Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Two SF Opinion polls: tourism, cars, congestion pricing, and RCV


Two polls reveal what city residents think about important issues and how tourists travel to and around San Francisco.

The SF Travel Association's Visitor Profile Research has some good news for the city's economy:

In 2010 San Francisco welcomed 15.92 million visitors, an increase of 3.1 percent from 2009. These visitors spent $8.34 billion in 2010, up 6.2 percent from the previous year. The tourism industry generated $485 million in taxes for the City of San Francisco, up 4 percent from the previous year. Tourism supported 67,122 jobs in 2010 with an annual payroll of $1.88 billion. In 2010, there was an average of 126,931 visitors in San Francisco each day. Visitor spending equated to $22.84 million daily (including spending related to meetings and conventions).

How did all these people get to the city?

While San Francisco visitors can—and do—arrive in the city by a variety of methods, airlines are quite clearly a popular means of traveling to San Francisco. During 2010 twice as many visitors arrived in San Francisco by air (58.0%) than automobile (28.1%), which was the second most common transportation mode. Relatively few visitors arrived via other forms of transportation.

How do tourists get around the city after they arrive?

Survey respondents were asked to indicate the modes of transportation they used (or planned to use) while in San Francisco. Four in ten report taking taxis while in the city (38.1%). Other automobile options are popular amongst San Francisco visitors, with 35.1 percent using a personal car and 14.6 percent using a rental car. Additionally, the city’s public transportation options are being utilized by important shares of visitors. Over one quarter (27.6%) rode the cable cars, while 22.9 percent took MUNI trains and/or buses and 18.3 percent rode the F-Line street cars. One in four used BART (26.7%).

Funny, but there's no mention of bicycles. Add up the percentages, and 87.8% of tourists use Death Monsters---aka, automobiles---to get around in SF.

The Chamber of Commerce poll of 500 city voters shows increasing public optimism about things in general, as many apparently buy into Mayor Lee's "consensus" approach on public policy.

But 61% of city voters still think parking in the city is getting worse, and 78% oppose congestion pricing, that is, paying $3.00 to drive downtown in their own city.

Those polled also prefer traditional runoff elections over Ranked Choice Voting 52% to 42%. Many voters don't trust the RCV system: 70% thought either that their votes weren't counted or were unsure if they were counted, which bodes well for the Elsbernd/Farrell effort to repeal RCV.

Labels: , , ,

14 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

During 2010 twice as many visitors arrived in San Francisco by air (58.0%) than automobile (28.1%), which was the second most common transportation mode. Relatively few visitors arrived via other forms of transportation.

58% air. 28% car.

100-(58+28)= 14% arrived by another means. Given the number of visitors that come to SF - 14%, while half as much as by car, is not a trivial number of people, and they should be accommodated.

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

35.1 percent using a personal car and 14.6 percent using a rental car. Additionally, the city’s public transportation options are being utilized by important shares of visitors. Over one quarter (27.6%) rode the cable cars, while 22.9 percent took MUNI trains and/or buses and 18.3 percent rode the F-Line street cars. One in four used BART (26.7%).

Funny, but there's no mention of bicycles. Add up the percentages, and 87.8% of tourists use Death Machines---aka, automobiles---to get around in SF.

Once again you flunked math. You cannot add the number of people who used a car, a rental car, and a taxi, and get the number of people who "used any car". Someone who arrives at their hotel in a rental car and takes a taxi to go out drinking would be counted twice.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Evidently they are "accommodated" with cars after they arrive.

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger alai said...

Oh, but add up the percentages and 95.5 percent used transit!

Oh, wait, adding up percentages is dumb when the options are non-exclusive.

And are you really suggesting that the city should encourage all its tourists to drive around? Because that'll be so nice for traffic, and parking availability, and safety...

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I'm saying---and the Chamber survey is telling us---that that's the way tourists are now getting around. The ant-car policies being pushed now by City Hall can only make it more difficult for tourists---and everyone else, including Muni---to get around the city.

Motor vehicles are crucial to the city's transportation system---cars, rental cars, taxis, and Muni---and the city's transportation system is crucial for tourism, which is crucial to the city's economy and as a source of revenue for the city.

Continuing to push the trendy, anti-car policies risk damaging the city's most important industry, and, as the Chamber survey notes, tourists complain about both homelessness/panhandling and second about transportation in the city. Why would we as a city want to make that complaint even more valid by deliberately making it harder to move on city streets?

Not to mention the inconvenience anti-carism already poses for people who live in SF.

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People visit SF because it is like every other suburban shithole in the country. More parking! More cars! More traffic!

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger alai said...

"Anti-car policies" encompasses a lot of things. Some people would say that the Van Ness BRT project is "anti-car", but it surely won't make getting around on Muni harder.

There may be no mention of bicycles in the report, but you can sure spot a lot of tourists on bikes with their distinctive front pouches. We'd probably have more if it were easier to rent a bike (I hope we can get a bikeshare program off the ground-- if DC can pull it off we should be able to). And it would help if routes were well-signed, well-designed and non-terrifying (ie Fell St., or Page between Broderick & Divis).

I'm all for having a range of options, including cars. But if accommodating all our tourists with cars means surrounding our attractions with block-sized parking garages, like at Fisherman's Wharf, well, that's simply too high a price. So let's make the rest of the system safer and better-- because it's actually possible, there's a lot of room for improvement, and the payback is huge, not just for tourists but for everyone else as well. And if that requires removing a few parking spaces, well that's a small price to pay.

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You seem to be coming late to the anti-car issue. Here's a link where you can begin to inform yourself on how the SFBC and City Hall pursue anti-car policies, which isn't news to anyone following traffic policy in SF.

No one on this post is talking about the Van Ness BRT, which is about transit and is not necessarily anti-car.

What can delay Muni and traffic in general is the Bicycle Plan---taking away traffic lanes and street parking to make bike lanes for a small minority---which is not news to anyone, either.

Bicycles weren't mentioned in the Travel Bureau's survey because their use was so trivial as a serious transportation "mode" people apparently didn't think it was worth mentioning. Tourists ride the cable cars, too, but that system is more of a recreational trip than a serious way to get around the city.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Martin Zehr said...

How weird is this city? #1 City revenues are based on towing cars and ticketing residents for street sweeping when they have nowhere to park. #2 Safety to bicyclists, pedestrians and auto traffic is disregarded to promote what amounts to ecologism in one city. Never mind that GHG emissions continue to rise with population increases in the state. http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/inventory/data/forecast.htm www.epa.gov/otaq/climate.htm

Face it, there is no energy policy that can significantly reduce emissions when population continues to increase. San Francisco can be touted by some for its green policies, but it remains trapped in a one party government unable to manage its own resources while the quality of life continues to decline.
Meanwhile, bicycle accidents rise faster than the number of bicyclists. http://www.baycitizen.org/bikes/story/san-francisco-bike-accidents/#injury

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

According to the city's own numbers, our streets are actually getting safer for pedestrians, and, as the link you provide shows, cyclists are responsible for 50% of their own injury accidents.

Otherwise, nice rant.

 
At 8:40 PM, Blogger alai said...

Face it, there is no energy policy that can significantly reduce emissions when population continues to increase.

I don't get this statement. Seems to me there is such a policy-- there are lots of countries with high standards of living and dramatically lower emissions per capita. Now, maybe you don't like their ideas, but what's your alternative? Draconian population control measures?

Now energy policy is a national business, of course, and obviously SF is doing a lot better than most of the country (here's a nice comparison). But we're still a whole lot higher than e.g. Stockholm, so there's plenty of room for improvement.

As for your #1, well, if you distribute more parking permits than there are spaces, that's your result.

Rob: I guess I just don't see the bicycle plan as such a great threat to traffic in the city. It's a limited number of streets and it has a big potential upside. If some well-designed and safe lanes plus a bikeshare system get a couple thousand tourists or commuters out of cars, then I'd say it's well worth it. Probably even make it easier to park, deleted street parking notwithstanding.

And if cyclists are responsible for their own injuries, that's good in a sense, because it allows people to take control of their own safety and not have it left in the hands of some reckless drunk. I don't mind people gambling with their own lives nearly as much as I mind people gambling with other people's.

But the other 50% should still be worked on.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing your ignorance with us, alai.

 
At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pedestrian killed by drunk cyclist in the Mission. The media has chosen to ignore it. Please bring this issue to light!

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Traffic congestion is always somebody else’s fault: It’s the construction, the traffic signals, streetcars, cyclists or the bike lanes that create traffic congestion. We aren’t conditioned to accept blame ourselves even though it’s me sitting all by myself in a car causing congestion while driving on a road that allows me to drive on it as often as I want at no cost."

http://www.theurbancountry.com/2011/11/confessions-of-bad-driver.html

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home