Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chamber of Commerce poll

Turns out the Examiner's Will Reisman didn't make an addition error on the percentage of city voters opposed to an expanded congestion pricing zone (Divisadero on the west to 18th Street on the south); when you look at the Chamber of Commerce poll the story is based on, the Examiner simply got the "strongly oppose" number wrong in the table that accompanied the story; it should have been 56%, not 72%. That makes opposition to the expanded zone 62%, not the 88% I got by adding the incorrect numbers. 

Still, city voters oppose congestion pricing even in a more restricted downtown zone, 61% to 36%. In the expanded zone, opposition is larger with 72% against and 25% in favor of charging people to drive in a large part of their own city, not exactly an endorsement of the city's anti-car movement led by the SF Bicycle Coalition.

Some other interesting results of the poll of 500 city residents who voted in the November, 2008 election: Mayor Newsom was approved by 64% to 29%, and the Board of Supervisors was approved by only 47% to 40%.

Homelessness/panhandling was seen as the "major issue" facing the city by 35%, with no other issue even close. It will be interesting to see the results of last month's homeless count, since, given the dire state of the economy, that perennial city problem is bound to get worse.

Interesting to note that Muni was seen as the most important issue by only 13%, with traffic/parking seen as the most important issue by only 7% of city voters, which is why congestion pricing is a non-starter with city voters, even though they also think traffic congestion on city streets has gotten worse, 51% to 8%. Apparently it isn't so bad that it justifies soaking city drivers with congestion pricing.

When asked whether parking in the city in general has gotten better or worse, 58% said it is worse and only 5% said it's gotten better in the past few years, which is a danger sign for the city when it implements the latest version of the Bicycle Plan later this year. How far can the city and the bike people go in taking away traffic lanes and street parking to make bike lanes before city voters rebel? I guess we'll find out.

As we sink deeper into recession, city voters support "contracting out"---aka, "privatizing"---city services to save money, 64% to 29%, even if that means laying off city workers (53% to 41%).

52% of city workers drive or carpool
to work, 25% take Muni, 6% take BART, and only 5% ride bikes, which makes the SFBC's goal of "10% by 2010" unlikely to be attained.

The political demographics of Progressive Land: only 21% of city voters consider themselves "progressive," with 37% "liberal," 26% "moderate" and 11% "conservative," though no definitions of those terms were attempted. That means that 63% of city voters think of themselves as liberal/moderate here in Progressive Land.

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15 Comments:

At 11:08 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"The political demographics of Progressive Land: only 21% of city voters consider themselves "progressive," with 37% "liberal," 26% "moderate" and 11% "conservative," though no definitions of those terms were attempted. That means that 63% of city voters think of themselves as liberal/moderate here in Progressive Land."

This is all relative. You don't own a car and you take the bus. My relatives in Indiana would consider you an "Extremist liberal commie freeloader" on that fact alone. Then when I told them you got a government stipend for taking care of your mother... oh boy then the real fireworks would start.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, that's right: by any serious national standard I'm on the political left, which is what I've been saying all along. I'm a proud member of the Democratic Party---and an enthusiastic Obama supporter---who happens to think the radical left and the radical right are nuts. The radical left in SF call themselves "progressives."

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Shawn Allen said...

Read this: Cognitive Dissonance and Congestion Pricing. There's also a great piece in the Prospect about NYC transit commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and her quest to implement congestion pricing in New York. A choice quote:

"Sadik-Khan is optimistic, pointing to opinion polls that found 60 percent of New Yorkers support congestion pricing, provided that the funds are used to improve mass transit. 'The other piece of messaging that we found works is that people are concerned about obesity, they're concerned about asthma, and they're concerned about their ability to get around,' Sadik-Khan says. 'And not owning a car will save you $6,000 a year. That's a lot of money!'"

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger ling said...

A proud member of the Democrat Party? You've truly lost your way.

Bruce Anderson, AVA, Boonville and proud member of SF's bike nut community.

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, I understand that you think you are superior to those of us in the Democratic Party, though it's hard to find any evidence for that assumption in the AVA. Of course you voted for Nader for president, and of course Obama is not good enough for you moral and intellectual giants at the AVA. Still waiting for you to submit your Big Thoughts on the Judi Bari bombing. Now that you're a bike nut---you've always been a left-wing lemming---why not give us something about the Bicycle Plan?

 
At 2:14 PM, Anonymous kwk said...

The observation that the political spectrum does not extend infinitely outward left-to-right but curves back around is not unique.
One list of commonalities is here:
Right Is Left
Merely think of the SFBC folk or the Bay Guardian "journalists" as you read.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, that's an excellent article you've linked. The SFBC and the Guardian are similar in their SF progressivism, since bikes are an important symbol for city lefties, much like guns are for the right.

One important difference between the far right and the far left is that, unlike the right, the left is anti-American; the US is seen by Chomskyites as the root of all evil everywhere in the world.

There really is no right-wing in SF, unless you consider the local Republican Party as a serious political force in the city. What we have instead is a political culture dominated by goofball counter-culturalists and bike nuts.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

kwk: Who wrote that piece? There's no byline on it. It's so good I'd like to post it on this blog.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"One important difference between the far right and the far left is that, unlike the right, the left is anti-American;the US is seen by Chomskyites as the root of all evil everywhere in the world."

Given your status as a Vietnam War draft dodger, how can you seriously write that. The most important event for 12 years in the US - that defined America, was that war, being conducted by our country and our government. Do you say that your actions were NOT anti-american? If so, then you are no different than anyone else who struggles to improve this country in whatever manner.

while I don't consider myself a member of the "Radical left", you have certainly accused me of such, and therefore you have just accused me of being anti-american, you racist freeloading good for nothing asshat.

 
At 4:48 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Did I call you anti-American? We've exchanged insults for months now, and I don't care enough to go back and check it out. You're just another bike-obsessed asshole to me, Murph, as if that contrivance has any larger significance other than a rather risky hobby.

Of course I was anti-American as a young man, which is why I understand the phenomenon so well. Nevertheless, I still think the US attack on and invasion of Vietnam was a stupid, immoral atrocity.

"Racist"? "Freeloader"? You can explain those if you like, but I don't really care what you think, Murph. You're a typically, smug, SF idiot, whose thought processes are of little interest. But, hey, keep those comments coming, butthole!

 
At 9:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, I agree with you on parking - its harder to find now than ever. At least blocking Market St. to cars will help, and give the bus space to move. MUNI is so slow, due to all those damn cars blocking the road. Get them out of the way of the bus. Just 'cause people can afford a car they think that lets them block wherever they can drive the damn thing.

 
At 12:26 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"Of course I was anti-American as a young man, which is why I understand the phenomenon so well. Nevertheless, I still think the US attack on and invasion of Vietnam was a stupid, immoral atrocity."

Disagreeing with your government is not anti-american - it is the quintessential duty of Americans to constantly be vigilant of our government and it is our right to voice disagreement. Thankfully dissidents here do not have to stand in front of a tank on the mall in DC.

If you were against the war, disagreeing with it is not anti-american. Running off to Canada to dodge the draft instead of sticking around to fight for change - maybe that's anti-american. But it's easy for me to say that, since I wasn't eligible during any active draft that might put me in harms way - but you haven't stated you were afraid of getting shot - you stated the war was immoral.

Regarding being a proud member of the Democratic Party and an enthusiastic Obama supporter, it's hard to correllate that with your support of the Iraq War. Until the economy fell apart that was the key issue behind Obama's campaign - his unequivocal statement that we should have never gone into Iraq. If it's not Obama's support of troop withdrawals that draws you to him, what does?

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Running off to Canada to dodge the draft instead of sticking around to fight for change - maybe that's anti-american. But it's easy for me to say that, since I wasn't eligible during any active draft that might put me in harms way---but you haven't stated you were afraid of getting shot---you stated the war was immoral."

Since I didn't go to Canada and instead went to jail, I wasn't a draft dodger, was I?

"If it's not Obama's support of troop withdrawals that draws you to him, what does?"

Gee, what a puzzle. How can anyone support Obama and also support the war in Iraq? People of good will can disagree on issues, Murph, which may come as news to you. Obama will be able to withdraw US troops from Iraq, more or less on the schedule he campaigned on, only because of the success of President Bush's surge. Obama also understands the importance of keeping Afghanistan out of Taliban hands, since that country was where the 9/11 hijackers were trained and Osama Bin Psycho was based.

As a Democrat, I'm delighted with Obama for domestic policy reasons, too. We're lucky to have him as president.

 
At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear drivers think parking is getting harder. Hopefully they aren't all as self-centered as you and may reconsider their self-centered and destructive behavior. I'm sick of seeing prime real-estate being stolen from the public for drivers. Many of our sidewalks are too narrow while plenty of space is given over to the mostly single-occupant vehicles.

Drivers start to whine when they find they can't have 50 square feet of public space for their personal use directly in front of wherever it is they want to be.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You're probably sick because you've inhaled too much carbon monoxide while riding your bike in SF. I'm "self-centered"? I haven't owned a car in more than 20 years.

 

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