Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deja vu: Sam Whiting and Leah Shahum

Photo by Michael Macor for the SF Chronicle

Maybe Sam Whiting forgot that he did one of his mini-interviews with Leah Shahum seven years ago. What's surprising is how little Whiting has learned about the city's bike movement in the last seven years. This time he's more interested in the nude bike ride and the color of Shahum's bike than city traffic policy and the anti-car movement she leads. 

Back in 2005 Whiting was more substantive, since he asked Shahum about Critical Mass---where Shahum had something like a religious conversion---and the idea of a bike lane on the Bay Bridge. He could have followed up this year by asking why the Bicycle Coalition finally took Critical Mass off its online calendar or about the astronomical cost estimate of the Bay Bridge bike lane. The Bicycle Coalition thinks $225 million for that project would just be "a drop in the bucket," and Shahum is undaunted by even a $550 million price tag. Or about Shahum's limited understanding of the most important environmental law in California. He could have asked her about her support for Congestion Pricing and making the streets of San Francisco safe enough for six-year-olds to ride bikes on them.

When he does his next interview with Shahum in 2019, maybe Whiting will be better prepared.

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