Thursday, February 09, 2012

This just in: 96.5% in SF don't ride bikes to work!

"Bike count finds 7% more cylists" was the hed on the Chronicle's story on the 2011 Bicycle Count Report:

Bikes now carry 3.5 percent of city commuters---a significant increase since 2000, when just two percent rode their bikes to work. But it's still a long way from the city's goal of having 20 percent of commuters pedaling to work by 2020.

Yes, a very long way.

Let's do some math. Back in 2000 2.1% of city residents commuted on bikes, and in 2010 that was up to 3.5%. That's an increase of 1.4% in eleven years, which is a 0.13% increase per year. To get to 20% by 2020, bike commuting in the city would have to increase by 2.06% a year for the next eight years, which is way below the 1.4% increase it took eleven years to achieve.

That's not going to happen. The reality is that, like the Bicycle Coalition's previous "Ten percent by 2010" goal, the 20 percent by 2020 is nothing but a slogan. City Hall has simply adopted the Bicycle Coalition's updated slogan, which means that the SFBC is essentially making city traffic policy.[Later: Wrong! The slogan apparently originated with this Board of Supervisors resolution.] Like the previous slogan, this sets the bar so high that even trying to achieve it means that city traffic will be made significantly worse on behalf of this PC minority.

The latest San Francisco Transportation Fact Sheet puts the bike fantasy in perspective: 36% of city residents commute by driving alone to work; 7.9% carpool; 34% take public transportation; 2.4% take a taxi, ride a motorcyle "or other"; 9.4% walk to work; 3.5% ride bikes to work, and 6.7% work at home.

Of residents using city streets to get to work, 80.4% use vehicles other than bicycles.

Add to the total those who work at home and/or walk to work: 96.5% of city residents don't ride bikes to work.

City Hall is redesigning city streets---making it increasingly difficult and expensive to drive here---on behalf of 3.5% of the population based on the assumption that somehow, someday there will be enough people riding bikes to justify making traffic worse for everyone else who uses the streets of San Francisco. 

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