Will Sonoma Follow East Portland's Case Study in Failure?

Low-rise high density housing in East Portland
Low-rise high density housing in East Portland
Given Sonoma's plan to welcome 24,010 housing units, and a likely 65,000+ new residents over the next 25 years via volunteering to be "priority development areas" Sonoma county residents might be interested in how this played out in East Portland - utter failure that blighted the area and reduce the quality of life for everyone...


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Marty Hirsch January 04, 2014 at 01:07 AM
Kevin is thinking the way policy makers need to think. Not about their next election. About how to transition to a sustainable economy. Kudos.
Richard Hall January 04, 2014 at 10:34 AM
@Kevin & Marty: Spot on. Housing growth without job growth has bad consequences. This thinking approach is what's genuinely sustainable and what I call "planning for reality". Instead what Sonoma County faces is a plan to build it's way to solving its pensions crisis, and that building will somehow, magically create a sustained boom. Also the same delusions that the new residents will take the new SMART train prevail - when the reality in suburban locations is that almost all will drive cars. I was beginning (and still remain) concerned that residents of Sonoma County are unaware of what the politicians have lined up for them - massive, unchecked development based on the false premise of transit oriented development which works great in a big city and it's outskirts (like Oakland) but the same rules don't apply to suburban and rural locations, as I discuss here: http://tinyurl.com/ll2fg54
Stephen Nestel January 04, 2014 at 02:39 PM
A second article on East Portland is available at http://www.savemarinwood.org/2014/01/failed-smart-growth-promises-in.html Be certain to watch the videos and read the comments. These residents are ten years into the Smart Growth plans that we are about to embark upon. It is a stern warning for us all.
Kevin Moore January 05, 2014 at 10:46 AM
I grew up in Oakland when BART was being added, with the tracks next to my school. (We listened to pile drivers for a year.) At the same time BART was added, the number of lanes on Highway 24 were doubled. They knew a train alone would not fix the commute to SF. The Novato to Petaluma Narrows needs improving.
Richard Hall January 05, 2014 at 10:57 AM
The train will hardly make a dent. 101 carries 330,000 people a day (Caltrains shows 197,000 vehicles, x 1.67 average occupants). The train, at best could carry a tiny fraction - just 18 trips with 300 people if it was absolutely full all of the time. That's 5,400. Compare 5,400 maximum train users to 330,000 current 101 users and you get perspective quickly! The train will make a tiny dent.


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