Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The latest Transportation Fact Sheet

The MTA's annual Transportation Fact Sheet provides a dozen pages quantifying how people in San Francisco get to work and get around in general (go to the MTA website and enter "Transportation Fact Sheet"). In the ongoing debate about Muni and cars versus bikes, this document provides a factual basis for the discussion and a reality-check for City Hall's anti-car policies.

Comparing the report of November, 2011, with last year's report: 

The latest DMV numbers show that there are 461,536 registered motor vehicles in San Francisco, which is down slightly from last year's number of 461,827. There were 537,613 driver's licenses issued to city residents in 2010, which is up from 534,829 in the last report. SF has 9,933 registered vehicles per square mile.

"Vehicles Available by Household": Only 21.6% of households in SF have no motor vehicle, with 78.40% of households having between one (36.6%) and five (1.6%).

On the "net change in the number of vehicles in the city between 4 a.m. and noon on a work day": 35,000 come into the city over the bridges and from San Mateo County.

"Means of Transportation to Work" for San Francisco residents: 46% commute by motor vehicle (car, taxi, motorcycle, etc.), 34.1% by public transportation, and---wait for it---3.5% by bicycle. That percentage is up from 2.1% in 2000, a not-so-whopping increase of 1.4% in ten years, after years of anti-car, pro-bike propaganda from the Bicycle Coalition and City Hall.

An oddity: Though the city claims that more people are commuting by public transportation (34.1% from 31.8% in the previous report), average weekday boardings for Muni have supposedly plummeted to 673,196 from 707,459 boardings in the previous report. That anomaly is unexplained, since the report doesn't provide any analysis or commentary on the numbers.

In spite of the hysteria from Walk SF, the SF Chronicle, and the anti-car movement, the city is actually getting safer for pedestrians. There were 695 "non-fatal pedestrian injury collisions," which is down from 799 in the previous report. The Fact Sheet cites the latest city Collisions Report (see pages 26, 27) for those numbers, showing a steady decline in both pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the streets of San Francisco.

But non-fatal bicycle injury accidents are up to 531 from 468 in the previous report.

Parking meters, city parking lots, and parking tickets are a major source of revenue for the city. Alas, much to the distress of the MTA, that income is down to a mere $171,610,099 from the previously-reported $180,015,984probably because people are driving less in the recession.

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