Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Thoughts On Urban Growth Driving On Interstate 880

I drove myself and my parents to a family gathering on Interstate 880 in the Northern California's Bay Area the afternoon of Sat Feb 13. My thoughts were the area continues to grow exponentially. It's a matter of time the Bay Area becomes Los Angeles.

Sat Feb 13-Mon Feb 15 is a three day weekend. Valentine's Day is on Sun. President's Day is on Mon. There were too many cars on the Interstate 880 freeway as if a weekday commute. Yesterday's drive might be an anomaly. I always expect freeways on the weekends more open except on known freeway junctions. It's a matter of time weekend commutes resemble weekday commutes with many cars. It can be worse when metering lights are turned on Sat and Sun.

Interstate 880 road condition is poor. There are potholes, rough spots, and groves. Part of my driving concentration was avoiding these poor road hazards. The government must find more money to maintain and to upgrade the freeways. More cars are driving on the freeways. More care is required. People who complain about poor roads be prepared to open your wallets. Taxes must be raised to pay for the citizen's roads.

I saw new home projects. These are high density three story single family homes in compact neighborhoods. I also see new apartment projects. More people are living in the area. There are more people, there are more cars, thereby more use of the freeways. The population is increasing. The population growth is exponential looking from the past long-term.

I also saw new commercial buildings and I also saw renovated commercial buildings. These commercial buildings are office, industrial, and retail. There are more jobs because new companies start business and existing companies expand. Jobs attract people to live in an urban area. There are more cars on the roads to commute to and from work.

People are living longer. The medical community knows more about the human being. Modern medicine improves our health. There is more information to take care of ourselves. Technology makes our daily lives easier.

I asked myself, "Is the current infrastructure able to handle both a population growth and people living longer?" I hope for many days of rain. We're in a drought. We need water. The area needs to build more water storages. The new homes and new commercial buildings need electricity. I hope the sewage lines functions well during normal days and during catastrophes. The sanitation system must find ways to handle more garbage. The demand for telecommunications grows because everyone is connected on the internet.

The area continues to grow we must be proactive protecting the environment. I'm glad everyone is more aware of the environment today compared to 30 years ago. I'm glad technology, for better or for worse, has helped reducing greenhouse emissions. Minimize pollution is more important when the Bay Area becomes Los Angeles.

More road maintenance is required because more cars drive the roads. More homes and apartments are built because there are more jobs. Companies are creating jobs need commercial space to run their businesses. The infrastructure must expand to handle to growing population and living longer population. People must be proactive doing their part to protect the environment. The bottom line is expect a higher cost of living. There is a growing demand to live in the Bay Area. The Bay Area populates a fixed amount of people.


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