Friday, January 15, 2016

Whither the Bicycle Coalition 3

Margaret McCarthy

There's been an odd lack of coverage of the Bicycle Coalition's election results, except for an article by former Streetsblog editor Bryan Goebel on KQED News.

The SFBC posted the election results here a week ago.

That the election was even held was apparently due to a threat of legal action.

Looks like the insurgent candidates did pretty well, but is 13.5% really a good membership participation rate?

According to the insurgents, the anti-car special interest organization still has some transparency issues:

The SFBC Board of Director’s decision to appoint Vanessa Christie to the board, only days after announcing the results of the organization’s highest-turnout member election, is one more example of a lack of transparency by the Board. Vanessa clearly seems to be a passionate member of the bike community, but we are disappointed by the lack of any opportunity for member input on this appointment. Despite being able to appoint a candidate voted for by the members in the recent Board election, the Board chose to ignore member input.

Like all cults, to me the whole bike fad is admittedly a mystery, but one wonders why a cyclist would want to serve on the board of directors considering that the qualifications for the office require not only a lot of time but, more importantly, a lot of fund raising, not to mention an annual individual donation of at least $500. By definition evidently a director has to be a real bike fanatic.

Speaking of which, yesterday the new SF Streetsblog editor interviewed the coalition's Interim Executive Director:

Streetsblog: What’s first on your agenda for the SFBC?
Margaret McCarthy: So many things! I’m learning about some budgetary processes which I’m totally excited about. Those are the things that keep the organization running. In addition, there are some exciting bike projects coming up in 2016. For example, raised bike lanes on Masonic Street, Second Street, Polk Street–construction should begin on all of those in 2016. We’re excited about prospects for Page Street, a busy bike route that could certainly use some improvement. And I’m excited about the expansion of Bay Area Bike Share. Just to name a few!

Three "excited" and one "exciting" in a short paragraph---and one of the exciteds was a "totally excited." Gag me with a bike lock!

Note that neither Streetsblog's editor nor McCarthy apparently know that it's Masonic Avenue, not "street."

McCarthy on police enforcement on city streets:

This is really about Vision Zero. The SFPD has committed to “focus on the five.” This means they need to be focusing on the five most dangerous behaviors in the five most dangerous locations on a per-district basis. They have that data. And they have been charged by the chief with data-driven enforcement.

By "data-driven," she means whatever numbers the MTA or the SFPD provide, not doing a real analysis of all injury accidents on city streets to see why they happen and if the city can do something to prevent them. 

If you really care about the safety of cyclists---and everyone else, for that matter---on city streets, why not insist that the city analyze all accidents? God knows they have enough manpower to do the task, since the MTA itself now has 5,745 employees

The MTA has quietly discontinued issuing its annual Collisions Report and apparently also its Transportation Fact Sheet.

We now have faith-based traffic governance on our streets, since the city no longer gives us enough information to make independent judgments about all the "improvements"---or lack thereof---that are being made to city streets.

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At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

Faith-based traffic governance, indeed.

Gotta love how the "vision zero" traffic fatality counts don't even include deaths involving transit vehicles. Read this article and weep for Commander Ali, and all of us who appreciated his in-depth report on each and every fatality in 2013 and 2014. After what happened to him we can safely predict that useful, detailed data on street mayhem will be in short supply. But data are a waste of time when you already know exactly what the cause is of ALL mayhem and exactly what to do about it.


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