Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tim Redmond, meet Mark Morford

SF Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond, meet Chronicle columnist and fellow progressive, Mark Morford. Like Morford, Redmond too has recently felt the effects of living in a city that, as a matter of policy, punishes car owners every way it can. Morford was given the brush by the SFPD after his car was totaled by a hit and run driver. Redmond's car was stolen, and he had to pay $154 to get it back from impoundment after it was found with the ignition ripped out:
When we went to get it, we discovered a little-known twist of the last budget deal: The city no longer waives the tow fee for stolen cars. So we had to pay $154 to get the car back. That's right: It now costs $154 to have your car stolen. Just another little tiny drop of blood sucked out of ordinary San Franciscans in a rich city with (at last count) 11 billionaires, endless rich developers and landlords, and highly profitable big businesses. (SF Bay Guardian, Nov. 9, 2005)
But Redmond's knee-jerk playing of the class card here is irrelevant. This policy change is in line with city's punitve approach to car owners whenever possible---raising parking fines, raising meter rates, eliminating traffic lanes to make bike lanes for a tiny minority, and, increasingly, waiving the legal requirement that a parking space be provided for every new housing unit built in the city. The political context for the impoundment fee has been created by the Bicycle Coalition and its "progressive" political allies on the Board of Supervisors.
Redmond should keep this in mind next time the Guardian runs a story or an editorial supporting the growing influence the bike fanatics have over city politics and policy.

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