San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133
"A study was done in Cambridge Massachusetts a number of years ago that showed on average, new bicycle lanes slowed the traffic down by an average of 5 miles per hour, which is significant."
Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coaliton
It sounds nice enough, but the part Leah leaves out is that shrinking the number of auto lanes and replacing them with bike lanes creates a less efficient roadway for public transit, private autos, and emergency vehicles. When you slow down traffic, you slow down surface transit as well. Leah contradicts herself at different points in regards to the effects of traffic calming:
Sadly, this is the same type of bad science that is driving City Halls convoluted and poorly designed transportation policies. City transportation officials say San Francisco has put more roads on a diet than anywhere else in North America. What was the result of the SFMTA's traffic calming and road diets? Well, last year Muni's on-time performance fell to its lowest numbers in history leaving passengers stranded, or waiting over 40% of the time. At an average speed of 8.1 mph, San Francisco Muni is the slowest major urban transit agency in North America. How much is all of this traffic calming costing the business community? According to HR magazine employee tardiness costs U.S. businesses an estimated $3 billion per year in lost productivity.
At an average speed of 8.1 mph, San Francisco Muni is the slowest major urban transit agency in North America.
San Francisco has developed an urban plan around the loud but short-sighted desires of 12,000 people in our population of 800,000. What happens when you reduce auto lanes to make way for bikes and pedestrians? Well, lets fast forward to Townsend Street AFTER the Bike lanes were striped. At the 4th street intersection (below) two traffic lanes abruptly merge into one single lane as you cross the 4th & Townsend street intersection. Drivers now find themselves trapped in a Bicycle Lane and struggling to get back into a traffic lane. This has created a dangerous bottleneck for private autos, cyclists, and public transit and emergency vehicles.
The cars crossing this intersection will be forced into a one single car lane and the cars in the right hand lane will be forced into a newly created bicycle lane. Watch the video (below) to see and example of how the SFMTA is engineering traffic congestion and slower streets to create bicycle lanes.
The Bicycle Coalition is perpetuating the ridiculous idea that bicyclists are essentially sitting ducks out there in traffic. Yes motorists are out there and they make mistakes. They, along with the pot holes, pavement cracks and debris, are the rocks that cyclists have to deal with. Every potentially dangerous human activity, from SCUBA to skydiving, from backpacking to surfing, from motorcycling to airplane piloting, has best practices designed to mitigate risk. Why is it that bicycling, alone among all such activities as far as we can tell, is so chock full of participants who seem to loathe having to learn and adopt the best practices of their chosen activity?
But is biking and walking really a practical solution for your daily commute and do you want your road taxes being used to expand roads for bikes only with no similar expansion for auto lanes? Only 3% of trips in SF are made on bicycles, and by the city's own numbers, there has been no great surge in cycling in San Francisco since 2000. One only needs to check page 3 of the city's latest Transportation Fact Sheet to verify that reality. In 2000 2.1% of city commuters rode bikes to work, and in 2010 3.5% of city commuters rode bikes to work. That's a gain of only .13% a year for eleven years! Only the Bicycle Coalition can call that a "surge" in cycling. The if-you-build-it-they-will-come argument isn’t very convincing when motorists stuck in traffic witness empty bike lanes on a daily basis.
When you slow down traffic, you slow down surface transit as well. So, What is the endgame? Is City Hall trying to make public transit faster for its residents, or slower for the special interests who have their . The US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintains a hotline to facilitate the reporting of allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement in U.S. Department of Transportation’s programs and operations including: False Statements and False Claims; Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Violations; Violation(s) of Criminal Law and/or the Civil False Claims Act in Connection with a Federal Contract. Their phone is 1-800-424-9071
City transportation officials say San Francisco has put more roads on a diet than anywhere else in North America. At an average speed of 8.1 mph, San Francisco Muni is the slowest major urban transit agency in North America.
What was the result of the traffic calming and road diets? Last year Muni's on-time performance fell to their lowest numbers in history leaving passengers stranded or waiting over 40% of the time.
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San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133