Harbor Island with the San Diego Skyline in the background. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A respected annual quality of life report for San Diego released Wednesday showed improvements in six areas, but declines in four.

The biggest issues in this year’s Quality of Life Dashboard were housing affordability and traffic congestion, though slight increases in water use and landfill waste were also noted.

“Commuters in 2018 spent more than eight hours extra on the freeways, nearly an hour more than in 2016,” according to the report.

The biggest improvement was a 2% decrease in average annual residential electricity use coupled with increasingly investment in solar energy and electric vehicles.

“Tens of thousands of new solar PV systems were installed in 2018, an increase of nearly 27% from 2017,” the report said.

The dashboard by the Equinox Project was established in 2010 to provide an annual snapshot of the region’s well-being using “credible data, clear metrics and ongoing benchmarks. ”

Here’s a synopsis of this year’s dashboard:

Improving

  • Air Quality
  • Electricity use
  • Electric vehicles
  • Employment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Renewable energy & storage

Declining

  • Housing
  • Traffic congestion
  • Waste
  • Water use

Unchanged

  • Beach water quality
  • Park access
  • Transportation choices

Two new indicators — climate change and regional leadership — were added this year and will be tracked in the years ahead.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.