Hate Your Long-Distance Commute? Then Move

A recent L.A. Times series suggests that we should build more Southern California freeways for long-distance commuters, and prevent additional job development in employment-heavy areas. Bill Fulton suggests a different approach.

What's needed, says Fulton, is more housing in job-rich areas, such as Santa Monica and Los Angeles' Westside. There is no reason to base public policy on someone's need to travel 72 miles from her San Bernardino County home to her job in Santa Monica.

"This is the problem with journalism about growth that focuses on traffic and on the sexiest traffic story, which is the nightmarish long commute. Yes, traffic in L.A. is horrible. But most people in L.A. have short commutes. In terms of distance, the average commute in L.A. is actually getting shorter. And the problem on the Westside isn't only too many jobs, but also not enough housing – a problem that doesn't get solved" by approving more highways and stopping office construction.

Full Story: Why The 2-Hour Commute Is A Public Policy Success



Michael Lewyn's picture

illustrates media bias

This story illustrates one problem about the print media: ignorance leading to bias.

Most reporters really aren't that familiar with growth issues, so as a result they are rarely aware of more than one side of an argument about urban growth or transportation. This leads to ridiculously one-sided stories: sometimes one-sided in the pro-environmentalist, pro-smart growth direction, but more often (I think) one-sided in the pro-highway lobby direction.

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.