Monday, December 26, 2016

New York Times and anti-carism

Randal O'Toole on trendy anti-carism and the NY Times:

Americans are expected to buy a record number of cars in 2016. The American Community Survey says that the share of American workers taking cars to work grew from 86.3 percent in 2010 to 89.7 percent in 2015. So naturally, the New York Times says that America is “over the whole car thing.”...the gist of the article is not that Americans are abandoning cars for transit but that they might abandon car ownership for car sharing. 

What the Times misses is that a car that is shared might travel 75,000 miles per year, compared with around 15,000 for a privately owned car. That means that shared cars will need to be replaced every three or four years instead of every 20 years...

Rob's comment:
The NY Times strives to be fashionable on transportation issues. See NY Times editor doesn't read the NY Times, When smart people are dumb, The NY Times and the U.N high-speed rail plot,  and on San Francisco's Bicycle Plan, When smart people are dumb 2.

Back in 2013, the Times reported on a UC study that showed how San Francisco counts cycling accidents was seriously flawed (the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner, by the way, still haven't done a story on the study---or about how the city then reacted disingenuously to the issues it raised).

From that Times story:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps statistics on deaths and emergency room visits resulting from bicycle accidents. The yearly death rate has ranged from 0.26 to 0.35 per 100,000 population, with no particular pattern; in 2010, the agency says, there were 800 bicycle fatalities, about one-fortieth of all road deaths. “There is no trend,” said Linda Degutis, the director of the agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, who added that bicycling seemed no more dangerous than other sports.

Click on the CDC link in that paragraph and you find this:

While only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are by bicycle, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do.

In 2013 in the U.S., over 900 bicyclists were killed and there were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries.

Data from 2010 show fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.

No "trend"? How about a "pattern"? 

The Times found a "trend" in concussions and cycling, especially for children, a few years earlier.

See also the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

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