PM (#55035191)

        On the other hand we wouldn't exist if someone didn't "have" us.

      • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:36PM (#55035199)

        You know, having children does benefit the childless as well. Or would you like to live in an area where everyone chose to be childless and now that everyone's retired there's no staff for... well.. anything? No hospital staff, cops, restaurant workers, store workers, etc. Just look at Japan and their oncoming worker-to-retired ratio slow motion train wreck.

        That's one of the reasons that responsible governments understand people having children is vital to society's health and encourage the choice to do so with services and financial incentives. Other governments... not so much.

        • by uncqual ( 836337 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:57PM (#55035425)

          The Earth has plenty of humans on it. Indeed, perhaps too many and a reduction in population (rather then a continuing increase in population as we are experiencing) would be best in the long term. Of course, the only way to have a reduction in population is either via some "pruning" process (probably politically infeasible) or people just having less kids. Yes, in the short term it causes some economic imbalances, but in the long term it's probably a good thing.

          Few people propose that society move to a situation where the birthrate is 0 (well, perhaps the Shakers do, but that's not working out so well for them).

          • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

            by trg83 ( 555416 )
            If you're measuring your children with "less," then you already have too many. The diminishing of countable items is designated as "fewer."
          • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:36PM (#55035769)

            Pruning is currently in effect. We send poor white kids down into some countries to gun down poor brown kids. Don't worry, the system works.

          • by DRJlaw ( 946416 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:39PM (#55035797)

            The Earth has plenty of humans on it...

            And we (the United States) want to cap legal immigration at ~50,000/year, so good luck making that argument while avoiding a long slide into depopulation, as currently exists in Japan and Russia.

            Yes, in the short term it causes some economic imbalances, but in the long term it's probably a good thing.

            SOME economic imbalances? Have you actually thought about the social and economic circumstances of depopulating midwestern cities and towns, or is that beyond your attention horizon, living in California as you are? Ah yes, the reason why you favor "less people" is certainly apparent... you want less people where you are. As if people are going to stop migrating there due to a drop in birth rate.

      • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:44PM (#55035283)

        Having children is a choice...

        One that you don't have to wory about.

      • Yes, it is.
        I chose to have children because (my now ex wife) said the doctor said she couldn't have kids (she didn't lie about this AFAIK).
        Now, I "did the right thing" and we got married, etc.
        had another kid.

        I accept the life I have, and I love my kids, but yeah, AMs are a bitch with school. Drop your kid off at 7:45 (because that 15 min seriously is the difference to making it to work on-time or not) and the school has the worlds biggest shit fit.

        I, fortunately, had a single mom as a boss when I started h

      • by jedrek ( 79264 )

        If everybody had to plan having children according to worst-case scenarios, no one would have children, and you wouldn't exist.

      • Choices (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjbe ( 173966 )

        Having children is a choice, in most circumstances, and rearranging your life accordingly is one of the costs that should be accepted.

        Being an inconsiderate jerk is a choice, in most circumstances too.

        People have kids and that's a good thing. Refusing to acknowledge that reality is just you being a selfish inconsiderate jerk. Your parents made sacrifices for you just like everyone else's parents. Cut them some slack. Someday it might be your turn. But with an attitude like that hopefully not soon...

    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      Imagine if you had young children you were trying to get to school. I live in north Texas, where it's not nearly as bad (although it's creeping that way), and I have to drop my kids off at school no earlier than 8 AM - which means I hit the freeways at the worst possible time, which means I'm lucky if I'm in by 9 AM.

      *Have* to drop them off? There's no buses, bicycles or feet they could use? I was required to get myself to school starting at first grade, where my only option was feet because I hadn't learned to ride a bike yet (unless it was pouring rain or dangerously cold).

      I also live in North TX, and the traffic here always goes from bad to horrific on the first day of school, apparently due to everyone "having" to individually drive their kids to school.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        I've always felt this is a bit deranged myself and so does my father-in-law but the wife and mother-in-law are Hind-D territory.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lots of people have long commutes to work....Who cares?

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:26PM (#55035107)

    The one time I took a city bus, it made a half hour drive into a 3 hour adventure, never even considered public transportation ever again.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:28PM (#55035125)

      You add to the fact that it takes her an hour and 45 minutes to get ready in the morning and you've got about the least efficient person in the world serving as a political prop about high rent.

      • She's probably working on tasks many of us complete after the workday is done and before bed and/or not using the first hour of her paid workday to finish waking up.

      • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:44PM (#55035277)
        I get up at 4:30AM to catch the 6AM bus outside of my apartment complex. It takes me 90 minutes to get ready and out the door. Some of us had put our college days behind us and no longer roll out of bed wearing the work clothes from yesterday.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Squeezing into a shirt the size of a pup tent that's still too small is probably what takes so long.

        • How in the hell does it take 90 minutes to get ready? It doesn't take that long even with two young kids! Unless you are sitting around reading or something, which is not "getting ready". That's called "reading".

          • How in the hell does it take 90 minutes to get ready?

            Wake up, take my vitamins and allergy meds, brush my teeth, shave my jowls, take a dump and piss off trolls on Slashdot via iPhone, weigh myself, take a shower, splash Old Spice on, put my clothes on, take care of any last minute errands like making lunch or taking out the trash, and leave.

            • I just don't understand. I wake up at 7:45, shower, shave, eat a bowl of cereal, make kids lunches, make my own lunch, and herd the kids out the door by 8:30 (8:45 when things go badly wrong). Are you taking a 45 minute dump or something?

              • At least he combines that time with pissing off trolls on slashdot with is iphone.

                I'm just surprised his bowels are that tuned into his schedule. Mine never make a problem until three minutes before I planned on walking out the door.

        • holy shit, I'm out the door within 20-30 minutes of rolling out of bed.

        • I get up at 4:30AM to catch the 6AM bus outside of my apartment complex. It takes me 90 minutes to get ready and out the door. Some of us had put our college days behind us and no longer roll out of bed wearing the work clothes from yesterday.

          Are you getting ready for the prom or something? 90 minutes to get ready? Seriously? I can roll out of bed, shower, dress, feed and bathroom three dogs, grab my lunch and be on the road in under 20 minutes. If you are taking 90 minutes you are Doing It Wrong. And I haven't been an undergrad for over 20 years so don't give me the age excuse.

      • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:45PM (#55035297)

        how is this insightful? she specifically states she doesn't want to be rushed in the morning. Some people *enjoy* relaxing before work with some coffee.

        Also note, that when her second alarm goes off she has her commute to the train station mapped down to the fucking minute.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:50PM (#55035361)

        You add to the fact that it takes her an hour and 45 minutes to get ready in the morning and you've got about the least efficient person in the world serving as a political prop about high rent.

        Indeed. Her behavior makes no sense. If she is going to be on the train for two hours, why doesn't she use that time to do her prep? Or sleep?

        Also, you don't have to go to Stockton to get away from SF rents. Oakland (20 minutes by BART) is far enough.

        Better headline: Crazy Woman Lives in Stockton.

        • Lots of people can't sleep in moving vehicles, and having a night's sleep partially interrupted by a run for the train isn't exactly conducive to really quality sleep later.

          I personally fall asleep on planes and trains just fine, but the quality of the sleep is so low I count it for about half of what I manage to get. She's going to work, not back home from a trip; a good night's sleep is going to be important to doing her job properly for the rest of the day.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        You add to the fact that it takes her an hour and 45 minutes to get ready in the morning

        Yes, the mind boggles. At the very least that's not something she should factor in, because it will always be a problem for her. Does she expect her job to provide a service with someone fetching her sleeping body and put it on a train, so she can do her extensive wake-up ritual while commuting?

        I think the overwhelming majority of people would be able to take a shower, get dressed and have a cup of joe in 45 minutes. And even then, that time is not something to blame the city/state for. Even if you liv

    • Public transit quality varies quite a bit. Here in the suburbs of Portland OR my 7.5 mile commute choices are:
      Drive: 25-35 minutes, all on city streets (can't zone out)
      Bike: 35-40 minutes, plus 10 minutes extra for the extra shower each evening
      Light Rail: 50 minutes if I catch it right (one leg comes only every 30 minutes)
      Run: 1 hour 15 minutes, though only only practical one direction 2-3 times a week

      Driving is fastest, but my least favorite due to all the stopping and traffic on busy city streets. 90+%

    • I take the bus everyday to work. Well, first a train, then a bus. It takes me about 45 minutes to get to work. But I live in Philadelphia, where we have a pretty robust transit system.

      I guess the point is: It all depends on where you live.

    • I used to drive to work (at UW in Seattle) every day, five days a week. Did this for years... it wasn't much fun, but you get used to it after a while.

      Then, about 14 years ago, we had two cars die in rapid succession. My wife's job takes her to multiple work places on a regular basis, so she really does need a car (in our area, at least) - but I decided to try taking the train.

      It did take some time to adjust; and yes, the commute was a bit longer time-wise than driving (because busses share the downtown roa

  • Build more housing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:27PM (#55035119) Homepage
    The solution to the problems is really simple: build more housing. How do you get more housing built? Well, for starts not having some of the most restrictive zoning laws in the country, and having people fight back at any housing that is less than ideal would be a major aspect. Unfortunately, there are people who are advocates for the poor who don't get this and have gone out of their way to block housing that doesn't have affordable housing built into it, which just results in total fewer housing.
    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:29PM (#55035133)

      The solution is to stop centralizing things. It can work great for information but not for physical things.

      Make more smaller cities and flee the megapolis mentality.

      • Boston, New York, Tokyo, and London are all very large cities with big tech sectors without these problems being nearly as severe. The greater Boston area includes Sommervile is literally the densest area by population in New England and is much denser than the Bay Area https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerville,_Massachusetts [wikipedia.org] but the rental cost is literally more than order of magnitude than it is for the same thing in the Bay. And the amount of housing construction in the Bay Area is literally almost zero h [curbed.com]
        • Centralization does enter into it, at least partially. If there were more smaller cities to work in, people would have more choices about where they'd like to live.

          Want to work for Apple, Google or any other giant corporation? Nope, only one fucking place for each on the entire planet. That's insane. The other problem is the paperwork. Companies like paperwork so much that having more of smaller units cost more to run, which is the opposite of how biology works. Giant animals? Extinct or on the verge of ext

          • by jedrek ( 79264 )

            I know a bunch of people who work for Google and none of them do it in SF.

          • by mikael ( 484 )

            The problem with smaller cities is that you end up with a complete relocation to another city to find a new job. Unless your industry sector has a large enough supply of employers, being an engineer becomes like Logan's Run. Then you end up with people commuting 50+ miles between smaller cities. This happens in England in the South East (Reading, Basingstoke, Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton).

      • It's really weird-like the way computers were supposed to reduce paper waste we shouldn't need to travel to work anymore yet exactly the opposite has happened.
      • San Francisco is a megaopolis in denial. Allow more high density family housing while taxing the hell out of cars to pay for more subway lines. San Francisco is currently a giant suburb that needs to evolve more towards a dense city to satisfy housing demands.

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:59PM (#55035447)

        The solution is to stop centralizing things.

        Big cities have higher productivity. NYC has 60% higher productivity than the American average. Centralization is good.

        There is no shortage of space in SF. They just need to go vertical. The problem is that the people living there have a vested interest in keeping property prices high, and the people that want to live there but can't afford to don't get to vote.

        How Zoning Laws Exacerbate Inequality. [theatlantic.com]

      • No centralizing works fine. Decentralizing also works fine.

        What doesn't work is the suburban sprawl level of centralization and decentralization. You get none of the benefits of centralization (ie. effective public transportation) and none of the benefits of decentralization (ie. more open space).

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:41PM (#55035257)

      I don't think that's really the solution. I agree that SF et al. are BANANA hells and have impeded development and caused prices to explode and all sorts of other distortions but, ultimately, carpeting the land with skyscraper apartment buildings to house all these people would just alleviate one pressure point in a dysfunctional system.

      Sheila James is a bureaucrat. She writes stuff and reads stuff and participates in conference calls. Is there any actual reason Sheila James needs to be in SF proper to operate her email inbox in 2017? Why must all the Sheila James of the world converge on a couple coastal CA cities by the millions? Probably 90% of the people working in SF could just live somewhere else with no noticeable loss of capability.

      • carpeting the land with skyscraper apartment buildings to house all these people would just alleviate one pressure point in a dysfunctional system

        Skyscraper apartment buildings don't "carpet" the land, exactly the opposite. The current strategy results in carpeting the land with low-density housing for a hundred miles in every (non-ocean) direction. Skyscraper apartment buildings are far better. They're by far the lowest-footprint, least-impactful way for humans to live.

        I think that sort of living sucks, myself, but there are a lot of people who like it.

        Is there any actual reason Sheila James needs to be in SF proper to operate her email inbox in 2017?

        Sure, telecommuting is also a good option. I do it myself -- and love it because it allows me to

    • The people that insist that "housing for the poor" is a worthwhile goal are also the people that through their actions promote poverty.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:47PM (#55035323)

      The solution to the problems is really simple: build more housing. How do you get more housing built? Well, for starts not having some of the most restrictive zoning laws in the country, and having people fight back at any housing that is less than ideal would be a major aspect. Unfortunately, there are people who are advocates for the poor who don't get this and have gone out of their way to block housing that doesn't have affordable housing built into it, which just results in total fewer housing.

      Actually, the problem is the US's dreadful public transport network.

      Here in the UK, a train journey of 80 miles is easily accomplished in 1.5 hours, 2 hours at a stretch. That means you can leave Winchester at 5:15 and make a starting time of 07:00 in Central London and I'm including a short tube journey from London Waterloo to somewhere like Bank.

      That being said, a 2 hour journey is still not ideal but the money in central London is often worth it. Much like central San Francisco, no one lives in central London unless they're a multi-millionaire. For popular business hubs, one should be able to live outside it and get in relatively quickly.

    • That doesn't work. Here in Toronto, we build more housing in the form of condo's, so-called town houses, and even a few rental properties (but mostly condo's or townhouses with 750-850 sq. ft). Because of speculation, everyone charges the same crazy rents (including individual condo owners rental) and rental prices have not gone down. The only glimmer of hope is that the the housing bubble appears to have finally burst here. But more housing doesn't result in lower rent/property prices if you have people sp
    • Unfortunately, there are people who are advocates for the poor who don't get this and have gone out of their way to block housing that doesn't have affordable housing built into it, which just results in total fewer housing.

      Actually, it's the existing homeowners that are the problem.

      If you start building skyscrapers with condos in San Francisco, the value of the property of the existing homeowners goes down as you alleviate scarcity. They'd really like the shack they rent out to continue to be worth $1M. And they will use plenty of excuses to prevent re-zoning to keep their property values high.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Here's an interesting exercise. Use Google Street View to compare a virtual walking tour of the residential neighborhoods of Tapei [google.com], and compare them to San Francisco [google.com]. In this case we're looking at two neighborhoods of single family dwellings.

      In general single family houses have a smaller footprint in Taipei and are a bit taller, and streets are much narrower. There are also more streets of low rise apartment blocks [google.com]. There are obviously some high rise apartments, but apparently earthquake regulation disco

  • by Nick ( 109 )
    I can't appreciate enough being able to work from home even though I'm a couple miles away and easy access via public transit, Uber, Lyft, Taxi, etc. After having spent years on the CTA I'd like to think I earned it though.
  • by k6mfw ( 1182893 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:37PM (#55035209)

    A friend returned from recent vacation in S. Korea and Japan was amazed by the rail systems and speaking of bay area Caltrains, "It is so 3rd world country."

    I saved this from one of you posters here on slashdot, worth a mention as I was talking with someone who said high speed rail and other such things are guvmint boondoggles. For me I use a car but then I've moved here in the 20th century so I don't have to commute hundreds of miles.

    “give out surveys where people rate the relative importance of things.”

    That’s likely not going to get you anything useful. What it gets you is a survey of what people think is best for them. And they’re not right a lot of the time, because few people are investors and visionaries. Most people are short-term practical people.

    As an example, traffic is getting worse and worse in my little city. Everyone is talking about how we can improve the roads and highways, we’re widening some, improving intersections at others, but nobody is really talking about public transportation. What we need are a couple of light rail lines from the growing suburbs to downtown and the job hubs. That would likely fix a lot of the traffic problems. But that requires people to think longer-term, and rethink how they go about their daily life.

    Instead of spending 25 minutes, now 30, now 35 minutes in the car commuting, they need to think about catching a 5 min bus ride, then sitting and checking email for 20 min before getting off near work. But that’s far harder to wrap your head around than “I wish I could shave 10 minutes off my drive to work.” Survey people, and they want less traffic congestion and a better drive to work. That frankly can’t happen without public transportation, but nobody wants that.

    Hmmm, our featured person already spends a lot of time on the train. Oh wait, this has been debated before but it was about cars! https://www.c-span.org/video/?... [c-span.org]

  • "Her"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:38PM (#55035237)

    What is it with 3rd-person pronouns in clickbait headlines these days?

    - "She totally did a thing, now you totally want to click, right?"
    - "What he did next will make you click!"
    - "Five cocktails and seven martinis get her through brunch!"

    At the risk of sounding ancient; who's "she", the cat's mother?

    I mean, good manners don't cost nuffin' now, do they?

  • I don't get it. (Score:2, Redundant)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 )

    So she chose this life style. If waking up at 2:30 isn't her thing, she could Drive and avoid public transportation and leave at a more reasonable hour.

    She doesn't have to use public transportation she can drive further (she already seems to have a car because she drives to the train station)
    She doesn't need to live so far away she can choose a smaller home, or choose to get some roommates to split the cost.
    She can probably find a job closer to her home.

    Sure cost of living in such areas have skyrocketed to

  • Not a great story (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ...but the comments here are an absolute shit-show of whiny, self-centered assholes who can't resist telling the world how much they don't care about other people.

  • One can have a great quality of life in the Silicon Valley, provided one brings in $300K+ a year, or one is independently wealthy. For the rest, it is a rather miserable existence. The weather tends to be nice though - except during the rainy season.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @12:57PM (#55035429)

    There are a few solutions to this problem, pick one or more:
    1. Reduce the need for people to show up for work at a physical office
    2. Make transportation, both public and private, hyper-efficient
    3. Pop the housing bubble around Northern California (and other large metros) by popping the Second Dotcom Bubble
    4. Add more housing in the area so people aren't desperately waving sacks of money around saying, "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me pay $4000 a month for a 1-bedroom apartment!"

    I live near New York City and back before I had kids I used to commute on the train for work; did it for a couple of multi-year stints before I had had enough. I'm about 60 miles away, and it was easily a 1.5 hour train and subway ride each direction when everything was going perfectly. There are plenty of stories like the one in the article, and I remember hearing tales of multi-hour commutes from places like Stockton and Sacramento as the First Dotcom Bubble was about to hit its peak in 1999. I did my crazy commute for financial gain; I was getting paid a New York salary and living a comfortable distance away. Sheila James, being 62 and a government employee, was most likely priced out of the San Francisco market and is trying to hang on a few more years, as federal pensions are calculated based on final average salary and years of service. These days, you'd really have to offer me a crazy amount of money to go back to doing it...even with cutting my day short and working part of it on the train, it's a life-eater. I work at a place that's closer to home, pays less, but lets me be home more which is more important to me lately.

    Housing bubbles suck. Permanently overpriced real estate markets suck more. Metro NY is a perfect example...not nearly as bad as California once you leave the city, but prices are permanently high just because so much wealth is concentrated here. You have everything from "old money" to celebrities to CEOs to hedge-fund Masters of the Universe, and if they're not living in Midtown Manhattan, they want to live right outside of it. It makes it difficult to find good housing a reasonable distance from work.

  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:02PM (#55035483) Journal

    I have a friend who lives in Livermore (living close in was not affordable) and commutes into the city [1]. Driving the bay area freeways during rush hour is out of the question, so he only drives as far as the nearest train station, takes the train most of the way there, and then gets into his second car and drives the rest of the way to work. Part of the reason for the two car solution was that there wasn't a train/bus solution that didn't involve him leaving the house at 0-dark-thirty and hoofing it for much of the distance.

    It works for him, I guess. Myself, I moved to an area with less traffic and more affordable housing.

    [1] To old time bay area residents, San Francisco is "The City". Never its full name unless you're talking to out-of-towners, and never ever "frisco".

  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:19PM (#55035625) Homepage

    I got a job at a local ISP. It took me two buses and a sky train to get to work. Left home at 6:45 and got to the place 34Km away at 9:20. This was in the Greater Vancouver area from Maple Ridge to Burnaby BC.

  • Causes: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:23PM (#55035657) Journal

    1 - Proposition 13. An anti-tax measure that may have been necessary at the time, but went way too far to the point where Bay Area cities are incentivized to approve more business developments but less housing because of the amount of revenue they bring in. The result is a massive jobs-housing imbalance as cities gain more jobs but not enough housing to keep up, resulting in long commutes from out of town.

    2 - A strong NIMBY lobby. Established residents are vocal in their opposition to more housing in "their" town. Councils feel pressured to resist new developments.

    3 - Induced demand. Caltrans has an unbelievably wasteful policy of widening highways in the hope that it'll alleviate traffic congestion despite a mountain of evidence that this does not work and that more highway lanes just causes more traffic as people move out to cheaper suburbs to get a bigger house for the same price and a (temporarily) reasonable commute time. By the time everyone has the same idea, highways are jammed again.

    4 - Anti-transit sentiment. Roads are less efficient than rails, but it's a lot easier to get funding for them.

    5 - Single-use-zoning. Putting daily needs out of walking distance of each other forces nearly everyone to drive throughout the day. The result is massive car ownership and demands for more facilities to accommodate private cars.

    6 - Fragmented local government. It's very hard to get region-wide transit developments done when each city is only focused on its own interests.

  • by SlaveToTheGrind ( 546262 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @01:53PM (#55035923)

    She chose to move 65 miles further away from San Francisco so she could live in a larger place and save $600 a month in rent (on an income of $81,000, keep in mind). FTFA:

    Ms. James used to live closer, in Alameda, Calif., about 15 miles across San Francisco Bay from her work. But three years ago, after a developer bought her building and evicted Ms. James and her neighbors, she moved to Stockton.

    Stockton has more for the money: Ms. James pays $1,000 a month in rent for her three-bedroom house, compared with $1,600 for the one-bedroom apartment she had in Alameda.

    There are plenty of options [apartments.com] a lot closer to San Francisco, for less than what she was paying before, and with more space than she had before. And looking at her old rate of $1600/month (which is still less less than 24% of her income) opens up the possibilities even more.

    So call it what it is: she made a deliberate lifestyle/money/time tradeoff. We all do that sort of thing all the time, and don't get dramatic write-ups in the Times for it.

Earth is a beta site.

Working...