Monday, August 21, 2006

Vote in the Chronicle's Poll

Be sure and vote in the SF Chronicle's readers' poll on the influence of the city's bike zealots on city policy at this address: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/21/MNGP1KM9G01.DTL&hw=Rachel+Gordon&sn=001&sc=1000)

The question: Is the SF Bicycle Coalition too Powerful?

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19 Comments:

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous jivemeister (hayes valley) said...

I dunno man, I think all this wrath is just plan sad. The SF bicycle coalition is a WONDERFUL organiztion. It is NOT a "bunch of anti car zealots".

You constantly draw a conneciton between the SFBC and a handful of rude, annoying bike messengers and other anarchists who cause havoc during critical mass and whatnot.

That connection is tenuous and coincidental at best. Why don't you work WITH the SFBC to help them promote manners and reign in the maddness of critical mass? I think everyone would be happier and better off.

And no, I don't think they're "too powerful" And YES we do need more bike lanes.

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

My observation is that the rudeness of individual cyclists in SF has its organizational/political counterpart in the SF Bicycle Coalition, which endorses Critical Mass on its online calendar, is arrogant at public meetings---Ever see Leah Shahum in action?---and, to cap it off, collaborated with the city in trying to sneak the 460-page Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review.

 
At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BIKERS SUCK. THEY DO NOT FOLLOW ANY PEDESTRIAN LAWS OR VEHICLE LAWS. BICYCLIST DONT STOP AT STOP SIGNS OR RED LIGHTS. THEY ARE COMPLETE ASSHOLES. THEY TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE BIKE LANE AND CLAIM THE ROAD AT 10MPHS AND DO NOT MOVE.

 
At 11:24 PM, Anonymous S said...

The opinion "SFBC is too powerful" is trailing "SF needs more bike lanes" in the Chronicle poll as of this comment.

I've witnessed plenty of irresponsible cyclists and irresponsible motorists in SF. I can say with certainty that the motorists are a much greater threat to the safety of everyone on the road than the cyclists. I can also say with certainty that the motorists are causing much more noise, air pollution, and damage to the roads than the cyclists. I can say with certainty that a lot of people drive a car because there is not yet a safe route for them to bike to their destination.

 
At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only wonder what your real motives are behind this and which of your major constituents and donors are behind your "anti-bike-nut" movement. If you look up the State of California vehicle code, you will see that a bicycle is a legal vehicle, meaning I could be in any street lane that I choose as long as I'm moving with the flow of traffic. Having dedicated bike lanes actually improves the flow of traffic by having dedicated lanes for each respective vehicle. Without the bike lanes, it probably means that I'm in front of you. As an example, it's not legal for a vehicle to pass another vehicle within the same lane such as a car passing a motorcycle within the same lane. If I'm in front of you on a street with no bike lane, which means I'm in the right lane also known as the slow lane, that means you have to pass me in the next lane to the left just as if you wanted to pass any other slow moving vehicle. I also find your arguments of faster traffic and more street parking contradictory since any street with street parking always has traffic jams in the right lane with cars waiting for parking, cars weaving in and out trying to fit into a parking spot or trying to leave a parking spot. By eliminating the parking on main streets and using them for bike lanes you actually make traffic flow smoother and more efficiently. And lastly, I was wondering the statistics on the parking garage at the DeYoung Museum. What percentage of it's capacity is being used? Is it selling out of parking spaces? From what I understand, the DeYoung Patrons and supposedly the neighborhood were against "Car Free Saturdays" because of a predicted "parking problem". Wasn't that the whole point of spending taxpayers' money on an underground parking facility? Is the parking garage being used to maximum capacity or is the taxpayers' money being wasted? I find your "anti-bicycle crusade" a big sham! I see that you have a way with skewing the facts and information as good as any other politician with a campaign of misinformation. I have a question for you: How many people in San Francisco are against "Bicycle Policies"? Why do I have the feeling it's probably the same amount of people that you say are Pro-Bike? There are probably a lot more pro-bike people than you would like to admit. Are your major donors and campaign contributors asking you to be anti-bike? Or is it just a personal thing for you? Wow! I can twist words around just as good as you! Maybe I should run for office against you and give real residenst what they want, not just a few business owners.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

My "real motives"? Browse through the archives of my blog for a bit, and you will see that I write about a lot of other issues besides the bike issue. I'm a good government guy and a bit of a policy wonk. It's bad public policy to implement the ambitious Bicycle Plan without any environmental review. And it's bad public policy to take away traffic lanes and street parking in a city that has 452,813 motor vehicles---and only 1.9% of its population that commutes via bicycle. The idea that I do what I do for money is laughable. I didn't get enough contributions to my 2004 campaign for supervisor to have to file with the Ethics Commission. Of course I didn't try to raise any money, either. It wasn't that kind of campaign. The new garage under the Concourse in Golden Gate Park is not wasting any taxpayers' money, because it was built with private donations and it's being operated using the present parking fees. Once the construction bonds are paid off, the garage will belong to the city, and all that revenue will flow into city coffers. All in all, a huge gift to the city from Warren Hellman and friends. This blog has had a lot more impact than either of my campaigns for D5 Supervisor. I got only 332 votes in 2004, but I'll do a lot better in 2008!

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the "ninety-nine percent" group will have to change its name to "fourty-seven percent" if we're to believe the Chronicle poll.

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

On the other hand, the SFBC claims that it has 6500 members. Where are they? I will admit, after all, that my organization doesn't have 800 members! (1701 people have responded so far to the poll). And, by the way, why do so many of you bike nuts post your comments anonymously? What are you afraid of?

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes a pretty serious case of wicked world syndrome to think that the SFBC is a marxist organization, that critical mass is a bunch of dangerous anarchists, that bicycling is simply too dangerous an activity (while at the same time opposing measures to make it safer) for responsible people to undertake, and that bicyclists represenst some kind of overwhelming threat to pedestrians.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Note that it was a reader not me who wrote in to D5 Diary who used the "Marxist" term. I don't know how "dangerous" the Critical Mass folks are, but that's not why I object to the disruptive monthly demo. I think it's arrogant and self-indulgent for cyclists to disrupt rush hour traffic when people are trying to get home after work. Yes, I think cycling in the city is dangerous, because the facts show that it is. Enter "bicycles and head injuries" into your search engine and see what you come up with. Nor do I oppose reasonable measures to make cycling safer. What I object to is redesigning city streets---taking away traffic lanes and street parking to make bike lanes---for 1.9% of the city's population (2000 Census figure). No one has claimed here that cyclists "represent some kind of overwhelming threat to pedestrians," just that anyone who walks a lot in the city has had more than one encounter with an arrogant cyclist while crossing the street in a crosswalk.

 
At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the "marxist" remark was actually made by a correspondent, not the blog author. I should read more carefully. Sorry about that.

 
At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that 1.9% the number of the city's population that commutes by bicycle or the number of the city's trips made by bicycle?

I'd be interested to take a look at it.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, the 1.9% is a commute number based on the 2000 Census. The SF Transportation Authority has numbers that are different, based apparently on a computer model in their Countywide Transportation Plan of July, 2004, on page 39. They come up with 0.9% for bikes as "Mode Share (All Trips)." For "Mode Share (Internal Trips)," they have 1.0% for bikes. You can get a free copy of this document from the SFCTA at their office at 100 Van Ness.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do Rob Anderson and Leah Shahum have in common? They're both against Critical Mass.

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bullshit. If she's againt Critical Mass, why doesn't she take it off the SFBC's online calendar?

 
At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because one person's opinion doesn't carry that much weight. Unless you're Rob Anderson, of course.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I've never heard Leah Shahum say anything negative about Critical Mass. Can we have some evidence for that claim? Is there a suggestion here that she opposes it in private SFBC meetings but is outvoted? In the Chronicle interview last year, she described her first Critical Mass experience as a near-religious epiphany that led her to becoming a bike activist in the first place. If Shahum came out publicly against Critical Mass and/or advocated taking it off the SFBC online calendar, that would be something worth noting.

My opinion is of course worth a lot here on D5 Diary, because it's my blog. On the other hand, I've never nixed a comment, except for some obvious spam before the "comment moderation" system was installed.

 
At 8:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to the California state code, bicycles are not ordinarily legal vehicles:

39000. "Bicycle," for the purposes of this division, means any device upon which a person may ride, which is propelled by human power through a system of belts, chains, or gears having either two or three wheels (one of which is at least 20 inches in diameter) or having a frame size of at least 14 inches, or having four or more wheels.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Your point is?

 

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