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.