Friday, June 27, 2014

Andy Thornley: Still just a bike guy



Andy Thornley worked for the Bicycle Coalition for years. The bike guy who now runs the MTA put Thornley on the payroll a few years ago, where he now works on parking issues for those wicked motor vehicles. (You can't make this shit up!) 

City Hall apparently thinks working at the Bicycle Coalition qualifies you to board the city's gravy train: here and here.

Riding his bike in this video---mostly in Golden Gate Park, where it's a lot safer to ride than the rest of San Francisco---Thornley makes a pitch for his favorite transportation "mode," including the prediction that riding a bike in the city will be an "enormous part of the future." But bikes aren't a very significant part of the present, since, even after ten years of hype from the Bicycle Coalition and City Hall, only 3.4% of all trips in the city are by bicycle.

Thornley talks about how the city is "evolving and adapting," a favorite trope of the bike people, who seem to think people won't be fully human until they take up cycling.


As a matter of principle, Thornley doesn't wear a helmet when he rides his bike, not a good Darwinian survival strategy.

When he was with the Bicycle Coalition, one of Thornley's jobs was to bullshit the media (see this, this, this and this). When he talked to his political allies at the Bay Guardian, he was candid about the Coalition's agenda: "We've done all the easy things so far. Now we need to take space from cars." 

When city voters go to the polls in November to vote on the Restoring Transportation Balance initiative and Mayor Lee's $500 million transportation bond, they need to remember who's making transportation policy in San Francisco.

Thanks to Streetsblog for the link to the Thornley video.

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10 Comments:

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When city voters go to the polls in November to vote on the Restoring Transportation Balance initiative and Mayor Lee's $500 million transportation bond, they need to remember who's making transportation policy in San Francisco."

restore balance means changing the tsreets so they arent as much 4 cars and are for the majority of ppl who dont drive

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

The video is a fine manifestation of the millenial religious cant that passes for conversation among cycpath "activists".

Notice the motor-traffic-free, serene streets. The trees. The nubile, healthy youth. Notice the absence of right-hook turns, jaywalking pedestrians, cyclists "shoaling" in front of each other at every red light. What a masterpiece of carefully-edited propaganda.

"Join us and be saved!"

Best of all...The Jews have their star; the Christians their cross and the Muslims their crescent. The bicycle evangelist has...the Dutch flag on his handlebars.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Performance artist Chris Burden once had himself crucified on a Volkswagen. But why pick on a car that gets good mileage? What's the environmental moral of the story? He needs to update the performance by being crucified on a bicycle as per the Streetsblog/Jason Henderson portrayal of cyclists as victims of an ongoing Streetfight.

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous sfthen said...

In an Examiner fluff-piece last week (26 June, 2014, "SFMTA board expands locations for car share vehicles") the project manager Andy Thornley is quoted, "a car sharing vehicle has removed from anywhere from 5-or-6 to 13-or-14 personal cars from the street."

Only the bike types, SPUR types, Livable City types and SF politicians could believe this kind of Große Lüge; it should be easy to count number of cars on the street before and after SFMTA gives curb space to private businesses and see if 5-to-14 personal cars are removed. What a tool.

 
At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

andy thornley has done more good for this city than you ever have and likely ever will, rob

 
At 9:39 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Could you be more specific about what Thornley has done for the city?

 
At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thornley has helped get this city to be a better place for riding a bicycle and walking which is good for the people of the city and other cities are doing it too. he also has reorganized teams in public agencies in sf to run more efficiently and saved us money. of course you dont like him rob because hes a "bike guy" but thats fine because your opinion is irrelevant and again, hes doing more to make SF better than you ever have and likely ever will. thornley also has introduced biking to a lot of people with his tours and raised awareness about issues related to biking in the city. hes also just a really nice guy.

warning: poorly articulated rtesponse from rob coming below this comment in a few hours

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You warned readers in vain about my "poorly articulated response."

Thornley may be a great guy personally, but he and the Bicycle Coalition have been bad for the city. I linked a number of instances where Thornley consistently misrepresented issues in the city.

One of the biggest public disservices he performed: downplaying the dangers of cycling when he worked for that special interest group, the SF Bicycle Coalition.

He did that not only with his public statements but by not wearing a helmet when he rides.

The reality is that the Bicycle Coalition is a special interest group that aggressively pushes its anti-car, pro-bike agenda regardless of the negative consequences for city traffic and on city neighborhoods.

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait but the law doesnt require adults wear helmets.

 
At 10:29 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, but the law isn't the point, which is safety for cyclists. The reality: most cycling fatalities are caused by head injuries, and most weren't wearing helmets.

Thornley is an aggressive advocate encouraging more people to ride bikes while downplaying the importance of their wearing helmets. That's not a responsible position for a cycling advocate.

 

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