Friday, September 04, 2009

Connecting the dots on Muni, bicycles, and traffic

From Ken Garcia's column in today's Examiner:

But the thing you need to know is that Muni chief Nathaniel Ford and his team of transit officials are trying to decrease car trips by half in the future, and to do that they hope to create a band of "sustainable streets"---that's Muni-speak for forcing people out of their cars by any means possible, probably through the use of increased meters, parking tickets and garage-fee hikes. Ford said all the agency's ideas will be "aimed" at San Francisco's transit-first policy, which, as you know, aims to try and punish drivers as much as possible.
Just a few months ago the Examiner reported that, as the environmental impact report tells us, the Bicycle Plan is going to screw up traffic on a number of city streets, while delaying at least nine Muni bus lines.

And, yes, it's long been city policy to make it as expensive and difficult as possible to drive in San Francisco, as Garcia himself has noted in the past.

Car drivers are to be punished with higher parking fees, fewer travel lanes, and fewer parking spaces on city streets. The main thing city officials have yet to explain: how do they make traffic worse for car drivers without making it worse for Muni? Maybe the city can get away with making life difficult for those who own the 465,000 registered motor vehicles in the city, but do we really want to slow down Muni and discourage tourists from driving into San Francisco to shop, dine, and stay at our hotels?

Muni is a little less slow (SF Examiner, Sept. 4, 2009)
San Francisco officials are touting miniscule gains in on-time performance of The City's public transit system, but the preception of improvements among riders is still lagging.

It's better, however, than having to announce that a light-rail vehicle has been in another accident.

Muni said it had achieved a record 73.3 percent on-time performance rate by the end of June 30 fiscal year, a 2.7 percent increase. It's still quite a ways from the voter-mandated 85% on-time rate, but, Mayor Gavin Newsom was quick to note, these things take time (like maybe some years after he leaves office).

But the thing you need to know is that Muni chief Nathaniel Ford and his team of transit officials are trying to decrease car trips by half in the future, and to do that they hope to create a band of "sustainable streets---that's Muni-speak for forcing people out of their cars by any means possible, probably through the use of increased meters, parking tickets and garage-fee hikes.

Ford said all the agency's ideas will be "aimed" at San Francisco's transit-first policy, which, as you know, aims to try and punish drivers as much as possible.

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3 Comments:

At 9:39 PM, Blogger missiondweller said...

This is my favorite quote from the linked story, "adding that Valencia Street in the Mission district has enjoyed a commercial boom since two of its four lanes were converted to dedicated bike lanes in 1999"

Walked down Valencia recently? Lots and lots of empty storefronts. Maybe someone should do a study comparing spending habits of bicyclists vs auto drivers. How many times have you bought something over say $300 then took it home on your bike?

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, the city and the bike people who are making policy seem to think that the city's economy can do without motor vehicles, that people are going to ride bikes or Muni to fancy restaurants and upscale shops. Not to mention the fact that our most important industry is tourism. So let's make it more difficult for people to drive into and within the city! The most important factor that keeps the economy in my neighborhood---the Alamo Square, Divisadero corridor---in a perpetual state of recession, is a lack of parking for visitors. (That's probably what killed the Harding Theater on Diviz---a lack of parking.) Compare and contrast my neighborhood with the Ninth and Irving neighborhood, which has some small parking lots and the nearby Concorse garage where people from outside the neighborhood can park to visit the area's many shops and restaurants.

 
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a bike frame for $500 and took it home on Muni.

 

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