Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Where's the bicycle count report? 2

I speculated about the city's late/missing bicycle count report last month, wondering if the count was even done last September. The MTA told me yesterday that it will be released at the end of this month. 

Why the delay? The count is done in September and the last few years the report has been released in December. A cynic might think that City Hall needed several more months to dummy up the numbers to make it seem like riding bikes is still on the increase here in Progressive Land. On the other hand, I understand that the MTA has probably just been too busy making all those "improvements" to streets in the neighborhoods. 

Besides, the MTA has to get ready to screw up Polk Street on behalf of the city's cyclists because, unlike the merchants on Polk Street, City Hall understands that all those small businesses and restaurants on Polk don't really need all that street parking for their customers. Better to eliminate it and make that space into a protected bike lane for city cyclists. 

From: Rob Anderson [] 
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 10:26 AM
To: SFMTA Sunshine Requests
Subject: Bicycle Count Report

I asked Mr. Rose last week about the bicycle count report. Was the annual count done last September? If so when will the report be issued?

Rob Anderson

Dear Mr. Anderson:

On behalf of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (the “SFMTA”), this email responds to your public records request dated March 16, 2015.

You have requested a copy of: “the bicycle count report.” After reviewing our records, the SFMTA has determined that the agency does not have any records responsive to your request. 

The bicycle count report is expected to be released at the end of the month. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the sunshine request line at 701.4670 or if you have further questions on this matter. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Caroline Celaya

Manager, Public Records Requests
One South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

From: Rob Anderson [] 
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 3:52 PM
To: SFMTA Sunshine Requests
Subject: SFMTA response to: Bicycle Count Report

Records? I didn't ask for any documents. I just asked whether and when the bicycle count report is going to be released. You answered that question. Hard to see why Rose couldn't have just told me that.

SFMTA Sunshine Requests
4:36 PM (23 hours ago)

to me

You sent your email to the sunshine request email address so that is why I responded. Mr. Rose may have been unaware of when the report would be released. He checked with staff who provided the response that the report is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.

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At 10:48 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Thanks for doing that, Rob.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Lex said...

You can draw the logical conclusion from the missing count - cycling numbers are flat or declining.

The same stunt was pulled in New York City. Every year the Department of Transportation released the cycling numbers with great fanfare at a press conference. Then the rate of increase declined for 3 straight years. Then in 2013 they released the report 5 months late.

You're going to love this. They didn't call a press conference. Instead they just posted the numbers on their website and didn't notify anyone in the media.

It turns out that ridership had actually declined. Since then NYC hasn't released *any* cycling numbers for 2 years.

You can bet that if ridership had rebounded they'd be calling press conferences left and right.

Here's the NY Times story on the "stealth" release of the last cycling report. It makes for fun reading.


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