Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Critical Mass mob attacks motorist

SEATTLE (AP) - A mob of bicyclists riding in Seattle with the monthly Critical Mass demonstration injured a motorist after an altercation. Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson says that on Friday between 100 and 300 bicyclists were riding down a street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, blocking traffic on both lanes, when a man and a woman in a Subaru station wagon tried to pull out of a parking spot. But some of the bicyclists blocked them, sat on the car and began banging on the vehicle. Words were exchanged between the male driver and the bicyclists. The driver feared being assaulted and backed up, but bumped a biker and enraged the group. In response, some of the bikers smashed the windshield and rear window. He tried to drive away but hit another bicyclist. The car stopped a block down and the bicyclists surrounded the car. One biker punched the driver through an open window and another used a knife to slash the tires. When the driver got out of the car a male suspect struck him with an unknown object in the back of the head. The driver was later taken to the hospital. His female companion was not injured. Jamieson says two men were arrested and police are looking for the suspect who struck the driver in the back of the head. He added police know the man’s identity. According to the Critical Mass web site, every month, bicyclists ride to promote bicycle use and assert cyclists’ right to the road among many reasons.

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Mirkarimi supports Whole Foods project

Supervisor Mirkarimi has said it again in today's Chronicle: He supports Whole Foods locating at Haight and Stanyan.

A likely line of attack now for opponents of the much-needed market in the Haight will be to try to restrict parking for the project to make it economically unviable. Mirkarimi is the SF Bicycle Coalition's go-to guy on the Board of Supervisors and vulnerable to pressure from the anti-car bike folks who have never seen a parking lot they liked. (What's to like? Parking is for cars, aka Death Machines.)

From the CarFree chatboard: "This site is perfect for the type of development proposed---grocery store with housing above. But the car-based nature of it is problematic." (Jason Henderson) And of course cyclist Katherine Roberts, who tried to stop the underground garage in Golden Gate Park:

But I agree with you that the parking element of the plan is very disturbing, and has not gotten NEARLY enough attention. I'm not a huge fan of Whole Foods, but if they put in a completely car-free mixed-use development with a Whole Foods on the ground floor, I would have zero opposition to this project---and I live less than 3 blocks away from it. It's the gargantuan underground parking lot that I feel will have by far the most adverse effect on the neighborhood, and on the quality of life of those of us who live here.

A conceptual breakthrough from the bike people: a supermarket with no parking!

The design for the proposed market is similar to that at Masonic and Fulton: housing on top, market on the ground level, and parking for both tenants and shoppers underneath. I often shop at the Lucky market there, and I have never seen any traffic backup at the Fulton Street entrance/exit to the underground parking lot.

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