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Won't the complete streets act help out our friends in SF?

This may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. If you spend any time around bicycle advocacy you'll find that there is almost no accepted science behind it. I wonder if this bicycle plan really had any engineering behind it, or did they do it the way they do it here: have traffic engineers whose only expertise is in maximizing the flow of motor vehicles stuff in facilities where they'd fit?

Sure, in the short term it's too bad that San Francisco's bike plan is delayed. But there is a very good possibility that being forced to apply some scientific rigor to the planning process will result in better facilities, and will also produce findings that are of broader use elsewhere.

For example, I personally believe that bicycles reduce congestion in urban areas. Is there any science behind that belief? Not really, it's just the sum of my prejudices and anectdotal knowledge. But now, in order to get these facilities built SF is going to have to study the issue in a rigorous way. That's a good thing.

I'm so bored by the fact that anytime anything's brought up about improving facilities for cycling, the unrelated matter of cyclists who break traffic laws are brought up. If I applied that kind of standard to motorists, there'd be no repaving or widening of roads, that's for sure.

Well, right there you're wondering if traffic engineers did any engineering, so I'd say probably.

As to the scientific rigor - I'm not sure what you'd want them to study or when you'd be satisfied that they'd studied it enough. Whether or not bikes reduce congestion is really not important. They are good for health and they don't create emissions and some people choose to ride them. Science is an unending process and it takes a long time to reach consensus, so you can't sit around and wait for "all the science to come in" as they like to say.

And with something like this, it's an iterative process. Plan based on what is known, build, study, repeat. Will mistakes be made - sure.

Or perhaps you think Portland and Amsterdam should remove their facilities because they didn't properly study them beforehand?

The plan does point out that "Further study will be required before many of the projects described in this plan can be fully implemented." And they didn't just pull things out of the air. They do cite studies and standards.

I think there should be a scientific study on whether widening roads really relieves congestion for motorized vehicles before any government authorities are allowed to spend money on such things.

How about studying what widening lanes will do to safety?

Short version is that they tried to short-cut the required process (enviro impact study) and opened the door to a guy with a ax to grind. I don't imagine that it will change much in the long run, just delay the implementation. CA is a state that LOVES its red tape and by trying to trim a little of it SF dug its own pit. Working around this stugg (gov employee) you learn quickly to always include a TPS Report cover sheet, even if you don't think you need it.

The contrarian has a point. The environmental review process is supposed to document all the impacts. This includes the impacts that building bike facilities might have on traffic conditions and thus on congestion, pollution, etc. The good news is that the work San Francisco puts in will benefit other cities when they get sued for not sufficiently studying an impact. Its unfortunate that it has to be this way but it will be worth it in the long run I think.

In 1979, the British Standards Institution (BSI) developed the first commercial standard for quality systems that became known as BS 5750. That same year, BSI issued its first certificate to a small cement plant in England for compliance with BS 5750. It took almost another decade for the international community to recognize the benefits of standards for quality systems.

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