Saturday, October 25, 2014

A critique of the city's Transportation Task Force Report

Meter Madness sends this from the Pacific Research Institute:

The Pacific Research Institute released a brief reviewing San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Transportation Task Force Report: 2030. The brief is a supplement to PRI’s earlier study “Plan Bay Area Evaluation” (June 2013), which critiqued the plan developed by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Both the brief and the study were authored by Wendell Cox, a PRI fellow and consultant on public policy, planning, and transportation issues...

Mr. Cox believes that the plan gives little or no attention to the potential for increasing truck and automobile congestion on the city’s streets: “Street improvement programs will give greater priority to transit, cycling, and walking, and will have a necessary effect of slowing general vehicle travel. Similarly, the implementation of additional exclusive bus lanes and taking of capacity from streets for cycle lanes would likely have the same effect. Traffic congestion retards the productivity of the city by increasing travel times, increasing business costs, higher air pollution, and greater greenhouse gas emissions as vehicles are less fuel efficient at slower speeds and in ‘stop’ and ‘go’ conditions.”

In addition, Mr. Cox believes that escalating costs will also present difficulties:

1) Most of the costs of the 2030 transportation plan are for capital improvements. In the public sector, capital improvements are inherently susceptible to substantial cost overruns.

2) The Task Force Report indicates little or no commitment to cost effectiveness. Muni’s costs over the last 15 years have risen far more than inflation. This occurs because there is no competitive influence to keep transit costs under control...

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At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

Rob, let's place wagers on how many years will pass before the local media publicize this. We're still waiting for someone other than you to publicize the UC study that reveals how the city under-counts bicycle mayhem.

Over at the MTA they surely regard this study's predictions of traffic slowdown as validation of their plans for us. The MTA smiles with every step San Francisco takes towards third-world travel speeds.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, and I notice that the anti-L campaign is warning voters that Proposition L will create gridlock in San Francisco!

It's like arguing with any kind of ideologue: argue with a Freudian, and you're in resistance; argue with a Marxist, and you're only exhibiting false consciousness.

The city media will have to face the music on the UC study sooner or later, but later has definitely won the day. I've sent messages all around the city about that document with no response from anyone in the media. The City That Knows How knows how to bury its head in the sand! At least Steve Jones acknowledged the existence of the study in our exchange, though he denied that it has any significance for safety on city streets.

But the other day someone from the Public Health Dept. also acknowledged the issue, as did Ed Reiskin himself earlier this year.

It will be interesting to see how they handle it in the end. They won't say anything like, "Rob Anderson is right; we fucked up on how we count accidents." Instead it will be something like, "The good people at UC Medical Center have called our attention to the flawed methodology we've been using to count cycling accidents..."


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