SF Bay Area paradox: 21st century ICT leader chokes on 20th century rush hour traffic

“Congestion is having a dramatic impact on the quality of life in the Bay Area,” said Jim Wunderman, CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business lobbying group active in transportation issues. According to the study, drivers in the San Francisco area, which includes the inner East Bay, the Peninsula and the South Bay, wasted 83 hours sitting or creeping along in traffic in 2016. Last year’s survey, which used a different methodology, ranked San Francisco second in the nation, tied with Washington, but behind Los Angeles. Bay Area drivers in 2015 wasted 75 hours in traffic. Congestion causes San Francisco-area drivers $1,996 a year per person in wasted time, Inrix concluded, compared with a national average of $1,400. […] Bob Pishue, Inrix’s senior economist and study co-author, said San Francisco’s congestion during the morning and evening commutes is the worst in the nation, particularly on city streets. In the Bay Area, Wunderman said, the long, slow commutes combined with the rising cost of housing are starting to drive away some job seekers and could have the same effect on employers. “I hear anecdotally from companies all the time about problems with people getting to their jobs,” Wunderman said.

Source: SF traffic ranks as 4th worst in world

This puzzling paradox continues. The San Francisco Bay Area and nearby Silicon Valley are home to many of the world’s information and communications technology (ICT) leaders. But the region continues to function as if it were 1965 when everyone commuted to the office because there was no Internet yet and all the tools knowledge workers needed to do their jobs were still at the office. And that none of the innovations its companies have created exist, tools that have decentralized knowledge work and the centralized, commute-in office, effectively obsoleting daily commute trips that are choking its streets and highways.

Brown: Californians need ‘lighter, more elegant’ lifestyle | Local News – KCRA Home

Brown said in order to deal with climate change, Californians will have to make changes in the way they live.”We’re going to be able to be create a lighter, more elegant lifestyle over time through technological innovation,” said Brown.”We do need to change our habits, live closer to where we work, reduce the power of our automobiles, or get them into an emission free kind of technology,” he said

Source: Brown: Californians need ‘lighter, more elegant’ lifestyle | Local News – KCRA Home

As governor of the state that innovated much of the world’s information and communications technology (ICT) that decentralizes knowledge work and obsoletes daily commuting to accomplish it, Brown’s view that Californians should “live closer to where we work” reflects outdated Industrial Age thinking.

Moreover, it ignores housing market economics that push affordable housing to the far edges of metro regions, necessitating the very commuting and its associated carbon emissions that Brown decries, as noted by The (San Francisco) Bay Area Council:

The housing market has reached a crisis point. Our region’s workforce is commuting longer times, from farther distances, and paying a greater share of household income for housing, reducing quality of life and forcing businesses and families to relocate.

Instead, Brown should encourage organizations to better utilize ICT to reduce daily commute trips and decentralize knowledge work out to the communities where people live so they can work at home or in shared co-working centers.