Friday, September 09, 2011

Herrera opposes the Central Subway


Now that both Dennis Herrera and Jeff Adachi oppose the Central Subway, maybe some of the other candidates will relocate their minds and their spines and question other city policies, thus providing city voters with a real policy debate, instead of the lame groupthink we've seen so far (Actually, credit where it's due: Wilma Pang came out against the Central Subway in the SFBC's questionnaire, but she's not considered a "serious" candidate).

Herrera's excellent paper on the Central Subway.

The Matoff memo and the Grand Jury report he relies on in his paper.

Good to see that he gives a mention to the folks at Save Muni, who have opposed this dumb project for years.

Too bad Herrera didn't take a more skeptical approach to the Bicycle Plan way back in 2005, which could have saved the city a lot of time and money. He's still touting how he handled that litigation, which has always been questionable, to put it mildly:

Herrera worked tirelessly with City departments to meet the environmental review requirements to implement San Francisco’s Bicycle Plan—the most ambitious program in City history to make bicycling a safe, reliable alternative to cars. He mounted an aggressive and ultimately successful defense from legal attacks, and moved to implement needed safety improvements throughout a court-ordered injunction.

"Environmental requirements"? What about the legal requirement to follow the most important environmental law in California? And "defense from legal attacks"? We were the ones who defended the injunction against three motions by Herrera to lift it before the EIR on the Bicycle Plan was completed and certified by the court. Even the "safety improvement" at Fell and Masonic turned out to be based on a lie.

All this pandering to the bike lobby will availeth him not, since it's unlikely the city's bike people are going to give him any credit in November for pushing their agenda. They understand that David Chiu and John Avalos are the real bike fanatics among the candidates.

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11 Comments:

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Bob Assderson said...

Rescue Muni is not Save Muni.

First you poach Save Muni's bullet points and now you can't even get their name right.

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Herrera didn't take a more skeptical approach to the Bicycle Plan way back in 2005, which could have saved the city a lot of time and money.

Herrera had no reason to be skeptical of the bike plan. The approach was based on thinking that no fool would file a lawsuit. He was wrong. The only *measureable* result of the lawsuit was delay.

Your assertion that the Fell/Masonic changes were based on a lie is backwards thinking. You claim no change in the number of accidents before/after. The changes were based on the absolute number being unacceptable - the Judge agreed with this. If the signal changes have not reduced the number of accidents, that is only because drivers in San Francisco are utterly incapable of following traffic rules - see the number of drivers who apparently cannot read multiple signs that say NO RIGHT TURN at Market/Octavia. Looks like we should screw things up for them some more until they learn to behave.

If Chiu and Avalos are the bike fanatics, that still leaves Herrera one slot on their ballot. Apparently you don't understand ranked choice voting.

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Rescue Muni is not Save Muni. First you poach Save Muni's bullet points and now you can't even get their name right."

Absolutely right! Correction made. Save Muni has been an excellent source of ideas and information in formulating my opposition to the Central Subway. I really doubt that they're concerned about my "poaching" their ideas, since that's the whole point of their opposition---to inform public debate on the project. Besides, I give them credit in a number of my posts on the Central Subway.

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

"Herrera had no reason to be skeptical of the bike plan. The approach was based on thinking that no fool would file a lawsuit. He was wrong."

The litigation wasn't about the contents of the Bicycle Plan. Clearly you don't understand the law we're talking about---the California Environmental Quality Act---which requires developers and/or governments to do an enviromental review of every project that even might have an impact on the environment.

If I was a "fool" for being a party to the litigation that forced the city to do an EIR on the Bicycle Plan, why did two judges basically agree with us?

Like all lawyers, Herrera knew that to get the court to issue an injunction you have to convince the judge that you're likely to prevail when the hearing on the merits of the case is held. Instead of telling the mayor and the board of supervisors that the city was likely to lose the case, that it should cut its losses and agree to do an EIR, Herrera continued to push a case he surely knew he was likely to lose.

Then, after Judge Busch ordered the city to do an environmental review of the 500-page Bicycle Plan, Herrera tried three times to get the injunction lifted before the EIR was completed, wasting a lot of the taxpayers' money in the process.

You need to read the blog post I link that discusses the history of accidents at that intersection---and the Bicycle Coalition's hysterical campaign on the Fell/Masonic intersection---which shows little change over the years in the total number of accidents there.

It was all bullshit, but the city successfully conned Judge Busch into allowing the changes there, which have had little effect on accidents to cyclists, who rush to beat traffic lights just like motorists do.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

which shows little change over the years in the total number of accidents there.

READ what I said. The delta in number of accidents is NOT the relevant stat. The ABSOLUTE number of accidents is the relevant stat.

Or you can keep going on with your John Boehner impression.

 
At 2:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The number is the number, whether you dress it up with phoney tech-speak or not. The only thing that will reduce accidents at that intersection is responsible driving by motorists and responsible riding by cyclists, that is, human nature itself. Some people, whether in cars or bikes, like to try to beat traffic lights.

In any event, the "absolute" number of accidents at that intersection has been remarkably steady over the years, which means the SFBC's campaign of disinformation and hysteria was always bullshit.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing that will reduce accidents at that intersection is responsible driving by motorists and responsible riding by cyclists, that is, human nature itself.

Bullshit.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Oh? Maybe you can propose some more effective changes to that intersection that no one else has thought of.

What the numbers show---you of course have read the 2009 city report I analyze in the blog post I linked---is that the emergency that the SFBC and the city sold to Judge Busch didn't exist.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

On the ranked-choice voting: Even bike zealots like you may not vote the straight anti-car ticket. There are so many other bad choices you/they can make. Gay chauvinist bike people, for example, could vote for Dufty, whose history of toeing the SFBC's line is solid: he voted for the Bicycle Plan when he was a supervisor and, back in 2006, was on the committee that took away street parking on upper Market Street in spite of significant opposition from small businesses in the area.

And, like all the other candidates for mayor, he cravenly promised to give the Bicycle Coalition everything it wanted if he was elected.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

To check on my analysis of the accident numbers at Fell and Masonic, here's a link to the city's 2009 Collisions Report.

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they've got over $1,500 million to play with why don't they just set up some free shuttle buses rotating between point A and point B and then a few decades from now when that money runs out they can start charging a fare.

 

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