Sunday Commentary: Dunning Starts to Weigh in on Aggie Research Campus

Share:

It is interesting—and frankly kind of nice—to see that Bob Dunning on Friday and Sunday this week has waded into the issue of Aggie Research Campus.  This coming week’s council meeting deals almost exclusively with COVID-19 related issues, but there are going to be other issues that get taken up in the next several months and this is probably one of them.

Mr. Dunning addresses a few issues that are likely to come up.

One he notes: “Every time I see the words ‘Aggie Research Campus’ I assume it has something to do with UC Davis.”

As someone who has wanted to see UC Davis partner with the city on a research park, and believes that the university has missed the ball by not pushing for the World Food Center at ARC, I can understand the confusion.

But make no mistake, while there is no official tie between the research park and the campus, there will be a strong tie in fact.

As we have been noting for years now, this is all about technology transfer—taking research that happens on the UC Davis campus and spinning it off into new technology and startups and larger companies that can develop and put products on the market.

UC Davis is a huge magnetic pull for potential companies to move to Davis, hire employees, and create funding streams for the city.  But right now the efforts at doing that are hamstrung by lack of space for local companies to move into and a long and uncertain planning process.

To understand how important a connection UC Davis has, let’s look at the announcement from about eight years ago, when Mori Seiki broke ground with their 195,000 square-foot manufacturing plant in Davis.

Davis had to beat out an Illinois site near Chicago to land its biggest coup to date.

Mark Mohr, the president of DMG Mori at the time, talked about the advantages that Davis had.

One is “a lot of fresh graduates” from UC Davis. Right now there are a huge number of STEM field graduates from UC Davis and some of those graduates will become interns, and later employees, at the new manufacturing plant.  But right now, UC Davis graduates represent among the lowest retention rates in the country.

The announcement from several years ago noted another huge advantage: Mori Seiki was a big supporter of a UCD lab in the department of mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

In other words, bringing in companies will help the university, help students at the university—and the companies are helped by the supply of high quality workers.

Enrique Lavernia, Dean of the College of Engineering at UCD, described the move: “It’s a pathway to create what I call a regional economic ecosystem…  The university provides innovation, the students provide intellectual horsepower, industry provides jobs … it’s a self-supporting success.”

So I think the name is appropriate, given that UC Davis is going to be the regional draw for companies and the producer of the innovation and the students.

Of course, in order for it to be approved, the voters must be sold on the project.

As Bob Dunning notes: “One question that every proposed development faces is traffic.”

He notes that Matt Keasling, the attorney for the project, acknowledged at the Planning Commission, “Traffic is obviously going to be the real issue we have to look at.”

One of the answers that the developers have is “having all that housing on site will allow those who are employed at the Aggie Research Campus to live where they work, which should substantially cut down on traffic impacts.”

As Mr. Dunning points out: “It’s unknown, though, whether folks will actually wish to live where they work or if they’ll want to get away from the job site when the five o’clock whistle blows.”

He notes, “I don’t wish to have a pillow and a cot inside the world headquarters of The Davis Enterprise, but maybe some of my colleagues would.”  (Of course Mr. Dunning also primarily works from home, not the office, which brings up an interesting point…)

The advent of motor vehicles and mass transportation was a revolution that allowed people to escape the noisy and crowded cities and live in the suburbs and commute to work.

But while that freed up people to move out of crowded cities, it also produced things like long commute times.  It created larger VMT (vehicle miles traveled) and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.

Living closer to work frees up time that can be spent doing other things, which factors into concerns for live-work balance.  This is definitely a topic that should be engaged far more as a community.

But basically, from a smart development standpoint, putting housing with jobs is better for the environment.  And from a live-work balance, putting housing with jobs is better for balance in one’s life because, instead of a full day of work and an hour or two extra of commuting, they can essentially be home once work ends.

That is certainly not going to fix all of the traffic concerns—the EIR, which we will discuss in more detail at a later point, lays out what the developer will need to do to mitigate traffic impacts; it will be costly and elaborate, but ultimately workable.

Finally, Bob Dunning cites a statement from Planning Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Essex.

She “was concerned about the cost of housing at the campus and the wages that employees will be earning.”

She said, “Some employees will be folks cleaning rooms in the hotel and serving food and some will be janitorial staff and some will be highly skilled scientists. I would like to see an affordable housing plan that actually ties the wages paid to the affordable housing plan so there is a true connect there.”

That leads Bob Dunning to ask: “[I]s the new standard in Davis going to be that every new business coming to town will have to guarantee that all its workers, top to bottom, will be able to afford their own homes in our city? Seriously?”

I would not recommend the word “guarantee” but I think that we need to start taking the issue of jobs-housing balance more seriously than we have.  One of the big reasons we have so much commuting is that we have a large number of people who can afford to live in Davis, but their jobs are outside of town.  They naturally drive out of town in the morning and come home in the evening.

On the other hand, we have a large number of people, especially the non-faculty people at the university who work in Davis but cannot afford to live here, who drive from their homes outside of town and drive into town.

If we had housing that those people could afford, it would alleviate a lot of traffic congestion.  If we had jobs for more people who live in town and could afford to continue to live in town, that would do the same.

I think that is what Ms. Essex is talking about—providing housing for people who are on the lower end, not necessarily guaranteeing it.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$USD
Sign up for

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

53 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: Dunning Starts to Weigh in on Aggie Research Campus”

  1. Keith Olsen

    what the developer will need to do to mitigate traffic impacts – it will be costly and elaborate, but ultimately workable.

    How can you make that assumption and come to that conclusion?

    Take it from someone where a normally 3-5 minute trip from Wildhorse to get a Guadalajara burrito would often turn into 20-25 minutes and that’s with no ARC.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “How can you make that assumption and come to that conclusion?”

      Saying it’s workable doesn’t mean it will end up working

        1. David Greenwald

          I agree words do matter, but the definition of workable means “capable of producing the desired effect or result.”  There is no guarantee however that it will.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            My choice of words only meant that it was a workable plan, it did not mean it would work.

    2. Alan Pryor

      As I posted in David’s previous article on the traffic report on ARC (https://www.davisvanguard.org/2020/03/traffic-analysis-for-aggie-research-campus-is-out/) which suggests future mitigations could make the whole ARC traffic situation workable

      “This article is misleading in that what David is calling  “mitigation measures” are what Fehr and Peers actually calls “potential operational enhancements“. They are actually not mitigation measures and appear to be totally distinct from the list of those officially identified mitigations in the SEIR. There appears to be no tie-in between actual recommend mitigation measures for the project and these “potential operational enhancements”.

      It appears that Fehr and Peers identified this list of “potential operational enhancements” in order to present a future scenario that looks more rosy. The “potential operational enhancements” consist of a wishlist of massive roadway construction projects with an unknown price tag and feasibility.  And even the study recognizes that increasing capacity in this way would have deleterious effects on local traffic and bicycle-pedestrian safety . From p. 26:

      Note that while the improvements listed above provide benefits to peak hour roadway operations for vehicles, they could diminish the bicycle and pedestrian environment by increasing crossing distances and bicycle and pedestrian exposure times at intersections.  Moreover, the additional roadway capacity resulting from these improvements could induce additional vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on study area roadways. Existing evidence indicates that Covell Boulevard, Mace Boulevard, and connecting roadways such as Second Street and Chiles Road are utilized as regional cut-through routes when I-80 experiences significant speed reductions and delays during p.m. peak periods. Therefore, improving operations and reducing delays along these local roadways could increase the attractiveness of these routes as alternatives to I-80 and induce additional regional cut-through activity on local roadways. Parallel local routes require longer trip distances than remaining on I-80, therefore, regional travel demand use of local routes would yield more VMT than use of I-80.

  2. Don Shor

    “is the new standard in Davis going to be that every new business coming to town will have to guarantee that all its workers, top to bottom, will be able to afford their own homes in our city?

    No, it is the city’s job to entitle enough land and provide zoning densities and affordability mandates to make it possible for private developers to provide housing for a reasonable percentage of the work force, across a range of incomes.

     

    1. Alan Pryor

      …it is the city’s job to entitle enough land and provide zoning densities and affordability mandates to make it possible for private developers to provide housing for a reasonable percentage of the work force, across a range of incomes.

      Unfortunately, if the City accepts the ARC proposal as-is, there is no guarantee that housing will be provided for “a reasonable percentage of workers, across a range of incomes” because Ramos has refused to provide details of the types of housing that he will provide because he insists it will be determined in the future by what the builders want to build. He also refuses to provide a specific affordable housing plan except to say he does not want affordable housing on-site and only wants to be held to the current very-low interim affordable housing requirements in Davis instead of what may be mandated in the future. Essentially, Ramos is saying “entitle the land and we’ll work out the details later“. Well, we all know that strategy has not worked out well in the past for Cities.

       

      1. Don Shor

        My personal opinion is that trying to provide a significant amount of housing in the middle of a business park is a mistake, for various reasons.

          1. Don Shor

            I think more and more business parks are making a mistake in doing so. And it doesn’t usually address the demographic groups that most need housing.
            Housing belongs in neighborhoods. Business parks belong in commercial districts. Basically I think trying to merge those things is not advisable except in limited doses.

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            The trend is moving against housing in neighborhoods in part because I think that led to long commutes and high housing costs.

          3. Don Shor

            The trend is moving against housing in neighborhoods

            Not in consumer preference. Just in the imaginations of urban planners.

          4. David Greenwald Post author

            Do millennials want to move into SFH with yards? My understanding is no.

        1. Don Shor

          Millennials are not that different from other home buyers. They want a house with a yard. They will settle for a smaller yard if they have to. It is true that more of them are buying townhouses than other generations. But the common notion that they want to live in townhouses and other higher-density developments is not demonstrated in the buying data.

          https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2020-generational-trends-report-03-05-2020.pdf

           

        2. Alan Miller

          The trend is moving against housing in neighborhoods . . .

          First, the two people with indentation privilege are exercising it.  Second, what the heck does the above statement even mean?  Reread it . . . Third, there are no trends, all trends just got whacked.  Do we even have a housing shortage anymore?  I don’t think we’ll know until September.

          1. Don Shor

            The trend is moving against housing in neighborhoods . . .
            First, the two people with indentation privilege are exercising it. Second, what the heck does the above statement even mean?

            I just read it as “The trend is moving against single-family housing…
            I suspect that is widely believed. I believe the belief is provably false. Hence the data I provided.

        3. Richard McCann

          Don, two points:

          – I disagree with you on mixing commercial and housing in a business park. When you look at vibrant neighborhoods with much more community interaction, they have a mix of residential and commercial. We’ve made a mistake here in Davis with exclusionary zoning. A mixed use business park is the best opportunity to restart the community, at least in a microcosm. (David Brooks’ article in the Atlantic leads to the conclusion that suburban sprawl has disconnected us from a much more robust family structure: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-nuclear-family-was-a-mistake/605536/)

          – The question isn’t whether Millenials are buying SFHs, but whether they are BUYING homes at the same rate as their elders, and when they buy homes, are they the same type/size of homes? This article says younger buyers are buying smaller homes: https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-vs-baby-boomers-big-houses-real-estate-market-problems-2019-3 And Millenials are buying at a slower rate: https://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-own-less-real-estate-than-boomers-statistic-2020-1

      2. David Greenwald Post author

        The city shouldn’t accept any proposal without making it stronger, imo. It’s akin to accepting the dealer’s offer for a car, you shouldn’t do that.

      3. Matt Williams

        Don Shor said … My personal opinion is that trying to provide a significant amount of housing in the middle of a business park is a mistake, for various reasons.

        While I respect your right to have your own personal opinion, I believer that opinion is misguided for a number of reasons.

        (1) Your opinion appears to reject the concept of live-work.  The nature of the high-technology, start-up, spin-off companies that are the described target market for ARC are worker life styles of very long, intense, heads-down hours worked, few if-any children, few if-any spouses.  Essentially an extension of the lives these advanced-degree, academic researchers have lived in their university laboratories.  Their work is their life.  Being able to roll out of bed and walk to their place of employment in the morning, and leave their laboratory after an intense day and evening doing research able to walk to their residence will increase their work efficiency.

        (2) If no housing is provided on the site, where do you expect them to live?

        (3) The CEOs of the various target companies (both in the high-technology, start-up, spin-off segment and the “drawn to the UCD technology magnet” segment) are going to want to know where their advanced-degree, academic researchers are going to live.  They are just as committed to the productivity/efficiency of live-work as their employees are.

        (4) City Council Resolution 17-125 to certify the MRIC FEIR on September 19, 2017, included this language, “the Mixed Use Alternative is only environmentally superior assuming a legally enforceable mechanism regarding employee occupancy of housing; specifically that at least one employee occupies 60 percent of the 850 on-site units.”  Your opinion appears to be indicate that the Council was misguided in that decision, which was recommended by and strongly supported by the Planning Commission.

        1. Don Shor

          (2) If no housing is provided on the site, where do you expect them to live?

          … it is the city’s job to entitle enough land and provide zoning densities and affordability mandates to make it possible for private developers to provide housing for a reasonable percentage of the work force, across a range of incomes.

        2. Matt Williams

          Don Shor said … … it is the city’s job to entitle enough land and provide zoning densities and affordability mandates to make it possible for private developers to provide housing for a reasonable percentage of the work force, across a range of incomes.

          That is an admirable dream Don, but how well does that dream align with reality here in Davis (both now, and over the past two decades).

          So, I repeat my question, If no housing is provided on the site, where do you expect the employees to live?

          History appears to be telling us that if dedicated housing is not provided onsite, the majority of the workers will live in communities other than Davis, and commute to their jobs at ARC.

        3. Ron Oertel

          The EIR itself notes that housing demand would exceed what would be provided on-site.

          New workers would live in surrounding cities, as they’re already doing (and commuting to UCD and DJUSD).

          Regardless, ARC would increase the drumbeat for exactly what Don is advocating – another peripheral housing development.  Which would “consume” the claimed “fiscal profit” from the commercial component of ARC – beyond that which would be consumed by ARC housing, itself.

          Which would then lead to calls for more commercial development, followed by more residential development, and so on. A perennial (and artificially-created) continuous “shortage”, of one type of development or another.

          The basic “problem” is that Davis already has an excess number of jobs, through its adjacent UC.

          But truth be told, I suspect that the (almost) 6,000 parking spaces (in-and-of-itself) will doom the ARC proposal. It’s certainly difficult for proponents to lay claim to concerns regarding greenhouse gasses, while simultaneously shilling for this proposal. Take some real “political skill”, to pull that off successfully.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “The EIR itself notes that housing demand would exceed what would be provided on-site.”

            We’ve had this discussion before. I asked you if you would support more housing, you said no. You would strangely considering your concerns at least in the past, you indicated that you would support the project without housing.

        4. Ron Oertel

          I asked you if you would support more housing, you said no.

          I support leaving the land and zoning as-is.

          You would strangely considering your concerns at least in the past, you indicated that you would support the project without housing.

          I don’t think I ever said that.  In the past, I did say that I wouldn’t actively fight a commercial development.

          I’ve since come to a different conclusion (e.g., based upon existing commuting patterns, influence of development activists, etc.). Part of which I learned about, on here since that time.

          I also no longer believe that there’s a viable interest in pursuing the original goal.

        5. Alan Miller

          Being able to roll out of bed and walk to their place of employment in the morning,

          Welcome to my today . . . and many of us . . . those who even are employed.

          (2) If no housing is provided on the site, where do you expect them to live?

          Offsite

          But seriously, WM, generally agree with your comments.

  3. Ron Oertel

    Well, I see that David couldn’t resist waiting until the EIR comment period is over until he starts campaigning again, as he previously suggested that he would do.  (Not sure why he initiated that self-imposed moratorium, regardless.)

    It’s no surprise that David would appreciate Dunning’s comments.  (Despite David’s previous “generational warfare” references, David’s type of views regarding development actually belong to an older generation.) Can’t help but think of the Chamber of Commerce.

    April 27th (5:00 p.m., I think) is the last day to comment on the EIR.

    1. David Greenwald

      A few things… I disagree with most of what you say here.

      First, I appreciated him raising the issue, not necessarily his views.

      In fact, I strongly disagree that we have similar views on development.  I don’t think we do at all and indeed the entire piece here was largely in disagreement with him comments.

      Second, I don’t know where you get the older generation comment, but I noted the live-work concept and life-work balance, both of which are younger generational views.

      Third, my biggest concern about Davis is that young people and young families need jobs and housing and we are not providing them.

      We are three weeks away now from comments being due – seems like time to start having more discussions.  I never put an exact time line on it, was waiting to see what evolved.  We are in uncharted ground.  You don’t seem to have a lot of appreciation for the unprecedented nature of this leading to a variety of considerations about how to proceed.

  4. Ron Oertel

    By the way, Colin posted some interesting comparisons between MRIC and ARC during the scoping period.  He also included the following reference from “Growing Pains: Thirty Years in the History of Davis” (regarding Mace Ranch):

    In the spring of 1986, Davis debated whether to approve Davis Technology Center, the 94-acre project located within the city’s sphere of influence. Ramos needed the city to approve an annexation request and to change the site’s designation on the Davis General Plan land-use map from agricultural reserve to industrial. “The project sponsors propose to construct over a period of years a series of quality facilities for the housing of appropriate technology firms. The intent is to provide a campus-like atmosphere, with distinctive architectural style and innovative site planning,” developers explained in a project description. [2] They emphasized the project could lure high-technology firms wanting to be near UCD and would provide badly needed jobs for local residents with technical expertise. Ramos estimated the 94-acre project would create about 3,000 permanent jobs and add about $1 million to city coffers annually through property, sales and other taxes. In the project description, Ramos and his partners noted that the city was reviewing only the 94acre project, not the entire master plan. “Since the project, as presently envisioned, involves no residential construction, there is no conflict with the city’s goal of 50,000 residents within the Davis urban area by the year 2000. Provision of residential uses on the north end of the project may be desired by some as a buffer to the Davis Manor subdivision,” they said referring to the existing residential neighborhood located north of the 94-acre site. “However, the project sponsors do not believe this inclusion of residential zoning is desirable or necessary at this time.” [3] In a March 1986 letter to Davis Planning Director Tom Lumbrazo, Michael A. Hackard, an attorney for the developers, noted that only the 94-acre project was before the city for consideration. “Because land adjacent to the project site is also owned by the project applicants, the planning department required the possible future uses to be assessed in the environmental impact report,” he wrote. “It should be emphasized, however, that there are no proposals now being considered by the city for anything other than the 94 acres campus research park site.”

    [4] Such arguments, though, weren’t convincing to some Davis residents, who couldn’t get the other 434 acres of their minds.

    http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/CityCouncil/Documents/PDF/CDD/Aggie%20Research%20Campus/20200427%20SEIR%20NOA/Appendix%20A%20-%20Public%20Comments.pdf

    Further reading can be found in the link above.

    1. David Greenwald

      Huge mistake.  90 acres wouldn’t have been enough, but it would have been a start and we would have had 30 years in the bag to have built it out by now.

      1. Ron Oertel

        In skimming through the reference above, I’m not sure exactly how many acres were ultimately dedicated to commercial, and how many to residential.

        I’d encourage everyone to read the history, themselves (via the link above).

        But – even back then, it appears that the developer’s primary goal was to build housing.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          “But – even back then, it appears that the developer’s primary goal was to build housing.”

          Back then it was a housing project. Today, this is not a housing project, it’s a commercial housing project with ancillary housing to support it.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Again, I’d encourage everyone to read the actual history (in the link above), regarding the “promise” of a research park more than 30 years ago.

          The residential “support” that you’re referring to is financial, to subsidize the commercial component (which doesn’t have enough market demand, on its own).  Similar to what occurred more than 30 years ago (by the same developer family, no less).

          Aren’t you kind of embarrassed, to shill on behalf of this developer?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Why do you think it’s so important for somone to read about something from 30 years ago that did not come to pass?

        3. Ron Oertel

          For the most part, it speaks to market demand for commercial development.

          Regarding the shenagins (by the same developer family), they speak for themselves.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I don’t think it does. That was before even the dot.com boom. That was before the high tech revolution. The world has changed – a lot. UC Davis has changed – a lot. The way commercial demand works is a bit more tricky however than housing. You have to actually go out and recruit companies to come here. We’ve never really done that. We have had some good success in the last year, we would have a lot more if we had shovel ready land that tenants could move into.

        4. Ron Oertel

          It took decades for Second street to be largely built-out.  Even then, a portion of the Mace Ranch commercial/industrial area has been converted to residential (e.g., Del Rio, Families First, etc.).

          UC Davis is not involved with this proposal, 4-5 miles away from campus (through town). And even if it was, they don’t pay property tax.

          Commercial demand is regional, in nature.  Davis cannot compete on price. There is a plethora of space available in the region.

          It seems that there’s one excuse-after-another, regarding the reason that commercial cannot stand on its own.

          Davis has been down this path before, some 30 years ago (by the same developer family).

  5. Alan Pryor

    UC Davis is a huge magnetic pull for potential companies to move to Davis, hire employees, and create funding streams for the city

    If R&D is the primary purpose for a company to set up shop at ARC, ARC would not be generating any sales tax for the City. The only ongoing revenue to the City would be the 15% +/- the City would receive as its share of property taxes levied.  If so, the project will probably be a money loser for the City just as most residential subdivisions are money losers for the City.

    Perhaps you should wait for the Finance and Budget Commission to quantitatively weigh in with their financial analysis before you make generalized and unsubstantiated comments and beating the drum about this being good for the City’s coffers in your efforts to support the project.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Except that there is always point of sales, there is retail to support the project, and there is more. Remember property tax is enhanced by heavy duty equipment.

  6. Ron Glick

    “Do millennials want to move into SFH with yards? My understanding is no.”

    This statement suggests that they all want the same thing. As they form families and start having children more and more millennials are leaving urban centers and choosing suburban single family homes. Spring Lake is a good example of this phenomenon.

    Also, having housing in proximity to jobs is good for reducing commute distances. Look at what Vacaville did building neighborhoods close to Genentech and Kaiser where 505 meets 80. Smart planning indeed.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Look at what Vacaville did building neighborhoods close to Genentech and Kaiser where 505 meets 80. Smart planning indeed.

      What an eyesore, by the way.  Now, sprawl and traffic is (also) heading up Highway 505.

      Also, note that those are separate, peripheral developments, and are not part of Genentech or Kaiser property.

      Developers always take advantage of “free” freeway access.  (Hey – I just realized where the “free” came from, in the word “freeway”.)

    2. Ron Glick

      Of course the fact patterns between Vacaville and Davis are different . However, the idea of building housing close to where jobs are, even though in a free society not all the residents will work close by, should be preferable to building houses where no jobs are, insuring long commutes.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Ron G:  You’re the one who held up the sprawl alongside Highway 505 as an ideal model (including the sound walls alongside the freeway, I assume).  Who knows where those people actually work.

        Alan M.  Do we even have a housing shortage anymore?  

        Here’s a “secret”.  There wasn’t one in the first place, except for those created by institutions (such as universities and industries) pursuing growth for their own purposes. And, promoted by development interests.

        As usual though – wages haven’t kept up, with wealth increasingly concentrated at the top – including development interests.

        As with the previous economic calamity, the “shortage” will now magically disappear.

        But don’t tell David that, or he’ll lose about half of his articles.

        1. Alan Miller

          There wasn’t one in the first place, except for those created by institutions

          Just because something is created doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

  7. Alan Miller

    But make no mistake . . .

    . . . it’s a marketing ploy to make you think it’s tied to the U, and to distance itself from the old name (the one with the glider and windmills).

  8. Alan Miller

    Living closer to work frees up time that can be spent doing other things, which factors into concerns for live-work balance.

    Those who argue the workers will live there, or that the place will be full of commuters and everyone will get away – both sides are lying.  There are predictable percentages of the number of people who will commute and that will be modeled.  It’s a percentage, not one or the other.  If there are some sort of incentives to live and work there, that could alter the percentage.  But there is no way to restrict people unless you make it a ‘company town’ model, and it certainly isn’t that.

    Also, there are companies who are looking at many millions in losses right now, who are seeing the telecommuting is feasible, and considering wholesale abandonment of large office buildings to save company cash.  The commercial real estate market may collapse and never recover, leaving the ARC proposal to rot on Mt. Ararat.

    This is definitely a topic that should be engaged far more as a community.

    This is certainly a topic, but unless you want to do a ‘soda ban’ like social change program for traffic, and good luck with that, the percentages aren’t going to change much.  As well, the mass transportation industry is facing a potential crisis with ‘germ phobia’ (is it phobia is it’s real and can kill you?) about enclosed spaces and touching surfaces regarding buses, trolleys and trains.  With a lag between when the social distancing is lifted and when a vaccine is mass available, the CV will stil be out there in pockets, and older people especially will be concerned about public spaces – transit may not recover for years – and with telecommuting – maybe never.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Also, there are companies who are looking at many millions in losses right now, who are seeing the telecommuting is feasible, and considering wholesale abandonment of large office buildings to save company cash.

      That’s what I suspect, as well.  This crisis will finally force companies (and government agencies) to support this more fully.

      As an added benefit, there won’t be so many people driving around, for no reason.

      1. Alan Miller

        As an added benefit, there won’t be so many people driving around

        Except that, for those who won’t be telecommuting, the ‘real phobia’ of germs is causing those who did take public transit to drive, and this may last through vaccination.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for