Thursday, June 09, 2016

San Francisco: A "Smart City" is an anti-car city

An image illustrating the Smart City vision to re-allocate street space
"Smart" supposedly means a lot of bicycles

San Francisco is competing for a $40 million Smart City grant from the federal government. The city's promotional literature makes City Hall's anti-carism explicit:

More than half of all trips in San Francisco use public transit, walking, bicycling and sharing---a great feat for this great city. But there are still too many people who rely on cars they own to get around. Our city can’t build wider streets to fit a growing population. There isn’t the room. Instead, we must make the transportation system more efficient and use less space (emphasis added).

If you persist in owning your own car or truck "to get around" the city, you will increasingly be squeezed by city government: traffic lanes and street parking will be converted to bike lanes, though the number of cyclists on city streets is actually declining; the city now takes every opportunity to eliminate street parking with parklets, bulb-outs, etc; parking tickets, parking meters, parking rates will punish you financially, while, not coincidentally, raising money to feed a growing city bureaucracy.

Our vision is to make more shared choices available so people of all backgrounds can easily get around without needing to own a car. By promoting shared options, we will ensure that more people can access affordable, safe, clean and reliable transportation than ever before. We’re making getting from A to B safer, easier and better for everyone (emphasis added).

The last sentence qualifies as a lie, since city policy is now clear that it will try to make driving your own car---or truck---"from A to B" slower, less convenient, and more expensive. 

The Masonic Avenue project, which will begin construction this month, is a perfect example of City Hall's anti-car policy, since it will deliberately make traffic congestion worse on that major regional north/south street based on a long campaign of lies by the Bicycle Coalition and its enablers in City Hall about the safety of Masonic Avenue (See also this). 

This project shows that City Hall will deliberately make traffic worse for more than 90% of the more than 44,000 daily travelers that now use Masonic Avenue to benefit only an unknown number of future cyclists.  

Vision Zero is already failing, since our streets are not getting safer despite that sappy slogan posing as reality-based public policy.

There are more motor vehicles registered in San Francisco every year due to population growth and gentrification. Funny but people with money insist on owning their own cars. Gee, why don't they ride Muni like the rest of us?

This is also becoming the policy of the State of California.

See also Randal O'Toole's Seven Cities Competing to Waste $40 Million.

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6 Comments:

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, someone speaking up for the rich people who desperately need more parking and room to drive quickly through town! Thank you Rob!

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

By "drive quickly through town" you're referring to the Masonic Avenue project? No, people driving through town use Park Presidio or Gough and Franklin. Masonic seems to be used mostly by the people of SF going north/south within the city.

Only rich people own cars in SF? Wrong again! Rich people have garages, which many car owners don't have. That means they have to park on the street, which is why they are the biggest losers in City Hall's anti-car policies like the Masonic Avenue project that eliminates 167 parking spaces in the middle of the city.

 
At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you raise a good point. What about a campaign to guarantee every car owner a dedicated parking spot, free of charge? Let's end the anti-carism and make a fair place for each and every driver.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, City Hall and assholes like you should just leave well enough alone and stop making bogus "improvements" to city streets. Removing 167 spaces in a part of town where street parking can be scarce to make bike lanes for a small number of cyclists is PC-driven policy that flouts the interests of the overwhelming majority of people in the city.

I should have noted in my earlier comment, by the way, that the other losers created by the Masonic bike project: more than 12,000 daily passengers on the #43 whose passage through the area will be part of the traffic congestion created by the project. But it's all about you and your narcissistic comrades, isn't it?

Not surprising that your failed attempt at cleverness has to be made anonymously.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Mark Kaepplein said...

In Boston, a private transportation planner and lecturer at Harvard just published a report based on his study of bike crashes that the City of Boston should have done. It found Boston police grossly underreport bike crashes when they don't involve motor vehicles. The circumstances around crashes are also poorly documented and not analyzed. http://bicycledriving.org/law/boston-bicyclist-injury-report

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Thanks, Mark. That Boston study sounds a lot like that UC study about how San Francisco botched counting cycling accidents. I'll write about the Boston study here soon.

 

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