Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who is really "standing up for the injured" on city streets?

Bay Area Global Health Film Festival

As of last night, the Bay Guardian has stopped accepting comments to its politics blog:

There’s a tipping point between constructive criticism and destructive disparagement, and when the latter category is layered with an onslaught of spam from spellcasters, solicitors, and scammers---well, those scales have now tipped for us at the Bay Guardian. We’ve decided to indefinitely suspend comments on SFBG.com.

That's a problem I also have, though the ugly, anonymous comments I get are usually from supporters of the city's bike movement. All the Guardian has to do is monitor the comments and delete the spam and the ugly stuff, which, in my experience, is always anonymous. 

My substantive, not anonymous, comment to a subject that's supposedly of interest to the folks who wrote the article I was commenting on, was dumped with the rest. 

My message this morning to Steve Jones, the editor of the Guardian:

Steve:

Funny but your decision to shut down comments was made shortly after I posted a comment that linked both the abstract and the full text of that UC study you and the rest of the city's media have been trying to ignore. Just a coincidence, right? 

My comment was made to an article by representatives of UC Medical Center and SF General about "how all-too-common accidents can permanently injure pedestrians and bicyclists."

That study by their colleagues shows that the city has been radically under-counting cycling accidents by ignoring a lot of those injury accidents treated at SF General Hospital, the city's primary trauma center. The study shows that riding a bike in San Francisco is a lot more dangerous than the Guardian and the Bicycle Coalition have been telling us---and that "cyclist-only" accidents that don't involve cars are the most under-reported and just as serious as "auto-versus-bicycle" accidents.

"But the anonymity that Guardian commenters enjoy on our current website has poisoned the well and rendered this forum a poor place for respectful public debate." 

Like all my comments, my comment was not made anonymously, by the way. Why not just ban anonymous comments?

Regards,
Rob Anderson


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8 Comments:

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Vince said...

"...an onslaught of spam from spellcasters..."

I never realized that so many witches commented on SFBG threads, or that SFBG thought so poorly its apparently mentally delicate readers.

A spellcaster would try to close down discourse and dissent, as has been done. So now we know if SFBG is a good witch or a bad witch; it's the latter.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

One of the authors of the article in the Guardian responded to my inquiry about whether the UC study was discussed at the film festival:

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your question and yes we did & it sparked a very engaging conversation during our panel discussion at the end of the night. Having the cities policies & initiatives be driven by evidence is critical to making an impact and this study among others help to bring the data to light to ensure changes are effective. Research is a big piece of the puzzle & part of what was highlighted at the festival was the need to have more research on the topics to make sure we do not waste resources and time on changes that are more appealing to votes or economically pleasing.

Sorry you were not able to make it to the event but I will include you on our post event press release so you can view the films screened if you wish, and see some of the feedback from attendees.

Thanks again for reaching out and hope you can join us next year for the festival!

Cheers,

Amber
BAGHFF Team

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Steve Jones responds to my message:

"You seem to have an exaggerated sense of your importance, Rob. I can assure you that your post had absolutely nothing to do with our decision."

Okay, I was just baiting him. But note that he doesn't respond to the substance of the post, which was about that UC study. Like the establishment Chronicle---and the Examiner and the SF Weekly---the Guardian still hasn't even mentioned the study of the under-count of cycling accidents in the city we all live in, San Francisco. The New York Times did a story on it way back in October, 2013.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous sfthen said...

Boy, if anything epitomizes the phrase "exaggerated sense of your importance" it's the Bay Guardian and their ilk (Chris Daly immediately comes to mind), the SFBG feels they're always leading a movement or fighting the good fight against the evil windmills. What have they ever really accomplished?

If the City was actually serious about making the streets safer for everyone, pedestrians, bicyclists, automobile drivers, everyone, was serious about Vision Zero, it could go a long ways towards that goal right now today for very little money, merely require that everyone follow the CA DMV laws which were developed for optimal street safety.

But one group is not going to do that, most bicyclists wouldn't ride if they had to obey the traffic laws, if they couldn't use the sidewalks, ride against traffic on one-way streets, run red lights, use the pedestrian crosswalks, if they couldn't do those things, didn't get privilege, they wouldn't ride their bicycle.

The bicycle is cheap transportation for all the Extended Stay Tourists that don't want to sit on a bus next to any of that "San Francisco diversity" they claim to love so much.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Merely require that everyone follow the CA DMV laws which were developed for optimal street safety."

Everyone already is. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, one wonders how many people actually read the Guardian. I do only because it provides a weekly account of what the left is up to in SF---and the latest bike bunk from Jason Henderson.

What exactly is Chris Daly's political legacy in San Francisco? Can't think of anything off hand, except of course he was a dedicated bike guy. From his farewell statement in Fog City Journal:

"I bicycle to City Hall and to district meetings from my home and intend to continue to do so until the end of my Supervisor term and probably for longer."

Seems like that's the only issue the city's "progressives" have left: anti-carism and bikes.

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

Wonder if Chris Daly bicycles to work from Fairfield where he moved his family (and where he supposedly paid cash for two homes--poor boy, why didn't he give some of that money to the homeless?).

And who can forget his 2007 legislation to prohibit managers at City Hall from having "romantic or sexual relationships" with subordinates.

So who does that bite? His good buddie and ex-aide John Avalos!

Following these SF Progs is better than watching the daytime soaps!

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Like the other "progressive" supervisors, Supervisor Avalos is politically gutless. He clammed up on Polk St. when opposition to the city's bike project surfaced in Polk Gulch, even though he told the Bicycle Coalition---which even endorsed him for mayor!---that he would support the project. And he and the others were silent during the hearing on the Fell/Oak bike project.

And then he whined about having to vote on Mirkarimi, as if being a supervisor was all about his delicate sensibilities and not making policy for the city!

 

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