By Steve Levy
E-mail Steve Levy
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ... (More)
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved downtown in 2006 and enjoy being able to walk to activities. I do not drive and being downtown where I work and close to the CalTrain station and downtown amenities makes my life more independent. I have worked all my life as an economist focusing on the California economy. My work centers around two main activities. The first is helping regional planning agencies such as ABAG understand their long-term growth outlook. I do this for several regional planning agencies in northern, southern and central coast California. My other main activity is studying workforce trends and policy implications both as a professional and as a volunteer member of the NOVA (Silicon Valley) and state workforce boards. The title of the blog is Invest and Innovate and that is what I believe is the imperative for our local area, region, state and nation. That includes investing in people, in infrastructure and in making our communities great places to live and work. I served on the recent Palo Alto Infrastructure Commission. I also believe that our local and state economy benefits from being a welcoming community, which mostly we are a leader in, for people of all religions, sexual preferences and places of birth. (Hide)
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Some Impacts of Driverless Cars
Uploaded: Apr 28, 2016
There was an interesting blog in the Wall Street Journal musing on the impact of driverless cars. The bottom line was that this innovation would reduce fuel use and improve safety but the author raised the question of whether making driving easier, initially less congested and more environmentally friendly would actually increase the incentive for people to drive.
This discussion is interesting to me for two reasons.
One, it is a good example that better service attracts customers and that the larger number of customers can in turn degrade the service somewhat.
Some of my friends remind me that road expansions initially reduce congestion but soon attract more drivers and congestion returns. My reaction is this is true but more people are served.
Similarly the expansion of BART and Caltrain service now finds the cars more crowded than before BUT a lot more people are served.
So whatever happens with driverless cars, more people will have expanded choices.
My second takeaway is that solving the region’s mobility challenge requires an all of the above approach. We are so short of capacity that I think expanding public transportation, moving toward driverless cars and expanding road capacity and certainly investing in road repair and interchange safety are all good ideas.\
And given the time to implement any of these ideas, I end up with tolerance for all residents and workers struggling with our under investment in mobility options.
What is it worth to you?
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