Saturday, May 07, 2011

How dumb does Streetsblog think its readers are?


Pretty dumb, evidently. A man on foot was hit and killed by a drunk driver the other night on Masonic Avenue, and Streetsblog immediately enlisted the incident in the "fix" Masonic movement, as if jamming up traffic on that busy north/south city street will somehow prevent accidents caused by drunk drivers at 2:30 in the morning:

"It was the second death of a vulnerable road user on this stretch of Masonic Avenue in less than one year, and comes one week before a crucial engineering hearing on a long-awaited plan to upgrade the notorious traffic sewer. Last August, 22-year-old Nils Yannick Linke was riding his bicycle on Masonic Avenue near Turk when he was killed by 36-year-old Joshua Calder, who was driving a Mercedes-Benz after an evening a heavy drinking with his girlfriend."

Every busy street in San Francisco is dubbed "a traffic sewer" by the bike people. They hate it that Masonic carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day with few accidents. Yes, last year Nils Linke was riding a bike on Masonic when he was hit and killed late at night by a drunk driver. The anti-car, "fix Masonic" zealots quickly and shamelessly used that incident---which also had nothing to do with street design---in their cause. (Young Linke wasn't wearing a helmet, which is why he died of "blunt-force injuries to his head."):

"Advocates and some elected officials said Hudson’s death this morning was another harsh reminder that traffic calming efforts on Masonic Avenue are moving too slow, and that enforcement efforts by SFPD have been insufficient to change the behavior of motorists on a street that was designed for speed despite the 25mph limit. “I don’t know why it takes so long to fix streets that we know are dangerous,” said Elizabeth Stampe, the executive director of Walk San Francisco. “There shouldn’t be multiple deaths that occur in the same way and in the same places.”

The Streetsblog story doesn't quote any "elected officials"---why didn't they call Supervisor Mirkarimi?---but Stampe can be relied on to provide a stupid sound-bite to fit the party line. How exactly would Stampe "fix" city streets to foil drunk drivers at 2:30 in the morning?

Suspicious too that I've had problems recently commenting on Streetsblog. They claim that my earlier problems were due to their new comment system, but yesterday my comment spent a lot of time in cyber-limbo before it was posted---if it was posted---and all I can see now is a truncated version.[Later: It was all my fault! My old computer's server was apparently unable to communicate properly with Streetsblog]

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