Thursday, February 09, 2012

This just in: 96.5% in SF don't ride bikes to work!


"Bike count finds 7% more cylists" was the hed on the Chronicle's story on the 2011 Bicycle Count Report:

Bikes now carry 3.5 percent of city commuters---a significant increase since 2000, when just two percent rode their bikes to work. But it's still a long way from the city's goal of having 20 percent of commuters pedaling to work by 2020.

Yes, a very long way.

Let's do some math. Back in 2000 2.1% of city residents commuted on bikes, and in 2010 that was up to 3.5%. That's an increase of 1.4% in eleven years, which is a 0.13% increase per year. To get to 20% by 2020, bike commuting in the city would have to increase by 2.06% a year for the next eight years, which is way below the 1.4% increase it took eleven years to achieve.

That's not going to happen. The reality is that, like the Bicycle Coalition's previous "Ten percent by 2010" goal, the 20 percent by 2020 is nothing but a slogan. City Hall has simply adopted the Bicycle Coalition's updated slogan, which means that the SFBC is essentially making city traffic policy. Like the previous slogan, this sets the bar so high that even trying to achieve it means that city traffic will be made significantly worse on behalf of this PC minority.

The latest San Francisco Transportation Fact Sheet puts the bike fantasy in perspective: 36% of city residents commute by driving alone to work; 7.9% carpool; 34% take public transportation; 2.4% take a taxi, ride a motorcyle "or other"; 9.4% walk to work; 3.5% ride bikes to work, and 6.7% work at home.

Of residents using city streets to get to work, 80.4% use vehicles other than bicycles.

Add to the total those who work at home and/or walk to work: 96.5% of city residents don't ride bikes to work.

City Hall is redesigning city streets---making it increasingly difficult and expensive to drive here---on behalf of 3.5% of the population based on the assumption that somehow, someday there will be enough people riding bikes to justify making traffic worse for everyone else who uses the streets of San Francisco. 

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24 Comments:

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, you only talk about commuting. Do you commute? NO. So what you do during the day, according to your backward view of the world, means nothing.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It isn't about me. These are the city's numbers on how people in SF actually commute.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the fucking point is that not every trip is to/from work, dumbass.

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Do you have other numbers we can talk about?

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If those 3.5 percent were not biking, either MUNI or the roads would be absymally packed.

Congestion is down in the city despite "only" an increase from 2 percent to 3.5 percent. This is because on the margins, that's a *lot* of cars not on the road, a lot of MUNI boarding delays that didn't happen, etc...

If we get this number up another couple of percent it will be a huge boon for SF.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

making it increasingly difficult and expensive to drive here---on behalf of 3.5% of the population'

WRONG. Using your stats, only 44% go to work in a private car. The other 56 percent benefit from driving being more expensive and thus less attractive. And you have no citation for "driving being increasingly difficult". Please show some evidence.

Those stats you cite come from a report that says driving alone is down, and carpooling is down, public transit use, walking, and cycling are up. That means - fewer cars. Cars are the number one delay factor for public transit. Fewer cars, faster transit. Fewere cars, safer cycling. Fewer cars, less congestion for taxis. Fewer cars, less congestion for the REMAINING CARS. Benefits - EVERYONE.

 
At 3:27 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Is "congestion down in the city"? Like to see some evidence for that.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger Will K said...

I always wonder how they count these things. I ride a folding bike but I also take the train and sometimes drive. So am I a bike commuter for statistics? Or not?

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

One thing is clear: When you commute on your bike, you're part of a small minority.

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I read it - when you drive your car - you're part of the minority.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City is AGAIN going to war on the drivers with its anti-car policies. Rob - can we demand an EIR to stop this? It will cause circling of cars looking for parking. It also reinforces the predator/prey relationship between the city and parkers.

San Francisco has equipped 30 buses with surveillance cameras to catch people parking illegally in transit-only lanes

If this wasn't enough, they are going to screw up traffic even more by taking out lanes.


In addition to adding more cameras, city transit officials hope to make more traffic lanes off-limits to private cars and trucks. At the top of Haley's wish list for transit-only lane expansion: more blocks of Stockton Street, Geneva Avenue and Mission Street.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/09/BAMO1N5E2G.DTL#ixzz1m0TEeMcv

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Litigation is a hard way to go. If you have the money to hire a lawyer to fight these policies, go for it! The backlash against the city's attempt to put parking meters in the neighborhoods tells me that political pressure from the people of SF is the only thing that will stop City Hall's anti-car policies.

That Supervisors Kim and Cohen made the MTA back down on City Hall's imperial parking meter policy in Dogpatch and Portrero Hill is encouraging and maybe a sign of things to come.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

See also this excellent article in this morning's Bay Citizen.

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Using your stats, only 44% go to work in a private car. The other 56percent benefit from driving being more expensive and thus less attractive."

They aren't my stats; they're the city's, which you can see in the Transporation Fact Sheet I linked. More people drive to work---either alone, in carpools, or in cabs, motorcycles, etc.---than any other "mode."

"And you have no citation for 'driving being increasingly difficult'."

Taking away street parking and traffic lanes makes it more difficult to drive in SF.

"Fewer cars, faster transit. Fewere cars, safer cycling. Fewer cars, less congestion for taxis. Fewer cars, less congestion for the REMAINING CARS. Benefits - EVERYONE."

Then you agree that City Hall should leave the streets the way they are now and make no more anti-car "improvements"?

 
At 4:30 PM, Anonymous pedXing said...

The SFMTA Bicycle Count Report is so poorly written that it's almost impossible to make any real sense of all all the numbers and percentages they cite; at best the report is a good example of Cargo Cult science.
Examples:
[1] They cherry picked dates (p. 17: "this year's counts were taken in September . . . the last two weeks of September have approximately 18% more cycling activity than . . . August") and locations (p. 17: six count locations were dropped "due to consistently low count numbers") to give the highest counts.
[2] The only intersection where both a manual count & an automatic count was done was Market/11th; the manual count showed 1396 cyclists (p. 5) while the automatic counters recorded 771 (p. 7). Why such a large unexplained discrepancy?
[3] "17,047 riders counted" (p. 5). The table giving counts per location on the right hand side of that page shows that they counted the same riders multiple times! Cyclists leaving work from the Financial District & riding to Valencia would be counted four times on Market St. (at 2nd, 5th, 11th, and Valencia) and then again at 17th/Valencia. These counts were then totaled to give "observed cyclists," implying that there was 17,047 total bicycle riders during the evening commute. There was not.
[4] They noted (p. 12) that "94% of bicyclists were observed using bicycle facilities as designed" as if this was wonderful. Yet they state "a few bicyclists either rode on the sidewalk and/or the wrong-way down the street." So according to the report, 6% of the 17,047 counts included cyclists riding illegally. Thus more than one thousand instances of illegal riding were observed during just a two hour period! Where is the SFPD?
[5] And finally they make a totally unsubstantiated statement "75,000 daily bicycle riders in San Francisco" (this number is also given in the "Key Findings" on p. 3). No data whatsoever, merely that the number was "estimated by area transportation models and mode share surveys." Huh?

No wonder Muni is in such bad shape with people like those in the Sustainable Streets Division who produced this report. Your tax dollars at work.

 
At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the only number that matters.

San Francisco Bicycle Coaltion - 13,000 organized members.

San Francisco Auto Coaliton - does not exist.

Don't blame us for your incompetence. And get used to losing. Rookies.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Drivers beat back the anti-car movement on the parking meter issue in Dogpatch and Portrero Hill and the bike lane proposal for the Panhandle.

And don't forget these numbers provided by City Hall: bike commuters in SF have grown only 1.4% in 11 years, a whopping .13% a year. Roll on, punk!

 
At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two friends who (blindly)
support the BC. They both have autos and a garage to park them.
They will never give up their cars.
How many other bicycle riders have this luxury?

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cyclists are elitists that want to rain our "hard-working" parade!

 
At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two bike/car crashes on Fell in 24 hrs. Thought it was safe?

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Andrew Mathias said...

Why do some constantly insist on using profanity don't they know its counterproductive? It dose also appear that Anonymous is the bravest most outspoken in the entire community

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Profanity? I don't know, but it's a fucking drag. You can't get credit for bravery or outspokenness if you're anonymous.

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Andrew Mathias said...

What a fine suggestion Mr. Anonypussy. I propose the immediate formation of The San Francisco Automobile Coalition. They could follow behind critical mass and sign people up. Or put clipboards in downtown garages. I wonder how many comuters on a early morning west bound BART train wish San Francisco was more car friendly

SFBMA Original member! Rookie

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Nato said...

It's worth noting that even though I bike to work every day, I'm a member of both the 80.4% and not counted amongst the 3.5%, because I use Caltrain. Ergo, I'm counted as a train rider, not a bicyclist.

 

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