"Anti-car conspiracy": Hinckle joins the struggle
|Photo from Bay Citizen|
As one of the Bicycle Coalition's few critics in San Francisco, District 5 Diary was surprised and pleased to read in the latest Argonaut that Warren Hinckle too is increasingly concerned about the undue influence that bike zealots have on city policy. The Hinkster describes this movement:
But the counter-attack is well underway, led by, among others, yours truly at District 5 Diary, articulating the notion that cyclists are taking up way too much room in the city's political life---and, increasingly, on its streets. Hinckle makes an important point when he characterizes these folks as being as much anti-car as they are pro-bike.
In any event, their strategy is to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to drive and park a car in San Francisco---raising parking fees, meter fees, parking fines, removing parking whenever and wherever possible, especially in new housing units, even though city law sensibly requires that builders provide a parking space for each new housing unit built.
They didn't really have to do much convincing to get the Board of Supervisors to vote unanimously to make the 400-page Bicycle Plan part of the General Plan---not the "Master Plan"---because there was no debate, except for the negative input they got from me and a few other folks just before they held the lemming-like 11-0 vote.
And their attempt to foist bike lanes on Japantown on Post St. was firmly rejected by that community a few years ago: "The [Bicycle] Coalition has been pushing its plans to re-stripe Post Street...despite the community's continued opposition." (Japantown Task Force newsletter, Summer 2003)
City traffic officials didn't buy into their[Bicycle Coalition's] demand for a right-turn ban. So the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and others took their case to the Board of Supervisors, where then-board President Matt Gonzalez carried legislation in August 2004 to ban the right turn...(Bicyclists vs. Drivers---Who's in the Right?, Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle, Sept. 21, 2005).
Further resolved, that the Department shall collect data related to traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian safety and flow during the first six months of the opening of the freeway ramp, and shall make adjustments to and shall implement any additional traffic control devices and signage as necessary to maximize the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists through the intersection, and the Department shall report its findings to the Board of Supervisors at the end of that period.
But the Bicycle Coalition, in the person of spokesman Andy Thornley, is unrepentant and even wants to escalate the punishment for motorists who try to turn right onto the freeway with "strict enforcement with pretty harsh fines." (Matier & Ross)