The SF Streets Blog recently posted a sharp criticism of a SF Chronicle op-ed which decried the decision of the SFMTA pivot away from car-centric policies to promoting biking and pedestrian safety enhancement.
The op-ed’s author, Bill Bowen, characterized the “elimination of vehicle traffic” as the primary mission of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and other cycling and pedestrian organizations.
Columnist Aaron Bialick pointed out that the goal of the SFBC is to promote cycling safety and access, not eliminate the use of cars.
Bowen wrote that cycling activists attempt to discourage car use through two tactics:
- Discouraging people from car ownership by replacing guaranteed parking spaces with shared lots and bike lanes.
- Making car ownership prohibitively expensive.
Bialick points out that guaranteed parking spaces decrease the available space for housing and artificially increase the use of cars. He also pointed out that despite Bowen’s claims, parking rates have not dramatically increased in San Francisco recently.
This is just the latest spar in an ongoing war between safety advocates and those who want to promote car use. San Francisco’s growing cost of living and space constraints will likely force the city to adopt policies that favor non-automotive forms of transportation, but it is unclear how painful this shift will ultimately prove to be.
The Dolan Law Firm handles personal injury cases in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call us at 888-452-4752.