Saturday, March 14, 2009

The State of Cycling Report: the rest of the story

I've already written about the flawed methodology of MTA's State of Cycling Report.

But the report does more than exaggerate the number of people who bike to work in the city; it has some other interesting information in spite of its dubious methodology.

Commenters to this blog have challenged my admittedly anecdotal evidence of widespread bad behavior by city cyclists, but it turns out that cyclists themselves admit there's a problem: "95% of frequent cyclists and 85% of infrequent cyclists have witnessed unsafe cycling behavior. Only 30% of frequent cyclists always obey traffic laws, while approximately 50% of infrequent cyclists obey traffic laws."

"Frequent" cyclists are defined as those who say they ride their bikes two or more times a week, and "infrequent" cyclists are those who say they ride their bikes "one or zero times per week."

What about safety? "71% of frequent cyclists always wear a helmet, while only 55% of infrequent cyclists wear a helmet."

The demographic profile of city cyclists:

While people of all ages, races, and genders bicycle in San Francisco, frequent bicyclists are more likely to be male, Caucasian and between the ages of 26 and 35...Women make up 49% of San Franciscans, but only 23% of frequent cyclists. Asians make up 32% of San Franciscans, but only 12% of frequent cyclists. African Americans make up 7% of San Franciscans but only 2% of frequent cyclists and Hispanics make up 14% of San Franciscans but only 10% of frequent cyclists (page 2).

Frequent cyclists "are more likely than infrequent cyclists to report a household income of over $100,000. Other surveys have also shown cyclists to have higher than average incomes" (page 18).

"People from 26-45 are more likely to be frequent cyclists, while people older than 46 are less likely...Men are more likely than women to be frequent cyclists...People in lower income households are less likely to be frequent cyclists, and people in households making more than $71K annually are more likely to be frequent cyclists" (page 23).

The typical cyclist in SF is a young, prosperous white guy---a profile of an elitist nicely illustrated by this video.

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The destruction of a landmark will continue

From SFcurbed.com (http://sf.curbed.com/), a real estate blog:

55 Laguna is OK! Wednesday, March 11, 2009, by Andy J. Wang
A reader forwarded us an email from Openhouse, which is partnering with developer AF Evans Co. to build an 85-unit affordable housing complex for LGBT seniors at 55 Laguna. The group sent out an email today regarding the fate of the project. AF Evans' recent Chapter 11 filing, the executive director says, "will have minimal impact on the 55 Laguna Street project...CEO Art Evans...re-affirmed the commitment of AF Evans to 55 Laguna and told me that their filing will not affect their efforts on the project. AF Evans is not going out of business and does not plan any layoffs. It is strategically addressing the reality of this unprecedented economic climate." Phew!

Oh yes, what a relief. AF Evans and Openhouse can continue with their plans to trash a state and national landmark to build a massive housing project for UC on property that's been zoned for "public use" for 150 years---property that UC has had tax-free from the city for 50 years because of its education "mission." Its mission on that property is no longer offering university classes to working people but real estate development at the expense of the people of San Francisco. Unmentioned by Wang is the fact that the LGBT units are only part of this huge project of 450 housing units that will contribute significantly to the constant traffic jams on Octavia Blvd. and other neighborhood streets by bringing in 1,000 new residents to an already densely populated part of the city. The LGBT units only give the destructive project a PC patina that enables spineless progressives like Supervisor Mirkarimi political cover to carry water for a predatory UC.

For some history of this project and the role played by city progressives, click on "UC Extension" below.

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