Saturday, February 06, 2010

Reinventing the Masonic Ave. wheel

Michael Helquist, who does the BikeNopa blog, and his readers are now talking about Masonic Avenue as if it hasn't already been the subject of exhaustive analysis in the EIR on the Bicycle Plan---and as if I haven't also been talking about it for a couple of years.

Unfortunately for Helquist and the bike people, others read me and---even more important---apparently city officials understand that screwing up Masonic on behalf of the city's bike people is not politically feasible, which is surely why the city left Masonic off its priorty list of bicycle projects. As the EIR told us, implementing the Bicycle Plan on Masonic will have "significant unavoidable impacts," which means that it will screw up both regular traffic and cause significant delays for Muni's #43 line.

I've been writing about Masonic Ave. and the bike people for more than two years. A good place to start is with this post.

Click on "Masonic Avenue" below for other posts on the subject.

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19 Comments:

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely you aren't surprised that you aren't seen as a credible source of information by people who you denigrate and insult on your blog on a daily basis?

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, I'm not surprised that you bike people don't read me, because it's been obvious for a long time that you're intellectually deficient and dishonest---and fanatics. On the other hand, I always read those who disagree with me, which is why I read Streetsblog and BikeNopa. I have in fact provided a lot of information and analysis about the Masonic Ave. issue, and the EIR on the Bicycle Plan did a thorough analysis, none of which, based on the BikeNopa discussion, you folks have read. You can do nothing but talk to each other, but you can't pretend that that helps you come to grips with the realities of an issue.

 
At 11:22 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"the EIR on the Bicycle Plan did a thorough analysis"

If the EIR is thorough, why did you appeal it?

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The EIR did do a pretty thorough analysis of Masonic Ave., but it has some other shortcomings, including the city's long-held assumption that parking in San Francisco is not an environmental impact.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"assumption that parking in San Francisco is not an environmental impact."

Wow - that's bad. Even my one year old knows - more parking = more cars = bad for the environment.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You mean like the Bicycle Plan itself coudn't possibly have any impact on the environment?

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"You mean like the Bicycle Plan itself coudn't possibly have any impact on the environment?"

This is like Martin and Lewis...

"Of course silly - the bike plan will get people out of their cars and onto bikes - and the environment will be the better for it!"

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

That is so stupid it's hard to believe even you wrote it. You never read anything I write, and you never read the documents I link on these subjects. I've been asked why I keep publishing your stupid comments, and it's a question I can't answer, except that you're a perfect example of the remarkable stupidity of San Francisco's bike people.

 
At 12:36 PM, OpenID real_talk said...

I can't imagine any bike lane on Masonic having a negative impact close to what the 50-long line of idling cars waiting to get into Trader Joe's does on a daily basis.

There was no EIR for that, IIRC.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger rocky's dad said...

I do think this city is full of bike nuts...esp the Bike Coalition people and that stupid ass critical mass event...bikes will NEVER fully replace cars..cars will ALWAYS be here..most of the city is way too hilly to even begin to use a bike..the bike nuts don't get it. keep up what you're saying Rob. I agree.

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe we should close down Trader Joe's? You have a real limited imagination, real talk. How do you know there wasn't an EIR on that project?

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

If there was an EIR for that project, either it was pretty shoddy, or there was deemed to be a "signifigant unavoidable impact" and they built it anyway. Building it anyway can be ok. Everything has an impact. We get to pick and choose what impacts we'll fade. Bike plan - we'll take the impacts. Next!

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

What do you mean "we," White Man?

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

By "we" I mean The City of Saint Francis, as voted on by our elected representatives. QED.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, but the interesting thing about the Bicycle Plan is that few people---among the political community and even in the cycling community---really have any understanding of what it involves. All they know is the sort of wisdom you offer: Bikes are Good and Cars are Bad.

Police Chief Gascon, a newcomer to Progressive Land, disingenuously remarked recently that if it was on the ballot for voters to approve or reject, Critical Mass would be rejected by city voters. Of course he's right, but I'm the only other person I know of who's ever offered a similar opinion, and I doubt that Gascon reads my blog. Yes, the Bicycle Plan isn't the same thing as Critical Mass, but what they have in common is at best a dubious degree of support.

Note that the people of Second Street, when apprised of what the Bicycle Plan had in store for their street, quickly mobilized and put a stop to it. Other city neighborhoods that will be affected by the Plan slumber on, unaware of what the great, planet-saving bicycle movement has in store for their streets. Recall too that Masonic Ave.---the subject of this post---was mysteriously removed from the priority list that the city now calls the Bicycle Plan. Recall too that Mayor Newsom, much to Steve Jones's disapproval, voiced similar doubts about everything in the Bicycle Plan. In short, now that the Plan is getting closer to actually being implemented, there's understandably a certain amount of skittishness in the air about what its impact is going to be.

But what Critical Mass and the Bicycle Plan have in common: neither of them will ever appear on the ballot to be rejected by city voters. Instead, the Bicycle Plan is going to be force-fed to the public in pieces. I admit that I find the whole process will be interesting to observe, and I suspect that the outcome is far from certain.

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Why would anyone who supports the bike plan, and has the support of elected officials, want to also put it on the ballot? If we did that, we'd actually be nuts you claim us to be.

You want it on the ballot - YOU put it on the ballot. Quit asking supporters of something already confirmed by the city to give you a re-do.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, of course. There are two reasons the bike people and the city aren't going to put the Bicycle Plan on the ballot: as you point out, the bike people, inside and outside of city government---and there are a lot of bike zealots in city agencies---are already getting their agenda implemented as it is. And, just as important, the city understands that if city voters had a chance they could reject the Bicycle Plan, given the obnoxious behavior of so many cyclists on our streets that makes the bike people a lot more unpopular than they are willing to admit publicly.

The point is, Murph, the city is about to implement a radical redesign of city streets on behalf of a not-very-popular minority. And city officials seem to be getting a little worried about the outcome of this process.

If I had the money, I would hire signature gatherers to put the issue on the ballot, which, if it passed, would give the Bicycle Plan and the agenda of the SFBC some real legitimacy, which they don't have now.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"on behalf of a not-very-popular minority"

"If I had the money, I would hire signature gatherers to put the issue on the ballot"

If the bike plan was so unpopular, you would not be so alone in your crusade, you would be able to raise money with ease, you would be getting willing voluteers to gather signatures, etc...

But that's not what's happening, is it...

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe. I'll guess we'll see, won't we? As I've already pointed out, Second Street and Masonic are off the table for the time being. Why do you think that is? My answer: city officials know that some of the projects in the Plan are potentially unpopular with everyone but the bike nuts. How do you explain Mayor Newsom's recent waffling on implementing the Bicycle Plan? He's a little worried, probably about streets like Fifth Street and Cesar Chavez. He signaled his willingness to retreat if the political feedback got to intense.

I still don't think many people know what the Plan involves. After all even people like you haven't read it yet, right? The EIR is a huge, awkwardly organized document that only a few city officials and my lawyer and I have actually read, which is why I the mayor and others in city government are a little worried about implementing it if/when Judge Busch gives his stamp of approval to the EIR.

 

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