Monday, May 13, 2013

Dense development and expensive trains for the Bay Area

Randal O'Toole on the One Bay Area, Smart Growth, Dense Development plan that will bring over-priced trains and highrise development to the Bay Area. Planners, developers, and rail nostalgists will be pleased:
...A careful analysis of data in the environmental impact report reveals that densification and transit improvements together are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by less than 1 percent. All the other emission reductions that the plan takes credit for come from other programs, mostly programs done by other agencies. While the plan does not have any cost data, it is likely that those other programs cost far less than densification and rail improvements.
Even the less-than-1 percent reduction in emissions depends on planners’ optimistic projections that more rail transit will boost per capita transit ridership by 40 to 60 percent; in fact, despite all the rail transit built in the region in the last 30 years, per capita transit ridership has declined by 35 percent and per capita transit passenger miles has declined by 5 percent since 1982.
On top of that, far from improving housing affordability, the plan admits that densification will actually make housing less affordable. The plan calls for mitigating this by subsidizing housing for a relative handful of low-income people, but those subsidies will probably just make housing even less affordable for everyone else...
Read the rest of the story here.

Later: O'Toole's complete comments on the One Bay Area Plan.
Rob's comment:
Of course the One Bay Area Plan involves bicycles: here and here.
Children must be programmed to ride bikes: "We are always seeking new ideas to test, or input on current local programs. If you have an innovative idea on ways to encourage youth and their families to use alternative transportation..."

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