Monday, January 16, 2012

Parking meter backlash


MTA board member Cheryl Brinkman

The city is experiencing a backlash in opposition to its SFPark plan to put parking meters in Portrero Hill and Dogpatch neighborhoods. When some complained that the city didn't inform them and their neighbors about the plan, Cheryl Brinkman, an anti-car bike person, responded:

“Sometimes you feel like you could send an engraved invitation and people would still say they’ve never heard about it,” said Cheryl Brinkman, a member of the SFMTA Board of Directors. She pointed out that even though flyers were put on every door in the outreach for the Masonic Avenue redesign project, some still complained it wasn’t enough. “I think as city dwellers, we sometimes underestimate what people are willing to do for free parking,” she added.

Of course most people here and everywhere else ignore the government as much as possible---until that's no longer possible, like now in Dogpatch and on Portrero Hill. People are too busy living their lives to go to public meetings after working all day, not to mention that most meetings are held during the day when people are working. The first thing they know about city "improvements" to their neighborhood streets is when the heavy equipment arrives and goes to work.

Brinkman and other leaders of the city's anti-car movement---including Tom Radulovich, the Bicycle Coalition, and Jason Henderson---have long strived, with some success, to make it as difficult and expensive as possible for people to drive in San Francisco. The Bicycle Plan is about both bikes and anti-carism, since the Bicycle Coalition's agenda can't be completely implemented without taking space---traffic lanes and parking spaces---from cars on city streets.

Here's Brinkman several years ago, sneering at people who drive motor vehicles:

With the gas prices high I'm now hoping for a short sharp supply shock---to really bring the point home to the people. I was cycling yesterday and just wished that the car drivers would all run out of gas all of a sudden and have to push their heavy hunks of steel with their bare hands to move them. A week or two of limited gas.

As an MTA Director, she is now able to stick it to drivers as that board makes city traffic policy.

The Bay Guardian and SF Streetsblog disapprove of this kind of neighborhood activism by people who drive "death monsters," known as cars and trucks to the rest of us.

MTA pretends that it only wants to "manage" parking on city streets, but parking meters, parking lots, and parking tickets are a major source of revenue for San Francisco.

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President Obama will be re-elected


Andrew Sullivan on why President Obama will be re-elected.

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