Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's like this world stopped for 10 years.

Everyone should forget about the housing crisis. We have a much bigger crisis on the way and I swear to you Californians are on the verge of a freakout moment. They just don't quite know it yet. But something has to give and I'm betting it will sometime very soon.

It's a confluence of things really. A recession that lasted for about 9 years which sapped money from all corners of the earth. Housing took center stage and it sapped focus from everything. And now we are here almost 9 years later and it's abundantly clear the population continued to grow while almost nothing else did. Now real problems are starting to show. Lack of infrastructure, or just plain run down infrastructure is going to become a huge deal. Yuuuuge.

In the Bay Area now it is not uncommon at all to have a two hour commute one way. If there are accidents or road work, it could be three hours. Like my commute tonight because they decided to fix the road in the middle of the day. And I swear to you if I roll across another road crew just checking their cell phones I am going to freak out.

The city of Fremont has been literally breaking Waze lately. It's the main city for people to get to the burbs. There becomes a point where Waze just breaks down and becomes not effective. It sends people out into all corners of neighborhoods and just clogs everything. I'll upload pictures tomorrow.

Now this has become such a big deal all of a sudden because we've had record rainfall and it's ripped the roads to shreds. The whole State has. Yesterday I read it was flooding in San Diego, so I'm betting the whole State from tip to stern is on the verge of melting down. For instance, I think it would be more helpful for Waze to tell me when there is NOT a pothole in the road. (Who reports those anyway! They must spend all their time doing that) I even went to the store today and that was the small talk of the day. The checker told me that 52 tires were taken out on the Altamont pass. Can you imagine! 52 tires. And I hear of those stories ALL the time now. The roads are third world bad.

The time and money people are losing....... something is going to give. In a big way.


  1. And transit effectively solves not much of anything in America because the distances are so vast and because the cities are so spread out ...

    But you'd think at some point there would be a breaking point.

    It hasn't really happened in London yet, and it's considerably more dense, with some streets that are older than America itself. Many of the train routes I would regularly take existed well before California was an American state.

    When I left London, Paddington was busy with the Great Western Railway "modernisation" that included making way for Crosslink, London's attempt to get people across the metropolitan area in something better than glacial time. Houses are silly expensive to buy or to let in many neighbourhoods. Actually, transit passes to where you could probably afford to buy are silly expensive, and so you're usually passing some of your cost savings on to Transport for London.

    Mini cabs never saved me much in terms of time. Paddington was still one hour during typical daytime traffic, and I lived at the edge of Transport for London Zone 3.

    Congestion charges really didn't help anything, except now you have to remember to pay them if you're in a vehicle that isn't your own (or you simply don't own one there anymore).

    London cab drivers with "the knowledge" don't really help anything either -- I can believe they're made to memorise twenty thousand streets in London, but not a single one of them seemed to know a thing about my old street, and so if I weren't paying attention we'd be three boroughs over from where we needed to be simply because the name sounded familiar.

    Taking Network Rail to shortcut some of the Tube could sometimes help, but usually it didn't. I'd still have to figure out how I was going to wheel my luggage into London's least friendly railway station to travellers with luggage after making several connections to the one line into it that's actually served by a reliable lift.

    Thus I will explain my eventual solution: I moved out of London, having become so tired of the entire mess that I moved to a medium-large-small town "somewhere between Birmingham and Penzance" that happened to have a serviceable railway station.

    And then I did a silly thing called "moving to America" because I wanted to get back to some of my American roots, doing a further silly thing called "moving near a city centre", and now I'm stuck in bloody awful traffic with the rest of you lot.

    But look on the bright side: some people somewhere else in the world are having it worse than you, and it hasn't completely broken them yet, and for those who have simply given up, they've managed to survive. :-)

  2. Oh, having perspective literally got me through the first 20 years of my life. By the time I was 20 I'd had 5 people die on me, yet there was always someone that had it worse. Life is super cruel. Traffic can't come anywhere near breaking me. Lots of things have tried. LOTS.

    It is interesting to see someone get back to their "American" roots. I didn't know that was a thing.

    The cities are where all the jobs are sadly. An hour used to be the norm, but over the past six months 2 hours is more the norm now. If I get the time I will try to find out how many new housing units have been added in cities the past couple of years. I know San Fransisco is adding like 10 percent. Multiply that by all the cities and that is potentially thousands of cars, and almost no new lanes.

  3. Born in the States, grew up elsewhere. :-)

    I know a few other people in this situation who got their American passports because they were entering the US illegally on British passports ...

    It was rather a big deal shortly after 11/9.

    (waits for you to get the joke) :-)