Senator Weiner’s SB 50, with its state-mandated, developer-dominated, meat axe approach to housing is dead.
But remain alert. Pieces of SB50 are almost certain to start quietly reappearing in other State bills.
As we’ve noted before, the indiscriminate piling of housing near transit stops, won’t significantly increase transit use and won’t have any discernible effect on highway congestion. That’s because except in places where there are abundant transit opportunities, few if any of the incoming new residents will willingly give up their cars. The result of this continued reliance on the private automobile for most trips would be increased traffic near stations and reduced on-street parking, thereby making it more difficult for long distance commuters to access their transit lines. If wiser heads prevail, the next round of legislation will be distinctly different from the heavy-handed approach exhibited in SB 50. Here are a few principles that should apply:
- It can’t be just housing. Transportation woes and housing shortages are part of the same problem and therefore have to be addressed jointly.
- No one size fits all. Even if the State leads the effort the affected towns, cities and counties will need to have a say.