Sunday, February 08, 2015

Where's the bicycle count report?


A reader writes:

Rob,

I went to SFMTA site and couldn't find a 2014 Bicycle Count Report. Where is it? Has there been a decrease in bicycle ridership that MTA is afraid to report? Later: I downloaded the Bicycle Count reports from 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013. So from 2011 they are releasing reports every other year.

Rob's comment:
Good question. I asked the MTA the same question recently and got a murky response. They did change the month of the count a few years ago from August to September, with the reports then published in December. I have hard copies of all the count reports from 2007 to the last count, but I don't have one for 2012. 

I don't remember any announcement about doing the count every other year; I guess I missed it.

You have a right to be suspicious, since the city now has a serious credibility problem with how it counts injury accidents to cyclists. Take what used to be the MTA's annual Collisions Report; the last one was issued way back in August, 2012, four months before that UC study was published that put the city's method of counting cycling accidents in question (there's an earlier UC study that raises the same question about counting pedestrian accidents). 

Instead of coming clean about the accident counting issue, the city has simply not published the Collisions Report the last two years.

It's interesting to speculate about when riding a bike San Francisco will reach some kind of plateau, like it has in Portland and Vancouver. Portland's bike commute has been stuck at 6% for years. 

San Francisco, on the other hand, already seems stuck at less than 4% (page 4). See also page 3 of the "updated" Transportation Fact Sheet, which tells us that commuting by bike in this city has only increased from 2% in 2000 to 3.6% in 2012. 

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7 Comments:

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Terrance Oppotel said...

My personal observation, not an official count, is that bike riding continues to climb. Every time I'm outside I seem to see more. I would be very surprised if this supposedly missing study shows a downturn.

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2012 I was hit by 1 bikes. In 2014 I was hit by 2. Ergo - cycling up by 100%

 
At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My personal observation is there's definitely a noticeable amount of bikes during commute hours, but very few after that. There's two dedicated bikelanes on my street, and they're pretty much empty during the day, and after 7pm.

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

As long as we're searching for missing metrics, what ever happened to the Bicycle Coalition's claim to "more than 12,000" members? Haven't heard or read that in more than a year. No membership counts whatsoever in their 2013 annual report.

I am a high-mileage cyclists who let my membership lapse in 2012 when I gave up hope that the Coalition would ever represent my interests as an adult cyclist (who also owns a car and rides Muni)instead of prosletyzing its faith-based religion towards those who don't (yet) ride. Some of my friends who are committed cyclists let their memberships lapse too. Maybe there are more of us in this town than I thought.

 
At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

Rob, since you have kept historical bike counts on file for so long is there any chance we could plot the bicycle mode-share percentage over time like the Portland graphic does?

My recollection is that mode share continued to increase even during the years of the injunction during which no new bike lanes were striped or built.

It's a stretch to conclude that we need all these streetscape "improvements" to encourage more cycling if, in fact, cycling increases regardless of the state of the streetscape and then later stops its increase (as in the case of Portland) following a bike-lane binge.

Hard to conclude there's any correlation, never mind causation.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Moving from August to September, to capture the absolute warmest, sunniest month. Despite the fact that we have to live with those traffic mods in the typically cold months of December and June. No fact skewing going on here!

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

And all the groovies are back from Burning Man in September, as are all the college students, which helps pump up the numbers.

 

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