Monday, June 10, 2013

Scott James redux

Good to see that Scott James is alive, well, and still writing with some edge, like his stories on the Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle Plan a couple of years ago that were the first in the city's mainstream media to question either. I was pleased and blogged about the stories here and here
James wrote a piece in the NY Times last week about his travails as a small property owner when renting out his extra housing unit. In ultra-prog San Francisco, where most are renters, he'll get little sympathy. But it's not an uncommon problem, and one wonders how many housing units are kept off the market for that reason.
Since we haven't heard from James lately, I wondered if he was purged from Bay Citizen because of his critical pieces on the Bicycle Coalition.
Those stories hold up well: here, here, and here. But then I would say that.
His story on the push by the Coalition and the city to put bike lanes on the Panhandle now seems prescient. The question in the head to his story on the start of that campaign---"Does SF Really Want to Engage Car Drivers?"---can now be answered with an emphatic no.
But Polk Street may be the Waterloo of the great, planet-saving bicycle revolution in San Francisco.
One of James's stories cited the Bicycle Coalition's claim that 7% of all trips in the city are by bicycle. Turns out that the city's own subsequent study shows that to be untrue by at least half. The percentage is an even less impressive 3.4% of all trips in the city by bike, a meager increase of 1.3% in the ten years between 2000 and 2010.

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At 7:15 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

What's your position on his current story? Do you agree rent control needs to go away?

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I like the idea of a means test for tenants in rent-controlled housing. Allowing the well-off to shortchange small property owners is not acceptable.

And James himself wrote about this last year on Bay Citizen He also wrote about the number of housing units that are held off the market by small property owners: between 10,600 and25,000.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as you get yours, huh Rob?

California, the land of "I got mine, FU!"

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Translate "visiting friends and relatives" to "making a killing renting to tourists on Air-BnB." Landlords are fools to keep units empty when there are so many opportunities for short-term, no-strings, high-profit rentals. And such services probably remove many more units from the rental market than just keeping units empty.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"As long as you get yours, huh Rob?"

I don't live in a rent-controlled apartment. Besides, I would easily pass any means test.

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Neal Patel said...

Besides, I would easily pass any means test.

More proof that your opinions are worthless. If you knew anything about what you were talking about, you'd have some money.

Maybe if you go back to school and learn something, we can hire you at Livable Streets.

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Turns out that the city's own subsequent study shows that to be untrue by at least half. The percentage is an even less impressive 3.4% of all trips in the city by bike, a meager increase of 1.3% in the ten years between 2000 and 2010."

Tip: take a statistics class. 2.1% to 3.4% is not a 1.3% increase, it's a 61% increase. I know that's mind-blowing because 3.4 minus 2.1 is 1.3, but it's true.

You might be interested to know that in the first 2 decades of car manufacturing (20 YEARS), San Francisco traffic went from (obviously) 0% to 1.3% of mobility to car traffic. That's pretty low. If you were around at that time, I assume you'd have argued against the car?

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Nice try! Cyclists were 2.1% of all commuters in 2000, and they were 3.4% of all commuters in 2010.
calling that a 61% increase in the percentage of bike commuters only shows how City Hall and the SFBC use numbers to lie about an increase in cyclists in SF.

The city and the SFBC have an even bigger problem with those numbers. They used to claim that cycling was 6% of all daily trips in the city. But when a consultant they hired did a study, they found that the percentage of cyclists is only 3.4% of all trips, which makes the commuting percentage and the all-trips percentage the same.

Where did they go wrong? The original 2.1% must have been inflated, since the commuting percentage has to be lower than the all-trips percentage.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Speaking of rent control, our District 5 Supervisor, London Breed, lives in rent-controlled housing even though she makes $100,000 a year. She's the poster child for a means test.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If you want to bypass my post, go to the Haighteration post of the Breed interview where she says she lives in a rent-controlled unit.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Math question: Every day a pie is offered a group of people for lunch. On day 1 Bill eats 1.5% of the pie. On the second day he eats 3.0% of the pie. By what percentage did Bill increase his pie-based caloric intake on day 2 from day 1?

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, still waiting for you to tell us how you afford to live in SF without rent control...


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