Belling talked about this on his show yesterday. Esentially, Rob Anderson, a San Francisco native, has blocked efforts by the city to vastly expand bike lanes arguing that the move will actually increase pollution!
Could Bike Lanes Cause Pollution?
This is beautiful. He's essentially using one of the major reasons for the bike enthusiasts to have the lanes in the first place against having the lanes . . . pollution. His argument is a strong one. Most people are not going to get on a bike a lieu of a car for most of their needs. They just can't. Everything is too far away, and/or it would take too long to make the trek to be convenient. That's just a fact. As such, putting in bike lanes will not automatically increase bike usage, or more importantly, decrease car usage. What they have the potential to do, though, is tie up traffic due to lost lanes to the bike lanes. Suddenly you have cars taking longer to get through traffic and increasing emissions.
It's a logical, provable argument. So much so, that it has halted SF's plans to expand bike lanes.
Of course, the crankers are furious.
Now, let's think about Barrett's rail plan for the city. One thing is undeniably true . . . we don't have the space to implement this without cutting in to existing traffic lanes. See where I'm going? First of all, this rail system would serve a scant minority of people. The rest will be in their cars trying to navigate the streets. The best thing one could do for the environment is to allow people to get to their destinations in their cars as quickly as possible so as to minimize the time pollutants are being emitted in to the atmosphere.
I hope this issue has legs.