Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Keep up the good work, Mr. Anderson"

Some positive feedback on this morning's Wall Street Journal article (below in italics):


Shawn Orr writes:
Rob you are my hero. I just read the WSJ article today and agree with all your points. Bicyclists are extremely sanctimonious. I will keep reading your blog. Keep up the good fight. How can I join C-FAR? I would like to start a chapter in New Canaan, CT.

Jason Wheeler wrote:
The Journal article was great. I always like to see people debunking supposed "green" solutions. People need to wake up to the fact that most "green" solutions are just a transfer of impact rather than a reduction in impact. Keep up the good work.

El Visitador wrote:
Great candidate questionnaire responses! I loved it. I learned about you because of today's WSJ report. If I lived in San Francisco, you would most definitively be getting my vote! Best of luck.

Madmoney wrote:
Keep up the great work! Speaking as a happy-to-be-former San Franciscan, people like you are the only hope the city has left!

Anonymous wrote:
keep up the good work, this bike-mania is infectious & the politicians cave to a few loudmouths. good luck with it they do NEED an impact review. yours in the struggle

Mitch Haase wrote:
Bicyclists in SF and Berkeley are whiney little pricks. Keep up the good work and stop these elitist thugs from trying to take over our cities with their asinine plans. People like Jason Meggs need help getting their heads pulled out of their asses.

Anonymous wrote:
What's fun is to be behind two bikers on a country road who ride side by side so you cannot pass! Then after they get tired of holding you back, they fall into a single file line so you will pass and they can be left to the scenery after showing you who's boss of the road...Bikers are obnoxious. It's true.

Skyler Weinand wrote:
I read the WSJ article and spent some time on your blog. I really applaud your efforts. While living in Minneapolis, which has more bike trails and lanes per capita than any metro area in the country and being involved in municipal government, I couldn't have been more frustrated with bike enthusiasts touting the removal of car lanes for bikes. It just didn't make any sense, and your efforts and thoughts do. Now I'm in Manhattan and have had far more near misses with senseless bikers than the 13,000 taxi cabs and numerous other vehicles. Bikers, I've found, have very little regard for the law.

BEBP wrote:
Just wanted to tell you that I am impressed. I wish someone had thought this through in the DC area. Not only did the City Council put in bike lanes (that everyone ignores), but they don't enforce traffic rules when it comes to bicyclists, let them ride on sidewalks, and even without helmets. I hope common sense prevails.

Darren Story wrote:
What can I do to help? I'm sick of these so called progressives with their holier than thou, do nothing attitude!

Anthony Wade Soni wrote:
I have just read the article in today's WSJ concerning your stance on critical mass. I am very supportive of your actions and wish you luck and perseverance. As for your platform in running for office, I am afraid I do not agree with many of your statements, such as I would support legalizing prostitution. But you seem to be the most logical person running so far. Good Luck.

Stephen Keith wrote:
Mr. Anderson, I read the article in today's WSJ about your objection to construction of bike paths w/out an environmental study being performed. Kudos! I live in Birmingham, Alabama, in one of its sorta trendy subdivisions where a huge class of professional middle-aged men have become notoriously angry cyclists, behaving like the "Critical Mass" riders in San Fran. I can see we are headed where SF is---cyclists demanding they be allowed to clog the streets but refusing to follow the rules of the road and exhibiting at least a little common sense to stay off of major, high-speed thoroughfares. That you turned the tables on them and insisted that the truth of environmental impacts at least be examined is simply beautiful. Keep up the good work. It's high time someone called these holier-than-thou Lance Armstrong wannabe's out for their entitlement mentality.

Tor Trivers wrote:
I read about you in the WSJ today. I think you are spot on about everything. Keep it up!!

David Howard wrote:
I just read the WSJ article today, aug 20th. I've also been reading the book "The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths - How Smart Growth is Hurting American Cities." On page 363, O'Toole quotes John Forester who thinks bike lanes are more dangerous than riding in a vehcile because they increase errors between cyclists and drivers. The safest cyclists are those who act and are treated as operators of vehicles. (As defined in California law.) Bikes and autos aren't mutually exclusive choices, but the bike proponents seem to think that way. I watched a cyclist in Berkeley almost get flattened last week by the left-turning SUV in front of me. The cyclist was on the road as she entered the intersection, but then suddenly claimed pedestrian status by swerving into the pedestrian crosswalk, rather than asserting her right away as a straight-through driving vehicle, or yielding it. Adults of a certain age should be made to ride on the road like a vehicle, and trained for it, as drivers are trained, and trained NOT to play hocus-pocus, I'm-a-pedestrian, now-I'm-a-vehicle games. Children below a certain age certainly have no place on the road and that leaves only the sidewalk. Keep up the good work, Mr. Anderson.

Paul Roscelli writes:
Hey I saw the article on you in the WSJ today. Suffice it to say, while I disagree on virtually all your other positions ( I looked you up on the web) you are so right on when it comes to the issue of bikes. Good for you. I would like to donate to your campaign, despite our differences.

Glenn wrote:
Mr. Anderson, encouraging an environmental impact review is great. Many cyclists are on your side if a better environment is your goal. The city should review the impact of many factors, not just fewer v. more bicycles. Just as many cyclists assumed their choice was better for the environment, you assume that our car culture is as immutable as the laws of nature, however people's views on cars change all the time. And this decade is seeing former proponents of big American cars opting for smaller hybrid---and soon electric---vehicles, and others realizing that for many of the short trips typical in urban areas, cars don't make sense. You're right; further study is needed.


San Francisco Ponders: Could Bike Lanes Cause Pollution? City Backpedals on a Cycling Plan After Mr. Anderson Goes to Court
By PHRED DVORAK
August 20, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- New York is wooing cyclists with chartreuse bike lanes. Chicago is spending nearly $1 million for double-decker bicycle parking. San Francisco can't even install new bike racks. Blame Rob Anderson. At a time when most other cities are encouraging biking as green transport, the 65-year-old local gadfly has stymied cycling-support efforts here by arguing that urban bicycle boosting could actually be bad for the environment. That's put the brakes on everything from new bike lanes to bike racks while the city works on an environmental-impact report.

Cyclists say the irony is killing them---literally. At least four bikers have died and hundreds more have been injured in San Francisco since mid-2006, when Mr. Anderson helped convince a judge to halt implementation of a massive pro-bike plan. (It's unclear whether the plan's execution could have prevented the accidents.)

In the past year, bike advocates have demonstrated outside City Hall, pushed the city to challenge the plan's freeze in court and proposed putting the whole mess to local voters. Nothing worked. "We're the ones keeping emissions from the air!" shouted Leah Shahum, executive director of the 10,000-strong San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, at a July 21 protest. Mr. Anderson disagrees. Cars always will vastly outnumber bikes, he reasons, so allotting more street space to cyclists could cause more traffic jams, more idling and more pollution.

Mr. Anderson says the city has been blinded by political correctness. It's an "attempt by the anti-car fanatics to screw up our traffic on behalf of the bicycle fantasy," he wrote in his blog this month. Mr. Anderson's fight underscores the tensions that can circulate as urban cycling, bolstered by environmental awareness and high gasoline prices, takes off across the U.S. New York City, where the number of commuter cyclists is estimated to have jumped 77% between 2000 and 2007, is adding new bike lanes despite some motorist backlash. Chicago recently elected to kick cars off stretches of big roads on two Sundays this year.

Famously progressive, San Francisco is known for being one of the most pro-bike cities in the U.S., offering more than 200 miles of lanes and requiring that big garages offer bike parking. It is also known for characters like Mr. Anderson. A tall, serious man with a grizzled gray beard, Mr. Anderson spent 13 months in a California federal prison for resisting the draft during the Vietnam War. He later penned pieces for the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a muckraking Northern California weekly owned by his brother that's known for its savage prose and pranks.

Running for Office

In 1995, Mr. Anderson moved to San Francisco. Working odd jobs, he twice ran for a seat on the city's Board of Supervisors, pledging to tackle homelessness and the city's "tacit PC ideology." He got 332 of 34,955 votes in 2004, his second and best try. That year Mr. Anderson, who mostly lives off a small government stipend he receives for caring for his 92-year-old mother, also started a blog, digging into local politics with gusto. One of his first targets: the city's most ambitious bike plan to date.Unveiled in 2004, the 527-page document was filled with maps, traffic analyses and a list of roughly 240 locations where the city hoped to make cycling easier. The plan called for more bike lanes, better bike parking and a boost in cycling to 10% of the city's total trips by 2010.

The plan irked Mr. Anderson. Having not owned a car in 20 years, he says he has had several near misses with bikers roaring through crosswalks and red lights, and sees bicycles as dangerous and impractical for car-centric American cities. Mr. Anderson was also bugged by what he describes as the holier-than-thou attitude typified by Critical Mass, a monthly gathering of bikers who coast through the city, snarling traffic for hours. "The behavior of the bike people on city streets is always annoying," he says. "This 'Get out of my way, I'm not burning fossil fuels.' "

Going to Court

In February 2005, Mr. Anderson showed up at a planning commission meeting. If San Francisco was going to take away parking spaces and car lanes, he argued, it had better do an environmental-impact review first. When the Board of Supervisors voted to skip the review, Mr. Anderson sued in state court, enlisting his friend Mary Miles, a former postal worker, cartoonist and Anderson Valley Advertiser colleague. Ms. Miles, who was admitted to the California bar in 2004 at age 57, proved a pugnacious litigator. She sought to kill the initial brief from San Francisco's lawyers after it exceeded the accepted length by a page. She objected when the city attorney described Mr. Anderson's advocacy group, the Coalition for Adequate Review, as CAR in their documents. (It's C-FAR.) She also convinced the court to review key planning documents over the city's objections.

Slow Pedaling

In November 2006, a California Superior Court judge rejected San Francisco's contention that it didn't need an environmental review and ordered San Francisco to stop all bike-plan activity until it completed the review. Since then, San Francisco has pedaled very slowly. City planners say they're being extra careful with their environmental study, in hopes that Mr. Anderson and Ms. Miles won't challenge it. Planners don't expect the study will be done for another year.

Meanwhile, Mr. Anderson and Ms. Miles have teamed up to oppose a plan to put high-rises and additional housing in a nearby neighborhood. He continues to blog from his apartment in an old Victorian home. "Regardless of the obvious dangers, some people will ride bikes in San Francisco for the same reason Islamic fanatics will engage in suicide bombings---because they are politically motivated to do so," he wrote in a May 21 post.

"In case anyone doubted that you were a wingnut, this statement pretty much sums things up!" one commenter retorted. Mr. Anderson is running for supervisor again this November---around the time the city will unveil the first draft of its bike-plan environmental review. He's already pondering a challenge of the review.

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72 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Philip said...

Wow!

With all the cities around the world which have already demonstrated the benefits that cycling makes to city liveability, and all the logic coming down on the side of cycle commuting over private automobiles, Mr Anderson still chooses to be an obstacle to the development of cycling infrastructure.

I guess the problem is just a politically correct obsession with adherence to planning regulations which overides common sense.

 
At 9:10 PM, Blogger CCW said...

Good work, Mr. Anderson. I'm a longtime cyclist well acquainted with bicycling's benefits, hazards and applications. Bicycling is not suited to daily personal transport in major urban areas. Cycling by its nature concentrates the human commuter population, within "cycling distance" of jobs, services and stores, yet can never be all-weather transportation. Street-railways, the fabled electrified "trolley cars," combined with walking by those who can, small battery-powered transport used by those who cannot, is the solution to urban transportation. C. Williams.

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Only positive comments. What a following you have! The only PC thing about this whole mess is that two people are able to hold up a process that stands to benefit all of us. I don't know if you noticed, but you breathe San Francisco air too... I don't expect to see this on your blog.

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Why would I find your comment so threatening? I understand that you bike people think everything you want to do to our streets is an "improvement," but you'll have to forgive the rest of us for having our doubts. The fact that bikes don't burn fossil fuel is supposed to trump all other considerations? What's going to be your argument when cars, trucks, and buses all run on something other than fossil fuel? And how are you going to explain all the cycling injuries that will keep occuring long after the Bicycle Plan is implemented? What is real and what is not with the bike trip?

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, heard about your WSJ article from a reader at bikeportland.org. Great work in forcing the city to conduct an environmental review of its bike plan. That reviews inquiries and conclusions are likely to strengthen the argument for expanded bike infrastructure on city streets, since it is cars, not bikes, that long ago reached capacity on city streets.

It's the fact of having reached this capacity that raised the idea of expanding bike infrastructure in the first place, as an affordable, viable, accessible means of accommodating rapidly growing populations in cities.

City streets themselves are capable of handling only so many motor vehicles. I'm just curious; if bikes and bike specific infrastructure were banned and removed entirely from SF streets, by how much do you think motor vehicle capacity on those streets could be expanded?

wsbob

 
At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Nick G said...

"And how are you going to explain all the cycling injuries that will keep occuring long after the Bicycle Plan is implemented?"

Ignorant, uneducated drivers. In case you missed it in your history class, and your economics class, and your health class, and your world cultures class, cycling is vital to transportation of workers who can't afford cars or find them inconvenient in an urban area. Roads were developed in America by and for the use of cyclist first, the car came later. The loose system of "licensing" in the US allows people far less than qualified to operate multi-ton vehicles in an unsafe manner and get away with it, and you want to prevent people from being safer using basic transportation?

Your ignorance is astounding.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Terry said...

Having spent time in European cities where there are many bike commuters, I cannot agree with your assessment of bicycles as an environmental hazard. On the contrary, bicycles by virtue of their emission free operation actually reduce air pollution and do not impede the flow of traffic. When there are clear delineations between car lanes and bike lanes and bicycle operators obey the traffic rules, both motorists and bike riders benefit. The individual who claims "bicycling is not suited to daily personal transport in major urban areas" is making an unsubstantiated claim that flies in the face of common sense and physical evidence.

The major problem with urban transportation in reality is cars themselves. Most eastern U.S. cities were never designed to accommodate hundreds of thousands of private automobiles in daily commutes, and most western cities are disastrously dependent on gasoline-driven transportation.

Rather than targeting bicycles as the root of all transportation evil, it would be far wiser and more productive to promote public transportation and penalize urban car use in conjunction with judicious traffic management that realizes the health and environmental benefits of bicycles and other non-powered transport methods.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Nick G: Your ignorance is typical of the average bike nut. Even the bike people acknowledge that most cycling accidents are "solo falls" that have nothing to do with other vehicles. It's silly to deny that riding a bike has inherent dangers. The SF Bicycle Coalition itself is worried more about the dangerous condition of the surface of city streets than they are about car drivers. Cycling is certainly not "vital" to San Francisco's transportation system or its economy, since, according to the last Census, 98% of the city's population does not commute by bicycle.

Terry: Like a lot of bike people, you have a reading and comprehension problem, possibly from inhaling too much carbon monoxide while riding your bike. I of course have never said that bikes per se are a hazard to the environment. The issue being debated here is SF's 500-page Bicycle Plan, which the city rushed through the process without any environmental review. Of course I agree that public transportation is a sensible alternative to driving and cycling. Funny but SF's bike people rarely speak or write about the city's Muni system, even though this is supposedly a "transit first" city. It's all about bikes!

 
At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You claim that bike lanes will cause more pollution by lessening the lanes for cars, thereby causing cars to idle. You claim that cars are more dominant, will always be prevalent, and that is why the lanes should not be shared with bikes.

The idea springing up in the USA is to ditch cars in favor of non-polluting methods of travel, like bicycles. You are preventing this long term idea from blossoming in favor of a short term issue. To make a small hop, it's this logic that leads to saying that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

You think there won't be cars idling if there are no bike lanes? As you say, cars are dominant, so the streets will be trafficked with cars no matter which way you slice things. There will be the same pollution in the short term if bike lanes are built, and, thinking long term, there will be less pollution as people ditch these dominant cars.

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob,
I can't help but think your viewpoint on cycling in SF and other cities to be short-sighted. Whether or not your hypothesis that increased bike lanes will worsen congestion is true, that doesn't mean therefore reducing biking and allowing cars to roam free is the right answer to this dilemma.

Have you ever considered the possibility that perhaps the best solution (rather than the status-quo you advocate) is to eventually eliminate cars from most city streets? London has done it. Much of Europe has de facto done it, and New York is contemplating it. If pollution and congestion are your concerns, why not eliminate all cars or charge a per car use within city limits?

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, sir, are an old fool.

 
At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
What's fun is to be behind two bikers on a country road who ride side by side so you cannot pass! Then after they get tired of holding you back, they fall into a single file line so you will pass and they can be left to the scenery after showing you who's boss of the road...Bikers are obnoxious. It's true.

Get a clue. Try RIDING a bike at 15 MPH (if you can) and see how close a vehicle approaching from behind has to be before you even hear it. Cyclists who don't move over typically (not in every case, agreed) aren't aware the vehicle is there.

A gentle beep (not a long lean on the horn accompanied by a full throttle pass, rude remarks, and obscene gestures) will work wonders in this situation.

Hydrocarbons aren't forever.

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Ron said...

Howdy--

Roads are public rights of way. They predate cars by millenia. They are the spaces that keep us together by holding us apart; the mortar in the wall. It's truly a shame that we have allowed them to be coopted by automobiles.

The price of access to these spaces shouldn't be an automobile, with all its attendant costs. It's ironic that people suggest cyclists are elitist for wanting access on a vehicle which is available to the masses without registration, insurance and fuel. You can add another layer of irony if you consider that one reason so many drivers feel cycling is an exclusive pursuit is that their sedantary lifestyles--including driving--have left them unable to participate.

We'd have roads even if we didn't have cars. We need to consider their full potential, which indcludes allowing slower, less consumptive users.
Happy Trails,
Ron Georg
Moab, UT

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Shawn Allen said...

It's telling that a large majority of your supporters have latched onto your argument simply because they, too, see all cyclists as sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, whiney, liberal weenies whose motivations for riding a bike are more political than practical.

And it's true: some bicyclists are real jerks--as are, you're no doubt aware, a similar proportion of the general public. (And, having lived in San Francisco as long as you have, you shouldn't be surprised that a large portion of any interest group is outspokenly progressive.) But you're not advancing the discussion by painting everyone who chooses to ride a bike with that brush. There are plenty of responsible, courteous riders out there who do so because it's healthy, fun, and economical. Most of them don't go to SFBC rallies or ride in Critical Mass because they don't have the time, aren't politically motivated to do so, or just aren't aware of them at all. Biking is simply the mode of transportation that they've chosen, and in the end it really doesn't matter why. You walk and ride public transit; I ride a bike most of the time; so what's the big deal?

I'll tell you what the big deal is: You, in your curmudgeonly role as the anti-bike crusader, are actively thwarting the San Francisco bike-riding constituency's efforts to make cycling in the city safer. Your cynical arguments, backed almost entirely with anecdotal evidence of cyclist self-righteousness, the unwavering assertion that bikes are inherently dangerous, and the ludicrously illogical suggestion that reducing automobile LOS will result in increased emissions, are all gargantuan straw men that serve no point but to distract from the core issue: your blind hatred of bikes.

Why do you hate bikes so much, Rob? Think long and hard before you answer, because broad generalizations like "cyclists are sanctimonious hippies" isn't really a tenable argument. And don't give me that "power-hungry SFBC" bullshit, either, because you and I both know that there are thousands of people riding their bikes in the city that don't give a rat's ass about the "pro-bike lobby". They're just trying to get wherever they're going in one piece. And in your attempt to stymie them, you just come across as a big 'ol jerk.

So keep fighting the good fight, Rob. And we'll keep on riding our bikes despite (not, as you seem to think, in spite of) your irrational tirade, with the faith that when the EIA is finished the bike plan will be vindicated and you'll have forced the city to spend a ridiculous sum of money to prove what we've known to be true all along: that making our streets more accessible to bikes is an important step toward making the the city a healthier, happier, and safer place for everyone to live.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous those dudes said...

injunction or not, more and more people are riding bikes. people WANT to ride bikes.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in a political sense an impact report is probably good. you know, due process. I guess to pose a counterfactual, because we don't yet know the outcome of the report, is supposing that it is found that bikes are good - despite you disagreeing with them on various principals - what then? Would you insist on fighting after that? i really don't know what the report will reveal, but if it shows that yes giving better access to bikes is environmentally sound, what then?

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Again, what is it about you bike people and your reading disability? Too much diesel fumes clouding your brains? I don't give a rat's ass whether you and your PC friends ride bikes in SF. I just object to the city's attempt at redesigning city streets on behalf of your small minority, thus making traffic worse for the rest of us.

 
At 2:01 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Outstanding! Ever consider moving to Portland? We need someone like you here.

If cyclists moderated their sense of entitlement to the highway, or if our militantly liberal government managed to enforce traffic and sidewalk ordinances consistently, then frustrated motorists might not hunt down sanctimonious cyclists with their cars and mobs of cyclists might not attack motorists.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/07/driver_arrested_after_targetin.html

and

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/07/angry_bicyclists_gang_up_on_th.html


Its fantastic that you have injected some sense into the process. Cars are here to stay, and car drivers pay for the roads.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Critter 556 said...

Rob, you are such a fag. Did it occur to you that the WSJ is making you look like a clown? I'm kinda amazed they published that actually. Don't worry, the plan will pass with flying colors. I just wish we could send the legal bills to you, my taxes are high enough!

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Rob your point that reducing a lane for car traffic would create more pollution is is sort of like saying by making public places smoke free, smokers will have to congregate and smoke together, therefore ingesting more carcinogens.

The real goal is to make smoking less socially acceptable so people don't do it.

Goal with bike lines...provide a safer passage to cyclist so that more people will want to bike to work (or general city commuting).

Although the short term would be more traffic, once people have a safe lane to ride a bike in, I would bet that more people ride to work. Why not build infrastructure that encourages people to use less fossil fuels (this includes public transportation).

To those who suggest bicycling isn't fit for "urban areas" please visit just about every city in Europe. You will always find people riding to work...in suits no less. It was bad American Urban planning and cheap gas that created urban sprawl which forced people to drive 1+hours to a city for a job. The real solution would be bike only lanes plus congestion pricing.

And finally, for those that say bikes should be treated like cars. As a cyclist who follows the law, great! I will get a license and take courses, anything you ask, but that also allows me FULL USE of the road. That means no more buzzing me on market street within six inches (and law is 3 feet, but never seen a cop give a ticket for that). You give me that, I will put a license plate on my bike.

Mr. Anderson, you anger is misplaced. If reduced pollution is truly your goal perhaps instead of focusing your energy on bike lanes, perhaps you should argue for better mass transit.

 
At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott in Portland,

You're ignorant. Everyone pays for the roads via sales tax. Think about it

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Rob,

Wait a minute, I thought you were against the bike lanes because they will cause more pollution? Now you say because it will "making traffic worse for the rest of us."

So the pollution thing is just a BS excuse? Thanks for wasting my tax dollars on an environmental assessment.

Also, what do you do in your daily life that you need to get places fast. Allow an extra 10 minutes and you will be fine.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Try to focus on the issues, moron. If traffic is made worse, then you obviously have more pollution from vehicles in traffic jams.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You claim that cars are more dominant, will always be prevalent, and that is why the lanes should not be shared with bikes."

Actually, Rob's already been proved wrong on this in a pretty spectacular way. Despite everything he's done to prevent bike safety improvements, bike popularity has skyrocketed. As of the latest study in June, bikes make of 53% of vehicles on San Francisco's main boulevard Market Street with the rest divided between busses, streetcars, taxis and private automobiles.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

Rob,

Wow, insults...nice...and I can follow the logic. But the fact of the matter is you aren't concerned about pollution...so again...your entire lawsuit is a waste of my money. Seeing how I actually work for a living, it's my money (tax dollars), not yours.

And yes, the wsj article did just what it was supposed to do, make you look like a curmudgeon.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FINALLY, someone that understands the difference between local and global opimums. I'm an economist, and that is one of the key things that we always lament when we look at government decisions. They never look at the broader impacts of their actions. You nailed it on the head. Even a one minute delay in traffic costs the state millions in lost productivity, taxes, and of course pollution.
Bravo.

 
At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy--

As to the cost of roads, the gas tax does pay for maintenance and upgrades, as well as some construction. The reason automotive users are tapped for these costs is they are responsible for most of them.

However, drivers never paid for most of the roads, per se. The roads are designated by planners as public rights of way (sorry to get redundant). They are part of new development, often at a cost to the developer.

In a city like San Francisco, roads predate the gas tax by decades. Drivers didn't buy them, they're just paying for their upkeep.

In fact, as people drive fewer miles and purchase fewer gallons of gas, this is becoming problematic. Eventually the gas tax may not be able to cover the costs of the bloated infrastructure devoted to cars.

Drivers don't own the roads. We've all got to get from the house to work, and we should be able to do so without the cost of an automobile--or the wear and tear on the roads.

Cycling is not a political act, it's just how I get from one place to another. I hope that's not too sanctimonious.
Happy Trails,
Ron

 
At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I better put the old two-wheeler back in the shed. I had no idea I was joining some odd political movement and pissing everyone off...

I was just trying to get to work.

F#ck it. Too much trouble then. The cars simply don't want me on the road. I'm annoying I guess. I'm either pissing them off in the bike lane or pissing them off by being in the road. Can't win.

OK then. Well back to paying for gas, parking and insurance. Screw the reduced toxic emissions and better personal health. I gotta survive!

Feels really great to be lumped in and generalized. Why not just tag all bikers as "liberals" while we're at it?

Rob - Are you sure the following you are generating is looking to you for the original reasons you anticipated? Good luck with that!

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are worried about the environment, why are you bothering with cyclists? What, if anything, are you doing to reduce the use of private cars.

A quick glance around your blog and everything that isn't anti-cycling is pro-car. You opposed raising parking fees for car owners, you even opposed raising parking fines for people parking illegally for Christ's sake!

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You mean those carefully orchestrated counts when the city tips off the SFBC that they're going to do a count so that all the bike people can show up to inflate the numbers?

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

CEQA is not just concerned with air and water pollution; it's also about quality-of-life issues, and traffic jams themselves are considered an impact and a degradation of the environment, which they surely are.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Even a one minute delay in traffic costs the state millions in lost productivity, taxes, and of course pollution."

If you really are an economist, you must not be a very good one. Delays cost productivity and a single driver can cause delays for hundreds of people. If you've never been here, San Francisco has many narrow roads where buses and streetcars are constantly being delayed by double parked cars, traffic congestion, and bikes which don't have their own lane.

If driving were discouraged, productivity would be greatly improved for all those who are no longer being delayed by cars, including the majority of people commuting on Market Street.

Since you raised the issue, I wonder how much faster bikes are when you measure a commute door to door. Unless they have a garage, the driver has to first walk to their car, while the cyclist can just get right on the road. Start and stop times on a bike are faster at lights and stop signs. The real win is the destination where the cyclist can just ride right up to the door while the driver has to find, and likely pay, for parking.

As a cyclist, I don't have to pay for parking, or insurance. That's more disposable income for me to sink back into the economy.

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Michal Migurski said...

2:59 - You're right, but since when are bikes not counted as traffic? Given that I can move through the city faster on two wheels than four, I'd say I'm having a net positive effect on productivity.

 
At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about your crusade and kept waiting for the punchline. Its you! After a good laugh at your expense, I realized...you are a dissapointment to humanity. I have no reason to expect anything of value from you, your blog, or your skewed perception of the world.

Censor away dickweed. There is no reasoning with irrationality.

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You poor, small, ignorant SOB. How sad. You are a pathetic blight on Humanity

 
At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,
I read the WSJ story and as a result joined the SF Bike Coalition this morning. You seem rather clued out with your dislike for bikes. I bet you aren't very fit physically either! Fit bodies and minds ARE related. :-)

Terry

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous A Funny Looking Old Man said...

There seem to be so many sides, points and counterpoints to this, but I must admit, I side with cyclists in this situation.

There ARE too many cars in almost every major American city. And people seem to think they are entitled to their way of life, and their drivers licenses, and the route they take to work and the speed in which they get there. Don't forget, all these things are privileges, not rights.

but why not?! driving is fast and easy and safe. no creeps on public transport... you dont have to sweat or freeze like walking... however, more and more people are choosing to bike, and the city wants to give them some more room. I bet there would even be MORE bikers as the roads got safer.

Of course there's still the inherent danger of cycling in general, but driving, with over 40,000 killed and almost 2.5 million injured last year alone, seems fairly dangerous too.

And hell Rob, its good for you. This country can afford a few less fat people.

If there were proper lanes for everyone, and everyone followed traffic signals and signs, (which would be easier for bikers if they had more lanes) there would be no change in your daily commute.

Maybe even try a bike ride yourself. You'll feel like a kid again, and you seem to need that.

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger Shawn Allen said...

Rob, you're arguing in circles again. I absolutely agree that traffic jams are a quality of life issue, but the fact of the matter is that they're the result of there being too many vehicles on the road. The obvious solution is to provide people with other means of transportation, and bicycles fit the bill nicely: Not only do they reduce the number of automobiles on the road (freeing up space for commercial vehicles, public transit, and emergency services), but they also increase the quality of life of everyone that chooses to ride them. And, as an added bonus, less cars on the road equates to less particulate matter in the air, and better quality of life for everyone in the city. It really is that simple.

Look, I have no illusions of a car-free future. There are many people that have no practical transportation alternative, and it's everyone's right to drive if they damned well please. But the fact remains that by encouraging cycling and making it safer for its residents, cities are promoting a healthier way of life and providing a potential solution for their traffic problems.

If you're truly concerned with quality of life issues (and I don't believe that you are, given your blind animosity toward cyclists in general), then you're fighting on the wrong side.

 
At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Living_in_Russia said...

Interesting idea--I have always like bikes and biking, but never considered it would be offered someday as the main method of transportation! The idea of doing a proper EIA is an interesting one--this should be required for all of these so-called "alternative" energy plans that the true-believers already know are the solution.

For instance, today there is a huge ongoing promotion for wind power, which generates somewhere on the order of 5 to 20 watts / m2 of land. Will there be any question, any EIA, when the government decides to condemn millions of acres of land in order to install these things on a significant scale (it's not significant yet)? Any kind of pre-existing ecology in those areas will of course be gone. The energy contracts will end up with the politically connected, and the land take-over done with the same subtlety that was used to exterminate Native Americans. Similarly, what about the environmental effect with sea installations of wind power?

The problem is that anything that appears to reduce fossil-fuel consumption is automatically assumed to be an improvement, when in fact it may not be. (I agree completely however with an intelligent approach to reducing oil and coal consumption, by the way)

Thanks for having the guts to stand up to the PC crowd; analogy to Islamic fundamentalists is dead-on.

 
At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Shawn Allen

You're never going to make him see reason, he's either to retarded to understand what a logical fallacy is or is fully aware he's making fallacious statements and doesn't care. Either way, environmentalism is just his excuse for his bike obsession.

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Todd said...

So SF is going to do an environmental study to see if the proposed bike lanes will increase or decrease pollution. And Mr. Anderson, you'll do what if it is proven that the addition of bike lanes reduces or has no negative effect on pollution? Find another soap box I reckon.

Oh and CCW, you're so full of crap it's not even funny. If people live close enough to commute by bike, it stops urban sprawl, which there-by decreases pollution. And how can you not ride year round? I'm not following? I live in the NE US and I can easily commute year round, including in the snow.

 
At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Anderson, are you familiar with any of the stats related to how much pollution a vehicle such as a car or truck produces? Or any of the stats related to how much less bike commuting produces?

For instance: The average commuter produces 3.4 tons of CO2 annually. (earthlab.com)

Cars and small trucks produce approximately 35% of our air pollution. (outreach.tamucc.edu)

If one in four people commute just 5 miles a week via bicycle, the air would be spared 6.7 MILLION TONS of carbon dioxide. (bikeroute.com)

The US EPA has lowered ground ozone concentration levels. Communities unable to meet the new standards may not receive federal transportation funding. (USEPA.GOV)

Keep up the great, uneducated work! Stellar job. Maybe you should do some research before you spout off. Shame of the city of SF for not doing their own homework and listening to the likes of you!

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a cyclist who disagrees with critical mass, primarily because I'm sympathetic to commuters who are affected negatively by the ride (myself included. Ever attempt claiming the right of way in the bike lane against a torrent of mob-crazed cyclists?)This being said, I think you offer an important counterpoint to the urban transit/cycling debate (I believe that alternatives to the automobile will become increasingly important, and bike-related legislation is a part of that trend. Fortunately, you're there to oppose and help refine such legislation, so that it becomes all the more effective as a model for future legislation). I do object to the Islamist analogy, and think you should be embarrassed by it's weakness. Firstly, to say that "they are politically motivated" to act essentially likens voters to terrorists, in addition to being too general to bear any real meaning. Secondly, you forget that many people, myself included, see cutting back on car usage as a political response to the economic situation our culture is in (sanctimonious? Sure! And let's not forget which one of us dedicates himself to soapboxing). I'm not sure if you understand the history of American corporate endeavor in the middle east, and our government's complicity in much of it, but if you do and you're not moved to vote with your dollar (that is, by withholding it from big oil), than you're more capable of denial than I. I sense that not many people waste their time responding to your output (since so much of it is highly objectionable, and lacks the analytical acuity of a college freshman), but hey, I've got a cup of coffee here and and an empty inbox.

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Manley Man said...

Just curious Rob, but do you own a bike?

A simple "yes" or "no" would be nice.

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks for having the guts to stand up to the PC crowd; analogy to Islamic fundamentalists is dead-on."

Yeah, these cyclists radical islamic agenda of destroying the great Satan is a threat that must be stopped. Imagine, these fixie riding freaks want to make women wear head scarves and stone the gays to death. They must be stopped!

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Jrod said...

Rob,

The progressives should love an iconoclast like you. Too bad they can't claim you as their own, instead they childishly denigrate you for giving their agenda a much deserved gut check.

I live in the city, have 4 bicycles, a motorcycle, a car and running shoes. I use them all for different things, none of which involve making a political statement. I see rude drivers, rude bicyclists, rude pedestrians and rude motorcyclists. Nobody has a monopoly on boorish behavior when in transit. Though I will say most of the boorish behavior I've personally witnessed on the road comes from the "fixie" crowd. I'm not singling out fixie riders because I have an axe to grind, I'm just saying what I've seen with my own eyes over the past 13 years.

The general thrust of the bicyclist movement seems to be oriented towards making SF a Bicycle Utopia at the expense of all others. I find that offensive, as there is no such thing as Utopia. The SFBC's stated goal is to increase bicycle ridership by 10%. Assuming that goal were achieved, why stop there? I think this is a thinly-veiled attempt to force an agenda on the rest of us. I am glad that your actions are requiring them to take a little less for granted. If they are so sure of themselves and the truth of their crusade, what's to fear from an environmental impact study? And the people that complain that you are wasting taxpayer money by forcing the city in to court and having to pay for an EIA, I say they have selective vision. There are virtually countless and far more egregious examples of City Hall wasting tax payer money than this.

Personally, I think there's enough bike lanes. I don't have any problem getting anywhere in the city on a bicycle. If you want to ride in a car-free environment, go blast around on some fire roads or down some single track.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd just like to get to work alive, that's all. No political agenda.

I can't afford parking. Pub trans is way out of my way.

Why all the vitriol?

Please don't door me.

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your argument is complete based in personal bias and unsubstantial facts. Your ignorance and complete lack of attention to the 360" picture is astounding. I suggest you read Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs, especially the section dealing with urban planning and case studies of redirected traffic flow in major urban neighborhoods when dealing with reconstruction to accomodate cyclists and pedestrians. In fact, people like you are a major reason why our urban areas are not-human friendly which in turn destroys communities and leads to countless pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths each year.

 
At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing!
I thought that riding a bike several times a week would help me lose some extra weight, save a gallon or so of gas and help my financial situation a little. As a healthcare provider in western New York, I see lots of lovely scenery and share the road (key word SHARE)with motorcycles, cars and Amish buggies while riding my bike. I guess I am rather selfish in exerting my rights in the pursuit of happiness. Oh by the way, not everyone who rides can be equated to an islamic fundamentalist and not everyone of the riders is a left winger. I know my voting record and it is a little right of the middle. I chafe aginst the stupid riders who don't ride with helmets and ride into traffic and don't follow the same rules as the car drivers.

Then again, I did give 14 years of my life defending your freedom to spout off. Just allow me the same freedom to do something I enjoy without all your blustering.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd,

When a study shows something Rob disagrees with, he'll just say the methodology is wrong or come up with a conspiracy theory.

Just look at his response to the study showing bikes are the majority of vehicles on Market Street. If the SFBC was tipped off, I didn't get the memo.

Or look at his outrageous claim people only ride bikes to make a political point. The reason I switched to bike to save money and wear-and-tear on my car. I will admit to being self-centered in that, now that I commute by bike, I'm a lot more interested in bike improvements.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger lamont said...

Rob,

I realize you're doing this for the attention and cause you love any chance to argue with people. I can only imagine how thrilling it must be for you to get national recognition and draw all the anti-PC curmudgeons out of the woodwork.

But meanwhile, I ride my bicycle to work and back every day between the lower haight and the financial district. It's easier when I've got a bike lane, but gets difficult along market when I have to fight for space among tourists, buses and taxis in the same narrow strip. To avoid being hit from my left by fast traffic, I try and hug the right as much as possible. That leaves me open to splashing through puddles, larger potholes and being struck by a car door hastily thrown open.

I bike because it saves me a little time over taking public transit and gets me some exercise that my desk job otherwise wouldn't. I'm sure that will all be offset when I'm eventually struck by a car turning right without a signal, or a taxi disgorging tourists in the middle of the road. But I'm going to at least try and keep working to be in shape, a little healthier.

I had a car in SF for about 10 years, but gave it up cause it was easier and cheaper to rent one by the hour from ZipCar and bike or take muni the rest of the time.

Market street in particular is an awful street for cars. I'd go so far as to say that anybody with a car who actually lives here knows better than to drive on market. You can't turn left for the vast majority of the street, and the bus islands make each intersection a halting problem where any single car turning right will block the forward progress of a dozen cars behind it as the right-turning car has to wait till 50 or so people clear the intersection. That makes it difficult for me to buy your line about how more bike lanes will cause more idling traffic. But my guess is you don't care about that. You're just interested in stirring up shit and getting your name in the papers.

It seems like you're lumping all bike commuters in with the most radical of the Critical Mass riders. That's unfair, unreasonable and deep down, even you know it's not true.

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"When a study shows something Rob disagrees with, he'll just say the methodology is wrong or come up with a conspiracy theory.Just look at his response to the study showing bikes are the majority of vehicles on Market Street. If the SFBC was tipped off, I didn't get the memo."

I've analyzed a bunch of the city's documents on bikes, including their account of the recent count, which is more than I can say for you bike people, who are shockingly poor readers. Yes, based on the fanaticism and conduct of the bike people in SF---both in and outside of city government---I simply don't believe that the SFBC and its membership weren't informed about that count.

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

This is very clever - as we all know, municipal political action is ignored even by the residents affected. By this "Environmental Review" the situation has been publicized worldwide; there is now local interest and there will almost certainly be a resolution in favour of the bicycles, just because it is "politically correct".

And because replacing any polluting vehicle with a non-polluting vehicle will probably reduce pollution, no matter how hard we all try to deny it.

So what if cars will always outnumber bicycles? Cars cause traffic jams, bikes don't. Riding my bike is free and good for me - if you want to pay Arabians to become obese, Well, it's a free world (unless you're paying for gas!).


Thanks for doing a great job raising interest in this otherwise ignored issue - Brilliant!

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But there is very little political interest in bike improvements. Sure, the Board of Supervisors may talk alot about bikes and sustainability, but they haven't made any real effort with bike improvements.

Once Rob got the bike plan caught up in the EIR process, the Supervisors didn't poor in the money needed to get the EIR done, they just let it languish. If they had any political will, the EIR would be done and we'd have our bike lanes. This City has a transit first policy that seems to exist in name only, even now that bikes outnumber cars on Market, they aren't putting more money into the Bike Plan.

With luck, maybe the WSJ will demonstrate how one lone whack job NIMBY can stop an important safety project and the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor just lets it happen.

 
At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there are lots of people out there who dislike cyclists. Their support should not come as a surprise.

 
At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You mean those carefully orchestrated counts when the city tips off the SFBC that they're going to do a count so that all the bike people can show up to inflate the numbers?"

Holy sh*t Rob! You have your very own bike-conspiracy theory now!!

 
At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"CEQA is not just concerned with air and water pollution; it's also about quality-of-life issues, and traffic jams themselves are considered an impact and a degradation of the environment, which they surely are."

...and we all know that traffic jams are caused by bikes.

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Just Saying said...

How does it feel to be a colossal douchebag?

 
At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a sad little man void of logic.I'll be glad when this is over so you sink back to irrelevance, in your sad existence living on the government's dime.

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if you want to pay Arabians to become obese..."

The idea we get most of our oil from the Middle East is a myth, most of our oil produced domestically (including all those off shore oil rigs), more coming from sources in this hemisphere and less than 5% coming from the Middle East. The Middle East just provides a convenient good scapegoat for American oil companies as they jack up oil prices for record profit and campaign for expanded domestic drilling under the banner of ending foreign oil dependance. It's just a scam to get tax breaks on what they're doing already.

 
At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes, based on the fanaticism and conduct of the bike people in SF---both in and outside of city government---I simply don't believe that the SFBC and its membership weren't informed about that count."

Rob, so your proof the SFBC was both informed ahead of time and recruited cyclists to inflate the numbers is only your fanatical belief that people don't commute to work by bike? That's not evidence.

No matter how much you'd like to deny it, people actually do ride their bikes for other reasons than terrorist suicide bombings.

A more reasonable "analysis" of the July study that counted 509 bikes vs. 400 cars in a one hour period during the peak 8-9 morning commute hour, would probably would find it resulted from a combination of high gas prices, concern about the environment, an already growing presence of bikes on Market, and a nice summer morning than a conspiracy. A conspiracy which you haven't given any more evidence for than your hatred of bikes.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe the SFBC should do a study on why so many of you bike people have reading disabilities. My skepticism about MTA's bike count is based on the recent history of how the city has treated the SF Bicycle Coalition as if it is a city agency, even improperly giving that special interest group $300,000 of taxpayers' money to do the public outreach on the Bicycle Plan.

It strains credulity to think that the city's bike people had no idea ahead of time that the last count by MTA was going to take place.

 
At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you can only respond to a request for evidence by making an attack on the reading skills of SFBC members, I think it's safe to assume you have nothing.

What strains credulity further, your wild accusation the SFBC was informed or that cyclists are all terrorists and cannot read?

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's an example of the kind of reading disorder I referred to: "Rob, so your proof the SFBC was both informed ahead of time and recruited cyclists to inflate the numbers is only your fanatical belief that people don't commute to work by bike? That's not evidence."

Since I never said anything like this, it's fair to point out that the commenter isn't a very good reader. As I've explained more than once, I suspect the bike people were tipped off about the count because of the close relationship between the city and the SF Bicycle Coalition. Got it? Of course people commute by bike. I've also made note of that fact a number of times. The 2000 Census says that around 2% of city residents commute by bike; the SFCTA's Countywide Transportation Plan says it's only 1%.

The terrorist analogy simply notes that a lot of people who ride bikes in SF are politically motivated like terrorists are politically motivated to murder and commit suicide.

 
At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your lawsuit is politically motivated.

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Perhaps but the suit wouldn't have been successful if it didn't have legal merit.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob as you may or may not be aware, it's 2008. This makes it nearly 8 years since the census you cited.

A more recent study, conducted in July of this year (again, that's 2008 if you're having trouble following) places the ridership on our main boulevard (that would be Market Street) at 53% of all vehicle traffic. You might want to make a note of that for future references instead of quoting out of date census numbers.

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, let me remind you of what you wrote:

"Yes, based on the fanaticism and conduct of the bike people in SF---both in and outside of city government---I simply don't believe that the SFBC and its membership weren't informed about that count."

You made an accusation the SFBC and it's membership were informed, and I guess you mean by telephone now that you've said we can't read, and I asked what evidence you had to make that claim. Your response to that was a personal attack and a bit of backtracking to restate you were "skeptical" they weren't informed. That's at least a little less sensational, but still doesn't provide any grounds to make your case.

The WSJ article you were featured in states NYC has seen a 77% jump in bike commuting between 2000 and 2007. Unless you want to make a case for the SFBC having a hand in that, there's nothing that points to the SFBC inflating the numbers on the day it study was conducted. As I said, I didn't receive an email, or call since you don't think I can read, asking me to ride that day.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ever decide to leave your home, simply stand on the street at Market/Van Ness and start counting bikes that pass by in the morning commute. Since you won't tip off the SFBC or any other cyclist, you can rest assured your count of cyclists will be accurate. And you'll be amazed at how many of them there are.

Cyclists are everywhere and they come in all different colors, shapes, and levels of politeness. I think you're lying through your teeth or just choose not to really see when you say "all cyclists are blah blah blah.."

And seriously...still using those 2000 Census numbers?! You know that is not an accurate depiction of today's traffic patterns.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I think you're lying through your teeth or just choose not to really see when you say 'all cyclists are blah blah blah..'"

I have never written a sentence that begins---or even suggests---that "all cyclists are..." This is what's a little frustrating about debating you bike people. You squirt a lot of emotion out without coming to grips with what I actually write. The last really good numbers we have are from the 2000 Census. True, that's a long time ago, and since then we've had the dotcom bust and 9/11. After the dotcom bust, the city actually lost population.

The city's MTA has only just begun in the last few years to try to count cyclists in SF: "These bicycle counts are not meant to establish the number of cyclists, something that could be better done through a survey with a representative sample of the City's residents, or though Census results. They are instead intended to help identify trends in cycling use over time."

To do these counts---which are done in August---the MTA uses "interns," a term it doesn't define in the "2007 Citywide Bicycle Counts Report." Are they volunteers or are they city employees? Are they members of the SF Bicycle Coalition? Nor does the city tell us how many of these interns are used, though evidently there weren't enough of them: "Additionally, some full-time staff was used to cover gaps in intern availability. Acquiring person-power for the downtown count can be problematic, as twelve locations need to be counted simultaneously." Okay, at least 12 people did the counting, with MTA employees filling in some of the gaps.

Given the history of close collaboration between city agencies and the SF Bicycle Coalition, it's just not credible that the bike people don't know exactly when the count takes place.

But we do know that it's done every August: "Counts were conducted in August due to the typically dry weather and longer days encouraging cycling, and the availability of summer interns to assist with the count." If the SFBC and we all know that the count is done in August, do you really think the specific days of the count are a big secret in the cycling community? I don't believe it.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger sasquatch2 said...

hey anderson, flip your brain switch ON, it works better that way! you will see how substituting the words "CAR driver" for the word "Cyclists" in your political stylings that it will start to make sense and your crusade will become something good for humanity, and not solely good for your career. You say people die on bikes: look at CAR death statistics. You say bicycle riders are arrogant + reckless: again substitute "CAR driver" and now you're talking millions of jerks, not hundreds. It would be fantastic if your efforts were directed toward positive change in society?

PS- this comment isn't a pat on your back so presumably you will be deleting it.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may never have used the exact wording "all cyclists..." but you often lump everyone together with phrases like you just used, "you bike people" which you've used in comments on other posts not just to refer to cyclists, but even for those who've made no mention of bikes.

In effect, we can translate "bike people" to mean anyone holding a non-car-centric opinion be them cyclists or not.

Also, it's not really accurate for Rob to call what he does "debate" when he's commenting because so many of his comments are ad hominem attacks rather than a serious response to the commenters issues. For example, when another commenter asked for evidence on Rob's charge the bike coalition was involved in the recent MTA study, his response wasn't to address the question. Instead Rob made an attack, not against the commenter, but on all "you bike people". His exact phrasing was, "Maybe the SFBC should do a study on why so many of you bike people have reading disabilities. "

This is not real debate by any stretch of the imagination, but in a later comment Ron did make a serious response which should have been how he responded the first time.

 

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