Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The MTA's information control

A reader writes:


SFMTA released their 2015 Bicycle Count Report on April 16, 2016

The latest Transportation Fact Sheet was from 2013 and released Jan. 22, 2014.

SFMTA can issue a Bicycle Count report each year for the 3.5% of bike riders but cannot release an annual Transportation Fact Sheet for the remaining 96.5% of city travelers.

As usual, SFMTA doesn't have its priorities in order.

Rob's comment:

There won't be any more Transportation Fact Sheets released by the MTA, and there won't be any more Collisions Reports. Why? Because these documents often had information that contradicts the party line from City Hall and the MTA, particularly about all the "improvements" the city is making to city streets. 

I asked the MTA about the Transportation Fact Sheet last December but got the usual runaround from Paul Rose. So why didn't I push for an answer? Because the answer is obvious: the MTA isn't going to issue any more of those informative documents.

The Transportation Fact Sheet not only has information about how many vehicles are registered in the city, how people commute in the city, how many vehicles per household, etc. It also has the numbers on how many parking tickets the city issues and how much money it makes on those tickets. Why would the city voluntarily provide this information if it doesn't have to? Our "progressive" representatives in City Hall aren't complaining. Instead, make people file a Sunshine request to get it.

The Collisions Reports included a list of the Highest Injury Collision Intersections with an analysis that showed what the city was doing to make them safer. Now the city simply declares that every busy street in the city is part of a high-injury network. No need to analyze accidents to determine exactly how and why they happen. Besides, there's supposedly no such thing as an accident under the city's fatuous Vision Zero campaign, which is a slogan disguised as a policy.

Now the city just counts accidents---I mean "collisions"---and gives the numbers to the city's many house-broken journalists without any analysis like what Commander Ali did on all the 2014 fatalities on city streets (The Chronicle's Heather Knight, however, did a story on Ali's report, but no city paper has done anything on that damning UC study).

Even though the MTA has 5,745 employees[Later: It's 6,263 now], it won't assign anyone to analyze every traffic injury accident and make that information public because it would undermine its happy-talk Vision Zero bullshit and also raise doubts about all the "improvements" the city is supposedly making to our streets.

The city's policy limiting the release of useful information goes back to the trauma inflicted on the MTA back in 2013 when its gross incompetence at counting traffic accidents was exposed by the NY Times.

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