Monday, April 04, 2011

Latest DMV numbers for SF

The latest Department of Motor Vehicles numbers on vehicles registered by county in the state show that SF's totals have remained constant. Last year the city had 461,827 motor vehicles---I don't include trailers in the count---381,737 autos, 59,751 trucks, and 20,339 motorcycles/motor scooters. This year's total is virtually identical: 461,536, with 382,167 autos, 58,641 trucks, and 20,728 motorcycles/motor scooters. This is the first time that the total has been constant from one year to the next. Past totals have fluctuated by as much as 18,000 a year, but the trend over the last ten years has consistently been more motor vehicles in the city, from 451,879 in 2000, the earliest number I have.

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55 Comments:

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need way more parking for all those cars!

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we work hard, we can get those numbers to go down.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer up Rob's residence for a parking structure.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The owners of the building I live in added parking spaces underneath the building years ago. It's an expensive thing to do, but it adds a lot of value to the property. Of course the city makes this as difficult as possible under the pretense of "preservation" concerns.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure as a pedestrian you enjoy seeing garage doors on every street. And I'm sure those driving enjoy curb cuts the entire length of the street so there is no on street parking.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy North Beach and seeing all the garages doors! They are so plain and bland. I love what SF has done with the area. I just show people pictures of all the garage doors when they question if SF is really truly American. How could you possibly question SF's Americanism and freedom loving when they dedicate so much of their space to cars?!

 
At 1:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So 300 less cars in the past year, and I assume the population went up, meaning less vehicles per household. Also note that motorcycles went up by 400, so again, less space needed for cars and such.

 
At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I grew up in the city their were five of us in the family with one car. In the last 58 years the profile has been tilted on its head, where there could be 3 unrelated adults living in an apartment each with a car. Perhaps if the City promoted more families and less single hipsters and kids fresh out of college that come to this adult Disneyland for a few years of fun, then the problem would be solved.

Well...it could be worth a try, besides the hipster with their funny hats, belts and single speeds are getting sooooo boring and they are takers not givers.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"Perhaps if the City promoted more families and less single hipsters"

More discrimination against Rob Anderson. Why are families more important than Rob?

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I'm single but I don't think I qualify as a "hipster." One thing that makes it harder on families in SF is City Hall's anti-car policies that make it harder to drive and park in the city.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"One thing that makes it harder on families in SF is City Hall's anti-car policies that make it harder to drive and park in the city."

Not the policies of the last 60-70 years that make living without a car seem impossible (though it hardly is). Nope, it's those damn Supes and the greedy unions.

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Again we have to assume, Mike, that you don't have a family that you have to shop for and take hither and yon to school and various places and events. That's what middleclass people with children need to do, and they can't do it on a bike or on Muni. I know the notion is repugnant to you and the anti-car movement, but cars provide families and individuals with the mobility that is crucial to middleclass life.

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"hither and yon" because we've spread everything so far apart. Parking lots make buildings further apart and less walkable. Wider roads are harder and more dangerous to cross. Sedentary lifestyles have made biking 2 miles seem like the end of the world.

Yes, Rob. I am the problem.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I didn't accuse you of being the problem---though you and all the other trendy, anti-car political lemmings are part of the problem---but of not having a family, which, for middleclass people, means you have to have a car to do the many errands a family requires---school, lessons, doctors, sleepovers, shopping, etc. The city says it wants to keep families in the city, but the anti-car policies work against that goal.

And "greedy unions" have nothing to do with the city's traffic policy, since union members often qualify with their wages and benefits as members of the middleclass---homeowners and, yes, car-owners.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

I'm not an "anti-car political lemming".

And many many middle class families get along just fine without a car. So this: "middleclass people, means you have to have a car to do the many errands a family requires---school, lessons, doctors, sleepovers, shopping, etc." is flat out not true.

But if you approach any situation thinking you are 100% correct then you obviously have no incentive to see anything but what you already have pre-determined to be true. "Middle class families need cars." Can't argue that logic.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I repeat the obvious: you have no children.

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

A lot of people don't have children. You no longer care for children. What's your point?

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@mikesonn: you are making some very broad false assumptions about middle class families.
1.you don't know, in fact that "many many" middle class families get along "fine" without a car.

Some perhaps, but "many many". what does that mean? how many? got stats to prove it?

Get along "fine". what does that mean? They may get along without a car, but they may also STRUGGLE without one. For many of those families a car is the "best" safest and easiest way to transport kids of all ages to and from school and other activities.

Since you do not have a family, you really have no idea what you're talking about.

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You're more obtuse than usual, Mike. Why wouldn't I care for children? I was/am a father, though my son is now 32 years old. When I was a youngish father and a married man---my wife had two children from a previous marriage---with children and a business, a car was absolutely essential for our daily life. That's what we're talking about: middleclass people in SF with families, jobs, businesses and all the complicated logistics that goes with that.

Since I'm retired and no longer have children, obviously a car is no longer necessary, even if I could afford one. I get around fine on foot and via Muni.

Easy for childless bike jerks like you and the young punks on bikes to join the trendy anti-car movement in SF but not for people with families and more complicated lives. The city claims that it wants to keep middleclass people and families in the city while at the same time deliberately making it more difficult for them to drive and park as they go about their daily rounds. Got it?

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

I understand what you are saying. I just don't agree with it.

There are examples all the time of families that don't "need" a car to survive. As much as you hate Murph, he is a perfect example. There have been families highlighted in Streetsblog articles as well. They are neither "young punks" nor "bike jerks". They are just families trying to get around safely.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent comment Rob.

Yea, it's obvious that mikesonn doesn't get it. He's one of that self-entitled group that only wants us ALL to live just like him.

When will he grow up?

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is mikesonn actually telling us, as a fact, that murphe does NOT own a car or suv to get up to his tahoe house or his wine country house?

Seriously.

I don't believe that for a minute.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

I never said you can't own a car, this is black and white. I was saying you don't "need" a car. You can survive most of your day to day activities in SF without one. You can get the kid to school, get groceries, go to a movie, go to the park, live life and interact with a car minimally.

Why must our streets worship at the alter of the private auto when it doesn't have to be used for EVERY activity?

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Then let's talk about saddling this "middle class" with extra debt and cost of "having" to operate a car to survive. Pay for gas or food or mortgage? A choice a lot of people face on a daily basis? How much money a day does this country ship overseas for gas? How much of our national wealth is wasted on paving and repaving road after road? It is all related to the fact you can't get a gallon of milk without burning a gallon of gas first.

But yes, families have to have cars and the city is so mean and heartless to make people pay (another more than free is a crime apparently) for parking.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"You can survive most of your day to day activities in SF without one. You can get the kid to school, get groceries, go to a movie, go to the park, live life and interact with a car minimally."

Yes, people "survive" by doing that if they have to, but we're talking about the contradiction in city policy between keeping middleclass families in the city while, at the same time, making it more difficult and expensive for those people to drive in the city.

The term "family" implies having children, which apparently you don't have. Single people of course can ride a bike and indulge in anti-car political posturing, but middle-income people with children aren't likely to choose to do their errands on a bike.

Yes, some families---like Murphy's---do the bike trip and also have cars. When Murphy rides his bike 50miles to work on the peninsula, leaving his wife and young child at home in Noe Valley, do you think she doesn't have a car to do the shopping and other errands? When the kid is old enough to go to school and participate in after-school activities, will Murph be one of those parents who totes the kid around in a little canvas trailer? Perhaps, but that's a choice only a tiny minority of parents make.

What's irritating about the anti-car movement in the city is that it's driven, so to speak, almost entirely by either young, single people or by political zealots who insist on foisting their way of life on the rest of us.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What's irritating about the anti-car movement in the city is that it's driven, so to speak, almost entirely by either young, single people or by political zealots who insist on foisting their way of life on the rest of us."

As opposed to grumpy old men in sweatpants?

How is making every road only accessable by cars not "insisting on foisting their way of life on the rest of us"??

 
At 12:15 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Cyclists, even here in Progressive Land, are a small minority. Why should a small minority be allowed to force its PC way of life on the overwhelming majority of residents who don't ride bikes?

 
At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true that most cyclists try to push their way of living on the rest of us. They really do want us to live just like them, because all other ways are evil.

mikesonn rants on an on about how families can (and should) live very well in SF with just bikes. Try that with a single mom and two kids who has to buy groceries on a cold, wet winter nite and you want her to ride her bike UP the hill from Noe to the Safeway at Diamond Hts.

Are you nuts?

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are worried that more people would cycle given proper, respectable and protected lanes. It's been shown to work the world over.

It'll happen soon enough here, as deep as you may have your heels dug in. The times, they are changing.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

"mikesonn rants on an on about how families can (and should) live very well in SF with just bikes. Try that with a single mom and two kids who has to buy groceries on a cold, wet winter nite and you want her to ride her bike UP the hill from Noe to the Safeway at Diamond Hts."

Let's find the most ridiculous example and say it's the rule!

And I made no such rant.

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Yes, some families---like Murphy's---do the bike trip and also have cars. When Murphy rides his bike 50miles to work on the peninsula, leaving his wife and young child at home in Noe Valley, do you think she doesn't have a car to do the shopping and other errands? When the kid is old enough to go to school and participate in after-school activities, will Murph be one of those parents who totes the kid around in a little canvas trailer? Perhaps, but that's a choice only a tiny minority of parents make.

We have a teleporter, you freaking luddite!

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

For a reality-check, let's look at the Census Bureau's 2009 numbers on how people in SF get to work:
46.4% drive and/or carpool via auto, van, or truck; 31.8% take public transit; 10.3% walk to work; 1.8% take taxis or ride motorcycles or motorscoooters; 6.8% work at home, and---wait for it---3% ride bikes to work.

"I think you are worried that more people would cycle given proper, respectable and protected lanes. It's been shown to work the world over."

"Protected lanes"? You must be coming in way late on this discussion, since anyone who knows SF understands that it's a zero-sum game on our streets: to make bike lanes of any sort requires five feet of space, which means that either street parking or traffic lanes have to be eliminated to make bike lanes on city streets.

What I'm worried about is that the city is getting ready to screw up our traffic with bike lanes that few people will ever use. Yes, the city's assumption is that once the lanes are in place that enough cyclists will use them to justify making our traffic worse on busy streets. My concern seems to be backed up by the city's latest bicycle count, which shows that two years ago there were 8% more cyclists on city streets, but last year there were only 3% more cyclists counted.

Hence, the great bicycle revolution/fad may have already peaked here in Progressive Land.

I did an analysis of that report early this year. I noted in particular that the city admits counting cyclists twice on Market Street, and that the report's claim that bad weather explains the low count is simply untrue.

In short, it seems likely that the city---the same government that can't keep our streets paved and gave the unions a blank check on revenue---is about to create traffic congestion all over the city on behalf of a fad that's already fading.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"What I'm worried about is that the city is getting ready to screw up our traffic with bike lanes that few people will ever use. Yes, the city's assumption is that once the lanes are in place that enough cyclists will use them to justify making our traffic worse on busy streets."

This AM at the Caltrain JPB Meeting, Caltrain showed that ridership using the 4th and King Station in February 2011 who brought a bicycle on the train increased by 40 percent compared to February 2010. JPB Chairman Sean Elsbernd wanted to know more - what about the bike lockers? The bike lockers and the bike valet at 4th and King Caltrain are overbooked every day.

What is the primary difference between February 2010 and February 2011? Answer - there is a bike lane on Townsend Street, leading to the train station.

Build it and they will come.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Exactly Murph. That is what Rob is scared of. It's been shown the world over and now again here in SF. Time and again, build it and they will come. People don't want to be stuck in cars, but they have been brain-washed to think it's "the only way" to survive in this world. Also, the more people are in cars, the less safe it is for the rest of us. The balance has to be tipped back in the other direction and it will have a snow-balling effect. More people on bikes will beget more people on bikes, etc.

Also Rob, commuting stats only cover a portion of the picture. Since you no longer commute, it must be safe to say that you don't count in any meaningful way then?

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trouble is both these bike centric nuts have it completely wrong..again.

More bikes has meant more congestion of the streets of SF.

Biking in SF will never be safe. fact of life.

Biking will remain a trendy mode of transit for a very small group of younger, childless people. Until they get older and have kids.

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Anon, see Copenhagen.

Also, funny you blame bikes for cars' problems. It is in fact other drivers that are causing congestion, no cyclists.

David Chiu had a great quote the other day: "From the feedback I get in my office, it seems some San Franciscans believe all their parking problems are caused by the people who don't own cars."

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Murphy's comment makes statements with no documentation and no numbers---40% of what?---while I provided a link to an analysis of the latest bike count report that links the report itself, along with a link to the latest Census numbers on commuting in SF.

People having cars is part of modernity in general, which is why the Chinese are giving up their bikes and buying cars.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

I'm sure you blame this on the remaining bikes.

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Murphy's comment makes statements with no documentation and no numbers---40% of what?---while I provided a link to an analysis of the latest bike count report that links the report itself, along with a link to the latest Census numbers on commuting in SF.

Caltrain's annual ridership counts are here.

http://www.caltrain.com/about/statsandreports/Ridership.html

The 2011 counts were presented at the JPB Meeting Thursday AM, and are not published on the website as of yet. The 2010 numbers were 1234 boardings, the 2011 numbers were 41% higher (I don't have the exact number - I just wrote down the percentage increase).

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

That's a surprisingly good comment, Murph. Interesting to note that bike ridership actually declined between Feb. 2009 and Feb. 2010 (page 7) and the "average weekday bike ridership (AWBR)" for the SF station was 635 (page 8), not a particularly impressive number.

Bikes aside, I think Caltrain is an important system, which makes its current budget problems worrisome. That's why I oppose squandering limited transit money on the Central Freeway and high-speed rail. Every transit system in the Bay Area has money problems, and the Feds are wasting money on a HSR system that will never be built. BART has a balanced budget, but it needs to buy new train cars, which it doesn't have money for.

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"Interesting to note that bike ridership actually declined between Feb. 2009 and Feb. 2010 (page 7)"

Check your almanac and you'll see why. We may be tough but not that tough - Feb 2009 had zero days of rain. Feb 2010 had 29.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious and we all have seen it:

Rain, cold weather and dreaded HILLS will shut down almost all bike riding in SF.

Critical Mass barely exists on a cold, rainy Friday nite.And CM would never go straight up Market St. all the way over Twin Peaks out to the Sunset. The hills completely stop them dead in their tracks..so to speak.

That's why it remains a trend of the mostly young, and that's what it's a waste of taxpayer money.

 
At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rain, cold weather and dreaded HILLS will shut down almost all bike riding in SF."

SF gets 20 whopping inches of rain per year, concentrated in a small part of the calendar year. It never gets what most people would call cold. A very small part of the population lives on a hill. Yet that will shut down ALMOST ALL bike riding? What a joke.

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's a fair-weather trip, and they like to ride in packs, though they also fancy themselves as rebels.

 
At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yes, that 20" of rain per year almost shuts down commute bike riding when it happens. Check out Valencia St. on a cold, wet winter morning. VERY few riders.

And you won't see hardly ANY bike riders commuting from The Sunset or Parkside or southern parts of SF, including the poor neighborhoods. The hills at Twin peaks are daunting to get over.

Which is why cycling in SF remains a "sport" for the young, entitled, well off people, living near downtown.

Except when it rains.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I assume that many people in SF ride bikes for what seem to them good reasons: a cheap, fairly speedy way to get around what is really a small city geographically.

And there's the speed and thrill experience for the Peter Pan demographic (Mountain bikers are more honest about admitting that this is their main motivation---to go fast downhill.)

The only really annoying cyclists are those that behave badly on the streets---a sizeable minority, at the least---and those who insist on applying a PC overlay on their behavior: they aren't just riding a bike, they are also helping to save the planet.

It was when they and their allies in City Hall began actually redesigning city streets on behalf of this often-obnoxious minority that I signed on as a party in the litigation to at least make the city take a closer look at what they are determined to do to city streets.

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only really annoying cyclists are those that behave badly on the streets---a sizeable minority, at the least"

All drivers are well behaved. ALL. Don't question it. 2 ton vehicles driven by assholes is so rare that it should never be brought up. Nope, the only REAL problem on our streets are those entitled cyclists - all in shape and healthy. Damn them.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You quote me accurately when I criticize the way a lot of cyclists behave on city streets, and then leap to the falsehood that I'm saying that cyclists are "the only real problem" on city streets, while changing the subject to drivers.

 
At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only really annoying cyclists are those that behave badly on the streets"

Anderson's comment makes statements with no documentation and no numbers. Can you show data, perhaps SFPD numbers on citations given?

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You can't quantify "annoying" by the number of citations cyclists get, since, for one thing, city cops are reluctant to give tickets to people on bikes, as the Grand Jury report told us last year.

That there are a lot of people behaving badly on bikes in SF is not a particularly controversial statement to anyone who spends any time on city streets.

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither is stating that drivers are reckless assholes either, but you have a hard time agreeing with that.

However, a couple cyclists (who would be a much bigger threat if they were behind the wheel) somehow make a "sizable minority" and then negate any street improvements for cyclists.

A few does not a "sizable minority" make.

 
At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The streets are unsafe for pedestrians - No wait, that needs to be quantified with numbers. OK, here are the numbers. Wait, you call those numbers? I call them "not particularly important".

Thankfully your power (zero) is reflective of your intellect.

 
At 10:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Not sure what you're referring to. The number of cyclists that use Caltrain isn't a very big number compared to the numbers of those who use the system that aren't riding bikes to the stations. The link to the Caltrain ridership numbers on their website is in a comment above if you really want to know. That's the number I thought was insignificant.

On pedestrians, the city's numbers---in reports available on MTA's website---show a steady decline in injury accidents and fatalities over the years. In one of the documents I discuss, the city has a chart that goes all the way back to 1915. The numbers show that it's actually getting safer for pedestrians on the streets of San Francisco. If you have better evidence to the contrary, let's see it.

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the cars flow freely, Rob is happy. A couple deaths, a couple more injuries - all just part of the game. Grow up. Don't want to get hit? Don't go outside. The city shouldn't care for anything except facilitating and expediting the movement of cars. People aren't worth anything unless they can afford to own and operate a vehicle. Then they can freely use the roads. Until then, get to the side and shut up.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This is crybaby bullshit and still another fact-free comment. Obviously you haven't read the city reports I discuss that show fewer deaths and injuries on the streets of SF over the years.

 

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