Tuesday, October 30, 2018

SF's bike revolution is over

San Francisco Citizen

The bike movement in San Francisco may have began with Critical Mass in 1992, which got a lot of publicity after a riot in 1997 when city cops tried to stop it in downtown San Francisco.

But the next big move by city cyclists and their enablers in City Hall was rushing the 500-page Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review in clear violation of the most important environmental law in California. 

I'm proud to have been a party to the litigation that culminated with the court ordering the city to do an environmental review of the ambitious plan.

The bike movement in the city has now apparently skidded to a halt. According to last year's Travel Decisions Survey (page 5), trips by bicycle in the city are down to 2%, even though the Mode Share Survey 2011 (page 5) found that trips by bicycle were 3.4% of all trips made in the city.

We learned recently that commuting by bicycle was down 24% from a 2015 peak.

But those numbers haven't fazed City Hall's anti-car zeal, as it recently opened bike lanes on Masonic Avenue that have been an underwhelming success, with few cyclists using the garish green monuments to wishful thinking.

Failures like that won't stop the city's pursuit of what Paul Krugman calls zombie ideas: "beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die."

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At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on a hard battle finally won, Rob. After we get the bike share down to 0% can we work on the scooters?

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bullshit. Why don't you at least try to make a substantive comment, Anon? The Bicycle Plan litigation was only about the city's deliberate violation of CEQA. I also critiqued the idea of taking away traffic lanes and street parking on busy city streets to make bike lanes for a small minority of city cyclists against the interests of the overwhelming majority that don't ride bicycles.

That the number of cyclists in the city is actually declining, that argument is even more compelling.

I also point out how intrinsically dangerous riding a bike is in this city and everywhere else. People of course have a perfect legal right to ride bikes on city streets, but it's irresponsible of City Hall to encourage people, even children, to engage in that risky transportation "mode."

Scooters raise some of the same issues, especially about safety, since motorized scooters can go faster than bikes.


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