Stephen Willis: "You Don't Know Jack..."
"Rob, you and others can try to frame the debate by labeling transit, bicycling and pedestrian safety advocates as 'anti' car, if you want. But it's completely disingenuous."
I judge people by what they do, not just by what they say. Of course the bike fanatics never say they are anti-car, but their actions show otherwise. You are a good example: You opposed the garage in Golden Gate Park, and you oppose the Hastings garage. What a coincidence! Hastings has 1300 students and faculty, so a garage---built on their own property---makes good sense for that part of town. UC's plan to turn the old extension site on lower Haight St. into a large, for-profit housing development is indeed an attempt to privatize property that has been zoned Public Use by the city for almost 150 years. The garage under the Concourse in Golden Gate Park, built entirely with $40 million in private donations, will be turned over to the city when the construction bond is paid off with the parking fees. That's not "privatization"; that's a gift. The garage is being "privatized" the same way the new de Young has been privatized---a city-owned institution that was rebuilt with private donations of $200 million, another gift to the city.
"You don't know jack about what's been going on in the Park. And your false assertions don't even merit a response. Boriiiing."
Could you be more specific about my alleged "false assertions" on the park? The last time we had an exchange on the Concourse/MLK issue, you called me names and injected extraneous issues into the discussion, which made you look, well, "disingenuous." (Interested readers can check out that exchange and judge for themselves.)
Stephen Willis wrote:
This is a righteous campaign to stop the privatization of yet another important historic San Francisco landmark and public educational resource. Spread your message far and wide and build your coalition now, because you are taking on the same power structure that is forcing a disastrous and insane 450 space UC Hastings parking garage at Golden Gate and Larkin Streets. Transit First City? Right. Many San Franciscans felt similarly about the once historic features of the Golden Gate Park Music Concourse, including three, century-old pedestrian tunnels that were privatized (transferred into private corporate hands) and then immediately demolished to make way for the cheapest underground parking garage that Bechtel could possibly design.
PS - Rob, I disagree with you on almost every other thing, but you are right on the mark opposing this theft of a public resource. Have you thought about dedicating yourself to this campaign, and quitting your writing about transit? Just asking.
Rob Anderson wrote:
Why am I not surprised that you are part of the anti-car, anti-parking jihad in SF? It's "insane" to build a parking garage in a city with more than 460,000 motor vehicles? It's insane to not provide adequate parking. UC is building a garage on its own property; the garage under the Concourse in Golden Gate Park will be owned by the City of San Francisco when the construction bond is paid off. There is no public money invested in the Concourse garage. The pedestrian tunnels on the Concourse were made of unreinforced material and had to go. They were just plain "old," not "historic." No, I'm not going to "dedicate" myself to anything but this blog and writing about SF politics from my bunker deep inside District 5. Just answering.
Stephen Willis wrote:
Rob, You and others can try to frame the debate by labeling transit, bicycling and pedestrian safety advocates as "anti" car, if you want. But it's completely disingenuous. The fact is that most of "us" are drivers too, at some time or another, just like you, and not at all unsympathetic to the plight of drivers in San Francisco. WE are all in this transportation mix together. Think about it. For every bike out on the street, there is that much more room for motorists, as well as MUNI to get around smoothly without becoming congested. Efficient transit and bicycle routing will overwhelmingly improve conditions for motorists as well. There is no war here; we need to take a syncretistic approach and identify our common interests and goals first. For you to recklessly frame this debate in such radically opposing terms of reference, is to denigrate and dismiss the compelling commons interests that we all share. One of those is a desire to breathe clean air, and another is the dream of being able to cross a street and not have to worry about being killed by someone driving while talking on a cell phone. Let's not deliberately polarize the issue with the use of such dramatic terms to imply car owners are somehow the victims of some kind of anti-car jihad or attack. If anything, pedestrians and bicyclists are the real victims in this equation, year in and year out, partly because of the failure of the District Attorney to get tough with motorists who fail to maintain control of their vehicles as they agreed to do when they were issued their drivers licenses. Though the number of pedestrian deaths is down compared to three or four years ago, there are still too many people getting mowed down on our City streets. Logic would show that increasing the volume of parking downtown, or publicly subsidizing it, will only encourage more people to drive, instead of considering transit. The north-south arterials in SOMA leading to the freeway from the financial district are a death zone at peak commuter hours, and pedestrian safety as well as gound level air quality suffers greatly. All of these factors should be considered.
Defend the Commons,
PS - You don't know jack about what's been going on in the Park. And your false assertions don't even merit a response. Boriiiing.
Labels: Concourse Garage