So, is this filed under the category of, “What took you so long?”
According to a survey by the Bay Area Council, a full 34 percent of San Francisco’s current residents are giving serious thought to leaving because of the city’s inability…or unwillingness…to address the housing and traffic issues that have become so significant in recent years.
Particularly revealing is the noticeable drop in the number of residents who believe the region is headed in the “right direction:” from 57 and 55 percent who felt that way in 2014 and 2015, respectively, to a big jump-off this year, down to just 40 percent.
Topping the list of troubling issues cited by Bay Area residents is the cost of living – 64 percent say it’s a big problem, with housing and traffic rounding out the top three.
Unsurprisingly, the survey reveals that it is those residents newest to the area, as well as those who make less and/or have to apply a greater percentage of what they earn to housing expenses…who are giving the greatest consideration to moving on. Still, when over one-third of residents of a major metropolitan area in the United States go on record to say they’re planning to leave, it is hard not to sit up and take notice, and more people in San Francisco are doing that very thing. Says Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, “This is our canary in a coal mine. Residents are screaming for solutions. Do we expect to see more than 2 million residents up and leave? Of course not. But losing even a fraction of that number and the talent they represent because we failed to deal with our most pressing issues would be very bad. We need to act with urgency, we need to act decisively and we need to act regionally to address the underlying problems of housing and traffic that are causing discontent and aggravation.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large