"in retrospect the most transformative technology of this era will be the small electric vehicle (bike, scooter, tricycle, cargo bike, cargo tricycle, etc). They’re already more popular than electric cars... our notion of what a vehicle looks like is stuck in the internal combustion era." -@sanae

@scott @sanae I wish that were true but the southeast was build for cars. We don't even have sidewalks here, there is no room on the road for that I'm afraid.

@wackomedia @scott Solving that and related problems is the topic of the blog post that you are replying to

@sanae @scott ah, boost problem. I don't see any posts like that even now. I'll read it when I can.

@wackomedia @scott It's the post you directly replied to. The one here:

Also do you mean the southeast of San Francisco, or the southeast of somewhere else? Since the blog post specifically limits itself to talking about San Francisco, I assumed it was the former.

@sanae @scott for real, the OG post wasn't there so yeah I'm speaking way out of place. In California it's doable. Quite jealous.

@wackomedia cars are less than 8ft wide, generally 6.5, so if the street is only 5ft wide there's no room on the road for cars but there's almost always room for bikes. I think cities need to focus on network effects and until you have a relatively complete network of low-stress connections, 40-50% of people can't even imagine bikes as transportation. The car network is 3-4x redundant and most of it sits where the bikeway network could be, just lacks bollards.
@scott @sanae

@wackomedia how about yellow centerlines? Plenty of Portland streets without sidewalks definitely have them, #trafficEngineering standards being what they are. I say we can't afford to create #InducedDemand for 4000 cars per day if we can't afford sidewalks, but we need elected officials or a judge to say it. #VisionZero, #ClimateAction, fiscal solvency, etc
@scott @sanae

@enobacon @scott @sanae there's a secondary problem that there is nowhere to go. I live in a nice suburb and the nearest store is a 4 mile trip, the groceries 10.

My electric car solved a lot of cost issues but I honestly couldn't bike even with lane.

I agree we need better officials to make good choices about zoning.

@enobacon @scott @sanae I like my tiny car but people around here like big ol trucks. We would in good faith be asking for a scrifice for how they like to do things. As opposed to them being jerks about it where they would stop sidewalks just cus.

Here I think the big disruption will be drones as seen recently with Zipline.

@wackomedia @scott @sanae in a traffic landscape dominated by SUVs, no amount of sidewalks will make walking safe. The myth that DOTs would make safety if they had funding needs to die, and the DOTs be defunded / dissolved if they can't Engineer safety first. Engineering means compromises, and traffic Engineers have abdicated their professional responsibility, sitting their with hands out telling us to give them money to add safety while operating at $2M/day exclusively on behalf of cars.

@wackomedia zoning is easy to change but the actual land use is driven by parking, whether it's how many customers can reach the location or whether the bank thinks it is viable to build without parking. If everywhere was accessible via low-stress bike ride (not constantly dealing with speeding cut-through traffic on side streets and then crossing 5-7 lane stroad intersections at stroads), more people would make those 4 mile trips (an easy and predictable 20 minutes by e-bike)...
@scott @sanae

@wackomedia ...and more stores could fill in between sooner, transit could run more frequently. All of this is being blocked by #trafficEngineering "standards", which preserves space for oversized vehicles by design (and contrary to what they would have you believe, this is at the discretion of the Engineer, as the manual says.) The politics of cheap/free parking and gas subsidies is inter-generational theft, cars need to pay their way, #polluterPays.
@scott @sanae

@scott @sanae the biggest obstacle IMO is the combination of cost and lack of security.

Locking your $200 craigslist bike up is totally different than your $2500 ebike.

With a stolen ebike, you're basically SOL. Stolen cars are often returned and/or reimbursed by insurance.

I'm not trying to naysay, just echoing my worries and what others have said to me. Maybe some of these problems are more perceived than real.

They still occupy the space of "expensive toy gadget" in most people's minds.

@viktor @scott

I did have to cut many things in the blog post including secure bike storage, which I'd place in the short term category, but I'm surprised that you concluded after reading the blog post that all those other things could change but then nobody remembers to fix the bike storage problem and it all falls apart. It's already a problem being actively worked on. Insuring bikes against theft already exists in at least some places.


@sanae @scott

I 100% agree these things are addressable, it's just some of the main obstacles preventing adoption that I hear.

Note that I'm responding from Ohio, not SF. So e-bikes are largely car supplements rather than replacements, which leaves people feeling like they're a costly luxury that can be too easily stolen.

(And again, these issues of cost and security may be more perceived than real...some marketing and PSAs could potentially go a long way)

@viktor @scott Yes, but the blog post you are talking about is about overcoming obstacles to adoption over the next few decades... also I made it SF specific because that's what I can talk about concretely. I feel like you might be getting threads confused?

@sanae @viktor my fault perhaps for sharing with a pull quote not specific to SF.

I would hope that even in Ohio or wherever, an ebike could at least be a replacement for a family’s *second* car, but again that’s not the topic of Sanae’s piece.

@scott @sanae no worries! I should read links a little more closely for better context before responding to a pull quote.

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Car Free City

A community of people who are fighting against car dominance in San Francisco and beyond and also have various other interests.