When Andy Thornley's op-ed appeared the other day in the Examiner opposing Joel Engardio's proposal to license cyclists, he was identified thusly: "Andy Thornley is a candidate for the District 1 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors."
That was news to me, but Thornley's career in San Francisco requires more description, since that leaves out the seven years he worked for the Bicycle Coalition before he clambered aboard the MTA's gravy train. (But he's still just a bike guy at heart!)
I first blogged about Thornley way back in 2005, when he told the Bay Guardian about the Bicycle Coalition's real agenda: "We've done all the easy things so far. Now we need to take space from cars."
Over the years, Thornley represented the city's anti-car movement by rationalizing the ban on the right-turn at Market and Octavia; trying to bluff City Hall about the Healthy Saturdays issue; misrepresenting what the Bicycle Plan litigation was about; lying about what the Bicycle Plan is doing to Second Street; and opining that spending up to $390 million for a bike lane on the Bay Bridge would be a good investment.
People are surprised, often almost offended, that I don't wear a helmet when I ride my bike — everyone knows how dangerous it is to ride a bike, and I'm not only imperiling myself but setting a bad example to other cyclists when I ride bareheaded. Here's my own personal position: I choose not to wear a helmet while bicycling in San Francisco because I'm very mindful of how I look and don't want to give anyone the wrong impression about how safe it is to ride a bicycle in San Francisco. I'm too busy working to facilitate and encourage urban bicycling and the many benefits it brings to spend any of my limited time and energy constructing fear.
That's the kind of intellectual rigor Thornley would bring to the Board of Supervisors.
District 1 voters, however, apparently don't require intellectual heft in their representatives, since Thornley would succeed the termed-out Eric Mar, who District 1 voters reelected after he made a name for himself by opposing the ban on public nudity and wanting to ban toys with Happy Meals:
Perhaps the best, though, was [Supervisor]Mar's assertion that the nudity ban was too trivial for the board. This from the supervisor who fought to ban free toys in Happy Meals and called on the Grammys to add 31 categories of music to their awards. "I did choke a little on the water I was drinking when Eric Mar castigated us for focusing on petty issues," said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd. "Discussing the Grammy Awards? That was a highlight of my career at the Board of Supervisors, and Eric Mar brought that one to us."
Supervisor Mar---along of course with Supervisor Breed---also supports the dumb idea of filling in the Fillmore/Geary overpass to "close the divide" between Japantown and the African-American community, even though there are now more black people living in Japantown than there are Japanese, not to mention the monumental traffic jam that would create.
Speaking of traffic jams, Mar and Breed also teamed up to support the equally dumb Masonic Avenue bike project that's now under construction.
District 1 voters might want to ask Thornley about where he stands on these issues, since his website doesn't discuss any issues facing either District 1 or the city.
Of course Thornley supports Critical Mass.
Labels: Andy Thornley, Anti-Car, Bicycle Coalition, City Government, Critical Mass, Examiner, Parking