Monday, July 03, 2006

A bike nut supports Mr. Mean

Bike nut Greg Hayes sent this letter to the SF Weekly in response to Matt Smith's hysterical article in the current issue on the recent court injunction stopping implementation of the Bicycle Plan until a hearing in September.


Mr. Anderson is a friend of myself, my family and our Community in the Western Addition. While his general views on bicycle transportation are basically insane, his claim that the DPT and SFBC abused public process in regard to the recent Bike Plan is unfortunately true.

The SFBC basically privatized the bike plan and excluded valid public input, even the input of other bicycle advocates. I was on the Bicycle Advisory Committee at the time the plan's work plan was being "approved." The Committee made direct requests that the issues Mr. Anderson's suit is based upon be addressed in the bike plan. The SFBC and DPT ignored these requests and instead tried to skirt state-mandated CEQA review and now they are paying for it in court.

Denying speech and freedom is wrong whether it is done by traffic engineers, or in this case, traffic engineers under the influence of non-profit corporations. If ped/bike advocates really want the streets to be safe they should be working to have an open, public planning process that follows state law and considers all viewpoints. Public speech is the only real way to heal the public streets.

Greg Hayes
Western Addition, SF

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At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're position is that "biking in the city is inherently dangerous" then why on earth are you trying to stop projects which would make bicycling safer?

Maybe because you are a tool.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to hear more the the behind the scenes story, sfbc put my name on the "tube times" list of subscribers in order to needle me for disagreeing with their take of bumper sfbc decals. I assume the idea was to expand the subscriber list and appear to have more communtiy suppport, guess their general behavior on all issues follows the same thread. Do whatever it takes to get over on public issues, sounds just like the taxi commission.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The word "inherently" means the "essential character" of something. No matter how many bicycle lanes the city paints on our streets, riding a bike will always be a more or less dangerous activity. Even so, I'm not against reasonable measures to make it safer, including even bicycle lanes where appropriate, educating drivers and cyclists about safety, and the enforcement of traffic laws. It's really all about a sensible balance between different "modes" of travel in the city. The Bicycle Plan is clearly overreach, a crude power grab by the politically aggressive SF Bicycle Coalition and their many enablers in city government. I'm a "tool" for what/who? I'd like to hear more about that notion.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I got this feedback via email:

Just happened to run across your name and checked out your blog site tonight. Saw it in the GUARDIAN (a left-wing rag I usually don't bother to soil my pristine fingers with, but a copy was laying on the table at Starbucks tonight).

Couldn't agree with you more. I am constantly astonished by the rudeness and overall "f--- you!" attitude that is all too often portrayed by the biclying "community." Plus it takes a serious lapse of good common sense to want to ride a bike in San Francisco's congested streets in the first place. I drive around in the relative safety of a car with several hundred pounds of steel protecting me and even that does not prevent the heebie-jeebies every time I venture out on the streets of San Francisco. The bombshell-sized potholes, which I am sure are slowly adding to my car's overall metal fatigue, is another factor which makes bike riding a potential catastrophic undertaking.

Come on folks, get with it. This is the 21st century in a busy metropolitan center. Streets are designed and built for four-wheeled powered vehicles. This is not some charming 19th century farming village in the Bavarian Alps. Bikes can seriously impair just the normal flow of traffic on an average day in the Richmond, for pete's sake! And don't even bring up the safety factor again! One little "fender bender" in a car is hardly even felt. In a bike you are talking about potentially leaving a large portion of your epidermis as a new addition to the asphalt (if you are lucky), not to mention the obvious results of an unyielding metal surface meeting pliable bones, cartilage and vital organs.

But it is the just plain rude attitude of a certain group of youthful bike riders with really takes the cake. I know, I know - I'm being just a crotchety old man shaking my jealous fist at youth passing me by. So be it. We have heard, seen and read about the new me generation. The entitled class which automatically assumes they have everything coming to them without having to offer any explanations or (heaven forbide!) possibly seeing and understanding a different viewpoint. "This is what I want to do so you're wrong to question me and f - - - you if you think I should even listen to you."

And don't even get me started about the three-ring circus downtown - otherwise known as the Board of Supervisors. I've given up a long time ago in depending those clowns actually doing their jobs. They make great laughing material for the rest of the country.

Anyway, good to see mention of your work. I wish you all the luck in your current and future endeavors!!

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fart in your general direction. Then I go for a ride on my bike.

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob - I generally applaud your efforts to keep government clean, but I think you've picked a rather odd subject matter. Why not go after the muni and bart unions who keep our service mediocre?

As for the very small person who wrote in via email - guess what buddy, this is not Los Angeles, bikes are the way to go and they should be encouraged while cars are DIScouraged. If you don't like that, you should move to L.A.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Are the unions trying to redesign city streets on behalf of 1-2% of the city's population? This is not Los Angeles, but it is an American city, which means its streets were designed for motor vehicles, not bicycles. I don't oppose reasonable measures to try to make cycling safer, but I object to taking away traffic lanes and street parking in a city that has 452,813 registered motor vehicles. It's just bad public policy. The litigation is motivated by a desire to see the whole 400-page Bicycle Plan reviewed in an EIR so that the city's neighborhoods know what the city and the SF Bicycle Coalition are trying to do to their streets.


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