Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marin Bicycle Coalition and high-density development

From Planning for Reality

Dick Spotswood's latest column in Marin's Independent Journal (Marin bike lobby's political clout is slippingcriticizes Marin cyclists:

Not to be ignored is the sense of entitlement often exhibited toward motorists and pedestrians. Add to the list longstanding bikers-versus-equestrians and environmentalists disputes over use of single-track trails on Mount Tamalpais and Marin Municipal Water District's watershed.

"Sense of entitlement"? Sound familiar? I've blogged about the boorish cyclists of Marin here, here, and here.

Aside from the usual bad behavior by cyclists on Marin's roads and trails, many in Marin are upset that the Marin Bicycle Coalition supports the trendy "smart growth," dense development theories that have created a backlash:

It didn't help the biker cause when its movement was hijacked by big-time developers and their regional alphabet agencies' allies. Cyclists are now often lumped together with housing activists calling for more development. That's never been a popular strategy in Marin.

See Planning for Reality on Marin planning issues. See also Citizen Marin and this.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has also supported "dense development" here in SF. Exhibit number one: The city's plan to allow developers to build 8,000 homes, 500 hotel rooms, and 550,000 square feet of offices and businesses on Treasure Island, which will boost the population on the Island to 19,000. Think traffic on the Bay Bridge is bad now?

The Bicycle Coalition's role: It did the transportation plan for the Treasure Island project! Guess which transportation "mode" dominates that plan?

Massive Wincup development on Highway 101

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At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be ignored is the sense of entitlement often exhibited toward motorists and pedestrians.

You guys throw around this term a lot. What exactly do you believe that cyclists believe they are "entitled" to?

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Obari Hobbles said...

Whenever I want to get angry I come over to your blog, Rob.

You are such a worthless piece of shit, it's not even measurable. Please die soon!

At 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why in the world would the bike coalition get to do a transportation plan for treasure island?!!
When did 3% get to write the policy and rules for the rest of us?

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Since almost ten years ago.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Horace "The Rake" Samulson said...

"Not to be ignored is the sense of entitlement often exhibited toward motorists and pedestrians"

I'll riff on that comment too.

1) Pedestrians are always the highest ranked. Everyone know this. Bikes come second.

2) As far as feeling "entitled" ... have you looked out the window lately and seen how much of this city has been given to cars? In some areas it's as much as 90% of the surface area. And you think bikes are entitled?

You're nuts dude.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger jw2200 said...

Horace, where did this "given over" idea come from? The VAST majority of people in San Francisco either drive or take public transit which requires (and has required for 100 years) roads which have been developed and paid for by tax payers, property owners and vehicle owners. It seems to me that the people who want the streets "given over" to them are the bicycle advocates. Several streets in the city have now had their capacity reduced by 25-33% to accommodate bikes, which at best account for a tiny fraction of roadway users.

I have four thoughts for you to help bring some balance to your "riff" and general perspective:

"share the road" works both ways;

bike owners should be paying license and parking fees;

if roadway space is to be dedicated for the exclusive use of bikes, bikes should be barred from certain parallel streets;

if a car must maintain a three foot clearance from bikes when passing, bikes should also have to maintain that same clearance when passing cars.

At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Horace "The Rake" Samulson said...

Ridiculous. The streets in this city are ridiculously wide and lined from start to finish with storage for automobiles. Ridiculous relics of the 20th century that have no place in the modern city. Cities should be for PEOPLE not CARS.

Yes, you have to allow a few of them in from time to time and you need room for busses, but the amount of space that this city has taken from people in favor of cars is beyond ridiculous. It is a crime.

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


" The streets in this city are ridiculously wide and lined from start to finish with storage for automobiles. "

Where the f*ck are you from, where San Francisco streets could possibly be viewed as "wide," even "ridiculously wide?" I guess you've never been to Los Angeles, or even, I dunno, Fremont, CA?

"Cities should be for PEOPLE not CARS."

People drive cars, numb nuts. The streets aren't just used for storing cars that never get used, there's a constant flow of motor vehicles all day and night. People park their cars when they go home, go shopping, or go out to eat, and they drive their cars to get from place to place.

Sorry, pal, but the world has spoken: the vast majority of the planet prefers motorized transportation. Not everyone wants to walk everywhere, or bike everywhere, or lug their crap all over the place when they want to do more than 2 errands in a day. And in a city like San Francisco, with its hilly terrain, a lot of folks would prefer to sit on a bus or in a car rather than expel unnecessary energy. It's just the way it is. Maybe you should get out more, visit other countries, check out their major cities, and take notice to how many people are driving. Paris, Tokyo, New York City, Barcelona: cars everywhere. Buses everywhere. Subways connecting the cities. Motorized.


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