Friday, April 26, 2013

More lies and anonymity from Folks for Polk

 
Someone from Folks for Polk sent in this response to my critical post of a week ago:
 
Folks for Polk here, Rob.
You were asked to ‘keep it real and civil’ on our Fb page then requested to participate in a one-to-one conversation via email. Apparently ignorant of Folks for Polks’ mission to foster civilized public discourse, you were blocked when you persisted in a fact-free rant. When your clear misinterpretation of statistics was challenged, you retreated to the safety of your sniper blind, aka blog. I invite you once again to make your points where you aren’t grandstanding but mano a mano with the facts: folks@folksforpolk.org

Perhaps you haven’t traveled the globe, but I have. You may choose to disbelieve the data, but you cannot deny the evidence: alternative means of transport make economies thrive. Here’s why this matters to us: We love the US and it will be outranked and outperformed if we do not progresses[sic] in this regard. If you choose to hold back progress, do it within the sphere of your own life, not in our city and not in our country.

As to anonymity, we chose to remain anonymous because
1). like many others on websites, including savepolkstreet.com, we aren’t out to grab the spotlight as individuals
2). the vitriol leveled at people who front their ideas is frankly pathetic and not worth being distracted by.

We all know that bullies were often themselves bullied and made to feel diminished so we do understand. But actually no one likes the bully’s M.O. of lies and intimidation so you haven’t conquered your past after all. And, as I wrote earlier, you are ruining your health and your life by keeping yourself in a constant state of rage.

I’m happy to continue an exchange of ideas via email and maybe even in person, but on the grounds, again, that it remain real and civil.
 
Rob replies:
This is your idea of "civility," insulting me---and the Save Polk Street folks---anonymously? By "real and civil" you mean "private"? You try to make your anonymity sound high-minded, but thats not very convincing. My comments were a "fact-free rant"? That's a lie. If you can retrieve my deleted comments, I'll post them here so my readers can judge the validity of your charge.
 
The "mission" of Folks for Polk is "to foster civilized public discourse"? Bullshit. Your mission is obviously to promote the bogus MTA "improvements" to Polk Street, taking away a lot of street parking to make bike lanes.
 
Instead of engaging in a public debate, I was supposed "to participate in a one-to-one conversation via email," that is, a private discussion with you, whoever you are. This is an important public policy issue, not a private "mano a mano" personal conflict to be dealt with out of the public eye. Your verbal chest-thumping is not only beside the point, as a "mano" you seem pretty wimpy hiding behind anonymity.
 
My blog is a "sniper blind" and public debate is "grandstanding"? I put my name on my opinions and allow my readers to comment, unlike you people at Folks for Polk, who are fronting for an increasingly unpopular MTA bureaucracy and its unpopular Polk Street project.
 
"The vitriol leveled at people who front their ideas is frankly pathetic and not worth being distracted by." That's one way of putting your timidity. I get some "vitriol" from time to time on District 5 Diary, but it comes with the turf, which someone who "travels the globe" should understand.
 
"We love the US and it will be outranked and outperformed if we do not progresses[sic] in this regard. If you choose to hold back progress, do it within the sphere of your own life, not in our city and not in our country."

Preposterous. If we don't implement the Bicycle Coalition's agenda on Polk Street, it will "hold back progress" and be bad for the country? It's pretty clear why you're anonymous. You don't have a clue how to conduct yourself in a democracy. Maybe you've spent too much time in undemocratic parts of the "globe."
 
"We all know that bullies were often themselves bullied and made to feel diminished so we do understand. But actually no one likes the bully’s M.O. of lies and intimidation so you haven’t conquered your past after all. And, as I wrote earlier, you are ruining your health and your life by keeping yourself in a constant state of rage."

I don't know who you are, and you don't know me, but you feel free to offer this silly character analysis that sounds like you cribbed it from a Dear Abby column. I'm not in a "rage" at all, and you're the one who's lying about the nature of my comments. It was evidently intimidating for you to deal with a real argument and the facts in the city's collision report that I linked for you. Have you read it? If so you will have noticed that not a single intersection on Polk Street is on the list of the city's most dangerous intersections, as I pointed out in one of my comments.
 
The city has not produced any real evidence of a serious safety problem on Polk Street, for cyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else. It's a phony claim the MTA uses to justify bicycle projects for a small, obnoxious special interest group at the expense of everyone else that uses city streets.
 

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5 Comments:

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's two of my comments that the Folks for Polk deleted on their Facebook page:

"By 'bike people' I mean those are the only people who will benefit from this project, not the businesses on Polk Street. The claim about Polk Street being unsafe is also a lie, which is used to justify other bike projects, like the Panhandle bike lanes (eliminating 100 parking spaces) and the Masonic Avenue bike project (eliminating 167 parking spaces). And of course the city has no idea how many cyclists will actually use these lanes once they are built. It's a faith-based traffic policy based on nothing but anti-carism and PC baloney."

"The bike people should stop using the Valencia Street lie. It just makes you look like, well, liars, since there was no street parking removed to make the Valencia Street bike lanes. Villa-Lobos is a profile in courage for supporting the Bicycle Coalition? Ha!"

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

Comments on Valencia street are no lie. Take the amount of extra business on Valencia from bikes, and subtract what those merchants would have lost if all parking was removed. The net is a huge win.

If parking is so all important, how has Valencia thrived despite the loss of 20+ spots that have been turned into parklets or bike corrals?

 
At 11:20 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Valencia Street---and all the restaurants there---are successful because of the bike lanes? I really doubt that many diners at those mostly upscale businesses are riding bikes to dine. But to a hammer the whole world looks like a nail.

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Folks for Polk,

Not everyone agrees with you, although I know that is hard to believe. I don't agree with Rob on some things, but with MTA and the Bike Coalition and the rest, I think he is spot on. This is my city, too. SF's destiny is not the sole providence of people who hate cars and car people. Likewise, I'm not so dumb to think everyone on bicycles should go out and go buy a car. Coexistence is key, but as a motor vehicle operator it sure doesn't feel like Folks for Polk care in the least if my life is affected. Too often I read comments along the lines of "Get with the bicycle program or get out", usually in all caps and either way more rudely or passive aggressively worded. That is *not* civil discourse.

However, if you are so sure that Rob is the only one out there, what harm is there in putting this to a vote? I suspect you'd never agree to such a thing, because in the back of your mind you aren't so sure everyone supports the bicycling agenda.

-Ryan K.

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You're much too kind the bike people. I think they're the most unpopular special interest group in the city, which is why they and City Hall don't want anyone voting on these projects. Of course the whole Bicycle Plan---which is a citywide project---should be on the ballot and debated thoroughly before the whole city gets a chance to vote on the issue.

While we're at it, let's put Critical Mass on the ballot, if only as an advisory measure. The Massers seem to think they are adorable. Let the city's voters express their collective opinion of this kind of behavior.

By the city's own numbers---in the annual bicycle counts, the mode share study, the collision reports---all available off the MTA's website---show that only 3.5% of all trips made in the city are by bicycle. That means that, regardless of how fashionable it is to ride a bike, it's still done by only a small minority.

 

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