Thursday, October 10, 2013

Americans drive to work

Graphic by Wendell Cox on  New Geography

Wendell Cox in New Geography:

...In 2007, 76.1 percent of employment access was by driving alone, a figure that rose to 76.3 percent in 2012. Between 2007 and 2012, driving alone accounted for 94 percent of the employment access increase, capturing 1.55 million out of the additional 1.60 million daily one-way trips (Figure 1). The other 50,000 new transit commutes were the final result of increases in working at home, transit and bicycles, minus losses in car pooling and other modes...Bicycling also did well, rising from a 0.5 percent share in 2007 to a 0.6 percent share in 2012. Approximately 200,000 more people commuted by bicycle by 2012. Walking retained its 2.8 percent share, with only a modest 15,000 increase over the period. The largest increase in employment access outside single occupant driving was working at home, which rose from 4.1 percent to 4.4 percent. This translated into an increase of approximately 470,000...

Rob's comment:

Putting bikes in perspective: Commuting by bicycle in the US increased from 0.5 to 0.6 in five years, which is an increase of only 0.02 a year.

Graphic by depaul Brown

Here's another reality-check on home sales and parking in the city:

It probably comes as no surprise that the vast majority of San Francisco home sales include at least one on-site parking space in the sale. It also probably comes as no surprise that 80%-90% of buyers include parking on their must-have list when home-searching...
Graphic from Parascope

Rob's comment: 

But when these homeowners drive on city streets to take their children to school, go shopping, or eat at a restaurant on the other side of town, they will do so on streets with fewer traffic lanes and parking spaces because city streets are increasingly redesigned for the 3.4% of the city population that rides bicycles.

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Smart[sic] growth and parking in the real world

A letter to the editor in the East Bay Express:

No Parking Means Saturated Streets

In the real world, the lack of provided parking results in more cars parked on the already saturated streets. People who can do without cars already do for the most part. Developer refusal to provide parking for residents of their building is just a matter of foisting the true cost of their project onto the surrounding neighborhood. Enough with the pieties promoting developer welfare in the guise of the smart growth fad, which will eventually go the way of the freeway fad.

I'll be explicit in not supporting the retroactive punitive Manhattanization of the Bay Area, which is just as ghastly as the equivalent bay-filling from which Save the Bay saved us. In real terms, in, say my neighborhood in Oakland, we had an actual fatal shooting because two tenants were fighting over a parking space, which the landlord did not provide. Street parking is already saturated, and there is no reason current residents should have to pay the price for the latest green-flag-wrapping developer's get-rich-quick scheme. And we're half a mile from BART, so it only gets worse near the "transit villages."

Also---besides overlooking the fact that if people want to move to Manhattan, God bless them, but we live here because it's not like that---even when one is fortunate enough to be able to drive very little, have a telecommute or transit-friendly job, and be able-bodied and able to do a lot of errands on foot, there eventually comes a time when you have to conduct business or visit friends in a place that requires a car. Even if you drive once a month, you still need the car, and car sharing, while a boon, may not be a fit. You need a place that goes with your residence to keep your car without burdening your neighbors. Not burdening the neighbors is a consideration that seems to be omitted from this discussion all too often, except to brand those who advocate it NIMBYs.

Mary Eisenhart 

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