Transit links crucial to suburban prosperity

Under prodding by Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix, Fayette County leaders may soon try to secede from the Atlanta Regional Commission and cast their lot with less-urban counties to the south and west.

(NOTE: Mayor Haddix has submitted a rebuttal to my column, which is available here.)

It’s hard to imagine a more short-sighted policy. Fayette County would not only be turning its back on metro Atlanta; if experts are right, it would also be turning its back on the model of growth likely to define America’s future.

The impetus for Fayette’s possible secession is understandable to a degree. In 2012, voters in regions across Georgia will decide whether to impose a sales tax for transportation that will be collected and invested within each of those regions.

In the 10-county ARC, Fayette County is a relatively small player. Haddix and others believe that by aligning itself with the less populous Three Rivers Regional Commission, Fayette County might gain a louder voice in how its tax proceeds will be spent.

However, by leaving the ARC, residents of Fayette County would also ensure that their tax money is spent strengthening transportation ties to counties where they seldom travel, rather than to areas to the north where they work, shop and play. And as the rest of metro Atlanta knits itself closer together over time, to the exclusion of Fayette County, the county’s prosperity and property values would decline.

However, the discomfort with being part of metro Atlanta goes deeper for Fayette County than just being a small fish in a large pond. To be honest, that discomfort is felt to a degree across the metro area.

After years of debate and delay, the Atlanta region is slowly preparing itself to accept a more urbanized development pattern in which regional transit will play a major role. And not everybody’s ready to jump on board that train, so to speak. In fact, the level of suspicion with transit increases as you travel farther and farther from downtown Atlanta.

That’s too bad, because changes in demography and consumer demand mean that areas such as Fayette County have as much if not more to gain from the change than more traditionally urban areas.

As we all know, the current recession has largely been real-estate driven, and its impact has been most dramatic in suburban, auto-dependent areas on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas. That’s in part because developers built too much too fast, but it also reflects a fundamental, market-driven change in what people want in residential real estate.

As the Baby Boom generation turns into empty-nesters, they no longer want or need five-bedroom suburban houses. And as their children prepare to buy homes and raise families of their own, they are far more interested than their parents were in neighborhoods where jobs, shopping and entertainment are nearby. In general, they have no interest in long commutes.

Chris Leinberger, a real-estate expert and developer who knows the Atlanta region well, says the result is “a massive oversupply of such suburban fringe development.”

“Both of these huge demographic groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing; small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods,” Leinberger writes in a new piece co-authored with Patrick Doherty in Washington Monthly.

Suburban areas, particularly those with existing city centers, can benefit from that trend. Others can encourage new development along those lines. But trying to resist the market’s message just won’t work.
“However they might lean ideologically,” Leinberger and Doherty write, “the best hope suburbanites have for reversing their depressed home values is for mass transit lines to be extended in their communities.”

101 comments Add your comment

Gary Indiana wants me

October 26th, 2010
8:45 am

Never say “secession” this far south, sir.

stands for decibels

October 26th, 2010
8:45 am

“the best hope suburbanites have for reversing their depressed home values is for mass transit lines to be extended in their communities.”

been saying that about ten years now.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:47 am

Peachtree City had the cool idea of golf carts though. I think they were kind of way ahead of the curve as far as coming up with solutions to traffic problems.

It makes me want a golf cart. If my county allowed it, I could use it for 90% of my transportation needs.

Kamchak

October 26th, 2010
8:47 am

Both of these huge demographic groups want something that the U.S. housing market is not currently providing; small one- to three-bedroom homes in walkable, transit-oriented, economically dynamic, and job-rich neighborhoods…

If the State of Georgia holds true to form, we will be far behind the curve in this mind-set.

Gary Indiana wants me

October 26th, 2010
8:47 am

When Marta first was in operation, people called the acronym, “MOving Africans rapidly through Atlanta”. So I don’t even wanna guess what these same social climbers will call the new transit acronym.

Cue daily morons.

stands for decibels

October 26th, 2010
8:47 am

Except for the depressed home values part. Ten years ago I simply realized that home values would be increased if you ran commuter rail lines within reasonable reach of some of GA’s burbs. Couldn’t fathom why a majority of people would have a problem with it.

Still don’t, really. (and yes, I’m factoring in the Stupids with their racist fears of marauding Negroes ridin’ the rails to booglerize Whitey.)

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
8:48 am

Gary Indiana wants me

October 26th, 2010
8:48 am

I have a short game, which I developed last summer. From 100 yrds out, I am Tiger Woods.

jt

October 26th, 2010
8:49 am

“But trying to resist the market’s message just won’t work.”

Since when does a progressive listen to the market’s message?
I thought that the left’s entire mantra is to control or plan the market.

Did the market want a trolley car downtown?

stands for decibels

October 26th, 2010
8:49 am

Lord I can’t go back there.

(there, I said it. happy?)

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:49 am

“(and yes, I’m factoring in the Stupids with their racist fears of marauding Negroes ridin’ the rails to booglerize Whitey.)”

Stands, in case no one has told you this this morning: you, sir, have made my day.

mystified

October 26th, 2010
8:50 am

In living in the suburbs, I don’t see the trend you mention among our young people…. But, I do agree that we need a better transit system for our area. The problem is MARTA. I ride it infrequently now, mainly to special events. I have enough exposure to it to realize I don’t want my kids riding it alone. MARTA also doesn’t have a great reputation as a well run organization. Convincing the burbs to give up cash to see it go to MARTA is a hard sell; especially if you consider the fact it will take over a decade for them to see any benefit while service is expanded in the inner city. It reeks of subsidy when it really isn’t.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:50 am

jt,

Are you the market?

Gary Indiana wants me

October 26th, 2010
8:50 am

Well, well, well and hell’s bells. THe bells….the bells….the bells….aw, to hell with the bells!

If U2 tag-team balm-smears start your gripping personal morning chit chat in this open public forum again…….go ‘head.

See what happens.

Normal

October 26th, 2010
8:50 am

Bosch,
Motoercycles are more fun.

Top of the morning to you, USinUK.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:52 am

RIP Paul the Octopus. You enriched our lives with your presence and courage.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
8:52 am

I just don’t understand why this is a conversation. Criminey, when people are living in Oconee and driving to Gwinett, the “king and queen buildings” and even into downtown for work, why, why, WHY is the issue of mass trans even a question?

Deirdre

October 26th, 2010
8:52 am

“the best hope suburbanites have for reversing their depressed home values is for mass transit lines to be extended in their communities.”

Forgetting, of course, the whole reason “suburbia” exists. To escape city life and raise children in a non-urban environment. Fayette County has done its best over the last 30 years to maintain a quality of life not found in many places. The housing slump will eventually resolve itself. Not with public transportation but with job creation. The boom that Fayette saw in the 80’s and early 90’s was caused in part by Delta’s expansion. Once jobs return, the housing market will open up.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
8:53 am

Bosch – was it the garlic or the hot olive oil that done him in?

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
8:53 am

Hey Normal – haven’t seen much of you lately – everything okay?

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:57 am

USinUK,

Sniff. Sniff. I think…..it was…..the pressure of it all.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
8:58 am

Normal,

:-)

Yeah, Normal, where have you been?

stands for decibels

October 26th, 2010
8:59 am

you, sir, have made my day.

it was the Captain Beefheart reference, wasn’t it?

my work is done here. later, gators.

mystified

October 26th, 2010
8:59 am

When I was a cop years ago, burglars DID ride Marta into an area where they committed their burglary. They hid the “loot” in the woods and took Marta home. They then drove back to the area at night and collected the “loot”.

Deny it all you want, but crime was higher where Marta ran…

Suburbanites make good money and have been willing to pay for the extra gas used in long commutes to isolate themselves from the problems found in the inner city. I don’t think that trend can continue any longer. The city has gotten too large and the commutes are too long. It’s time to look towards mass transit options.

@@

October 26th, 2010
9:02 am

And as their children prepare to buy homes and raise families of their own, they are far more interested than their parents were in neighborhoods where jobs, shopping and entertainment are nearby.

Some, maybe, not all. I’m encountering more and more young couples who have left Atlanta and moved to South Fayette and Pike counties. The change came about when they had children. When there was a mass exodus of Clayton County’s young families, they didn’t head towards Atlanta, they all moved to Pike.

And just so you know, the majority of Fayettevillians are from the northeastern United States. Maybe they grew tired of the congestion.

I’d be more than happy to go for a smaller house on a larger tract of land….say 80 acres in South Alabama.

My dream is NOT to be a sardine.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
9:02 am

mystified,

And this burglary technique was an epidemic?

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:03 am

Bosch – 8:57 … it starts innocently enough … a few world cup predictions here and there … but then people start looking for rugby league predictions … horse racing … the America’s cup …

has anyone talked to the Russians?

Deep Throat

October 26th, 2010
9:03 am

Liberals at their best showing their hate, I’m moving on I don’t need to read your puke this morning. Perhaps we can fast forward to next Tuesday.

Normal

October 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Had surgery on the 12th. Had a hunk of bone taken from my thumb joint at the hand and a hunk of soft tissue from my fore arm put in to replace the bone.. Been in a couple of casts, so I couldn’t type(?) well. One of my pecking fingers was not available. In a couple more weeks, this one will come off and I’ll be riding again….

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:05 am

Bosch – you didn’t hear about the Wily Woods Break-ins? they were ALL. OVER. the news.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
9:05 am

USinUK,

“has anyone talked to the Russians?”

I’m thinking it was an inside job. He wasn’t too sympathetic to the Germans, and we all know how the Germans can be.

jt

October 26th, 2010
9:06 am

Bosch-

I am.

I am a product of market-driven fleeing to the suburbs in which Jay railed about for the last ten years.
But there is truth to what Jay said about the market. We fit the scenario perfectly.(empty nesters with big houses. We both would like to move back to the city but the timing isn’t right.)(within walking distance to a nice pub and carneciria).

I just find it weard that Jay derided market driven suburban sprawl but now whats to listen to the market if it agrees with him.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
9:06 am

Normal,

Eww. Sounds painful. Sorry to hear this, but get better man!

Sean

October 26th, 2010
9:08 am

People in the burbs think… OMG.. I will never ride a train to work… OMG… What kinda of element will come into our neighborhood OMG.. Mass transit cost too much

Well if we just had commuter lines follow the freeways where most commerical buildings are, people will ride the train to get to work…

The “element” that will come from Atlanta to their neighborhood, really? if the trains are near the freeway, the so called “element” wont walk the 2 miles from the freeway to the housing developments ( Interesting side note, there is a heck of a lot of homeless living in the trees at Brett Parkway and I75 or other “element” types begging for change at Bells Ferry and 41… So dont know if people know there are “elements” everywhere )

How much does it cost to build and maintain all the roads in our towns? There are plenty more miles of road that need to be maintained than commuter rail lines ever to be created…

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:11 am

good gravy, Normal! that sounds awful … did you get any good meds? ;-)

glad to have you here, even if it’s on the go-slow …

jconservative

October 26th, 2010
9:11 am

The problem Fayette voters have is just the numbers. They believe that a county of 110,000 would be swallowed up by the sheer numbers of the ARC region of several million.

jt

October 26th, 2010
9:12 am

And besides, Obama would make us bitter clingers ride in the back.

Bosch

October 26th, 2010
9:17 am

jt,

“And besides, Obama would make us bitter clingers ride in the back.”

Yeah, because the President of the United States has nothing more to do than worry where people sit on a train.

Pappa Grizzly

October 26th, 2010
9:18 am

The last thing we need is more transit and all that “smart growth” claptrap. I kind of wish Oxendine was still in the race at least he was willing to put toll-roads through all those in-town neighborhoods so we could get from the northside to the airport a lot faster. But I’m pretty sure Deal won’t fall for any of that liberal nonsense about transit. We need roads, not trains and buses. If you can’t hack it with a car, there are plenty of places you tree-huggers can move to — its called “up north” and don’t let the door hit your behind on your way out of town.

If you build transit, the criminals will follow.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:20 am

Kind of a side note here but telecommuting should be encouraged on a national basis to the extent that it is feasible. Not all jobs can do this but for those that can it would reduce congestion, especially at peak travel times, saves energy improves productivity and reduces overhead for business’s by reducing the need for office space.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:22 am

“Yeah, because the President of the United States has nothing more to do than worry where people sit on a train” … in Jabip GA …

oy.

@@

October 26th, 2010
9:23 am

jay, has Nathan Deal called to thank you?

Also from the mailbox: Don’t let Democrat Roy Barnes or Republican Nathan Deal tell you that this argument over a rape shield law in the 1980s doesn’t mean anything. Both candidates for governor have sent out mailers elaborating on the issue.

The Deal flyer relies almost solely on quotes from a column by AJC opinion columnist Jay Bookman, who called a TV spot by Barnes on the topic “exploitive” and “grossly unfair.” It makes no use of a Politifact Georgia article that found some substance to Barnes’ charges.–AJC’s Political Insider.

‘Ya done good, but is your job now in jeopardy? Think Juan Williams.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Doubt this topic has much mileage. :lol:

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Don’t Forget – “Kind of a side note here but telecommuting should be encouraged on a national basis to the extent that it is feasible”

Christ on a cracker … could you imagine the hew and cry if Obama was to do anything like that? “THE MARXIST KENYAN IS TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO RUN THEIR BIDNESSES!!!”

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:25 am

UinU, they say that about EVERYTHING anyway.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:26 am

“Think Juan Williams”

Jay, have you been expressing an irrational fear of Methodists, again?

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:26 am

Don’t Forget – seriously.

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:27 am

Jay, I sympathize with your sentiments. But factually, unfortunately, your assumptions are incorrect.

More recent studies have show that suburban prices didn’t drop as much as previously thought relative to inner ring. Housing preferences for families continue to be suburban in nature. While the aging demographic will tilt new construction toward more senior living facilities and empty nester homes, this does not necessarily tie into a more urban, transit oriented future.

I like transit and I wish we had more of it. But Fayette’s future is not sunk outside the ARC.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:28 am

I rode the train from Stone Mountain to downtown for a couple of years and don’t know what everyone was so afraid of. It’s mostly just working folks. I was in school at the time and got a solid 30 minutes of reading/studying time and it was much more relaxing that the “gas/break/honk/gas/break/honk” of the highways. I didn’t ride the bus but the train was great.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

October 26th, 2010
9:29 am

Well, I see the housing market is making it back a little. But not the way most folks expected. I pass a subdivision every day on my route. It started out advertizing prices “from the low 500s to 1 million.” Three big houses were built and sold. Then the whole place set there for years. Now a new sign is up—”from the low 200s.” I wonder how the folks that bought the big houses feel about that.

Anyhow, Fayette is close to Peachtree City and Peachtree City has some nice golf courses. If you can get to them without running over some of the morans driving golf carts on the streets. I don’t blame the county for pulling out of the ARC. In the few times I’ve been there I never seen even one black face. Now why would a nice place like that want to ruin things by paying taxes to build trains that will bring in Those People to steal things and run everything down? Show me a place where Those People live and I’ll show you a ton of burglar bars and killings and drug selling and bums on the street.

That’s just my opinion but it’s very true. Have a good day everybody.

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:29 am

Let Fayette County do what they want. All they have going for itself is Peachtree City. As long as that isn’t harmed, which it won’t be in Jay’s scenario, then everything will be fine.

thomas

October 26th, 2010
9:30 am

Odd that the first two posters to bring race into the debate happen to be accusing the “others” as having racist feelings, and attitudes towards transit.

Odd how you 2 were the first to bring up the race issue….

So what does that say about you 2?

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:33 am

Don’t Forget – “Kind of a side note here but telecommuting should be encouraged on a national basis to the extent that it is feasible. Not all jobs can do this but for those that can it would reduce congestion, especially at peak travel times, saves energy improves productivity and reduces overhead for business’s by reducing the need for office space.”

This sounds all well and good, but it wouldn’t work on a national scale. And employers would damage their businesses if they allowed the majority of their employees to telecommute. The harsh truth is that people couldn’t be trusted and therefore would abuse this privilege. The telecommuting concept isn’t a new one, but it just hasn’t caught on largely due to the reason I just described.

Southern Comfort

October 26th, 2010
9:33 am

dB @ 8:47

:lol:

By the time the metro area gets a workable transit plan together, we’ll be teleporting places and won’t need transit.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:34 am

“So what does that say about you 2?”

it says that they call a spade a spade … so to speak.

(not to mention, it says that they remember the battles of counties like Cobb that fought MARTA too th and nail)

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:36 am

USinUK – “THE MARXIST KENYAN IS TELLING PEOPLE HOW TO RUN THEIR BIDNESSES!!!”

While that is funny, there is also a sliver of truth to it (minus the name calling of course).

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:37 am

Nice Guy – offering incentives is no more telling people how to run their business than one’s wife offering “incentives” for doing particular chores around the house is telling her husband what to do.

Southern Comfort

October 26th, 2010
9:39 am

More recent studies have show that suburban prices didn’t drop as much as previously thought relative to inner ring.

Come to my neighborhood. We just had a $160k home sell for $107k. The subdivision is 7 years old. Nearby subdivisions are even worse.

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:39 am

Who said anything about offering incentives?

Whacks Eloquent

October 26th, 2010
9:40 am

The GRTA XPress bus system, which I ride every day, is actually quite good for what it is. Still limited by the overall traffic conditions, but at least I don’t have to drive. Would I prefer to ride a train? Sure, but only if it doesn’t cost a whole lot more. Subways-heavy rail is impractical and expensive, and you won’t get the high two-way numbers to support it. Light rail makes more sense, but it is a hard sell for either one. I still don’t know why rail companies like CSX and NS don’t try to break into the market – they already have the lines in place. It doesn’t have to be high speed, those suckers will still get there a lot faster than sitting in stop-and-go traffic. I love the Brain Train idea…but the Lovejoy line always confused me, are there really that many potential riders down there? To really sell it, run it from Marietta or Gwinnett, the more populous and more increasingly urban regions.

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:40 am

“More recent studies have show that suburban prices didn’t drop as much as previously thought relative to inner ring”

Peachtree City has held strong throughout all of this? Perhpas this is why they are distancing themselves from ARC…..hmmmmmm….

Left wing management

October 26th, 2010
9:43 am

“But I’m pretty sure Deal won’t fall for any of that liberal nonsense about transit”

Ha ha, good one …

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:43 am

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:33 am
This sounds all well and good, but it wouldn’t work on a national scale. And employers would damage their businesses if they allowed the majority of their employees to telecommute. The harsh truth is that people couldn’t be trusted and therefore would abuse this privilege. The telecommuting concept isn’t a new one, but it just hasn’t caught on largely due to the reason I just described.

Actually the data shows INCREASED productivity and job satisfaction with telecommuting.

Companies such as the Atlanta Regional Commission have reported that as much as 90% of their managers saw an improvement in employee morale with an average productivity increase of 17% as a result of their telework programs (Clean Air Campaign, 2007).

http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/call-center-software/articles/16330-benefits-telecommuting.htm

Productivity is easily monitored and performance assured with telecommuting. The reason this hasn’t caught on is the paternalistic and cynical view of workers that you expressed.

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:44 am

I long for a more European style governing style. And by that, i mean a smaller federal government. Most European nations allocate more power to their “states”. And the EU itself leaves most of the control at the national level.

Ahhhhh, if only we could be more European. For all the reasons other than the ones liberals on this blog love about Europe.

Left wing management

October 26th, 2010
9:44 am

“If you build transit, the criminals will follow”

The real criminals work in the towers downtown, dope

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:44 am

SoCo – no difference in-town.

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:45 am

SoCo – and anecdotes are generally meaningless. Studies are of more, although imperfect, value.

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
9:46 am

Left Wing – “The real criminals work in the towers downtown, dope”

Are you going to cry like a baby all day or are you done now?

Southern Comfort

October 26th, 2010
9:46 am

I wish they would run a train out thru Henry Co. I’d stop driving in a heartbeat if I could take the train and not have to deal with traffic.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:47 am

Jay, free my comment please. Don’t know why it wouldn’t post.

kong

October 26th, 2010
9:47 am

Just what the burbs need, Help pay for streetcars & Bus’s going up and down the streets of Atlanta!

I dont live in Atlanta shop in Atlanta or play in Atlanta!!!!!!
I just moved out of North Fulton in 20 years never saw a MARTA bus or Grady bus in what is now Johns Creek! So what was I paying for?
For those who still live in North Fulton enjoy your tax money going to Atlanta

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:47 am

SC, riding the train was awesome IMO.

Southern Comfort

October 26th, 2010
9:48 am

jm

I tend to discount most “metro” studies because, for the most part, the county I live in is not usually part of the group studied. A study carries more weight if it includes the area where you live.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:48 am

“And the EU itself leaves most of the control at the national level.”

baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha

:lol:

ohsweetjeebus, that was funny …

Southern Comfort

October 26th, 2010
9:49 am

Don’t Forget

I used to ride MARTA when I worked in Sandy Springs. I still had to drive from Henry Co. to College Park or East Point to catch the train. However, I did not have to deal with the northern perimeter or 400 when I rode the train.

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:52 am

USinUK.

“baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha”

I appreciate your expertise on the subject. That was an irrefutable retort.

jm

October 26th, 2010
9:53 am

USinUK – you’re right. How could I forget. The EU sets national tax policy, immigration policy, picks the size of the respective national militaries. Ah yes. The EU controls Europe.

You’re funny.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
9:54 am

Here’s a link about telecommuting. There are a lot of benefits to both the company and the employee.

http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/call-center-software/articles/16330-benefits-telecommuting.htm

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
9:56 am

jm – the EU sets “human rights”, which tells the member countries how they can/can’t treat suspects of a crime. the EU sets what kind of vegetables can be sold at market (what size, how they can look). the UE sets what size of fish can be sold at the market. the EU sets immigration policy.

and, yes, the EU DOES set tax policy – it forbids countries from dropping VAT below certain levels.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
10:02 am

Bosch – the BBC is reporting that they’re going to make a permanent shrine for Paul … well, there’s a first …

Doggone/GA

October 26th, 2010
10:06 am

“The reason this hasn’t caught on is the paternalistic and cynical view of workers that you expressed”

Exactly. Yes, SOME workers would abuse it…but those people will abuse their positions in the office too. And not all jobs are suited to telecommuting, but for the ones that ARE, the employees should be encouraged to try it. Some won’t like it, some won’t feel they work as well…but speaking from MY experience telecommuting 2 days a week…it will work for a LOT of them.

Once their bosses give up feeling like they have to have minute-by-minute contrl over them.

hmmmmmmm

October 26th, 2010
10:08 am

**Yes, SOME workers would abuse it…but those people will abuse their positions in the office too.**

Like USinUK abuses his/hers?

Disgusted

October 26th, 2010
10:08 am

The harsh truth is that people couldn’t be trusted and therefore would abuse this privilege. The telecommuting concept isn’t a new one, but it just hasn’t caught on largely due to the reason I just described.

That’s not my experience from more than 30 years of managing people. I had to fight to get the people I managed telecommuting privileges, and the result was an actual increase in productivity and a reduction in expensive office space—to such an extent that other divisions copied my initiative. In fact, the existence of the telecommuting option made good employees think twice about leaving their positions for higher pay elsewhere. The only problem with telecommuting is that it puts an additional burden on a manager to plan workload and monitor performance. But if you aren’t good enough to do that, you shouldn’t be a manager in the first place.

The chief obstacle to telecommuting is the existence of old-style Theory X attitudes such as you express. If you don’t trust people, get the h__ out of the managing business. You’re only creating an obstacle to your employer’s achieving greater productivity and efficiency.

Don't Forget

October 26th, 2010
10:11 am

Disgusted

October 26th, 2010
10:08 am

Great post, thanks.

Kamchak

October 26th, 2010
10:11 am

Like USinUK abuses his/hers?

Uh, oh.

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:11 am

USinUK – and you’re apparently unaware of the Scottish parliament devolution of power in the country in which you even reside. Funny… you’re a riot.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament

Well, fabulous. Someone is looking out for food standards at the EU level. Oh, and the EU discourages tax competition by setting a floor on VAT’s. Well, that’s the most robust “supra-national” government I’ve ever heard of.

Someone should call the militaries in the respective EU member states and let them know they report to the EU commissioner. And that the EU sets retirement ages for retirees now. And controls all the pension plans.

Why aren’t all the Parisians rioting in Brussels? Someone should tell them they’re in the wrong place.

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:14 am

USinUK – by the way, the Germans also think your comments are very funny. Actually, they used a different term. But whatever.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
10:17 am

jm – and what does devolution have to do with anything? (and, it’s not just Scotland, but N. Ireland and Wales, as well)

food “standards” means that farmers lose god only knows how much money every year because they can’t sell carrots that aren’t perfectly straight. they can’t sell apples that don’t look perfect. Not only is that damaging to farmers’ bottom lines – it’s a criminal waste of food.

your point, since you seem to have lost the plot, was that the EU turns all the powers to the member states – the reason these member states are cutting the way they are is BECAUSE of those regulations at the EU level (the states aren’t allowed to have debt larger than a particular %% of their GDP).

seriously. stop. while you’re behind.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
10:18 am

Kam – 10:11 – when all they got is nuttin …

Left wing management

October 26th, 2010
10:19 am

Nice Guy: “Are you going to cry like a baby all day or are you done now?”

Just getting started man

TaxPayer

October 26th, 2010
10:20 am

I’m thinking mass transit might be better received if there were some way to incorporate drive-thrus along the routes.

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:26 am

USinUK – you apparently aren’t able to read my point and understand anything. my whole point was about the devolution of government power.

“Most European nations allocate more power to their “states”.”

“stop. while you’re behind.”

Guess I’ll stop now that I’m ahead. Tooodoooloo.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
10:33 am

jm – Scotland / N. Ireland / Wales devolution has nothing to do with the EU – they devolved from the UK government. Meanwhile, they are STILL subject to EU edicts.

still looking at you in the rear-view mirror.

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:33 am

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:34 am

This one’s really funny. This guy thinks Hitler was legitimate and Bush was a crook. Too funny.

http://www.radfilms.com/radical_editorials_Bush_Hitler.html

jm

October 26th, 2010
10:36 am

USinUK 10:33 – no sh-t sherlock. I said Europe initially, not EU. And for the record, Germany and Switzerland and a variety of other European countries which you are ignorant of engage in the same practice from a budgetary standpoint.

Stop digging with a backhoe.

@@

October 26th, 2010
10:48 am

it says that they call a spade a spade … so to speak.

(not to mention, it says that they remember the battles of counties like Cobb that fought MARTA too th and nail)

Maybe “the teacher” can explain why Clayton Countians have continued to reject MARTA’S expansion into our county.

Clayton County demographics:

White 30.4%

Black 62.1%

Latinos 12.2%

Are the 74.3% black/brown spades?

There is a non-binding MARTA referendum on the November ballot. We’ll see if anything’s changed.

Spades, indeed.

Regardless of your “superior knowledge”, you don’t have all the facts as to why people vote the way they do.

I remain indifferent on the subject of MARTA and the Lovejoy Rail.

USinUK

October 26th, 2010
10:59 am

jm – 10:36 – bollocks. your initial quote was: “And the EU itself leaves most of the control at the national level.”

the EU. not “europe”. And the EU has that mandate about debt as a % of GDP – which is why they came down so hard on the economic situation in Greece.

And Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU.

getting distant in the rearview mirror there, jm …

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
11:10 am

Disgusted @ 10:08 –

True enough, there are exceptions, and it sounds like you are one of the exceptions, good for you. However, if every case worked out the way you described then telecommuting would be more popular. This simple truth is that is does not always work out like that and therefore only certain employees are granted the option of telecommuting.

Nice Guy

October 26th, 2010
11:10 am

Don’t Forget – “Great post, thanks”

Weak.