San Fran Mayor Sets Ambitious Transportation Targets

newsom.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (pictured right) emphasized quality of life issues in his annual State of the City address last week. Most significant, Newsom put forward an ambitious transportation agenda and laid out specific targets for increasing bicycling and reducing automobile use:

We will continue our long term planning to create a citywide bicycle network, uniting the current patchwork of bike lanes into a unified, comprehensive system. It is also time to take steps to reach our goal of making 10% of all commute trips in the City bicycle trips within the next 3 and a half years.

While making MUNI faster and bike riding safer we aim to get people out of their cars and get them healthier so we must commit to reducing emissions from our public transportation fleet. With new hybrid buses coming on line, we can now say by this time next year, we will have the greenest public transportation fleet in the nation.

I think we can all agree that the more people who get out of their cars and use alternative transit the better this city is going to be for everyone.

Can I vote for this guy next Tuesday?

I suppose not. But at least we have Councilmember Gale Brewer. Working with Transportation Alternatives Brewer has put forward a piece of legislation called Introduction 199, "The Traffic Relief Bill" (PDF file), that would compel DOT to set specific modal targets like Newsom’s 10 percent bicycling goal. In other words, rather than measuring the health and functionality of New York City’s surface streets by "Level of Service," and other meaningless (and sometimes even destructive) yardsticks, the City would say, "We aim to shift X percent of daily trips out of cars and on to buses, bikes and foot." Then DOT would measure its success based on these far more meaningful goals.

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