Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Report debunks the Big Lie about Masonic and Fell

OMG, it's a photo by Jim Herd

Before Judge Busch allowed the city to install a new traffic light at the Masonic and Fell intersection, for years the Bicycle Coalition and their enablers in City Hall had been whipping up hysteria about the intersection:

In response to repeated requests, letters, public comment and Resolutions by the SFBC, Fix Masonic, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Board of Supervisors, and more, the city has acknowledged that it must act to make changes to the Fell Masonic intersection, for the sake of public safety. The City Attorney's brief requests that the Fell Masonic intersection be exempted from the Bike Plan injunction, and proposes that a dedicated crossing phase for bicycles and pedestrians be installed, during which cars would not be allowed to turn left.

A few months later, based on misrepresentations by the city, Judge Busch allowed the city to install the new signal. The latest report from the city---"San Francisco 2009 Collisions Report," of April 21, 2011---shows that the campaign by the bike people never had any factual basis, that the number of accident injuries at that intersection varied little over the years before and after the new traffic signal was installed.

I pointed this out at the time, based on the available information, while accurately predicting that the new signal would make no difference. Once again here in Progressive Land, symbolism prevailed over reality. Judge Busch was conned by the city on the issue.

One of the useful things these annual collision reports provides is an analysis of the intersections that have the most accidents. The analysis of Fell and Masonic is on page 16, where we are told what I just pointed out: "This location has had a stable pattern since 2006 of 6 to 5 reported intersection collisions a year."

In fact the figure at the bottom of the page shows that for the last 10 years the intersection has, with some occasional spikes, averaged six injury collisions a year, a number that includes all accidents, not just injuries to cyclists. There were 6 injury accidents there in 2007, 5 in 2008, and 6 again in 2009, after more than a year with the new traffic light. On page 25 we learn that in the three years between 2007-2009, there were 12 injury collisions involving cyclists, an average of 4 a year before, during, and after the new traffic signal was installed.

In short, the whole campaign about that "notoriously dangerous" intersection was all bullshit, just part of the Bicycle Coalition's permanent campaign to convince City Hall and the public that there's an ongoing bloodbath on city streets, and that to combat it the city must continue its anti-car policies.

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28 Comments:

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anti-car policies don't exist.

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever it takes. We got the signal, you can't have it back.

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

Yes, but it was a hollow victory based on a lie that has no effect on safety at that intersection.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any victory that pisses you off is not hollow.

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

speaking of which, Parkmerced passed. Let the appeals begin!

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hollow victory based on a lie"

You are on a roll lately.

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two orders of business regarding Fix Masonic. By way of introduction, let me just say that Fix Masonic denies ever having tried to give larcenous, repulsive pothouse drunks far more credibility than they deserve. I assume their merely trying to cover their posterior, as the truth is that if there's an untold story here, it's that Fix Masonic is terrified that there might be an absolute reality outside themselves, a reality that is what it is, regardless of their wishes, theories, hopes, daydreams, or decrees. The recent outrage at Fix Masonic's beliefs may point to a brighter future. For now, however, I must leave you knowing that it's amazing how poorly some people use the brain they were born with.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Not very clear what your point is, Anon. The Fix Masonic folks and the SF Bicycle Coalition have in fact been successful in getting City Hall to buy into their shameless demagoguery, hysteria and lies about both this intersection and Masonic Avenue in general.

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous James said...

Look at you debunking such outlandish claims, bravo! You certainly don't mind whipping up your own unsubstantiated hysteria over Ocean avenue.

"Since the bike lanes were added in October, Afewerki said business at her convenience store has fallen by 15 percent."

and

“This is a huge inconvenience for us,” said Mary Toong, who runs Bay Circle Printing on Ocean Avenue. “Our customers are parking three blocks away just to run in and pick up a stack of papers."

I fail to see any evidence that backs up these claims, as they're par with neighborhood complaints about Masonic avenue. Well done on creating your own Hyperbole.

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

That's not my article, James. As the other links also show, the Bicycle Coalition and its privileged membership doesn't care about small business in the city. It's all about them and their goofball hobby.

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous James said...

You posted the article, so you were trying to whip up an emotional response to someone's economic woes. Picking on some fervent bike advocates is like shooting fish in a barrel and hardly anything to be proud of. Saying "goofball hobby" is meant to instill anger and not any meaningful conversation. You know what you're doing.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of people who want a change to this corridor who are not, in any way, affiliated with bikes. You just choose to go for the quick wins.

Here's a good representation of Masonic, which is supposed to be a 25 mph zone.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingsf/5444051405/

I live on this street, and wouldn't you think this alarms me, and the community? Yet If I assert anything like the folks on Ocean Ave, you'll immediately dismiss it and point towards some SFMTA data that shows no one getting slaughtered on the road. You didn't have a problem pointing to some anecdotal evidence from a shop keeper to fit your narrative. Although I don't see why a shop owner would lie any more than a member of the NOPA community when it comes to a concern.

I want meaningful change in my neighborhood, and if that has to happen due to some hyperbole, I guess I'll have to live with that. I get it, you hate that Masonic would be changed due to some bike nut's fantasies, and you are ignoring facts about the corridor and observations by the community.

How about you actually respond to this in a meaningful, thoughtful manner, instead of name calling. There are issues with Masonic and you can't even give an inch. All it does is suggests that you're just as close minded as someone who wants to turn this 50 square mile city into a bike wonderland.

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Let the record show that those responsible for the hysterical, dishonest campaign---and the spineless morons in City Hall who fell for it---about the Fell/Masonic intersection haven't responded to this city report.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I linked three separate examples where the Bicycle Plan has hurt small business in the city. Your "meaningful contribution" is to denigrate that evidence.

"I live on this street, and wouldn't you think this alarms me, and the community?"

You live on a busy street in a major American city. Tough shit. There's absolutely no evidence that Masonic is dangerous for anyone. But you want to screw up traffic on that major north/south street---used by more than 32,000 vehicles and 12,000 Muni passengers every day---for what reason exactly?

"...you are ignoring facts about the corridor and observations by the community."

What facts? You haven't cited any. The "community"---as revealed in the push-polls and signature drives by the bike people---has been manipulated by the Bicycle Coalition for years to get the issue to this point.

You haven't addressed the facts as presented in this city report showing that the whole campaign has always been based on lies about the safety of Masonic. If you think otherwise, you're a chump.

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fact - Masonic will be changed. Tough shit Bobby.

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, another great victory for SF progressives.

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous James said...

Right Rob, the very fact that most of those drivers of those thousands of drivers are speeding at around 40% above the limit. You so flippantly call it traffic moving "freely and efficiently". You never mention anything of the fact that most people speed through this corridor. It doesn't fit your narrative.

Your baseline for an unsafe road is if people die on it, and not the very nature of a corridor (high volume, high speeds, 6 lanes to cross), and then when some people die or get injured, you dish out some numbers from years ago and pull some number crunching equivalent of a child gluing a Mona Lisa out of macaroni. You then bemoan anyone who points out some horrible event on the road or any of the unsafe attributes.

You so easily say the "bike people" don't care about business, and I'll pull the same hyperbole on you and say that you don't give one shit about the community and their concern over their neighborhood.

You've built quite a bubble around yourself, chump.

And it is going to change, and it's thanks to anyone with reasonable concern over the environment they live in. Only 15% of the people who wanted the corridor changed were part of the bicycle coalition, or 'fix masonic'.

Tough shit, Rob. And keep fighting for all those businesses that the bike folks want to see fail.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Your baseline for an unsafe road is if people die on it, and not the very nature of a corridor (high volume, high speeds, 6 lanes to cross), and then when some people die or get injured, you dish out some numbers from years ago..."

No, my baseline and that of the city is the number of injuries on a street, and there aren't very many on Masonic Avenue. Apparently you still haven't read the report the post is based on. It's only 34 pages, James.

There isn't a single Masonic Ave. intersection on the list of the city's "highest collision intersections," those with at least 7 injury accidents (page 8). Masonic and Fell is on the three-year list, with 17 accidents between 2007 and 2009 (page 9).

But, as I pointed out, the number of injury accidents at that intersection have remained remarkably consistent both before and after the Big Lie campaign orchestrated by the Bicycle Coalition (page 16).

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's another short city document you should read, James. It's a Powerpoint presentation by the city from last year that shows both the traffic volume and the paltry number of injury accidents on Masonic. Nevertheless, for political reasons the city bought into the bogus safety emergency on the street.

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, my baseline and that of the city is the number of injuries on a street, and there aren't very many on Masonic Avenue.

Define for us please - "very many". I want a number.

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

In the document I linked in the previous comment, the city provides numbers on injuries on Masonic. Over a six-year period, there were a grand total of 18 injury accidents to pedestrians on Masonic, an average of 3 a year, which is a remarkably low accident rate for a street that carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day. And there's no indication of who caused those accidents, but we can't assume that they were all caused by drivers.

Over the same six-year period, there were a total of 28 injury accidents to cyclists on Masonic, a pretty low number, considering the reckless behavior by cyclists I often witness as they come flying down the hill between McAllister and Fulton, a lot like auto drivers on the same stretch of Masonic.

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"which is a remarkably low accident rate for a street that carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day"

Do you have comparisons to other streets that carry similar vehicle loads? Otherwise, your statement is what we call "unresearched bullshit"

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

Speaking of research, you need to read the report referred to in the post. No intersection on Masonic Avenue makes the 2009 list of the most dangerous intersections in the city (page 8).

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

"Speaking of research, you need to read the report referred to in the post. No intersection on Masonic Avenue makes the 2009 list of the most dangerous intersections in the city (page 8)."

Is that list normalized for traffic volume?

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

What difference does that make? The list is based on the number of accidents regardless of volume, since it's not clear that volume has anything to do with safety.

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It absolutely matters. If we can get 100,000 through an intersection and there are two incident, that is a lot safer than an intersection that processes only 20,000 trips and has one incident. For one, you have a 1 in 50,000 chance of being in an incident each time you pass it, the other a one in 20,000 chance.

"I was told there would be no math" - Rob Anderson.

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bulllshit. Regardless of traffic volume, the city quite reasonably focuses on the intersections with the most accidents. Masonic has no intersections on its 2009 list.

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masonic is stressful for cycling and needs a remodel to make it safer. It's also too wide, especially near Fell, and it's ugly, and traffic routinely drives faster than the posted speed limit. Masonic could be a pleasant street for all users and residents, but it won't happen by itself.
Rob, you always deny it, but all your actions and opinions seem to be to promote the movement of car traffic at the expense of bus, bike and ped traffic.
You're, of course, welcome to your own opinions, even if they're more consistent with 1950's transportation planning.

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Right. Everyone else that uses city streets is supposed to suffer so cyclists can be "comfortable" on Masonic. Masonic is a major north/south street in a major American city that works well now for more than 44,000 people every day, including 12,000 passengers on the #43 Muni line. If you jam it up for cars, you're also going to jam it up for Muni. Stop pretending you bike people give a shit about Muni. I often walk on and across Masonic, and I've never felt any more dangerous there than on many other city streets. The "fix Masonic" movement is all bullshit driven, so to speak, by you narcissistic bike people. It works fine now. Leave it alone.

 

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