Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chronicle distorts poll results---again

From a front-page story (Homelessness soars to No. 1 concern in SF, new poll findsin this morning's Chronicle:

Despite a booming economy, more than half of San Franciscans believe the city is going in the wrong direction, a significant uptick from last year, according to a new poll from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

Concerns over homelessness are fueling that dissatisfaction, with 51 percent of respondents calling it a major issue facing the city, compared with 35 percent last year and 29 percent in 2014. Homelessness has overtaken affordability as the No. 1 concern among San Francisco residents. “Homelessness has always been a big issue, but never like this,” said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of the business-oriented organization.

Also, people have more negative views of the Police Department, believe traffic congestion is worse and say the cost of rent is as worrisome as ever. One bright spot is Muni, which continued its resurgence of positive reviews...

The Chronicle story rightly emphasizes homelessness and housing, but the distortion comes from what the story doesn't mention.

Every year the Chamber's poll also asks people about the SFCTA's congestion pricing idea, and every year the Chronicle doesn't mention that people always overwhelmingly reject the idea of paying $3.00 to drive downtown in their own city (And every year I write about it).

The poll results on traffic congestion only get that brief mention in the last paragraph above, even though 81% think traffic congestion is getting worse in the city, 71% think parking is getting worse, and 72% reject the congestion parking idea, all unmentioned by the Chronicle.

Since City Hall is deliberately making it harder and more expensive to drive in the city, traffic and parking surely contribute to 51% of the people now thinking the city is heading in the wrong direction.

The city is getting ready to screw up traffic on Masonic Avenue later this year by taking away street parking and traffic lanes to make separated bike lanes. That will make the poll results next year particularly interesting.

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