Saturday, May 03, 2008

Latest DMV numbers

The Department of Motor Vehicles has posted the latest numbers on vehicles registered per county in California.

The latest count for San Francisco, excluding trailers: 382,341 cars, 64,147 trucks, and 19,417 motorcycles/motorscooters for a total of 465,905 motor vehicles registered in SF. (Last year's total---460,150---shows that there's been a gain of 5,755 in the last year.) Don't these people understand that cars and trucks are "death monsters," in Steve Jones's immortal coinage? These numbers don't include the 1045 Muni vehicles on city streets (MTA's "San Francisco Transportation Fact Sheet, August 2007").

The MTA also tells us in the same document that the "total daytime increase in vehicles" coming into the city is 35,400, including 20,000 over the Bay Bridge and 13,100 over the Golden Gate Bridge. And the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) tells us that more than 50% of city residents---214,660---commute by car to jobs in both SF and other counties (Countywide Transportation Plan, July 2004, page 40). Every year millions of people drive into the city for business and pleasure, as the Visitors Bureau tells us: of the 4.5 million people who stayed in the city's hotels/motels, 25.8% rented cars, which means more than a million more cars on city streets. This number of course doesn't include the millions of tourists who drive their own cars into the city every year.

Tourism is our most important industry, with the 15.80 million visitors to the city in 2006 spending $7.76 billion, generating $473 million in taxes for the city, supporting 68,652 jobs with a payroll of $1.83 billion.

So why would our city government want to make it as difficult and expensive as possible for all these people---not to mention city residents---to drive in San Francisco? Because the SF Bicycle Coalition and their many enablers in City Hall envision turning SF into Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

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