Thursday, December 10, 2015

Whither the Bicycle Coalition 2

Save the SF Bike Coalition

More thoughts on the Bicycle Coalition's election. 

On Noah Budnick's resignation from Streetsblog:

Budnick’s resignation may not have anything to do with the current board turmoil. Budnick has been circumspect about his reasons, and when asked has referred only to his coming status as a foster parent.

Right. After eight months on the job, he now has to spend more time with this family.

The board endorsement process caused problems last year, however, when a member who wanted to run for the board did not get an endorsement, and was not satisfied with the 150 words he was given to explain his candidacy. His request for the right to communicate with SFBC members caused confusion and upset when the board opted to provide him with member contact information, and some members objected to receiving emails from him. The board decided that the solution was to change the bylaws so they wouldn’t be forced to give out member contact information—and at the same time redefine the board to be a self-appointed, rather than elected, board.

This is about giving board candidates the coalition's membership list so they could directly contact members when running for the board. 

The "privacy" issue is really about the fear that the list would somehow be made public and/or get into the wrong hands---like my hands.

I of course would publish it immediately so that people could learn who in City Hall is a member of that special interest group, thus exposing some interesting conflicts of interest. Are city workers who are members of the Bicycle Coalition---including supervisors, MTA and the Planning Dept. employees, etc.---serving the public interest or that of a special interest group that wants to completely redesign city streets on behalf of cyclists? 

Some interesting comments to the Streetsblog story on the SFBC election:

I wonder how many members quit over that so called protective bike lane in GGP. I haven't met anyone who likes it.

The end of the Rainbow Grocery discount and SFBC's membership decline:

"The SFBC has around 10,000 members, slightly down from a peak of about 13,000 a few years ago." Slightly down? It's down almost 25%.

Don't forget potential reason C) people who were members just to get the discount at Rainbow Grocery quit the Coalition when it was ended.

And a hearty thanks for Rainbow Grocery's generosity for offering that incentive to join SFBC for so many years! Rainbow had more to do with growing the SFBC than anything else, IMO.

Steve Jones on the election:

Just calling for the city to dedicate space for cycling was once a radical ask, but the organization always kept its distance from the Critical Mass crowd that directly asserted cyclists’ right to the road. SFBC would sometimes use sharp rhetoric to criticize City Hall when the cops or mayor disregarded the safety or needs of cyclists, but it never really aligned itself with the city’s progressive movement despite what many saw as their shared interests.

No so. The Bicycle Coalition has always been part of the city's progressive movement, and it has always supported Critical Mass, though in a less-than-forthright manner. Leah Shahum's life-changing bike epiphany happened during a Critical Mass ride, and she defended the traffic-snarling demo when it indulged in violence. And there was the weasly disclaimer they used to post on their online calendar.

And the Coalition always supports housing projects that limit parking space for those wicked motor vehicles.

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