Thursday, June 25, 2009

"You were right all along..."

Anonymous writes:
"I'm a little overdue but I'd like to congratulate you on the vindication of your points by the EIR[on the Bicycle Plan]. You were right all along, and it was outrageous that it took a lawsuit before the City would actually do a real analysis of the impact of the Bike Plan. Great work. You're an example for people everywhere who put reality before ideology."

Yes, the city government is completely enthralled with what I call BikeThink, the ideology of bike people everywhere.

But being based in reality is not enough when you combat ideologues who a priori are in possession of the Truth. The EIR on the Bicycle Plan tells us that it's going to screw up traffic ("significant unavoidable impacts") all over the city, including slowing down Muni lines 9, 10, 12, 27, 30, 43, 45, 48, and 52. San Francisco is about to abandon the pretense of being a "transit first" city in favor of becoming a "bicycle first" city, elevating the interests of a small minority above the majority of city residents.

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17 Comments:

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reality, traffic is a dynamic system and not a static one; so the traffic prediction models are fun times for traffic engineers, but don't reflect what will actually happen to traffic in any meaningful way in reality.

Let's also remember that high LOS for cars means not just a low LOS for bicycles, but basically obliterating bike traffic to a zero level-of-service.

That's no condition to have a city street in; that's a freeway.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Assuming bikes follow the same traffic rules as everyone else---a large assumption, to be sure---why would the LOS for bikes be any different for cars, trucks, or buses?

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Shawn Allen said...

Seriously, Rob? You're a lost cause if you can't be expected to do a simple google search to find out for yourself.

Did you miss Streetsblog's follow-up to the post about LOS which you commented on in January? Tom Vanderbilt has a less bike-centric (but no less damning) perspective as well.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

There's nothing new in the Streetsblog thread. Until the state changes the law, you still have to do LOS studies for proposed projects. In any event, ultimately whether SF screws up our streets on behalf of a small minority of bike nuts is a political decision, which will have to be made by the board of supervisors. They can invoke "overriding considerations" as a justification for implementing the Bicycle Plan, but that still won't insulate them from political blowback.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Lex said...

"They can invoke "overriding considerations" as a justification for implementing the Bicycle Plan, but that still won't insulate them from political blowback."

The other effect of the EIR is that it removes the "I didn't know" excuse. The negative consequences on private motor vehicle traffic and public buses have been predicted. If the city goes ahead with the changes anyway they'll be fully accountable for the results.

Sure, bike nuts vote but the much larger segment of the population with no ideological bias votes too.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger SoMa6 said...

The 2nd street plan is totally ill conceived. The plan forces drivers to make several right turns on to Bay Bridge feeder streets to go west on SOMA streets. It also forces drivers to use Market street impeding MUNI. Is this what the city calls "transit first"?

This is just a taste of how bad the 2nd street plan is.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger robert said...

I find the bike plan completely unrealistic - I'm glad that the lawsuit forced the EIR.

I wouldn't mid so much if the bike folks / city were willing to take a step by step / piecemeal approach to this rather than an all or nothing approach. Parts of it are obviously seriously flawed. Masonic, 2nd Street ...

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Philip said...

"I wouldn't mid so much if the bike folks / city were willing to take a step by step / piecemeal approach to this rather than an all or nothing approach. Parts of it are obviously seriously flawed. Masonic, 2nd Street ..."

Where on earth did you get the idea the proposals were going to be implemented in a single project? Has that car nut Rob Anderson, been giving you misinformation?

The plan will be implemented gradually over a number of years. You can reasonably expect a number of modifications along the way, to ensure transit performance is improved along side improved movements for bikes and peds.

Traffic will adapt.

I don't expect auto speeds to be improved, but neither do I expect travel times for the motor vehicle impared will be significantly extended. I do expect over time, the entire transport system (ped, transit, bike, auto) to show better performance with overall reduced travel times per person.

Of course this is just my crystal ball gazing. It will be interesting to see how the city develops.

Just don't let the doom and gloom stories of the car nuts with their vested interests and unwillingness to change, be any reason to accept the current standard of our streets, and the default notion that cars are best.

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about CEQA requiring LOS. CEQA is about disclosure more than anything else! I don't really understand the zealot's logic of not reporting LOS.

Besides, most transit routes run in mixed-flow traffic. If a bus is on the route and we're paying bus drivers huge salaries, then LOS is even more important!

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger aturley said...

Rob, why are you still complaining about how the city is "about to abandon the pretense of being a 'transit first' city"? If you look at the way "transit first" is defined by MUNI (http://www.municode.com/content/4201/14130/HTML/ch008a.html), you will see that bicycle issues are mentioned a number of times, including the need for more bicycle infrastructure. Disagree with the plan, fine, but stop acting like you've been misled.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, I understand that your bike nut allies in city government have put that language on the books, but the problem with that kind of subterfuge is that, once it's exposed to the light of day, people resent the deviousness involved. Of course city voters don't think of bikes when they think of transit; they think of buses and Muni. Now, you folks can try to defend screwing up city streets and Muni by citing that language, but I suspect that city voters won't find that particularly convincing. You bike people are not only crackpots, but you are devious, dishonest crackpots.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Lex said...

"You bike people are not only crackpots, but you are devious, dishonest crackpots."

Time has not mellowed you. :-)

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The more I observe these folks, the more contempt I have for both their intellectual acumen and their integrity. Despicable.

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um... .enjoy your contempt.

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger rammstew said...

Rob, this vendetta sounds more personal than objective, don't you ride a bike? Not all cyclists are created equal. On the one hand there are those that wear helmets, obey traffic signals, and are responsible, humble human beings. On the other hand there are fixie-riding, no-helmet wearing, holier than thou, douchebags who feel that their bike riding is making a statement. Yeah those guys suck, and there are too many of them in our city, but bikes alone do not suck.

I ride my bike around the city because driving within the city is a nightmare as it is (I also own and drive a car). I'm glad to see some changes being made to make roads smoother and safer for cyclists, regardless of the attitude of some of the proponents.

Smile, it'll be alright :-)

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Marck Bowman said...

Rob, your an idiot!

 

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