Friday, September 21, 2018

On November 6th, we can tip the balance of power back to the people.
Support Democrats today

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

The country women live in

Letter in today's NY Times:

To the Editor:

A 17-year-old boy, holding his hand tightly over the mouth of a 15-year-old girl to silence her protests, allegedly tried to rape her. 

If he had succeeded and she became pregnant, that boy’s 53-year-old self, now a nominee to the Supreme Court, would today possibly vote to prevent his 15-year-old victim from getting an abortion.

Is this the country that American women must live in? Have we learned nothing? Have our leaders learned nothing?

This man must not be allowed to rule on the bodies of women.

Victoria Hochberg
Hollywood

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Nothing has changed

Time

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

$6 billion tunnel to get the $100 billion train to the $2 billion bus terminal

From the SF Examiner last week:

After more than a decade of planning — with some studies and approvals dating back to 2004 — San Francisco officials have finally settled on a route for a Caltrain extension that could also eventually bring high-speed rail into downtown San Francisco.

The first major step toward actually running trains to the Salesforce Transit Center from the current Caltrain station at 4th and King streets was taken Tuesday, when a city transportation board granted a key first approval for a plan to dig a subway tunnel connecting them.

Once constructed, the tunnel, known as the downtown extension, will connect the $77 billion high speed rail system and newly electrified Caltrain cars to the gleaming new transit center, which so far only serves city and regional bus lines.

With the future in mind, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority voted unanimously to adopt the downtown extension along Pennsylvania Avenue as its preferred tunneling route...

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who chairs the transportation authority board, said The City moved cautiously and “deliberately” in approving the downtown extension, as Phase 1 of the project — the transit center itself — was rife with “massive cost overruns and delays. We are aware if we don’t succeed,” he said, “we will have built the most expensive public works project since the Egyptian pyramids — a bus terminal.”

The route the transportation authority approved Tuesday will run the $6.1 billion construction project along Pennsylvania Avenue. That alignment was the second most expensive of the available options but also the one with the least construction impact on the street level in the growing Mission Bay area.

All three of the rail alignments the Planning Department considered would have terminated with a tunnel at the Salesforce Transit Center, traveled underground between Mission and Howard streets, veered southeast down Second Street, and turned south at Townsend Street...

The Pennsylvania Avenue alignment has an expected completion date of 2027. This option will impact 12 city blocks with surface construction, versus 53 blocks which would have been impacted by the surface alignment...

The vote by the transportation authority board, whose members also make up the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, is not the only approval needed for the project to move forward (emphasis added). [Planning Director]John Rahaim told the San Francisco Examiner that multiple regional, state and city partners will need to give their stamp of approval.

But, he noted, Tuesday’s vote is “the important first step in the process.”

Rob's comment:
Add up the tunnels required to get high-speed rail to San Francisco's Transbay Terminal: The tunnel described above, plus a 13.5 mile tunnel under Pacheco Pass, and a 1.5 mile tunnel from Chowchilla to Gilroy.

To get the train to Los Angeles, 45-50 miles of tunnels under the San Gabriel and Tehachapi Mountains! 

Where will the money come from? No one has any idea. We can only hope Governor Newsom quickly puts an end to this foolishness.

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Matt Davies Comic Strip for September 18, 2018
Matt Davies

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"What the fuck is that thing?"


I was surprised to see an article on UFOs in the London Review of Books, since the academic/intellectual community have usually either scoffed at or ignored the subject. 

The writer refers to the video above from the To The Stars Academy site, though it's not clear enough to be convincing to my skeptical and untrained eyes. The reaction of the pilots, based on both what they're seeing and their instruments, however, is more impressive.

Nick Richardson in the August 2 edition of the LRB:

In December, footage of UFOs taken from US military planes, officially declassified and approved for release by the US government, was published online by an organisation called To The Stars Academy. The first video of two---a third was released in March---was captured by a US Navy Super Hornet fighter plane using an infrared camera. It’s only about thirty seconds long, and the date of the footage and the plane’s location have been withheld. 

As soon as it starts one of the pilots can be heard saying, ‘It’s a fucking drone, bro,’ as the camera locks onto a small white blob (the camera is in ‘white-hot’ mode, so hot things show up as white), longer than it is wide, flying over the clouds at a steady distance from the Super Hornet. The other pilot replies: ‘There’s a whole fleet of them.’ ‘My gosh,’ the first pilot says; the other points out that the ‘drones’ are flying against the wind and that the windspeed is 120 knots. In the last few seconds of the video the object rotates 90º about one of its axes and the first pilot splutters, ‘Look at that thing!’, to which the other replies: ‘It’s rotating!'...


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Scooter danger: Here we go again

City Lab

Front page story in this morning's SF Chronicle: Injuries are the untold part of the scooter trend, doctors and victims say:

Injuries are the part of the electric scooter story that hasn’t yet been fully told. No one has an official count, but doctors in many cities are sharing anecdotes about people being sideswiped, brakes failing and riders colliding with cars or hitting pedestrians when they illegally scoot on sidewalks...

The accident trend emerged almost as soon as the motorized scooters dropped onto city streets this spring, said Christopher Colwell, chief of emergency medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. Riders have come in with wounds ranging from broken wrists to potentially fatal cranial bleeding after smashups with cars, he said. Working the night shift on a recent Friday, Colwell saw three injured e-scooter riders. Two had concussions. None had worn a helmet...

Here we go again! I've done hundreds of posts on cycling and safety. The first was way back in 2005, even before the city's foiled attempt to sneak the Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review. It was clear even then that the city and the Bicycle Coalition were both overselling bikes and downplaying the dangers involved.

Are we now going to go through the same process with the scooter fad? Will a San Francisco Scooter Coalition form to represent this new special interest group, or will the Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF embrace them in a new organization, The San Francisco Anti-Car Coalition?

Streetsblog is already doing its part in downplaying the issue of scooter injuries: Media magnifies e-scooter hysteria (SF Chronicle).

The doctors at UCSF are now doing a study on scooter injuries in the city. Are we going to go through the same local media policy on scooters that ignored the UC study on the city's failure to count cycling accidents? 

Will the city pretend with scooters, like with cycling accidents, that "improvements" to city streets ("infrastructure") and Vision Zero rhetoric will be an adequate response? 

One important part of an adequate response would be creating a Collision Investigation Squad like New York City has to do an in-depth analysis of every injury accident that happens on city streets to determine why it happened and if the city can do something to reduce the chances of it happening again.

The city surely has enough manpower to do that, since the SFMTA has 6,387 employees Public Health has 8,340 employees, and the Police Department has 3,190 employees.

Wearing a helmet has always been controversial among cyclists in San Francisco: see The bicycle helmet debate.

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The tide is going out

Warren Buffett

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

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Thanks to Vice.

Monday, September 10, 2018



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Thanks to Giffords.

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Like bicycles, scooters are unsafe

Wall Street Journal

Scooter use is rising and so are trips to the emergency room.
By Peter Holley
September 6
Washington Post

They have been pouring into emergency rooms around the nation all summer, their bodies bearing a blend of injuries that doctors normally associate with victims of car wrecks — broken noses, wrists and shoulders, facial lacerations and fractures, as well as the kind of blunt head trauma that can leave brains permanently damaged.

When doctors began asking patients to explain their injuries, many were surprised to learn that the surge of broken body parts stemmed from the latest urban transportation trend: shared electric scooters.

In Santa Monica, Calif. — where one of the biggest electric-scooter companies is based — the city’s fire department has responded to 34 serious accidents involving the devices this summer. The director of an emergency department there said his team treated 18 patients who were seriously injured in electric-scooter accidents during the final two weeks of July. 

And in San Francisco, the doctor who runs the emergency room at a major hospital said he is seeing as many as 10 severe injuries a week.

“Injuries are coming in fast and furious,” said Michael Sise, chief of medical staff at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, noting that his team saw four severe scooter injuries last week. “It’s just a matter of time before someone is killed. I’m absolutely certain of it.”

The Washington Post interviewed emergency-room physicians in seven cities, including Austin, Atlanta and Nashville, with doctors in each place reporting a spike in severe accidents after the devices launched on their streets. No national data on scooter injuries exist yet.

As the injuries pile up in cities across the country, the three largest scooter companies — operating under the names Bird, Lime and Skip — have seen their values soar as they attempt to transform urban transit, following the successes of ride-hailing and bike-sharing companies. 

The scooter start-ups have attracted massive investments from Uber, the prominent technology venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, with some analysts estimating that some of the privately held companies might be worth more than $1 billion.

But a growing number of critics — including doctors, former riders, scooter mechanics and personal injury lawyers — say the devices may look like toys but inflict the same degree of harm as any other motorized vehicle on the road, only without having to comply with safety regulations. These critics add that some ­electric-scooter fleets are poorly maintained by a loose-knit flock of amateur mechanics, making them prone to dangerous mechanical failures...

One of those who may join the wave of lawsuits against the scooter companies is John Montgomery. The 47-year-old says he had been riding his Bird for only a few blocks in July when the accelerator became stuck in place as he approached a Los Angeles intersection, causing the scooter to “buck forward” and launch his body past the handle bars.

Montgomery awoke to the sight of a stranger standing over him and calling an ambulance. He had landed on his face, he said, breaking his jaw in two places and causing blood to pour from his ears.

“They took me to the emergency room crying and screaming,” he said. “I had never been in so much pain in my life.”

Montgomery, who plans to sue Bird, spent nearly a week in the hospital. He remains on painkillers and continues to consume meals through a straw. He has had to miss work and feels nervous each time he has to cross a street.

“These companies are just getting these scooters out there as fast as they can, but they’re not servicing them and checking them for safety,” he said. “I honestly don’t think they give a damn if I lived or died.”

He hasn’t heard from Bird but recently noticed that the company charged him for the period of time he lay on the street, bloodied and unconscious.


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Sunday, September 09, 2018

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Saturday, September 08, 2018

Mike Luckovich Comic Strip for September 07, 2018
Mike Luckovich

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Bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge?

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Seamus O'Ramas

Dick Spotswood in the Sept. 4 Marin Independent Journal:

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is proceeding to install a bi-directional bikeway on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge’s upper westbound deck. Millions of dollars have already been spent accommodating bicycles on the bridge’s approaches pursuant to MTC’s Utopian scheme to foster bike commuting across the 5.5-mile San Pablo Bay span.

Now work is underway paving over the bridge’s expansion joints to give cyclists a smooth ride, raising the upper deck’s north barrier to protect errant bikes from falling over the side and assembling the movable barrier separating bikes from cars and trucks...

Even if a 24-7 bikeway is up and running, there is no reason it should take four years to evaluate its usefulness.

Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia represents the district anchoring the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge’s eastern side. As a commissioner on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Gioia signed off on the plan that restored the bridge’s lower deck eastbound third lane to auto traffic combined with a four-year pilot project to build and evaluate a bikeway on the bridge‘s upper deck.

Geographically, the Contra Costa supervisor is in a pivotal spot. He’s heard from both bikeway proponents and auto commuters. Auto commuters from Contra Costa and Alameda counties plying the morning westbound commute are the most affected by the decision to aid bikes and snub motorists.

Now that MTC and Caltrans will, despite broad opposition, install the multi-million-dollar upper deck bikeway, Gioia has a practical suggestion.

While still supporting the pilot project to learn if the bikeway has any practical utility, Gioia suggests four years is too long. He suspects MTC can gather the desired information “within a year or so.” The pilot program should be shortened. It’s the best available option given MTC’s determination to finish the bikeway before East Bay commuters understand what’s happening to them.

Independent Journal readers should know that if MTC refuses to take regular counts of cyclists crossing the windy span during peak periods, once the bikeway opens this column will sponsor its own independent count. We’ll see if claims of a repressed demand by commuting cyclists is true or merely aspirational. (emphasis added)

Rob's comment:
Online comments to the story.

Of course four years is a ridiculously long "pilot project." 

The anti-car bike lobby and its enablers in government operate under the if-we-build-it-they-will-come assumption, which has been shown to be embarrassingly false about the new bike lanes on Masonic Avenue. Few cyclists are using them, an outcome I've been warning City Hall about for years.

Some kind of pilot project on Masonic Avenue could have saved $26 million and a lot of embarrassment for pushing this stupid project for more than ten years. It was poorly conceived and oversold by the Bicycle Coalition and its enablers in City Hall with bogus claims about safety.

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Friday, September 07, 2018

City Hall and Masonic Avenue: A photo analysis

Masonic Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project rendering
Full size version

The picture above on the Public Works site---the visual equivalent of happy-talk---is the kind of thing that makes liberals/progressives so easy to mock, and I say that as a liberal. 

There are nine women pictured, maybe ten if the figure on the left in the pink shirt isn't a guy and/or the distant figure on the right pushing the stroller is male, but both are unclear. (The gender of the toddlers is also unclear.) The two figures on the bench seen from behind are presumably guys. Otherwise, the only upright male figure in the picture is the black man with the black woman.

The gay community can be referenced by the two guys on the bench or the three women. No white men are clearly represented. Sorry, guys! But you're still presumably allowed to use Masonic Avenue---for now.

The woman on the bike isn't wearing a helmet because the new, "improved" Masonic Avenue is so safe she doesn't need one. 

It would have been amusing to hear the discussion before the creation of this carefully crafted composition by the overpaid bobbleheads in the SFMTA and Public Works.


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Kavanaugh will be confirmed


Democrats are doing a pretty good job of going after him and leaving an impressive amount of chaos in their wake, and Kavanaugh is mostly responding like a deer in headlights. This is pretty interesting, but it also doesn’t matter. 

Unless Kavanaugh turns out to be the Zodiac Killer, Republicans are going to confirm him and that’s that—even if they have to keep half his career hidden from view in order to pull it off. Democrats can squawk and complain all they want, but in the end Kavanaugh will be a conservative Supreme Court justice who will probably serve for 30 or 40 years. Nothing else matters.

Rob's comment:
Agreed. After Kavanaugh is confirmed, the court will be dominated by the right with potentially dire political consequences after, as is now likely, the Democrats regain control of the government beginning in November and in 2020. This could eventually lead to a political standoff like the one that culminated in FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court in 1937.

See also Paul Krugman: Kavanaugh Will Kill the Constitution.

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"This is not normal"



"Diatribe" is not the right word for a good speech. The full speech below:



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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Pic of the Moment
democraticunderground.com

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Monday, September 03, 2018

Another anti-car cyclist appointed to MTA board

Amanda Eakin

From the SF Examiner:

Transportation environmentalist Amanda Eaken is Mayor London Breed’s pick to join the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Office announced today.

The seven-member board has had a vacancy since director Joel Ramos stepped down to join SFMTA as a public outreach staffer in June. Eaken’s appointment will make the board whole and add statewide and national expertise.

Eaken, who resides near the Panhandle, is director of transportation and climate for the Natural Resources and Defense Council and director of transportation for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, which aims to provide $70 million across 20 U.S. cities to meet climate goals.

“As a regular Muni rider and bicyclist in the city, I am excited for the opportunity to improve the reliability of our transportation network and help San Francisco implement our transit first goals,” she said in a statement (emphasis added).

Eaken’s appointment also comes at a tumultuous time at SFMTA, as Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin has taken heat from Breed and the public over the recent Muni citywide slowdown, controversial revelations around contractor Shimmick Construction’s history of safety violations, and what Breed called an “opaque” scooter permitting process.

A letter sent by Breed on Aug. 20 lambasting Reiskin was widely seen as an attempt to oust him, but only the MTA Board of Directors has to power to fire him. A board majority signaled they have confidence in Reiskin at a meeting this week, but this appointment by Breed could potentially give her another vote.

In a statement, Breed praised Eaken’s “extensive track record” in promoting public transportation policies.

“Her expertise on issues regarding transportation, land use, and the connection to sustainable communities will bring a valuable perspective to the SFMTA Board of Directors,” Breed said.

Rob's comment:
Anti-car Joel Ramos gets aboard the MTA's gravy train and is replaced by anti-car cyclist Amanda Eakin. (Recall that Ramos supported Sunday parking meters and putting parking meters in the Dogpatch/Portrero Hill neighborhoods.)

Eakin's appointment will please the SFCTA's Tilly Chang, since Eakin also supports Congestion Pricing

Seems unlikely that Eakin and the SFMTA board will fire Reiskin, since that would mean repudiating City Hall's anti-car policies that Reiskin has been implementing aggressively since he was hired in 2011.

In San Francisco the definition of "Transit First" includes bicycles: "Bicycling shall be promoted by encouraging safe streets for riding, convenient access to transit, bicycle lanes, and secure bicycle parking."

You probably thought "transit" referred to buses and trains. Not here in Progressive Land, where parking is denigrated as "car storage," motor vehicles are "death monsters," and busy streets are called "traffic sewers."

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Religious fanatics rule Mayaysia


From Slate:

Two gay women in Malaysia were convicted by a court of “sexual relations between women,” an illegal act in the country, and caned six times each Monday in the Shariah High Court in the Malaysian state of Terengganu. The punishment meted out by the court in the Muslim-majority country was carried out in front of more than 100 people, according to local reports. The two women, aged 22 and 32, were arrested by Islamic enforcement in April while attempting to have sex in a parked car.

The conviction for same-sex relations was the first in the state and the first public caning, an official told the BBC. Human rights groups decried the punishment as torture, raising concerns about the treatment of the gay community in the Southeast Asian nation. Both women pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay an $800 fine along with the corporal punishment. The women “were led to a stool where two female officers from the Kajang Women’s prison carried out the sentence in turns,” the Daily Star reports...

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Kevin Drum

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Sunday, September 02, 2018

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San Francisco needs a Collision Investigation Squad

Jonah Markowitz: The NY Times

I read the NY Times, but I had never heard of New York City's Collision Investigation Squad that's featured in a story in today's edition (The Silence That Falls After a Hit-and-Run).

Here in San Francisco, Mayor Bloomberg's Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, was praised extravagantly by "star-struck" Ed Reiskin and Leah Shahum after Sadik-Khan spoke five years ago at a Bicycle Coalition function in the city. 

Sadik-Khan was lauded for expanding a system of bike lanes in New York City, but oddly neither Reiskin nor Shahum has ever mentioned the idea of a Collision Investigation Squad for San Francisco (like you never hear any city official talking about that 2012 UC study on cycling accidents in the city. Makes you wonder how serious the city is about safety on city streets.)

That special investigation squad puts a name on what I've been advocating for years for San Francisco: the city should do an in-depth investigation of every injury accident that happens on city streets.

Which is what New York's Collision Investigation Squad was designed to do:

Crash investigations provide invaluable information for the city Department of Transportation, helping identify roadways in need of redesign or other safety measures, officials said. The Collision Investigation Squad’s forensic work provides evidence for prosecuting drivers; when the squad does not investigate, local district attorneys rarely bring a case. And the Police Department uses the findings to identify locations that merit increased traffic enforcement. “It’s crucial information about what happens at particular crashes,” said Polly Trottenberg, the city’s transportation commissioner. “Were there roadway engineering elements? Were there driver behavior elements? Are we seeing patterns?”

Exactly! The city does some of this in its annual Collisions Report (pages 15-24) when it examines problem intersections. 

But why not do that for every injury accident with a team specially trained for the job?

One major obstacle is the advantage that not doing that gives the SFMTA and Public Works. Without doing that analysis, they can now simply lump all accidents under the "collisions" term required by the Vision Zero campaign.

They can then pretend that every injury accident and traffic fatality on city streets requires another job-creating "improvement" project of questionable safety value. Then they brag about all the safety "improvements" they're making by listing those projects.

It also allows city officials to demagogue shamelessly about tragic accidents that have nothing to do with street design: see Masonic Avenue and the Nils Linke lie.

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Obama's mistake

I cringed when I saw a TV news clip showing Obama saying this:

“After all,” Mr. Obama said, “what better way to get a last laugh than to make George and I [sic] say nice things about him to a national audience?”

It was correctly reported in today's NY Times. Of course it should have been "make George and me."

I was a little surprised that it's also in the written text of Obama's speech. Maybe this is what happens when you no longer have speech writers and editors and are on your own when you write something. 

It also happens when you're an ex-president. You can't get away with anything!

The folks at English Language & Usage analyzed the common mistake made by this uncommon man.

The speech is also the most favorable account of John McCain I've ever read, even allowing for the fact that it's a eulogy. It's hard for many of us to believe that anyone can be honorable and still a member of the Republican Party.

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Saturday, September 01, 2018

Kaepernick isn't going away

Marcio Jose Sanchez/A.P.

In today's NY Times:

...A case that was originally about Kaepernick’s skills has turned into something much larger: a referendum on his politics, free speech and even his legacy. N.F.L. teams have signed players who have beaten their spouses and run operations that killed dogs for sport, but protesting during the national anthem may prove to be the unforgivable sin, it seems (emphasis added).

On Thursday, the arbitrator hearing Kaepernick’s grievance dismissed the N.F.L.’s bid to throw out the case. He determined that Kaepernick’s lawyers had unearthed enough credible evidence during the first stages of discovery to allow the case to go forward.

This sets the stage for owners and league executives to be questioned in a trial-like setting. Kaepernick faces an uphill legal battle, but even proceeding to a full hearing amounts to a victory because it allows his lawyers to continue to search for evidence of collusion, while keeping Kaepernick’s name in the news during the N.F.L. season, when attention on football is at its peak...(Colin Kaepernick Is Not Going Away)

Rob's comment:
While football has our attention, let's revisit the concussion issue:



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The John McCain myth

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Friday, August 31, 2018

SF Weekly, Vision Zero, and reality

Image4
Photo: Carrie Sisto, Hoodline

Fresh off her recent story on Masonic Avenue, the SF Weekly's Nuala Sawyer is back on the traffic safety beat this week:

In the afternoon of Aug. 14, Gregory Blackman, 65, hopped on his bicycle and made his way up Taylor Street in the Tenderloin. As he biked north across Turk Street, a man driving a gold BMW hit him, hard. The car was traveling fast, and according to witnesses, Blackman flew through the air before landing on the asphalt near Aunt Charlie’s Lounge. He was taken to the hospital, but died from his injuries. The alleged driver, 41-year-old Michael Smith, was arrested and charged with the crime.

Sawyer cites Blackman's death in a story about traffic safety in the Tenderloin and the city's Vision Zero slogan that's disguised as a safety policy.

But what Sawyer left out of the story shows how flawed the Vision Zero rhetoric is. Turns out that Blackman was hit and killed by a drunk driver, and he, Blackman, was also running a red light. A speeding drunk driver and a cyclist running a red light, a deadly combination. 

There's nothing the city and Vision Zero can do to prevent people from behaving this recklessly on city streets (Driver Charged With Murder For Tuesday Collision That Killed Bicyclist).

Education? Smith of course knew driving while drunk is dumb and against the law, and Blackman of course knew that running red lights on his bike is illegal and unwise.

That pesky thing called human nature will always foil the best of safety intentions, which is why the Vision Zero goal of eliminating fatal and serious injury accidents on city streets by 2024 is silly and impossible---and everyone knows it. 2024 will come and go, and this sort of accident will continue to happen on city streets.

Sawyer also cites the city's Vision Zero map: 

The[Tenderloin] neighborhood has been on the high-injury network since 2014, when the city first adopted the Vision Zero plan to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities by 2024...Every single street in the Tenderloin is considered a high-injury corridor, part of the 13 percent of San Francisco streets where 70 percent of all serious and fatal traffic collisions occur.

Since every busy street in the city is on the map, it's not surprising that most serious accidents happen on those streets.

That's not to say that the changes the city has made to streets in the Tenderloin aren't helping to make them safer. Sawyer discusses those changes with a SFMTA employee, who of course claims that the city has in fact made the neighborhood safer:

In 2015, the agency striped red curbs at more than 80 intersections, effectively eliminating 170 parking spaces. Called “daylighting,” this elimination of obstacles near crosswalks aids both pedestrians and drivers’ visibility, whether they’re driving toward an intersection or peering past a parked car to see if it’s safe to cross the street. According to the SFMTA, preliminary analysis shows that these daylighted Tenderloin corners have a 14-percent reduction in collisions.

Like she did on the city's numbers in her Masonic Avenue story, Sawyer simply repeats the "14-percent" claim. Maybe it's true, but it's not enough to simply repeat the official City Hall line and its numbers, since we can't count on City Hall, regardless of good intentions, to get the accident numbers right.

What we really need is for the city to do an in-depth study of every serious traffic accident that happens on city streets to determine why it happened and what the city can do, if anything, to prevent it from happening again.

Since the SFMTA has 6,387 employees and Public Health has 8,340 employees, surely the city has the manpower to do that.

Doing that would do a lot to restore the city's credibility with the public after years of fatuous Vision Zero rhetoric and semantic games about "collisions" as opposed to "accidents."

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Sick of that asshole

Pic of the Moment
democraticunderground.com

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Tick Tock #3

Mother Jones


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Reality-check on the bike revolution

Image result for How People Travel to Work: 2013
Who Drives to Work?

Only 0.6% in the US get to work on a bicycle. San Francisco does better than that, with 4% of commuters getting to work on a bike as of 2014 (2015 SFMTA Factsheet, page 3). 

But it took 14 years to get to 4% from 2% in 2000, in spite of continuous anti-car, pro-bike propaganda from City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition.

The annual Bicycle Count Report has morphed into a data dump instead of a succinct manual count of cyclists by actual people posted at strategic locations.

Note this too in the latest City Beat public opinion poll:

Removing traffic lanes in various locations around the city to install bike only lanes: 47% support, 46% oppose.

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