Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Millennials, transportation, and housing

New Geography

Turns out that the millennial generation is a lot like previous generations, even preferring to live in the suburbs like their parents:

When asked---in a 2010 survey by Frank Magid and Associates---where would be their “ideal place to live,” more millennials identified suburbs than previous generations, including boomers. Another survey, published last year by the National Association of Homebuilders, found that 75 percent of millennials favor settling in a single-family house, 90 percent preferring the suburbs or even a more rural area but only 10 percent the urban core.

Bad news too about millennials for the anti-car movement, since they're buying a lot of cars these days and driving a lot. The American people overall are driving more than ever and car sales are way up as the Great Recession winds down.

Even Citylab questions the recent hype about an increase in people using mass transit.

A reader's comment on a recent story on commuting in the Bay Area in the San Jose Mercury News explains the graph above :

Yes, I could take mass transit if I had to. But I really prefer my comfortable 30 minute drive over the hour and 35 minutes it would take me to walk to the bus stop, take the bus to light rail, ride the light rail at walking speed through downtown, catch the other light rail train to head west, then wait for a shuttle bus for the final ride to work. And that's IF I'm lucky and make all my connections on schedule.

But what about bikes? The graph above also shows how insignificant that transportation "mode" really is.

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At 9:00 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

And it's unfortunately all about driving up the time to drive a car versus driving down the time to take public transit. Because making driving inconvenient better aligns with making bicycling more convenient.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, we've known for a long time that implementing the Bicycle Plan on city streets will delay not only those devilish motor vehicles but also a number Muni lines, which is what the EIR on the plan found.

The city even admitted in one of its briefs that cyclists would be the main beneficiaries of the Bicycle Plan. In reality, they will be the only transportation "mode" to benefit.

That's clear in both the Masonic Avenue bike project and the Polk Street bike project. The city has adopted the Bicycle Coalition's approach: if cycling is to increase, then everyone who drives in the city must be punished with more congestion and more expensive traffic tickets and parking meters.

That's what makes the missing bicycle count report important: If the latest count of cyclists was disappointing, riding bikes in SF has peaked, much like it has in Portland, which makes it harder to justify those projects.

What if after city streets are radically redesigned on behalf of cyclists---making traffic a lot worse for everyone else, including Muni---and cycling is still stuck at less than 4% of commuters, much like Portland is stuck at 6%?


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