Robert Gammon 
Member since Oct 31, 2007

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Editor and publisher of the East Bay Express. Senior editor and publisher of Oakland Magazine, Alameda Magazine, and The East Bay Monthly. Publisher of Bay… More »

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Re: “An Apology and a Pledge

Please read this updated message from Stephen Buel:

https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/a…

Posted by Robert Gammon on 07/14/2018 at 4:54 PM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

You're confusing percentage with percentage points. The Bay Area's use of mass transit (12%) is actually 140% greater than that of Los Angeles (5%) -- or 2.4 times greater -- not 7 percent greater. Going from 5 percent to 12 percent represents a 140 percent increase.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percentage_p…

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/06/2018 at 10:36 AM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

In this case, the facts show that Bay Area residents use mass transit at much higher rates than LA folks. Almost triple the amount per capita in fact.

Why is LA's use of mass transit so low? Its transit isn't very good. Most folks there drive work. According to this report, only 7 percent of LA commuters use mass transit:

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/…

That's car culture.

Bay Area residents drive a lot of miles, too. But the key word is miles. If a relatively smaller part of the population drives a huge number of miles, it can skew the per capita miles data. That's what's going on here, obviously. LA folks drive fewer miles to work, while Bay area residents that do drive, drive a ton of miles. That's how the Bay area can have both high rates of miles driven and high rates of mass transportation use.

See this report for more on transit use in the Bay Area:

http://www.vitalsigns.mtc.ca.gov/commute-m…

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/05/2018 at 9:09 PM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

Yes. The Bay area drives a lot. But it also uses a lot of mass transit:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-y…

In the above ranking, it rates second behind New York City. LA is 15th. As I said, LA is still car culture. The idea that you're arguing against this point is absurd.

Have you read any of the info I've posted on the lack of housing causing prices to go up?

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/05/2018 at 8:12 PM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

I read it. Of course home prices go up near transit. People want to live near transit. In the Bay Area, some of the most expensive neighborhoods (like Rockridge) are centered around transit.

But the author is blaming the price hikes on new housing when there's little to no evidence that new housing causes rents to up. Her argument is unsupported by the facts (although I do agree that Costa Hawkins should be overturned or substantially reformed).

The evidence is overwhelming that the lack of housing is what causes prices to increase -- NOT the creation of housing. Here are just a few things worth reading on the topic:

http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2015/finance…

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac…

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/…

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/05/2018 at 7:17 PM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

LA's problem is that it hasn't built enough transit-oriented housing -- and that its transit system is shitty. LA has long been in love with car culture.

It needs to change to mass transit in a big way. Here in the Bay Area, plenty of well-off people take BART or Transbay buses. BART, in fact, is being loved to death and needs to expand.

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/05/2018 at 7:02 PM

Re: “You're Not a Progressive If You're Also a NIMBY

Mr. Gilbert,

If the choice is between having prices stabilize (or go down a bit) and having plenty of room for newcomers to find homes versus having prices continue to skyrocket and having no room for kids who grew up her and for newcomers, then I'll choose the former any day.

Posted by Robert Gammon on 03/05/2018 at 6:58 PM

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