Today’s Headlines

  • San Francisco Ranked Top City to Live Car-Free in America (MSNBC)
  • BART Board Adopts Policy Protecting Cell Phones (SF Examiner, Bay Citizen)
  • With Car Now Impounded, Suspect in Gas Station Hit-and-Run Expected in Court Today (SF Appeal)
  • Man Killed in Parking Lot Hit-and-Run in Fairfield (CoCo Times)
  • Video: How the Dutch Got Their Cycling Infrastructure (AVFTCP)
  • “Undriving Licenses” Encourage a Rethink of Mobility (Treehugger)
  • Dear America, We Need More Public Transportation (NRDC Switchboard)
  • Survey: Drivers Fear Cellphone Users More Than Drunks (Mercury News)
  • Toronto Activists Use Trash to Demonstrate Room for Bike Lanes (Treehugger)
More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill
  • Anonymous

    Re: San Francisco Ranked Top City to Live Car-Free in America

    SF is definitely right near the top, but does it really beat NYC? My brother, who lives in NYC, and I have been having this back and forth debate about the walkability of both cities. He claims NYC is way better and SF doesn’t even come close (though he agrees it comes in second place, but just a distance second). One of his arguments is not only how extensive the subway is in NYC (the Walk Score considers all public transit equal, yet there is no doubt that most people prefer a subway like NYC’s over a bus system like SF’s (or even the barely existing “subway” system we have in SF)), but that the hills in SF are not all factored in. And he thinks the hills are a huge deterrent for people walking. And he also argues that way more people don’t even have a car in NYC: 56% in NYC versus 29% in SF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_most_households_without_a_car).

    I argue that the hills aren’t that bad most of the time and it doesn’t really stop most people from walking and just gets everyone in better shape, and I further counter that the crappy climate of NYC is a huge deterrent for people walking for at least 4 months out of the year and that isn’t factored into the Walk Score either.

    However, I have to admit that, even though I’m biased towards SF and think it has a residential yet still urban feel that much of NYC (ie, all of Manhattan) doesn’t have, it really seems hard to argue that there is a better city in which to live car-free than NYC. I really does stand in a league of its own. SF certainly takes second place, but I don’t think it can truly claim first.

  • Regarding “Top City to Live in Car-free”

    Though I’m glad they are giving San Francisco credit for being relatively car-free friendly, I really, really hate how lazy these lists are. When you get down to the detail, what they mean by “San Francisco” is the government census definition of “San Francisco”– all of Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.  (Probably because the census data is the easiest way to get their info.) This is a range from Livermore to Point Reyes to Richmond to Fremont to Half Moon Bay. Lumping this massive area together totally obscures what may or may not be going on in the “metropolitan” area they claim to be trying to write something intelligent about.

    Some of the “data” in this “study” of “San Francisco”:
    Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 34.8 % (30th highest)

    Even with how miserable Muni can be, unless there is a complete meltdown you can get anywhere in San Francisco in under 90 minutes.  (Heck, you can bike from one side of San Francisco to the other in 45-60 minutes.)  If you live and work in San Francisco, 100% of jobs are reachable in 90 minutes without a car.

    I would not argue that it is easy to live in many parts of the Bay Area car-free, precisely because they are not cities! If you want to evaluate top “cities” to live in car-free, it would behoove MSNBC, Wall St 24/7 and the Brookings Institute (the worst offender!) to evaluate the actual cities in question, not huge sprawling areas that involve a range of thousands of square miles of urban, suburban and rural countryside.

    (jd_x, I would guess this is why New York fares so badly–they use an even broader, stupider definition of “New York City” than they do of “San Francisco.”)

  • Peapod mom

    Thanks for clarifying. You remind me that I need to stop wasting my time searching linkbait for actual content.

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