Thursday, July 30, 2015

The city and the Lower Haight: Stuck with the Wiggle

Jim Swanson

On Thu, Jul 30, 2015, Bike Talk wrote:

I do a bike policy podcast in LA, and we'd like to get some people in the Wigg Party and others to explain what's going on with SFPD cyclist-ticketing campaign, and the "wiggle." Can someone please contact me at
Nick Richert

My response:


Not clear why I got this email, since I'm a long-time critic of the city's bike people. As I pointed out the other day on my blog, the city is trying to have it both ways on the Wiggle, which it promotes as a quick, fast way for cyclists to get to Market Street and South of Market. The problem: It's a densely-populated neighborhood, and cyclists are now speeding through it putting pedestrians in peril. Lot of people in that neighborhood are complaining, which in turn leads the SFPD to issue tickets, etc. Hence, City Hall has a problem: It can't ignore the issue because of the neighborhood complaints. On the other hand, City Hall has been pandering to the bike lobby for years, essentially giving it whatever it asks for.

More comment by me:

The problem the city has now: It's hard to backtrack on promoting the Wiggle, now that it's been advertised for years as a quick and cool way for cyclists to get to Market Street/downtown. Just like it's hard for City Hall to admit that riding a bike in the city is a lot more dangerous than it and the Bicycle Coalition have been telling us, which is why it has to ignore that UC study

City Hall has been aggressively promoting cycling in the city for more than ten years, which is now hard to reverse---or even modify---even as the dumb Masonic Avenue bike project looms on the horizon as a public relations debacle for the PC bobbleheads in City Hall.

Click on "The Wiggle" below for earlier posts on the issue.

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At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cant imagine that masonic plan will go through. its really idiotic and cyclists already have dedicated lanes on arguello and webster, which are not that far apart.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, it's idiotic and risky for City Hall, but you have to understand that you're essentially dealing with fanatics. The project has been approved, they have the money lined up, and they're going to do it. I'd like to think they were having second thoughts, but I know of no evidence for that.

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a biker, in pretty good shape and still cannot believe that the SFBC wanted that route (grade) for the less than good shape biker. Further the traffic issue, why pick this street?

I have to believe that SFBC had throw down the Gauntlet, testing to see how far they can push issues. It really is not the best north-south solution.

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why pray tell, is it "risky" for City Hall?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Because it---the Masonic Avenue bike project---could blow up into a major PR/political debacle, as I pointed out last year:

"The city is going to deliberately screw up traffic on this busy city street---more than 32,000 vehicles use it every day---and take away scarce street parking for a small, often obnoxious minority of cyclists. What could go wrong with that?"

In short, it will make the folks look like the morons and assholes that they are.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"I have to believe that SFBC had throw down the Gauntlet, testing to see how far they can push issues."

It's hard for the rest of us to understand, but the city's bike people are convinced that they are adorable and that people like them. Creating a mini-Critical Mass on the Wiggle is just another example of their bizarre sense of public relations.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because it---the Masonic Avenue bike project---could blow up into a major PR/political debacle, as I pointed out last year::

So what?

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

So making traffic worse for more than 32,000 motorists and 12,000 passengers on the #43 line on behalf of a tiny minority of cyclists is clearly a bad idea that sets up City Hall for a lot of negative feedback. Not surprising that that is of no concern to an anonymous bike nut.


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