Friday, April 14, 2006

When misinformation becomes a lie

An editorial in the current SF Bay Guardian shows again how city progressives live in a hermetically sealed ideological universe that cannot be penetrated by inconvenient facts:

It's crazy that this is still even an issue: The road is already closed on Sundays, and it's packed with people jogging, walking, biking, skating---car-free Sundays in the park are almost certainly one of the city's top recreational attractions. For the past 39 years, the road has been closed once a week with no negative impacts. (SF Bay Guardian, editorial, April 12-18)

As the Guardian knows, in 2000 the city's voters overwhelmingly rejected---it wasn't even close---two ballot measures that would have closed the park to cars on Saturdays. They weren't "crazy" for doing so. They were clearly saying that the Sunday closure is enough.

The Guardian puts the above deception in the context of the "privatization" lie, because that interpretation fits their cartoon leftist ideology:

When the voters agreed to let a private operation, organized by financier Warren Hellman, take control of the entire Golden Gate Park concourse, the privatization advocates insisted the result would be a more pedestrian-friendly, car-free environment. So far that hasn't happened---and if the mayor succumbs to lobbying from the museum crew, it never will...It's a classic special-interest-against-the-public battle, and the mayor should ignore the museum whiners and support it.

What the voters did in 1998 when they passed Proposition J is allow a garage to be built under the concourse using no public money. The garage will be operated by a private entity until the bonds are paid off, which will be done using the parkng fees as it operates. Then the garage will belong to the city, a gift of $55 million. 

The folks who are running the garage do not control the concourse itself, which is still governed by Rec. and Park. Yes, Prop. J mandated that the concourse be made "a pedestrian oasis," which it definitely will be when it's finished---the last time I was there a few weeks ago, and it wasn't open yet---since 200 parking spaces that used to be on the concourse are now gone.

What the current struggle really means: Our elitist "progressive" leadership thinks the voters were wrong to reject the Saturday closing. They of course know better than the rest of us what's good for the city, so they are going to get it done with a vote of the Board of Supervisors. (Text of Prop. J)

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