Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For Supervisor Breed, trash talk is being "outspoken"

Screenshot by Mike Sonn
  
Supervisor Breed has already demonstrated that she's a windbag---a foul-mouthed windbag at that (see this and this). Breed seems to think talking trash is the same thing as being "outspoken" on the issues. 
 
On Twitter she recently demonstrated that she's also a dim bulb. "Bad behavior" by cyclists is an "obstacle" to creating safer streets for cyclists? Simply untrue, as major bike projects on Fell/Oak and Masonic were passed in spite of a lot of bad behavior by cyclists, as was the Bicycle Plan itself.
 
In fact there have been no obstacles to bike projects. Breed herself supports both the Fell/Oak project and the Masonic Avenue project, both of which were justified by lies about safety. Breed on Streetsblog:
 
With respect to the bike exchange, my record is clear! I have been a consistent and effective advocate for bike projects in our city. I got the Oak and Fell bike lanes implemented well ahead of schedule. I led the effort to fund the Masonic Blvd project which includes dedicated bike lanes, and I’ve voted for every bike project that’s come before the Transportation Authority, including the popular bike share program just implemented in our city.
 
Far from being genuinely "outspoken," Breed is running with the lemmings on the Board of Supervisors on every single issue, including City Hall's push to redesign city streets on behalf of a small minority of cyclists---only 3.4% of all trips in the city are by bike---against the interests of the overwhelming majority that now uses city streets. Breed tries to explain her tweet but only sounds dumber: 

My point was bicyclists’ behavior is the complaint I hear most often from those who oppose the projects. So as a practical matter, those behavioral concerns — whether you think they’re accurate or inaccurate, right or wrong — make it harder to get new projects moving, harder to win public and political support. But that absolutely has not, and will not, stop me from fighting to win that support. I’ve faced a lot of fire, a LOT of fire, over the Masonic blvd[sic] project and I’ve stood strong in my support. That’s my record. So it does bother me to see Masonic supporters criticizing me over a twitter post. But it is my fault for being unclear about a complicated topic on an inappropriate medium.
 
Has any bike project been delayed for a minute because of the bad behavior of cyclists on city streets? Nope. (The neighborhood opposition to the Polk Street bike project was about parking, not cyclists' behavior, and it hasn't been delayed).
 
It's not "a complicated topic" at all. The city routinely lies about safety problems to justify bike projects. In a semi-literate letter to the SFCTA earlier this year, Breed and two of her colleagues recycled the lies about the safety of Masonic Avenue to justify a project that will eliminate 167 parking spaces, slow traffic overall, and only benefit an unknown number of future cyclists.
 
City Hall hasn't really tried to get "public support" for any of these projects, because it understands that cyclists and their lobbying organization, the Bicycle Coalition, are probably the most unpopular special interest group in the city. That's why none of these projects or the Bicycle Plan itself---has ever been or ever will be---on the city's ballot.

Streetsblog cites the spineless Supervisor Avalos:

Supervisor John Avalos nailed the answer[to Traughber's question]. Though he ran on a pro-bike platform in the most recent mayoral race, he hasn’t been the most active supe on bike issues since, and it’d be great to hear more of this on the board.
 
Not "the most active" on bike issues is putting it kindly. Avalos's silence has been remarkable for someone who got the Bicycle Coalition's endorsement for mayor in 2011. He said nothing during the appeal hearing on the Fell/Oak bike project, and he's been silent---along with Breed and the rest of the board, except David Chiu---on the Polk Street project. Maybe he's worried that an electorate a lot larger than District 3 might have a different view of the bike issue when he makes his inevitable run for state office.
 
 
SFBC/Flicker
 
 

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Safe routes to school?

  
The Bicycle Coalition and City Hall encourage the city's children to ride bikes to school, which is irresponsible given the obvious dangers illustrated by the story below. 

Boy on bike hit, killed by SUV outside Byron school
Henry K. Lee
SF Chronicle
September 23, 2013


A 12-year-old boy riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle Monday in front of his Byron middle school, authorities said.

Burgess Hu of Discovery Bay died at the scene of the crash outside Excelsior Middle School on Byron Highway.

A woman who had just dropped off her children at the school was making a turn in her GMC Yukon onto Byron Highway when she hit the boy at about 7:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The woman was apparently traveling no faster than 10 mph at the time, authorities said. She remained at the scene of the crash.

The SUV is registered to a Discovery Bay woman, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Burgess was wearing a helmet that had a Contra Costa County sheriff's badge sticker on it, the CHP said.
Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: hlee@sfchronicle.com

See also Children and the Bike Cult.

Graphic from the SFBC
 

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