Under pressure, Mayor Lee doubles down on "hollow words"
|Streetsblog's sneering timeline|
The Bicycle Coalition exercised its political muscle last week by prodding Mayor Lee to issue a "directive" on "Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety":
Recently, we have had tragedies on our streets as a result of criminal behavior on behalf[sic] of motorists," said Mayor Lee. "While we cannot control the criminal behavior of a few, we can make our streets safer through engineering, education and enforcement. I am directing City departments to accelerate[sic] our Vision Zero goal immediately.
The deaths the mayor is referring to: a motorist ran a red light and hit a cyclist and a car thief hit a cyclist while speeding in Golden Gate Park, neither of which could have been prevented by "engineering, education, and enforcement."
Even the anti-car head of the MTA admitted this after those accidents:
Ed Reiskin, director of transportation at the SFMTA, disagreed street safety changes would’ve helped. “The best bike infrastructure in the world would not have prevented these collisions,” he told the San Francisco Examiner.
So what's going on here? Just the routine waving of the bloody shirt by the Bicycle Coalition, Walk SF, and Streetsblog to further their anti-car agenda whenever a cyclist dies on city streets (See also Big Lie on safety pushes anti-car agenda).
On KQED News by Bryan Goebel, a former Streetsblog editor:
Biking advocates had criticized the mayor for speaking “hollow words” following the deaths of the two cyclists. More than 1,500 San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members sent emails to the mayor, urging him to take stronger action on safe streets.
The anti-car lobby pressured the mayor to issue this directive, which is unlikely to have any effect on safety.
The long-term anti-car agenda: protected bike lanes. The only way they can be created is by eliminating traffic lanes or street parking on busy city streets. More from Goebel:
Bike advocates have been arguing that protected bike lanes should be the new standard, which studies have shown draw more people to bicycling because they are safer and more pleasant to ride on. They say standard bike lanes, especially on busy streets, are often filled with double parkers and delivery trucks, creating conflicts and sometimes forcing bike riders into speeding traffic.
What the anti-car bike lobby wants is City Hall to make the safety of cyclists---a small, shrinking minority in the city---the primary goal of city government. If it has to make traffic congestion a lot worse for everyone else, including Muni passengers, so be it!
What we're likely to get: more unnecessary traffic congestion without more safety.
The Vision Zero campaign reminds me of Mayor Newsom's frustration with gun violence during his administration. After all the talk, neither Newsom nor his successors have been able to stop people from shooting each other in San Francisco.
Similarly, Vision Zero is a slogan that won't stop traffic deaths in San Francisco, which are caused by a lot of "really, really bad behavior" by everyone---motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.