Friday, November 10, 2006

The Bicycle Plan debate: "You scum bag..."

Anonymous wrote:
Man,You got lucky. You got a judge who doesn't give a...about his or his kids' futures. Just keep sucking up your own car exhaust you scum bag. An environmental impact report on a non-polluting form of transportation, my ass. You cry and moan about the process being subverted, yet you have the gaul[sic] to call yourselve "99 percent," a grossly inflated anonymous. Thanks for making what's become a tolerable form of transportation because of bike lanes to a second class citizen level; dangerous. I hope you live near the water, because when global warming raises the sea level, you'll be under water.

Rob Anderson wrote:
Dude, get a grip. You can still ride your bike here in Progressive Land. But the city and the SFBC won't be able to completely redesign city streets for 1-2% of the city's population without doing the proper studies. Eventually, most of the bike network proposed in the Plan will probably be implemented. Note too that, as the judge points out, this litigation was not about the merits of the Plan itself but rather about the city not following the law. Those are two separate issues. This is not about the future of the planet. I of course have serious doubts about the contents of the Plan, but at least now the city's neighborhoods will have a chance to understand what the city and the SFBC want to do to their streets and provide some input before it's done.

Indignant wrote:
Unbelievable. How selfish can you truly be? This city is for the people who live here, not for your stupid car. The neighborhoods are made safer and more pleasant and all you think about is the 3 minutes that have been added to your commute??? What a lame brain power trip to cost the city so much money for your stupid selfish ignorant folly. Did you bother to know that the residents along San Jose Blvd. WANT the bike lanes???? Imagine that! You are a magnificent jerk.

Rob Anderson wrote:
In fact I don't own a car. I walk or ride Muni. Instead of calling me names, you need to pay attention to what the real issues are here, Indig. One of the reasons the city has to go through the legal CEQA process is that it will give people in the neighborhoods a chance to learn what the city and the SFBC plan to do to their streets. Let them decide if they want the city to take away street parking and traffic lanes to make bicycle lanes in their neighborhoods. How do you really know what the people on San Jose want? As Judge Busch pointed out in his decision, until now the city has been doing a sneaky---and illegal---backdoor trip in implementing the Bicycle Plan. What are the city and you bike people really afraid of? I suspect that you know that, once the Plan is laid out on the table, people in the neighborhoods won't be too enthusiastic. And consider this information, Indiggie: According to the DMV, there are 452,813 motor vehicles registered in San Francisco to, presumably, "people who live here." On the other hand, the SFCTA estimates that only 1% of the city's population commutes by bicycle.

john hartsfield wrote:
The SFCTA estimate is obviously way off base, as anyone who would stand at the corner of van ness and markeet any given morning can see. there are tons of bikes on the streets and those bikes need safe places to ride, like in bike lanes. if the thought is that you will lose parking and driving lanes for cars and that this will cause problems then maybe the problem is the cars. as you have stated that you dont own a car and you walk or take muni everywhere, why do you care about these poeople in their cars? and why would you take out your issue on the people who are trying to make a positive change by not consuming more oil and putting pollutants into the environment. i agree with a previous post, this is very selfish, even though you are disguising this as being 'for the people of the neighborhoods to know what the city and SFBC are doing to their neighborhoods. if people want to know, they can contact the SFBC or the city and look the plan over. it's not your job to make their decisions for them at the cost of people making a true difference.

Rob Anderson wrote:
Maybe the problem is that you and other bike zealots are, well, zealots who adhere irrationally to an anti-car ideology that's not reality-based. Let's take still another look at an important, verifiable number: The DMV says that there are 452,813 motor vehicles registered to San Franciscans. Your "tons of bikes" at one intersection in the city is not particularly impressive evidence. The SFCTA, which funds transportation projects in the city, doesn't know what it's talking about?

Why do I care? Because if you take away traffic lanes and street parking without proper thought or study, you are going to screw up traffic for everyone else, including Muni riders and, yes, even cyclists. The bike people use the fact that they don't burn fossil fuel as a big selling point for biking. But the Bicycle Plan---that's what we're discussing, right?---includes elminating the Level of Service (LOS) standard, which measures the time traffic is stalled at intersections to judge a project's impact on the city's environment, otherwise known as traffic jams. If the city no longer has to use LOS that demonstrates how eliminating traffic lanes to make bike lanes will cause traffic jams, it will give the SFBC and the city license to screw up traffic all over the city on behalf of this small minority. And, as you may know, traffic jams involve idling vehicles and air pollution.

You seem to think the good environmental intentions of cyclists should trump everyone else's interests in and on the streets of the city. I note that you don't even mention the law, namely the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which both governments and private developers are obligated to follow. Cyclists don't have to follow the law because they don't burn fossil fuels? Bullshit. It's a good law that requires proper study and community input before major projects are implemented. Two Superior Court judges have ruled in our favor now. Why would they do that if we didn't have the facts and the law on our side?

Michael Self wrote:
Rob, you're correct. However, you are dealing with a group that feels it is so noble that they are above the law. I commend your efforts. You know that you can not use reason in your arguments because this has become a religion for them. They are zealots proclaiming peace on earth as they demand your head on a platter. Keep up the good work, our city is being attacked by the same virus.

Suisun Salman wrote:
You're a piece of trash. Expect a counter lawsuit to force you to pay for the taxpayers' expenses on this one. Then we'll chain you up and give you a bucket of paint and force you to go out and paint bike lanes all over the city. Paint monkey boy, paint!!!

Rob Anderson wrote:
Is this what passes for wit in bike nut circles? Check it out, Suzie: You're only liable for your opponent's expenses when you lose a case, not when you win.

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At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe you should do some research before you ask how the Bike Coalition can possibly know that people want bike lanes on San Jose. They know that people want it because they go into each neighborhood multiple times and conduct both bicycle and pedestrian/car/public-transit meetings for people to give their opinions and vote on multiple different versions of street designs for their neighborhood before the plans are submitted to be voted on by the city. It takes months to implement even small aspects of the bike plan.

If the true problem is that residents deserve to know what is happening to their streets, a thousand-page environmental impact report filed with the city is not going to fill that void.

By bringing this lawsuit on, not only have you cost the city money on the case, but the city and the SFBC will now have to divert time and money to producing something that does not alleviate the so-called main problem with the bike plan.

To decide on one exact street design in order to comply with the review takes away the opportunity to be flexible during the planning and implementation process. The bike plan needs to be flexible in order to accomodate individual neighborhoods and situations, and you have taken that away.

You have essentially shot yourself in the foot. Congratulations.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I believe you should also do some research before you post comments to this blog--- on the law and CEQA, for example, which you don't even mention. The CEQA process provides more than doorstop-like documents; it also provides the public with a chance to provide the city with input on the Bicycle Plan project, which didn't happen in this instance. Besides, allowing the SF Bicycle Coalition to perform the public outreach function is highly improper, since they are an advocacy group that has a stake in the outcome.

"The bike plan needs to be flexible in order to accomodate individual neighborhoods and situations, and you have taken that away." This statement nicely epitomizes how the city and the SFBC have been proceeding thus far: They are deciding what happens to the streets in city neighborhoods without a proper legal process. And there's this: under the law, you either have a specific project that people can respond to or you don't. The approach you outline gives the city and SFBC too much authority to do what they will to city streets. Given the anti-car policies already in effect in the city, I don't trust either of those entities to do the right thing, and I suspect that a lot of people agree with me.

In short, CEQA already contains a system of steps and procedures that govern the review of projects like the Bicycle Plan. Two Superior Court judges agree that the city has not complied with that law. The implication of your comment, too, is that the city and the SFBC are somehow not obligated to comply with the law, which is the kind of arrogance that got SF into this fix in the first place. San Francisco would have saved a lot of everybody's time and money if they had just done the right and legal thing in the first place---do an environmental review of the whole Bicycle Plan before they began implementing it.

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob - you really are a very very small person. Poor little fellah. I say we circle your block in Bike Lanes about 8 times and install a permanent critcal mass there... how bout that?

Funny thing is I only bike a couple days a month! But at least I believe in reality!

Pathetic, small, lesser: Rob Anderson

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You've witlessly expressed your anger and contempt twice now, but you haven't discussed the issues, like the Bicycle Plan or the litigation that forced Judge Busch to order the city to comply with state law. Why am I "pathetic and small"? What do you mean by "reality"? Here's the reality I believe in: There are 452,813 motor vehicles registered in SF, along with 1000 Muni vehicles, and 25,000 motorists commuting into the city every weekday. On the other hand, only 1-2% of the city's population commutes by bicycle, which tells me that redesigning city streets on behalf of cyclists without the proper study is, well, a little crazy. You bike fanatics seem to think you are great visionaries, but you're really in the grip of an ideology, which, like all ideologies, is not reality-based.

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i ride my bike to work everyday. i race bikes, i build bikes, i participate in local bike advocacy efforts, i donate time and money to the sfbc and other organizations with similar missions. basically i love bikes and biking. but for the most part, i disagree with what other bicycling supporters have posted in his debate.

what concerns me about the comments from other supposed "pro-bike" folks in this debate is their utter lack of a clear vision and lack of articulation of the issues. mr. anderson has clearly done his research and has numbers to back up his points and now also has the law on his side. it saddens me that all the opposing viewpoints on this site are comprised of childish name-calling and threats. i fear for the future of bicycling in san francisco not because of this lawsuit, but because of the attitude and character of those who often appear as the "voice" of cyclists. more and more i see cyclists furthering their own demise on san francisco streets by behaving with complete contempt toward other road users - motorists, pedestrians, transit users, and other cyclists. if we are to ever become a truly "accepted" form of urban transportation, we must learn to abide by some simple rules of engagement with our fellow citizens - whether thos citizens choose to cycle or not.

i don't know mr. anderson, but based on his knowledge of CEQA exhibited in this blog, it doesn't seem to me that his purpose in brining this suit against the city is "anti-bike." clearly he knows that this lawsuit will force the city into conducting a thorough environmental review of its bicycle plan, which will take some time, but will ultimately provide the city with a "bulletproof" plan for bicycle lanes and other improvements citywide that can be implemented on a much accelerated timeline because individual projects will not have to go through time-consuming environmental review one-by-one, but will instead all be cleared and ready for implementation by one massive environmental review document. in the end, this lawsuit will make the bicycle plan much stronger than it ever was in the past, and will make it much easier to implement!


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