…if people can’t afford to live there.
Some group has declared that San Francisco rates highest for ease of getting around on foot. Of course they are considering only the people who are already there, not those who have been priced out of SF by its sky-high real-estate valuations, the result of land-use restrictions imposed by the Bay Area’s notoriously anti-growth political culture.
One of the comments on the site where the walkability story appears puts the issue well:
The problem has never simply been walkability. It’s always been affordability. Take New York City. Rent for a studio apartment is $2000. In the burbs? $1000 for a one-bedroom. The $1000 difference pays for an awful lot of gasoline. Oh – and I should mention the 4% income tax New York City levies on its residents.
The effect of higher gasoline prices won’t be people moving en masse into marginal inner city areas. Instead, it will be the progressive reduction of property prices in the suburbs to compensate for higher gasoline costs, coupled with the gradual move of businesses to the suburbs to accommodate their employees, and save on real estate costs.
To paraphrase a statement one often hears from the Left, the rich and the poor are equally free to walk on the streets of San Francisco.