Reports are surfacing all over the US that far away housing, located many miles from employment, is going the way of the dinosaur. It may not happen overnight, but the cost of commuting is going up so dramatically that people who live in Lancaster and work in Long Beach may soon find they are paying more in gasoline than on mortgage payments.
One possible benefit of high gas prices could be the revival of cities like Van Nuys, which are well served by both highways and public transportation and is within 30 minutes of employment centers like Burbank, Hollywood, Century City and Woodland Hills.
People who turn up their noses at Van Nuys Boulevard should look again at the underutilized and unimproved buildings which are within walking distance of the Busway. VNB, from Oxnard to Sherman Way is a wide street with a huge opportunity for redevelopment with medium rise apartments above commercial stores. The center of the street should be landscaped and the edges could have decorative street lighting.
This is a logical turn in the fortunes of Van Nuys. The location is still in the center of the San Fernando Valley, and there are going to be less people who are willing to buy their homes 50 miles north of downtown LA, just to own a house.