Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Will Peskin's campaign help the people of Polk Street?

San Francisco magazine

Aaron Peskin has an undeserved reputation as a maverick, unless you think opposing a wall of highrises on the waterfront---59% of city voters agreed---qualifies him as some kind of a rebel. To his credit, he opposed the Treasure Island project, though he lost in court trying to stop that remarkably dumb project.

Peskin kicked off his campaign with a pledge to do something about the disastrous rise in housing prices, the most important issue facing the city. 

But in his first two terms Peskin supported highrise development, though not, you understand, anywhere near his North Beach. Those projects were all about market-rate, not affordable housing.

And like the rest of the progressive class of 2000 supervisors, Peskin voted to make the 500-page Bicycle Plan part of the General Plan without any environmental review, which was obviously illegal, as Judge Busch ruled a year later.

For Peskin's political comeback to be meaningful, he should show that he's done some rethinking on city issues since his first two terms as District 3 Supervisor, when he rolled with the other "progressive" lemmings on the board on development and transportation issues.

For a start, he could support the embattled Polk Street small businesses and residents that are being steamrolled by City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition with a bike project that will eliminate 100 parking spaces on Polk for a separated bike lane based on a lie about how dangerous Polk Street is.

Not a single supervisor has dissented on how City Hall has been methodically redesigning city streets on behalf of this small, obnoxious minority against the interests of more than 90% of those who now use city streets.

Julie Christensen is unlikely to stand up for the people who live and work in Polk Gulch based on her fatuous talk about "unity." Since she was appointed by Mayor Lee, by definition she's now on the City Hall team and will support all of its policies.

Peskin at least had the intellectual integrity to understand belatedly that his original support for the Central Subway project was a mistake.

He would get a lot of votes if he also did some rethinking on the bicycle fantasy and, while he's at it, about how City Hall preys on everyone who has to drive in San Francisco.

The people of Polk Gulch continue to resist the destructive bike project, but not a single elected official has supported their attempt to save scarce street parking for residents and businesses in the area.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

16 Comments:

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if Peskin doesn't do any rethinking about anything? Will you support him over whats-her-name?

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, not that my support butters a lot of parsnips in District 3, though I have some readers in Polk Gulch. If Peskin is only offering an expansion of rent control, it would be better than Christenen's predictable adherence to City Hall's party line but not by much.

 
At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peskin will fall in line with the Bike Coalition. Nothing in him has changed, period end of story. What I really do not like about him is his attitude that if you are "not with me, then your against me", which is very typical of those oh-so progressive pols. There is no room for ideas beyond those which they espouse.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I like his ideas on housing in this Examiner story in which he is quoted as saying "I have experience fighting for decades for everyday San Franciscans."

The "everyday San Franciscans" in Polk Gulch are getting screwed by City Hall and the bike special interest group. He could strike a democratic pose by proposing that the Polk neighborhood be allowed to vote on the bike project. Or, better yet, put both the Polk Street bike project and the Masonic Avenue bike project to a citywide vote.

Who could object to that? The answer: City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who could object to that?

Anyone who believes in representative democracy.

 
At 9:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Right. Direct democracy on Polk Street---that is, letting the people in the neighborhood to vote on the bike project---is an impure version of the real thing, which, here in Progressive Land, means a bunch of bobblehead progs who could never win a citywide election, foisting bike lanes on reluctant neighborhoods, like Ed Reiskin told the Masonic Avenue neighborhood: a neighborhood election on the bike project in that part of town would just confuse folks!

Too much democracy can be death on fads and special interests masquerading as "improvements."

 
At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, is the MTA still hiding the latest Bicycle Count?

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, it is. Yesterday I sent this question to Paul Rose: "Will the bicycle count report be released this week?"

His response: "I do not believe so."

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

letting the people in the neighborhood to vote on the bike project---is an impure version of the real thing, which, here in Progressive Land, means a bunch of bobblehead progs who could never win a citywide election, foisting bike lanes on reluctant neighborhoods, like Ed Reiskin told the Masonic Avenue neighborhood: a neighborhood election on the bike project in that part of town would just confuse folks!


Wait a minute. The people in the neighborhood? David Chiu supported the Polk Street plan, and Mar supports changes on Masonic. Those supervisors were elected by the people in those neighborhoods - those projects are not some crazy idea cooked up by Campos and Avalos.

Are you saying with citywide elections we'd have just a bunch of Mark Farrell types? He voted for the bike plan too, amigo.

 
At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Rose and Reiskin are out having beers and talking about how much fun they are having trolling you.

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Are you saying with citywide elections we'd have just a bunch of Mark Farrell types? He voted for the bike plan too, amigo."

I'm saying that these projects have citywide traffic implications and that all city voters should be consulted before they are implemented. I'm also saying that Campos, Avalos, and Kim would never be elected in a citywide vote. Only Ranked Choice Voting, another fiasco brought to us by city "progressives," is the only reason they're on the board.

"I think Rose and Reiskin are out having beers and talking about how much fun they are having trolling you."

I doubt it. This is not about me. The MTA bobbleheads know they have a problem, otherwise why would they be sitting on the bicycle count report? What's the problem?

My suspicion: the numbers are way down from last year, that San Francisco is going the way of Portland, which has been stuck on 6% for years, while SF has been stuck below 4%. The numbers apparently show that the bike revolution/fad is fizzling out, which makes it hard to justify big bike projects like Polk Street and Masonic Avenue.

Also see this.

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My suspicion: the numbers are way down from last year

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2015/04/01/market-street-bike-count-off-to-a-record-breaking-start-in-2015/

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Market Street is not exactly a typical street in the annual count. No, the numbers must be pretty bad to have the MTA sitting on the report this long. After all the hype surrounding the previous counts, they can't figure out how to give this one a positive spin.

 
At 2:45 AM, Blogger Ziggy Tomcich said...

Who are these "everyday San Franciscans in Polk Gulch" who you claim are being screwed? Most people who visit Polk street don't drive. If there was a Polk Street greenway initiative on that ballot that removed all parking along Polk street, closed off blocks of it to create pedestrian promenades and make Polk street safer and more pleasant for everyone not driving, it would likely pass by a landslide. The SFMTA needs to stop subsidizing parking for empty cars with the lives and safety of everybody else. The current watered down bike Polk Street safety plan doesn't go far enough because of the car-first establishment in city hall, which doesn't represent most of the people who live here.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Most people who visit Polk Street live in the neighborhood. 15% drive and only 5% arrive by bike. So the moral of the story is that a lot of street parking has to be eliminated to benefit the 5%?

People and business owners of Polk Gulch showed up at this meeting to reject the MTA/Bicycle Coalition plans for Polk Street.

The safety justification for this bike project is a flat-out lie by the MTA that in turn is based on the Vision Zero lie.

One good way to see who represents what would be an election, either a neighborhood election or a citywide election on the bike project, but of course that won't happen for obvious reasons.

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Here's a functional link to that original Polk Street meeting.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home