SF Transportation System Funding Gap

At the risk of rubbing salt in the wounds of those affected by today’s “sick out” by Muni workers which has left two-thirds of Muni’s vehicles stuck in the yards, the Mayor’s recently established “Transportation Task Force 2030″ has come to two rather troubling conclusions:

  1. The City’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet current demand and decline in transportation services will become more severe without new investments as the City grows and demand for transportation increases.
  2. Required improvements to the City’s transportation system infrastructure are estimated at $10.1 billion over the next 15 years. The City has identified $3.8 billion in funding, leaving a $6.3 billion funding gap over the next 15 years.

The latest report from the Task Force characterizes our existing Muni service as “slow and unreliable” (with an average operating speed of eight miles per hour and current on-time performance of less than 63%). And while San Francisco’s population is expected to boom, BART stations in the city are expected to reach capacity in 2016.

The Task Force’s proposed approach to address the current state of affairs and funding needs:

  1. Future investments should focus on primarily improving [the City’s existing transportation capital and infrastructure] (54%);next enhancing the existing system (32%); then expanding to meet growth (14%).
  2. The City should support two General Obligation bonds, each for $500 million, to fund bond eligible infrastructure improvements.
  3. Vehicle License Fees should be increased to 2 percent to fund transportation improvements.
  4. Sales tax should be increased by 0.5 percent to fund remaining highest priority transportation projects.
  5. City leaders and regional agencies should continue to seek additional transportation funding to fill the gap of unfunded, underfunded, or delayed projects and priorities.

By increasing taxes and fees and issuing bonds, the Task Force believes that San Francisco will be better positioned to compete for matching investments from state and federal sources. No mention of developing a vaccination to eradicate any future “sicks.”

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Spencer

    focus only on high impact projects. all those dollars spent on bike lanes and this BRT is wasteful and adds up. Grow some nuts and hold all investment to save for a valid subway system. forget about the transportation needs of 2014-2019. you already blew that with a lack of planning. Think about 2020 and beyond. forget about the short term.

    im ok with the increased vehicle license tax, but cyclists also should ahve to take a test, get a license and a plate for their bikes.

    • Posted by Zig

      I think you don’t understand the conclusions on the report at all. We need to not do what you said

    • Posted by seriously

      amen- enough of all these small projects that add up to nothing! Geary BRT is $300mil and will do NOTHING. just save up and press for federal funding to get a dedicated bus tunnel or subway.

      • Posted by Zig

        If built correctly BRT on Geary would be excellent as it is in other parts of the world. The street is well suited for BRT as well. The only issue I have is east of Van Ness but otherwise we don’t need a subway to the beach

        • Posted by seriously

          Build a subway, rezone Geary. Grow the city westward. The 8 line is one of the busiest lines in the WORLD. We need a more serious solution than a bus line.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          But – EXACTLY. The problem with Geary is not the portion west of Van Ness, it’s Geary (and Bush and Pine, etc.) east of Van Ness. Going home at night on the 31BX or 31AX, it takes 15 minutes to get to Van Ness, and 10 minutes to do the rest of the trip. So BRT down Geary is meaningless; we need a subway (or heck, even bus tunnel) from Market under the FiDi and Union Square and ‘Loin, to avoid those traffic jams.

          • Posted by Zig

            A bus tunnel that could collect many bus lines would actually be an interesting idea. SF is really only very dense in small area

    • Posted by Futurist

      Agree completely. Stop coddling cyclists. No more bike lanes or money for bike infrastructure UNTIL we get a transit system that works.

      • Posted by El-D

        As a cyclist — with two licenced, taxed cars in the family — I do not feel especially “coddled” when I’m on two wheels.

      • Posted by Fishchum

        “Coddling” cyclists? Give me a break. Yeah, cyclists have had it far too easy for far too long, right?

        • Posted by Futurist

          So, do you have a problem with cyclists being licensed, taking a test and having a license plate attached to their bike?

          • Posted by Tony in SF

            Most cyclists are already licensed drivers. I believe that licensing has proven to be a big money loser and very difficult to enforce.

          • Posted by El-D

            I’m already a licensed driver and I’ve got two licensed cars sitting in the garage now. What more do you want from me?

            Maybe I should just drive more and make more of my licensing and taxpayment investment.

          • Posted by David

            What problem are you trying to solve by licensing bicyclists and making them take a test? I couldn’t find US stats, but in the UK ~3 people are killed by bicyclists per year.

      • Posted by wyatt

        on average 3k people ride a bike down market on any given week day… based on expected light rail car capacity of 218, that frees up about 14 inbound trains per day assuming these people would otherwise take the train… keep in mind that is on one transit artery, and only in one direction. When muni melted down, having a bike saved me today…

        http://totem-eb-market.sanfrancisco.visio-tools.com/

      • Posted by Tony in SF

        Stop coddling motorists. No more free parking or publicly subsidized city streets until we get a transit system that works.

        Why are bicyclists always the whipping boy for transit issues? We pay for the city streets just like everyone else — peds, motorists, truckers — through the taxes and fees we pay. VLF does _not_ significantly fund city streets. Automobile infrastructure is an expensive, inefficient use of urban space. Sure, cars are important, but the installation, maintenance and real estate they require are costly. Bicycles, not so much. Plus, when the transit system does break down, you’ll be glad that bike infra and your two wheels are there to get you where you need to go.

        • Posted by toady

          Because bicyclists are incapable of seeing beyond their navel gazing. They think they can get away with Critical Mass, removing parking spaces and taking up lanes and think they’re the whipping boy.

          Sheesh.

          • Posted by Heybucko

            I agree that Critical Mass has a massively antagonistic effect on everyone in its path, however with at least 75,000 bike trips per day in SF, and maybe 1,000 bicyclists once a month attending Critical Mass, it isn’t appropriate to associate all cyclists with the ethos represented at Critical Mass.

          • Posted by El-D

            Why again do you expect that cyclists all agree with the critical mass crowd? Always amazing to hear the anti-bike types wail about how everyone else is incapable of feeling their pain.

            Anyway, sorry, I’ll try not to take away your free parking spot. I wasn’t using it anyway, except as a public thoroughfare.

      • Posted by R

        All this bicycle hate is so ignorant and misguided. When the freeways and surface streets inevitably become more and more gridlocked for more and more hours out of each day, when the car accidents, crime scenes, and construction sites shut down major boulevards and force detours more and more often, or when Muni and BART begin to run at capacity for more and more hours out of each day, and then get shut down due to more and more entrenched labor contract disputes, the only means you and every other person will have to get around the city in a fast and efficient manner will be down these bicycle boulevards and under your own peddle power.

        Bicycle infrastructure is low cost and low maintenance and arguably a better marginal return on investment than even investments in buses and light rail. They promote a low hazard, zero emission, and high density form of transit–the highest density of vehicular transportation possible in fact. The only reason you would be against the progress made in bicycle infrastructure is that you have never taken advantage of this superior method of transportation, and you probably had a bad encounter or two with a reckless cyclist and are now projecting your contempt onto all cyclists (funny how people don’t do that when it comes to bad drivers and pedestrians).

        Complain about bicycles all you like, but you are wasting your energy because it is the future of personal transportation for the self-determined individual. Cultural adoption is the only thing that lags behind in this car-obsessed country, but that will quickly change as the streets become more and more crowded with more and more lazy, rude, and self-important people. I have a car registered in SF and I almost never drive it anywhere because it is usually pointless hassle that winds up being a slower process then just biking across town, and in most cases is simply a habit of laziness that I have learned to better overcome with time. Biking is fun and invigorating–your heart is pumping, the wind is in your face, you are awake, alert, and connected to your environment. Driving on the other hand is the hell of auto-piloting a money-hemorrhaging death machine through stop-and-go traffic from inside your steel cage while jockeying for position with other similarly disengaged people who are more than willing to blow a gasket on anyone else that might make them miss a light. Which mode of transportation sounds like the future for a city that is only going to get more crowded?

        • Posted by capitolcity

          Yes! My next paycheck I’m buying a new road bike (I had one a few months ago but it goes stolen). The cost of filling up ($55+) is enough motivation for me to start commuting by bike, and will easily pay for itself within a few weeks, and after that, I’m laying *myself* every time I ride and skip the car.

          I will keep the car, as it’s necessary in the U.S. And here in Sacramento. Also, people who wear suite to work can’t really commute by bike, unless there are public showers available at their office buildings. So I can see big sides of the argument. But I can’t wait to get a new bike and forgo watching my bank account drain every time I need to run and errand.

          • Posted by capitolcity

            goes= got
            laying=paying
            suite=suits
            big=both

            Damn iPad typing!

        • Posted by Futurist

          Pretty good rant. Probably one of the best pro-bike rants ever here.
          Your words are precisely why so many cyclists are disliked and scorned. You represent the arrogance and party line of the bike sheeple: You have no other point of view, except your way. Your way is the way you WANT all others to follow. Sadly. Here’s a synopsis of your insistence:

          1. The only means to get around.
          2. Superior method of transportation.
          3. The future of transportation.
          4. self-determined individuals. (don’t you mean self-entitled?)
          5.Car obsessed.
          6. Lazy, rude and self-important people.
          7.Almost never drive it (your car). Yea, ok, right.
          8. Habit of laziness you have overcome. (congrats).
          9. The hell of auto-piloting.
          10. Money hemorrhaging death machine. (Awesome image!)
          11.steel cage.
          12. Jockeying for position. (I like the competitive spirit in that)
          13.Disengaged people.
          14.Blow a gasket. ( in the car or where?)

          Excellent rant. Now what are you trying to say, again?

        • Posted by Spencer

          “Complain about bicycles all you like, but you are wasting your energy because it is the future of personal transportation for the self-determined individual.”

          youre in fantasyland. it will never get above 10%. best way to get people out of cars is better public transport. #1 best way if an adequate subway system. proven over and over in world class cities, which SF will not be until it has a decent public transportation city. Otherwise SFwill continue to be a city thats easy to get around in a car.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      Yes, exactly – a bike lane here and a curb cut there isn’t going to improve existing Muni travel times now, let alone as the city grows larger. Install a subway down Geary and Van Ness, *then* you’ll start to see some improved transit times.

      • Posted by zig

        but we clearly don’t have enough money to even maintian what and invest in basic capital expendatures we need to make.

    • Posted by Brad

      What a load of drivel. Bike infrastructure costs practically nothing.

      • Posted by Spencer

        a penny saved is a penny earned. i became wealthy by saving every penny and investing only in the biggest winner. thats the best long term path. every penny spent on the 3% is taken away from the 97%

        • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

          Who are the 97%? All car commuters? Nope, you are knowingly making a shortcut through reality. SF doesn’t have that many car commuters compared to suburbia. Walking, public transit, driving, cycling, all of these are used and should be helped simply because people need to get where they’re going.

          Cycling is extremely cheap for society as a whole. It is not taking anything from other means of transportation since one guy on the bike is one less guy in a car or in a Muni train. This means there’s one less person to wear the road you are using, one less person to slow your traffic, one less person to saturate the Muni train.

          Now, traffic flow has been studied for decades now. A street can have 500 cars per minute and have traffic moving at 10MPH or 40MPH. It sounds odd, but there are simply more cars packed in a smaller space at lower speeds and the flow will be similar. The reason for the slower movement can be less than 1% of cars too many. If anything cyclists are making you a favor by not using a car and making your driving less of a hell. They are the impact free buffer that helps everyone (like during a Muni strike). And I think they’re more than 3%.

          • Posted by Miguelito

            One thing about bicyclists though, if they’re in the lane not letting cars pass them they sure do slow traffic. And when the city rips out lanes and parking for bikes they create bottlenecks where cars have to merge into fewer lanes which also slows traffic.

            Not to mention abominations like 9th-10th & Market where the idiots at SFMTA have made a bike lane RIGHT AT THE CURB with the little plastic poles separating it from the traffic lanes, so that no one can legally pull over to pick up or drop off passengers–period. If you’re going to a place on that street in a cab, the cab can’t legally stop there. They give tickets which is fair since you have to block traffic to stop because of the bike lanes. A really nice gesture by the city for the infirm who may not be able to walk 2 blocks to the nearest place where stopping is allowed.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Miguelito – There are places where double laned freeway on ramps also block taxi pick up. Do If you’re upset about that place at 10th and Market you should also complain about how freeways impact taxi pickup.

        • Posted by Jill

          Good sentiment. Many of us don’t understand this either. I don’t think another dime should be spent on this 3% while the whole public transport system is a POS. Subway!!!

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      Bicycles get less than 1% of the MTA budget. But you already knew that and couldn’t resist your rant anyway.

  2. Posted by seriously

    Can we PLEASE get MUNI buses to quit stopping every block? Except for really steep hills there is no good reason for it to stop every 1-3 blocks. Everyone shuffles around, gets on and off it takes forever! Most cities are 6-10 blocks. That would be a FREE way to increase transit times, effectiveness, and honestly save money because the fuel efficiency would be better from not having to start and stop all the time.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      It seems to vary–some places it’s every other block and there are some examples of 2 stops on the same block. Every other block as a standard would be OK. Less frequent is a problem for the disabled and seniors and is a bad idea.

      • Posted by seriously

        No! Every other is not OK either. No other city stops this often or is this slow. And not to sound callous- but disabled and senior people had to GET to the bus stop somehow. Other cities have figured this out. We also have MUNI paratransit- there are options. When the bus stops every other block and ONE person gets on or off that’s incredibly inefficient and I have ridden several lines that do this.

        • Posted by BigV

          Totally Agree. Muni should stop every 4 blocks or so. If you are so disabled that you cannot walk four blocks, then you are perfect candidate for the paratransit services. This is the cheapest and most efficient way to make MUNI faster.

          • Posted by Mark

            I live out in Parkside and recently read about MUNI’s plans to “improve” the L-Taraval…plans that include installing signals at several intersections, including 17th and 18th Avenues, but not eliminating stops to every 4 blocks which would certainly speed things up.

          • Posted by jsimms3

            There are TWO 1 stops on the same block of Clay between Polk and Larkin (and I’m not even talking on the other side of the street, etc). The hill to get “up” from Polk to Larkin is a ~8 degree grade at most, nothing that would make anyone used to any bits of the city wimper at all.

            Granted, the next stop is Hyde, a whole block away, but still.

            MUNI is an actual inside joke between residents, people seem to forget that. It’s not a real system, just a facade that is there to make us laugh (or cry) every day.

            A brisk walk to work in the financial district from Pac Heights/furthest reaches of Russian Hill is ~27-32 minutes depending. Taking MUNI takes at least that amount of time. And you won’t have a seat and 1-2 full busses will probably pass by your stop anyway before you can catch one. WTH is the point?

            Getting from Russian Hill to Pac Heights (Van Ness down towards Broadway/Union) to the Mission or Castro or anywhere else interesting is a friggin PITA. This city NEEDS trains. I spend a small FORTUNE on cabs/Uber, unnecessarily, in addition to MUNI fares and taxes to support MUNI. Transportation costs in SF are insane. You CAN’T rely on transit, which is why 68% of residents have at least one car, which of course is not cheap at all to keep and maintain in this city.

          • Posted by Miguelito

            @Jsimms3 don’t forget the twin 47/49 stops on the same block at civic center, just in case you can’t walk from Grove to McAllister!

            Muni is such a…joke it’s not even funny anymore. I wish we could fire every single person in charge at SFMTA and also ban them from California for life.

      • Posted by sf

        Paratransit.

    • Posted by Fishchum

      Completely agree. Over an 11 block stretch between Van Ness and Divisadero, there are 11 stops, I believe. Over a stretch that is essentially flat. What would be the problem with cutting the number of stops down to about 6?

    • Posted by toady

      It won’t happen. Every time this is brought up, some random handicapped person pops up and says that MUNI should bend to his/her will and needs and stop right in front of his/her door.

      What we should do is move handicapped transportation to special shuttles rather than bog down MUNI. Really.

  3. Posted by Zig

    I heard today that Ed Lee’s budget proposal includes 1400 new city employees. It seems as a small city with a budget like a small State we just have many different priorities over transportation.

  4. Posted by BTinSF

    I have a better idea: Freeze Muni and BART pay and benefits for at least 5 years. If this is not done, I, for one, will vote against any tax or bond measures because as soon as there is money available, the transportation unions will demand (and get) most of it going to their workers.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      Their pay should be tie to customer satisfaction. From what I can see today, they don’t deserve any raise at all.

      • Posted by David

        How much of the dissatisfaction is because of the workers? It seems most of the problems are with higher-level planning and operations.

        • Posted by anon

          I’m pretty dissatisfied with their 30% absenteeism rate.

  5. Posted by Wai Yip Tung

    I have a better idea: Have Google run the MUNI buses. They are far more competent. Fire all the drivers who fake sickness. They need to know who’s the boss, that’s the citizens they serve.

    • Posted by Futurist

      Agree. Many Muni drivers are some of the rudest people around. Stop letting the union run Muni. Fire all the drivers who call in sick, when they are actually on strike which is illegal.

    • Posted by Spencer

      i would actually support google overtaking public transport. there are actually smart people there

    • Posted by Zig

      You know this is nonsense. Anyone can shuttle rich people to a single destination

      • Posted by Spencer

        yeah, i know that. im not referring to their buses. But i trust a company with innovative people more so than our local government to build something useful.

      • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

        Really anyone? Will you trust MUNI and the sleazy union to do a job as simple as this?

  6. Posted by invented

    LOS ANGELES RISING
    http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140520/los-angeles-subway-to-the-sea-gets-federal-funding

    (How are are quaint and cutesy systems doing) Slow, jammed, stinking?

    • Posted by Mark

      Hey, I give LA props for pulling its head out of its butt and thinking proactively about its transit needs. SF transit will always be a joke.

      • Posted by anon94123

        Los Angeles gets a new subway and we get the wiggle? I give up!
        BTW- How is Los Angeles able to keep their subways, trains and busses so clean? Or is it just because their stuff is newer?

        • Posted by Mark

          Hmmn, good point about maintenance. I rode the LYNX light rail last week when I was in Charlotte. Not only clean, but there was police presence in stations and on trains. On MUNI you get the unmuzzled pitbulls, defecating/urinating homeless and strung out drug addicts…and if the planets align you can get all three on the same bus or train. Now that’s worth $2, soon to be $2.25.

          And if the MTA has its way, it will make riding the system even more inconvenient, if that’s possible. For example, MUNI wants to cut back the 28 local bus line to GGB and eliminate the stretch from the bridge through the Marina to Fort Mason. Its logic: you can get to the Marina on the 43-Masonic. Let’s see..that will require not just one transfer from the 28 to the 43, but a transfer to another bus or train to get to the 43. Oh, okay. You got me sold on that…I will most definitely give up my 15 minute commute by car to ride 3 buses for over an hour…buses that don’t run on any particular schedule. F U MUNI.

        • Posted by Spencer

          local politicians are smarter and dont give in to the 3% in LA. simple

        • Posted by Futurist

          Well, it’s just much easier for our local politicians to paint a few green lanes on the roads and call it a day, then put our mustachioed mayor up on a bike for a photo-op than to get serious and make our public transit the best in the nation.

          Plus our politicians all sleep with the cyclists, figuratively or otherwise.

  7. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    My transit policy is now officially “Uber first” if I’m not driving. These lazy, rude, greedy and incompetent Muni operators can go [bleep] themselves along with the ditto cab drivers.

    I feel bad for the people who have to commute within city limits and are basically hostages, and they have my full blessing to do or say to Muni employees exactly what they want once they “recover” from their illness.

  8. Posted by Futurist

    This is interesting. Maybe all of the “build higher, build more, build denser” crowd will stop and think that our current transit system is not even CLOSE to keeping up with the current population, let alone our future growth.

    Lets get our transit system working EXCELLENT for us, before we just load it up with more and more people.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      too many people, too many bikes! Everything was better BEFORE. Even my grandpa wasn’t as grumpy, lol and he was one opinionated French dude.

      • Posted by Futurist

        So aside from your silly comments, you must think our current public transit system is in great shape for our current population? And do you think it will be upgraded in a timely manner to serve future populations?

        • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

          Our leaders are useless on that one. People want to live here. People want to bike. Not all people can be accommodated, but the city has to adjust to a changing situation. Right now the “everything is fine as it is” clan is winning on many aspects: protecting rent controlled underachievers, stopping constructions under the “I have mine you can’t have yours” principle that seems to be your way of thinking.

          Just buy a cheap bike, a baseball bat and get it out of your system.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Then you really DON’T have any answers as to how our current horrible public transit system will be able to accommodate future population growth. Thought so.
            But you know, from reading my previous posts on growth and housing how MUCH I do support new residential projects. Fact. And you know I have said do away with rent control. Fact.

            So I am going to keep challenging the “unlimited growth” points of view, until we ALSO figure out how to better our transit system, now and in the future.

            Btw: I actually have an expensive mtn bike. We take our bikes on our roof-top rack when we want to head to Marin to ride. I don’t ride in The City: too dangerous.

          • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            I simply quoted you, chill out. You like things only when they are out of your sight. Development NOT in your neighborhood, bicycles NOT in your city. In short Not In My BackYard.

            And I agree, you should not use a bicycle in the city. Anger gives tunnel vision and tunnel vision can make you fail to see the dump truck.

          • Posted by Futurist

            And still no intelligent answers from you.

          • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Says the guy who will post his usual drivel “too many people, too many bikes” even if it is besides the point. Are you going to expel people from SF? Are you going to remove bikes from the circulation? Nope. It’s happening. Adjust or spend your life in permanent grief.

          • Posted by Alai

            And you know I have said do away with rent control.*

            *For people, that is. Rent for cars should be tightly controlled, and eliminated wherever possible.

  9. Posted by Why

    Why is a consultant to the city, who will benefit from the many many future studies that this capital outlay will bring, sitting as a member of the committee? “Jeff Tumlin, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard”

  10. Posted by Question Time

    “Vehicle License Fees should be increased to 2 percent to fund transportation improvements that
    cannot be paid with bonds”… as in State wide or would this just apply to vehicles registered in the city? Every vehicle?

  11. Posted by SFOrange

    What we need is a shake up in transport planning/implementation approach.
    How long have we been talking about BRT on Geary and Van Ness….its laughable.
    We need bold leadership (somebody, anybody?) to think big. Look to Portland and how big transit thinking has changed that town….we need more than maintenance, we need a bold vision that looks to the future vs. just trying to keep what we’ve got running.

  12. Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

    I don’t recall how much BART and Muni drivers makes, but I think even the sweepers make more than most college graduates.

    THAT’s where the money is wasted. They’ve bled it dry one blackmail maneuver at a time.

  13. Posted by Warren Li

    As much as I’d love to bike to work (FiDi) and minimize my carbon footprint, I live in the Richmond district. So, biking to work means I’d have to bike up and down two rather steep hills (at Western Addition and then Nob Hill). I’d get all sweaty and stinky, with no place freshen up for work. The fact is that our City is built on hills. Not everybody lives in the flat lands of the Mission, SOMA, or NOPA. Biking to work isn’t practical for most people. So, let’s prioritize and not make spending on bike lanes a priority.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      I think you could try the Wiggle. It’s not ideal and it adds roughly a bit less than one mile to a Richmond commute, but I know some people who do it.

    • Posted by Brad

      Because all that money being spent on bike lanes would definitely pay for–what?–at most 1 inch of subway or BRT? What a good tradeoff.

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        That’s a gross underestimation of what bike lanes cost. I’d estimate it at more than one foot of BRT.

      • Posted by Spencer

        brad, did your parents ever teach you to save your money for something big and not waste it on small things. ?

    • Posted by Futurist

      Excellent comments. Yes, largely cycling is relegated to our flat lands, and used primarily by young males. Even the smallest hills deter most of them. Biking just isn’t that practical.
      That’s why we need to let our legislators know to minimize more bike lane spending and concentrate on making our public transit better.

      And the wiggle really only serves a very small side of our city. You never see cyclists who live in Diamond Heights or Excelsior or the southern neighborhoods biking downtown. No flat routes.

      • Posted by wyatt

        have you ever ridden a bike downtown? this is not really accurate.

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        LOL. One of my best friends lives in the excelsior and cycles every single day to downtown.

        You’re throwing fallacies every time you’re on an emotional issue, like cycling.

        • Posted by Futurist

          And one of my best friends lives in San Jose and cycles every single day to downtown.
          But he can’t find the wiggle.

          LOL.

          • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Even by your standards that didn’t even start to make sense.

      • Posted by Jake

        The SF Planning Dept pulls together US Census data by neighborhood in a doc they call ‘San Francisco Socio-Economic Profiles’ (pdf at namelink). Among the many stats are how different areas in SF commute to work. This is organized by where the people live not where they work. For example, 0% of Twin Peaks residents bike to work.

        The neighborhoods with the highest bike to work percentages are Mission at 8%, Haight at 7%, and Bernal and Western Addition at 6%. These four neighborhoods have almost half the bike commuters in SF. Though even in each of these neighborhoods at least 30% drive and in Bernal it is a majority.

        Bike commuting is 0 or 1% for almost all of the western and southern neighborhoods in the arc from Outer Richmond to Outer Mission to Bayview and the northern eastern neighborhoods from North Beach to Nob Hill to Pac Hghts to Marina.

        Your friend is one of the rare Excelsior residents that commute to worker by bike.

        For Excelsior residents the journey to work is 63% car, 29% transit, 1% bike, 1% walk, 4% work at home.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Thank you for injecting some facts into the diatribes!

        • Posted by NoeValleyJim

          Thanks for proving that with a modest investment in bicycling infrastructure, we can double or even triple the number of cyclists and take some of the pressure off Muni and our crowded streets.

      • Posted by freddofrog

        Written like someone who has never commuted by bike. Take a look around and you will see that the cycling community is much more than “young males”. Further, there is a concept known as “gears” which permit even middle aged women like myself to climb to the top of my steep street (multiple blocks of 15-18% grade). Finally, there is a big flow of riders coming in from the Excelsior, and pretty flat routes moving in and out of the southern neighborhoods (which I commute on on my way to work, by bike)

    • Posted by El-D

      Are any of you aware of the cost structure here? Can someone please point to a budget breakdown illustrating the immense, crippling diversions of mountains of cash into bike lanes? You know, those billions of dollars that — if properly deployed — would revolutionize my driving experience in the city?

      Thought so.

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        Yes! There would be enough to pave the whole city with roads that can be used by cars! Oh wait… Already done.

      • Posted by Jake

        The detailed investment plan includes $441 million to build a citywide bike system in three stages. They are itemized on page 39 and detailed in the Appendix. This is about 4% of the $10B total for all proposed transportation investment.

        This is projected investment not actual money allocated. So far there is $81 million “funds identified” for the first stage which is supposed to build the ‘core’ bike system.

        Of the proposed additional $3 billion in funding through new taxes & bonds, $175 million (6%) are for the bike plan. That would bring it to $256 million funding.

        By comparison, pedestrian needs are budgeted at $363 million total, of which only $186 million would be funded after the new taxes & bonds. Notice that the shortfall in funding pedestrian needs is about the same as additional new moneys for the bike plan.

        • Posted by El-D

          Jake: issues aside, you should be commended for bringing data to the table (both here and above). Kudos.

          Now: based on Jake’s data, the city spends (sorry, wants to spend) 4% of its transportation budget on a mode that, as per your other data-fueled post, 3% of workers use for commutes. Throw in everyone else who rides casually (not for work), and it sounds like the bike-directed budget is not quite the boondoggle some here would claim.

          Thanks again for bringing actual data to allow thoughtful conversation.

          • Posted by Jake

            One caution about the budget is that it also contains huge amounts in other buckets just to maintain the existing roads and traffic lights/signs etc that everyone uses.

            The reality is that nearly the entire budget goes to maintain/replace/repair the existing infrastructure and equipment. A form of the Red Queen’s race: “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

            All the ‘enhancements’ we argue about are unfunded or so poorly funded they may as well beg on market st or sell off naming rights.

            The money for bikes and pedestrians is mostly for safety. Bike accidents have risen in proportion to bike riding (graphs in the doc) and we can do better with known engineering solutions. It takes years to fix a hazardous pedestrian crosswalk where people have died.

            Otherwise, you’re welcome to the data. It often takes less time to read the gov’t source doc than the comments here, but for me they balance: the former supply tragedy, the latter comedy.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            That is a projected budget based on bonds passing. Currently MTA spends about 1% on cycling, which is about 4% of overall mode share (not 3%).

          • Posted by Jake

            Bike mode share is around 4% if you only count SF residents. If you count all SF traffic, then bike mode share drops to 2% or less. Specifically, the 4% count excludes the roughly 300k people that either commute into SF to work or through SF to get to work and the 130k tourists SF averages per day.

            I love bikes almost as much as I enjoy accurate stats, glad to build more bikelanes where appropriate, but for now and the foreseeable future, regardless of how much political noise they generate, for transit they remain in the statistical noise.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            You don’t know how people who visit San Francisco travel. Many tourists rent bikes and the bike cars on Caltrain are always full. Add to that SF Bike Share use to your numbers and you will get a different value.

          • Posted by Jake

            I’m familiar with the stats you mention and they don’t lead where you think.

            Caltrain 2013 bike ridership for SF averaged less than 1,200/weekday. If you add that to the SFMTA’s count of roughly 17,000 bike commuters that are SF residents and you get some rounding error on the upside.

            Over the course of a year, more people take Caltrain to a Giants game than disembark at the 4th St Caltrain station with a bike. They aren’t counted in the SFMTA mode share stats.

            Of course some tourists rent bikes, but even more rent cars and they aren’t counted in the stats. Nor are their walks around Union Sq, etc.

            Now dilute all this by the half million to million trips a day that aren’t in the SFMTA count and are from people driving in across bridges and hwys and via BART and walking to/from work and some to/from lunch.

            There are more people that neither live nor work in SF but drive through it to get to work than all the bike commuters that live in SF. More than 5,000 of them will be inconvenienced when we convert a traffic lane to a bike lane on 19th Ave.

            Imagine how many trips are made by the hundreds of USPS, UPS, FedEx, Comcast, ATT, PG&E, and other commercial trucks. They aren’t counted in the SFMTA mode share. Neither is SFPD, etc.

            2% mode share for bikes in SF is a very generous estimate.

            And more than it used to be, and likely to be more in the future, just not much more than rounding errors in estimates of the major forms of transport: public transit, walking, and car.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Sorry I am going to go with the MTA numbers here. You wave your hands around a lot but don’t have anything serious to back your claims.

          • Posted by Jake

            No need to be sorry, if you will just face the facts.

            The Caltrain data is from Caltrain. It is very easy to find on their site. I think the bike number was about 1160, but I was being generous when I wrote less than 1200.

            The Giants data is from the Giants own survey of their attendees. They did it at the request of the port.

            The tourist data is from the official SF city data.

            The commuter data is all from the US Census. They are nosy enough to ask people where they work, what means of transport they use to get there, and even what time they leave. They call it ‘journey to work.’ You can look it up on their website. Go ahead and then tell me where I’m wrong. Please, I’d like to know.

            BTW, SFTMA uses the US Census data. In fact if you look carefully at their report it is almost all just retread US Census data, particularly the ‘commute to work’ part. They did their own sloppy phone poll to gauge non-commute bike riding, which I have noted before on this site.

            FWIW, I’ve provided links to all these sources in the past and quoted this data before on this site. Five minutes with google should get you to all the sources.

            And if you are wondering why SFMTA would put out those numbers, well it is very useful to the SF politicians. It tells them about their voters (residents only). It just leaves out all the other transit. If you want a more complete picture, try the MTC:

            http://www.mtc.ca.gov/

            If you don’t trust me and don’t look for yourself, you’ll only have denial and half truths.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Show your work Jake, don’t just wave your hands around. Do the actual math if you want anyone to take you seriously. You are claiming that there are twice as many people traveling from out of town across San Francisco as city residents. I find this incredibly improbable but will change my mind if you provide actual evidence. That does not consist of statements like “imagine all the UPS trucks” or things like that.

          • Posted by Jake

            NVJ, let’s start with the work commute because the math is easier and the US Census can provide all the data.

            For work commutes that start or end or both in SF (rounded to 2 significant digits):

            450k SF residents work
            270k non-SF residents commute to work in SF
            ——
            720k total workers that live or work or both in SF

            Of these 18k are bike commuters.

            18/720 = 2.5%

            If you want to look up the Census data yourself, look for the 2012 American Community Survey. They break out the number of bike riders under ‘SEX OF WORKERS BY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION TO WORK’. (FWIW, 62% of SF bike commuters are male.) It also helps to get the Census County-to-County Commuting flows.

            Here is how SFMTA defines a ‘trip’ (SFMTA Mode Share Survey 2011):

            “For this survey, a ‘trip’ was defined as travel from one point to another – in other words, someone going to work and coming home at the end of the day would have made 2 trips – one from home to work, and a second from work to home.”

            As an example of how this works, SFMTA estimated in 2011 that the residents of San Francisco took 2.15 million trips per day of which 73k were by bike for a 3.4% mode share by bike. This was for trips of all kinds not just commuting to work.

            Notice that the US Census tells us that people who commute to work in San Francisco from other counties add up to more than half a million ‘trips’ that are not counted in SFMTA mode stats that you like to cite.

            In summary, the numbers you use are useful if all you want to understand is how the more than 800k residents of SF get around. But if you want to understand the full transportation load on SF, then you also need to understand the other more than 400k people that commute in to work or visit as tourists, as well as the commercial traffic. The math for all of that is more suited to a spreadsheet than a website comment, which is why I just summarized it in my previous comments.

          • Posted by Spencer

            hi jake, you are missing those car commuters that travel from east bay (some as far as walnut creek) and south marin to the peninsula and they go through the city on their way

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Jake, I notice that now you have thoroughly looked at the figures you switched from:
            “2% mode share for bikes in SF is a very generous estimate.” to “2.5% of all commuters” which is probably what I would put it at too if I decided to through in everyone travelling by freeway, etc.

          • Posted by Anon

            Thanks to Jake for taking to time to bring actual figures and posting where they can be found, it is a real eye opener for me at least.

          • Posted by Jake

            Hi Spencer, yes, I purposely left out commuters that pass through SF but don’t live or work in SF.

            The US Census only asks about place of residence and place of work, but not the path. They don’t know how many travel through SF vs go around via the San Mateo or Dumbarton bridges.

            I wanted to limit this simple calculation to pure Census data without resorting to data from third parties or any massaging by me. Also, the contribution of the passthru commuters is less than 10% anyway.

            Specifically, the raw 2010 Census data for the commuters between San Mateo County and Contra Costa County is only 11k. That’s the total of the SM to CC plus the CC to SM commuters. For Alameda to+from SM it is 49k.

            However many of those 60k pass through SF via the Bay Bridge or BART would be less than 10% of the total commute flow even if you add in the much smaller Marin to+from San Mateo.

            The 720k commuters may be a lower bound, but then the upper bound should be less than 800k. So the bike share of commute might be lower than 2.5%, but the margin-of-error of the source data is larger than the difference anyway.

          • Posted by Jake

            NVJ, you are confounding an estimate of the bike share of the total trips taken in SF (2%) with an estimate of the bike share of the work commute (2.5%).

            Work commute is just how people get to work, even if they work from home they are counted. It is a subset of total trips. By most accounts, including SFMTA, it is less than half of total trips. Previously in this thread I’ve given examples of non-commute trips that are not counted by the SFMTA in their count of total trips.

            As I mentioned in another post below, the US Census ACS does not measure “all trips”. It only measures the work commute. Some of the statistics you quote don’t mean what you think they mean.

            FWIW, that little simple calc above isn’t my “thorough” version, but it is an ok first-order estimate.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Key findings in San Francisco’s 2012 State of Cycling Report:

            Bicycle Volumes
            • The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) shows a 66% increase in bicycle commuters from 2002 (2.1% of work trips) to 2010 (3.5% of work trips),[…] Annual bicycle counts have more than doubled between 2006 (4,862 riders) and 2011 (10,139) at sampled locations.
            • Two statistically significant random surveys of San Francisco residents during 2011 show that about 3.5% of all trips in the city are taken by bicycle, demonstrating that the ACS, local surveys and bike counts all corroborate one another to show steady increases in cycling.

            So ACS and two independent survey corroborate each other to indicate similar levels of cycling for work trips and overall trips, in contradiction to your independent research.

          • Posted by Jake

            That report and the sources you reference don’t contradict what I presented. In fact, I used some their data and have mentioned some of their findings in this thread.

            Notice the report is limited to “San Francisco residents.” My friend who rides his bike from his home in Marin to his job in downtown San Francisco is outside the scope of that report. So is another friend of mine that lives in Marin and drives through SF to his job in San Mateo. So are at least 400,000 other people that spend time in San Francisco on a typical workday, but are not residents of San Francisco.

            I haven’t said the SFMTA reports, or their surveys, or the ACS data are wrong. They are fine for what they are. They deserve to be treated with respect, used where appropriate, and represented accurately.

            I have pointed out that you misuse them. In your posts in this thread you have misunderstood the difference between a data set limited to “San Francisco residents” and a data set that includes everyone that spends time in San Francisco. You’ve also misunderstood the difference between a data set limited to work commutes and a data set for all trips.

            Until you understand the meaning of the terms used in the discussion, there’s not much to discus.

    • Posted by sf

      I used to live in the Richmond and rarely went over hills. Bike brought GG park, cut through the Panhandle, head down Oak, right on Scott,, Left on Haight, head to the Wiggle, then shoot between Safeway to Market, then bike down Market. I did it on a hybrid bike. You may get sweaty.. So if your work doesn’t furnish showers, you may be out of luck there. But you WILL get there faster than relying on MUNI. You will get there faster driving only if you have a dedicated spot or park in a garage and don’t have to look for parking.

    • Posted by Smurfy

      1) it is downhill to downtown. Pedal slowly = no sweat on the way to work in the chilly am
      2) wiggle removes almost all of the climbing to the richmond– no need to climb Nob hill or other hill on the way home
      3) sfmta spends more on coffee supplies than bike infrastructure

  14. Posted by Wonkster

    Great. Let’s pay the people trying to operate a horribly overwhelmed and underfunded system even less. Because we’ll get better service that way. They get paid $32 per hour. Seattle just raised the minimum wage – minimum wage – to $15 per hour. I know “the poors” are hard up for work, but at some point they are going to say “drive your own f’ing bus” and I can assure you that when baristas are doing it the performance will drop like a stone and the employee churn will skyrocket.

    I am sure that at the new tech companies when a class of employees underperforms the solution is not to fire all of them and spend less money on their replacements.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      the system is overwhelmed because there’s no money to upgrade it. There’s no money because the budget is bled dry from pay PLUS all the perks that you fail to mention… BART drivers often hit 90K, often 100K. What degree did they get? The “I have a cousin in the game” degree.

      It’s a chicken and the egg issue. Giving a raise does nothing to break the downward spiral, that’s for sure.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      So, taking a day off today and decided to post a comment? Muni drivers are the 2nd highest paid in the country – by law. Plenty of transit workers get along just fine in Boston and Chicago and D.C. and Seattle, etc., etc., without having to go on a sick-out because they’re not the 2nd highest paid in the country. The drivers’ actions in S.F. today have cost them my support for good.

  15. Posted by jeet

    WE NEED BIKE/Pedestrian TUNNELS!!! Cheaper than Bus or Subway Tunnels! If the Sunset Tunnel allowed bikers/pedes, biking from Haight/cole valley/ucsf area to downtown would be super easy.

    • Posted by Sierrajeff

      LOL. Yeah, in homeless-infested S.F., I’m going to walk a few blocks underground in a narrow pedestrian tunnel… Good lord, you can’t even walk down the one-block-long Powell BART concourse – brightly light, in a prime tourist location – without practically passing out from the smells of, and of “things” left by, the homeless. And you want a pedestrian and bike tunnel network?!

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        Yes, bad idea. Plus tunnels are very expensive and used to speed up traffic in areas where locals do not want noise/emission pollutions. Of course topography can be a factor too, like Broadway or Stockton which have all of these factors combined. Bikes do not go fast and do not make noise, making them a pretty good option for surface transportation. They should do something about those darn hills though.

    • Posted by freddofrog

      Biking from cole valley/haight and UCSF area is already pretty easy, via the panhandle and the wiggle

  16. Posted by Joseph A

    We do not need another tax on cars ,
    Just put down as a Bond so its shared by everyone in SF

  17. Posted by Mark

    Ugh. Enough with this “bike” vs. “everyone else” banter, especially from the extremists who are incapable of listening to an opposing viewpoint. It’s as bad as politics or religion.

  18. Posted by anon

    How was Los Angeles able to get federal money for the new “subway to the sea” and we could not? Both senators live up here, so what happened?

    • Posted by toady

      Probably because both senators do live up here. Don’t forget it’s House that holds the power of the purse.

      But the real reason is that SF can’t get its own head out of its own activist ass.

  19. Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

    Sierrajeff, Muni workers may still be the second highest paid, but it is no longer “by law.” Prop G in 2010 ended that.

    Muni workers are certainly well paid. But . . . this city is very expensive, the city has good tax revenues, and (this is the kicker) there are not hordes of qualified personnel busting down the doors to apply for Muni jobs. I have friends that are high up in MTA (on the other side of the unions). College grads seem to prefer pouring coffee for 1/3 the Muni pay rather than honest blue collar work. This is one area where the blue collar union workers may just have the negotiating leverage for more pay/benefits.

  20. Posted by toady

    $10.1 billion? With that kind of money, we can import a bunch of tuk-tuk drivers from Southeast Asia.

  21. Posted by sf

    Why is it that when we need highway and car transport improvements (new Bay Bridge, Doyle Drive) the federal and state governments write a blank check. Oh, the costs have risen by 2,000%? No problem, here’s more pork! Don’t ask questions, enjoy!
    But when we want to build a subway, or high speed rail, or connect trains to he Transbay Terminal, suddenly there is no way, no how, don’t even ask such thins response from the government? Our priorities are so screwed up. I see it in the stress of drivers and citizens if SF, it HURTS quality of life severely when MUNI travels 8mph and has a 60% on time rate, and takes 2 hours or more to get from one part of the city to another. The city leaders should all be ashamed of themselves. But they look all smug as they pat themselves on the back because they banned plastic bags. Priorities. wrong. It’s gonna bite you all really badly soon, and it’s already happening. Just remember who was in power and who is responsible for this mess, and don’t let them, or year legacies, forget it!

  22. Posted by noemom

    The New York Times architecture critic said this past Sunday that the MUNI infrastructure was failing and could not keep up with the impacts from all the development and increase in people living here. If you take the J in the morning, even after 10 it is amazingly crowded. Not to beat up on history or any politicos, too bad we built that Central Subway. It sure would have been nice to have that money and there were potential alternatives to getting better transit into the NE section of town (i.e. Chinatown and North Beach). For example running a spur of the F up Broadway would have done it….to echo some…you don’t need a stop every other block and you don’t need a subway that will not hook up with the Powell Street Station at Stockton Street!!!!

    Bikes are fine, as long as you can wait to make a left turn off of Valencia Street. Really though, bikes are a scapegoat as are MUNI drivers. I mean would you really want to drive a MUNI bus all day or half a day on a split shift and then start up again in a few hours…..

    The problem is that to cover the cost of each patron on MUNI is actually something like $6.00+. We need a consistent source of revenue and an acknowledgement by whomever that major cities like this one, really do need public transit and it needs to be fully funded continually and that we need to adjust for increases in population and changes in work patterns.

  23. Posted by Davester

    Yeah making $60k+ and benefits for driving a bus… Naaa that isn’t enough for no schooling and minimal training. No way can you justify that they are underpaid for what they actually do.

  24. Posted by anon

    Anyone suggesting building tens or hundreds of thousands of units of housing in SF needs to be deported. Transit needs to be fixed first otherwise it will be the biggest cluster f*** of all time.

  25. Posted by David

    What problem are you trying to solve by licensing bicyclists and making them take a test? I couldn’t find US stats, but in the UK ~3 people are killed by bicyclists per year.

  26. Posted by Joseph A

    Before you go crying about what MUNI works get paid and the expense of San Francisco , you need to figure in their Pensions and Health Care that adds about another 30k per year to each MUNI worker , vs the 401Ks and thrifty lives most of us live

    MUNI works should have their Pensions converted to 401K and the Health Care end when they leave Full Time Service

  27. Posted by Joseph A

    As for those saying we can not add housing its only based on the idea of not improving the transportation network ,
    1st Remove at least 1/3 of all MUNI stops , and 20% of the routes , and consolidate Larger Buses , Longer Trains , on Fewer Routes so we cease having 1/2 empty equipment on secondary routes , , buses should need to go at least 4 blocks between stops , and lines that are running on parallel streets should be consolidated on the same path

  28. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    The only way in which cyclists are “coddled” is the complete lack of law enforcement. There are plenty of scofflaws among pedestrians and motorists, but it is only among cyclists that they are the overwhelming majority. When was the last time you saw a cyclist actually stop at a stop sign? In my case it was last fall when I was in Copenhagen – a place where they actually cite cyclists for traffic violations. Let’s fix that and then I’d be 100% in favor of making SF’s streets more bike-friendly.

    • Posted by El-D

      I love the “stop sign” issue. Every time we want to talk about transit infrastructure, someone eventually says that we have to FIRST make sure that cyclists really really super duper make every stop sign. Yep, can’t do anything in local and regional transit policy until those jerks put a foot down. Because somehow, it’s all related.

      This, in the state for which the “California Stop” was named.

      • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

        Who said we can’t make transit policy until the rules of the road are enforced? I didn’t say that, I said that I am not in favor of shifting transit to a mode where lawlessness is rampant and condoned. So in the meantime, invest in mass transit and safer streets for cars and pedestrians.

    • Posted by NoeValleyJim

      I stop at every stop sign. When is the last time you saw an automobile doing the speed limit. Every single car in San Francisco speeds, you know it and I know it and so does everyone else. Speeding cars kill far more lives than cyclists.

    • Posted by Mark

      Amen.

  29. Posted by anon

    Meanwhile, Miami just announced the 6 billion dollar SOM designed regional transit hub that will have everything Transbay does not including rail and subway interface.

  30. Posted by Jill

    Stop all spending and Save for van ness and Geary subways. The rest has no real impact

  31. Posted by anon

    Jake, your use of FACTS and links to documents from MTA and Caltrain is brilliant and a wonderful smack down to “faith based” feelings expressed by frequent regular writers who think “cars are a thing of the past” and exaggerate bike usage with puffed up figures with no back up. I have posted Caltrain document links explaining why blended HSR/Caltrain rail traffic will reduce trip speeds to San Jose or even down to Southern California, but to no avail. You can post links to HSR commission hearing testimony where officials admit it could be over 30 years before HSR comes to Transbay, and that during 8am till 6 pm trips to southern California could be over 5.4 hours in duration. Links don’t matter to them and facts are ignored. Don’t forget, even the person who argues with you regularly above and has called cars “death machines” finally admitted he owns a car himself, but protested he only uses it when he has to.

    • Posted by Mark

      Why would anyone trust data from the MTA? We all know their figures are inflated (or deflated) depending on the issue at hand. Take the Central Subway, for example…ridiculous claims of ridership projections for a project that will end up siphoning resources from the rest of the system and draining what little capital the agency has. Take the cost to build the Central Subway…books are cooked to make it appear to be on budget, when the reality is that SF taxpayers will end up coughing up money to pay for cost overruns. Yes, that includes taxing residents who don’t use the system.

  32. Posted by anon

    Agreed Mark regarding MTA figures. Why couldn’t the Central Subway money have been used to connect Caltrain to the Transbay Station? And for Geary and Van Ness BRT? (Though I would prefer Geary to have a subway myself). How did Los Angeles get so much federal money to start their new “subway to the sea” project and not us? Where did Miami find the money to build a regional transit terminal that will include subway and train service, but ours will be for busses? Worst of all, how could the MTA have not been able to properly budget for maintenance and repairs of existing systems?

  33. Posted by Jake

    I also don’t have much confidence in MTA’s projections or their ability to handle the future.

    Nevertheless, they have useful summaries of historic data, at least if you just want a quick idea of how we got here. To get a deeper understanding of the past, you can dig through the primary sources like Caltrans hwy ramp counts, SFMTA road counts, BART station exits, Bridge toll collection data, and the Census.

  34. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I have very little confidence in an anonymous poster who makes up figures, ignores evidence that doesn’t support his pre-determined conclusion and claims to be a better expert at transportation planning than the paid experts.

  35. Posted by Jake

    NVJ, with your history of stubborn uncritical confidence in misleading and incomplete data, I’ll take that as a compliment.

    If you are looking for a poster boy for ” ignores evidence that doesn’t support his pre-determined conclusion”, try a mirror.

  36. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    “with your history of stubborn uncritical confidence in misleading and incomplete data” Do tell. I am all ears. When the data changes, I change my mind as anyone who has posted here more than a week or two can tell you.

    Given your short tenure here and complete lack of historical data to judge the quality of your predictions, I will discount them accordingly. I was one predicting the bubble back in 2008, the relative short dip for San Francisco compared to nationally (in 2009), the enduring desirability of cities after the recover (search for Great Urbanization) and most recently the boom in bicycle use.

    Where were you all that time?

    • Posted by spencer

      boom in bicycle use has yet to happen, so dont count your chickens before they hatch. 3% of within city trips by residents are by bike. that is not a big number. even if it double from here, its still small and not worth building infrastruture for when we could build something the majority could use and make a real dent. i dont beleive you or anyone else really thinks biking will get to 20%. For a tech city, there are too many people who discount the investment in technological solutions to this. we really do need somone likely google to take over transportation authroity.

      also, i didnt think the dip for SF was so short. 2012 looks lower than 2009 to me, and a 30% dip was not too small. I was also a very strong bear on this site from 2006 through 2008/9, but didnt see a reason to be a bull until 2011/ 2012, and that looks about right in retrospect. of course sf has recovered faster because the stock market recovered, jobs actually grew here because of tech and housing followed.

      The MTA is biased and you cant trust every stat. i think we can all agree that the biggest bang for the buck is a viable subway system. like many others on here, i think we should be saving for that. But governments have a tendency to spend more than they have as oppossed to saving. they should take the windfall from the housing market and tech tax revenues and focus it on transportation.

      • Posted by NoeValleyJim

        No, 3.5% of all trips as of 2010 were made by bicycle according to the ACS, a 66% increase since 2002. That is a boom by any standard. And there has been an increase of 16% since then, for an overall mode share of 4% (not the 3% you state).

        I am quite sure that cycling will get to 20% mode share within San Francisco. It will probably take $10-$20/gallon gasoline but that will happen sooner than you think.

        We both agree that The City needs to invest more in Muni though. Residents don’t look like they are willing to vote for the bonds and tax increases to really improve the system, but we will see. Bicycling is good for Muni because the number one reason Muni is slow is congestion and investment in bicycle infrastructure gets the most bang for your buck in reducing congestion.

        • Posted by Jake

          The US Census ACS does not measure “all trips”. It only measures the work commute. Some of the statistics you quote don’t mean what you think they mean.

          Here is a link to the current ACS questionnaire:
          http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/questionnaires/2014/Quest14.pdf

          BTW, part of the justification for the US Census bothering us with these questions is that Congress wants to know. The Congress creates conditions on federal funding of state and local projects to reduce congestion, smog, etc. So the Census spends a modest amount of our tax dollars to gather information that is used to try to ensure some much larger pots of money are well spent.

          And the US Census is more trusted to gather this information than state and local agencies that are fighting to get fatter slices of the federal funding.

  37. Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

    spencer,

    Naturally, I am all for a massive investment in new Subway transportation. But you’re not going to do much with the pennies spent on new bike infrastructure, which do provide a huge ROI.

    Cycling as a share of all trips increased by 65% from 2006 to 2011, from 2.1% to 3.5%.

    This means that annually cycling on average removed an extra 0.3% of all trips, absorbing a good number of all new trips. For instance between the same 2006 and 2011 Muni ridership increased by 2 to 3 % depending on the stats, and based on the Muni stats, the numbers look pretty close to the number of new cyclist trips. Cycling absorbs quite a few of the new trips being made in the City, and removes some pressure from Muni.

  38. Posted by anon

    2.1% to 3.5% is a drop in the bucket! And it is discrminatory (ever hear of dissabilities?) and dangerous. (Yes, even the NYTimes just published that over 60% of fatal accidents on bikes are solo falls).
    If you really cannot stand to see people comfortably passing you by in their cars, the best way to get people off the roads is to build more and better public transit including subways. I have not heard ONE person on Socketsite say they would be against funding a Geary or Van Ness subway line with their taxes.
    Not one.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      That’s a drop in the bucket for you. But bike ridership amounts to roughy 20% of Muni volume (for now). Not a drop in the bucket by any standards. Plus its growth seems to be going exponentially.

      Dangerous? Your stats do not show danger, but the rate of one type of accident over the total of accidents for bikes. What does that even mean without the raw numbers? Hey 1/2 of the people who inhale their solid food will ultimately dies from it: eating much be dangerous.

      If you really cannot stand to see people comfortably passing you by in their cars

      STRAWMAN’S ARGUMENT. I have put it bold characters since it seems you fail to read other people’s post, stopping at “pro-bike” and then making up your own conclusions. I am a driver, a cyclist, a pedestrian. Then again I have to assume you haven’t read that far and therefore I’ll stop typing since it is falling into deaf ears.

      Yes I am for massive investment in Subways. Say (theoretical numbers there) we have to spend 10B to make it happen, but improving cycling will cost 100M but will absorb much of the growth in trips until Muni is upgraded. These 100M are very well spent (again, theoretical numbers).

  39. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    It is not possible to build a subway on Geary due to political pressure. The merchants do everything they can to block it every time the idea comes up.

    There is no political will to pay for the transit San Francisco needs. Even the very modest VLF increase, which would return it to the level that it was before Schwarzenegger cut it, is losing in the polls.

    The Geary Subway would cost something like $10B last time I checked. How are we going to raise that kind of money?

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      The Geary subway would likely create a nuclear winter for businesses for the time of the construction. I understand why they would not like it because 1 very bad year is often enough for a mom-and-pop business to go belly up.

      Someone a week ago quoted the BART project as the reason Mission Street became such a sorry street. No wonder Geary businesses would resist.

      But we still need a good option for Geary Street. Subway until Presidio then surface until GHW?

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