Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Cars and trucks in SF: the latest DMV numbers

Here are the latest figures from the DMV on how many cars, trucks, and motorcycles/motorbikes are registered in San Francisco:

Automobiles: 382,151

Trucks: 65,141

Motorcycles/motorbikes: 17,611

Total: 464,903

The bike fanatics will look at these numbers and say, "All the more reason to make bikes a major transportation mode in the city." But the reality is that the overwhelming majority of people either have too much sense to ride a bike in the city or are too old, too young, or just physically unable to do so. My argument: cars, trucks, and buses are here to stay, and there are more of them every year, while riding a bike in the city is an intrinsically dangerous activity that will never be a serious factor in moving people and goods around this city.

In the meantime, we need to be aware that the Bike Nut Community is very aggressive politically; they exercise an influence way out of proportion to their numbers, since riding a bike in the city has somehow attained a sanctified place in the progressive, Politically Correct pantheon of half-baked ideas. The Bike fanatics especially have a strong influence in the Planning Dept., where they have been undermining the city ordinance that requires a parking space for every new housing unit built in the city even as the total number of registered vehicles in the city grows by thousands every year. They are now on the verge of making the entire Bicycle Plan part of the General Plan without any CEQA review, claiming that it can have no possible impact on the city's environment, even though it contains many specific ideas about changing the city's streets, buildings, and signs.

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