Saturday, March 17, 2007

Healthy Saturdays already rejected---twice

The thing the supporters of Healthy Saturdays---the proposal to close part of Golden Gate Park to autos on Saturdays just like Sundays---hate to discuss is the fact that city voters already rejected the idea twice in November, 2000. The votes weren't even close on either Proposition F---the "progressive," close-it-sooner proposition---or Proposition G, the let's-wait-until-the-garage-is-built proposition. 

Voters evidently didn't care about such refinements as six-month trials or whether the new garage was open or not: They rejected both propositions decisively. The only reasonable interpretation of the votes: city voters don't want to close Golden Gate Park to motorists on Saturdays.

The numbers for Proposition F: 162,895 voted "no" and 133,808 voted "yes." The numbers for Proposition G: 177,667 voted "no" and 109,486 voted "yes."

Note too the numbers on another election result the Healthy Saturdays folks hate: Proposition J in June, 1998, authorizing the construction of the underground garage in Golden Gate Park. It wasn't close, either: 104,069 voted for the garage, and 74,985 voted against it. 

The thing often overlooked in the usually uninformed discussions of Prop. J is that access to the park for everyone was an important element of that proposition.

The new study that looks at only two weekends last August doesn't help much in deciding the issue, though it does show that parking and traffic impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods---one of Mayor Newsom's concerns in his veto message last year---are apparently minimal. 

But the important access issue remains, regardless of whether the city institutes a shuttle for the handicapped or not. Driving into that part of the park will always be the best way to access the park for the handicapped, the elderly, and people with small children.

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Bike People Insult the Mayor---Again

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007
From: Rob Anderson
Subject: Re: Mayor Lies about Healthy Saturdays

As the only other "Rob" who regularly posts to the PROSF bulletin board, is it too much to ask that the other Rob---Rob Bregoff---include his last name on his submissions? I would hate to have anyone think that they are mine. I can understand why Bregoff might not want to have his full name on his posts---this one insults Mayor Newsom---but someone with such strong opinions should be willing to take full responsibility for them.

Rob Anderson

Rob Bregoff wrote:
I'm always willing to point out politicians who are, basically, wankers, corrupt, or do nothings, like our current mayor. But I can't take credit for calling him a liar--that was a copied editorial from the Bay Guardian. I facetiously called him "green", as he claims to be, but doesn't follow up his claims with actions. Rather, he does the opposite (like a liar or a wanker). Rob, I don't think anyone will get us confused, even without last names. I'm Rob B (as in Bike nut) He's Rob A (as in ...

Rob Anderson wrote:
That's just another cop-out. Of course you are calling the mayor a liar by reproducing someone else's slur. How hard is it to just put your full name on your comments? What are you afraid of?

Rob Bregoff wrote:
Hello! The mayor IS a liar and a phony. Did you not read the article? [below in italics] He said one thing, did another, and lied about it. Even Warren Hellman, who donated big $$ towards building the garage is disgusted by his backpedaling. Meanwhile, Mr. partyboy's antics came back to bite him in the ass, and what came out in public is only half of the story. I would suggest that you go down and volunteer in some supervisor's office a few hours a week if you want to know what goes on in city hall. You can volunteer in the office of any supe you like. And who died and made you the queen of internet protocol? I'll use my last name when I feel like it, and I'll count on you to tell everybody what it is in the meantime.

P.S. I hear you have a very checkered story regarding your previous career as the brother of a certain newspaper publisher in Booneville[sic]. Why not fill us all in on that one? From what I hear, it was quite a scandal!

Rob Anderson wrote:
Yes, I read the Guardian editorial, which was typical Guardian bullshit. The mayor has to consider this: city voters rejected two ballot measures in 2000 that would have closed the park to autos on Saturday, and the votes weren't even close on either measure. The parking and access issues weren't the only matters he was considering about the Healthy Saturdays issue. He hasn't lied about anything. Besides, we were discussing your chickenshit tendency to leave your name off your juvenile communications to PROSF. What exactly does my brother or "Booneville"[sic] have to do with anything? And what exactly is "checkered" about my past? Do you think you actually know anything about that?

Rob Bregoff wrote:
You didn't even live here in 2000, so how would you know? The mayor or the supes are under no legal obligation to follow the so-called "will of the voters." That election was torpedoed by Willie Brown's personal scumbag Michael Yaki anyway, and anyone who followed the process will tell you that the will of the people was sabotaged. Legislatively, this is a new and somewhat different issue. The mayor ordered a study, he didn't like the results (or more likely Dede Wilsey didn't like the results--frankly, I can't believe that this idiot mayor really gives a shit about cars destroying the park, or much else that's happening in the city), so he SAID, that HE HAD NO NEW EVIDENCE, even though his own report noted that the issues that HE SAID he was concerned about, showed no detrimental affects. On the contrary, the report pointed out that some of the issues that HE SAID he was concerned about, like museum attendance, improved when JFK drive was closed to car traffic. So IN SAYING that there was no new evidence, he LIED, because, in fact, there is much new evidence, ergo, THE MAYOR IS A LIAR (and a cheat, in case you don't read the papers). I don't know why you can't figure this out yourself. The Guardian didn't make this up. And regarding the Gooneville scandal, or whatever, I've just heard bits from various people who think you're an...well, let's just let it go. It sounded like a juicy story, so I was hoping to hear it from you, rather than having to dig around for it. So YOU know who I am, and many others on the list know me personally, so, with or without your permission, I'll choose how to sign my communications. After all, I'm not demanding that you sign all your missives "RobAsshole", because I'm not the boss of you, and I don't have to anyway.

Rob Anderson wrote:
I've been back in SF since 1995. Of course the mayor and the BOS are under no legal obligation because of the results of the 2000 election, but there could be political consequences for defying the will of the voters when either a supervisor or the mayor runs for re-election. The election was "torpedoed"? How so? Voters rejected both propositions on closing the park. What could be clearer than that? The results of a four-day test aren't exactly definitive. Anyhow, access is still an issue. Driving into that part of the park is still the best way for people with families, the elderly, and the handicapped. Your contempt for the mayor seems to cloud your judgment on the issue. Not at all clear what you're referring to with the "Gooneville" reference. Seems like you aren't clear what you're talking about, either. So why bring it up? The nastiness of your messages is gratuitous and repellent. You evidently can't disagree without name-calling and questioning the motives of those you disagree with. Of course you can sign your letters anyway you want. It's just lame to not take full responsibility for your opinions.

Earlier nasty attacks on the mayor by the bike people:

SF Bay Guardian Editorial, March 14, 2007

There's really only one way to look at Mayor Gavin Newsom's response to Saturday road closures in Golden Gate Park: the fix has been in from the start. The mayor is willing to discard his own evidence, break his word, ignore the obvious facts, and damage his environmental credentials — but he won't risk offending the rich society swells who run the de Young museum.

It's been 40 years since the city began shutting down a stretch of JFK Drive to cars on Sundays, and by any account it's one of the most popular regular programs in the city. On nice days the park is packed with bikers, joggers, skaters, walkers, families. There are free swing dance lessons. It's one of the few opportunities for young kids to learn to ride bikes in a safe environment.

But the trustees of the museum, such as socialite Dede Wilsey, are adamantly opposed to expanding the road closures to Saturday. Their arguments make little sense: since there's now an underground parking garage, there really isn't any problem finding a place to park or getting access to the museum.

Yet under pressure from the de Young folks, the mayor vetoed legislation last year to expand the road-closure program to Saturdays, saying he didn't have enough information on how the program would impact traffic and parking in surrounding neighborhoods. He asked for a study; the study was done. As Steven T. Jones reported ("Unhealthy Politics," 3/7/07), the evidence clearly shows that road closures have minimal negative impacts on anyone.

Newsom's response: nothing has changed. He's still opposed to Saturday closures.
So either he was lying last year when he said he wanted more data or he's ducking today when he says the study hasn't changed his mind — or he's just afraid that going against the will of the almighty de Young board will tarnish his political star with the movers and shakers in town. In the end, it doesn't matter: the mayor apparently can't be moved on this, and the only way Saturday road closures will happen is if eight supervisors — enough to override a mayoral veto — support Sup. Jake McGoldrick's road-closure bill, which has been reintroduced and will be heard in committee soon.

The measure got seven votes last time, and since it's highly unlikely Sups. Sean Elsbernd, Michela Alioto-Pier, or Ed Jew will defy the mayor, the swing vote is Sup. Bevan Dufty.

Last time around he voted to uphold Newsom's veto, but now he says he's keeping an open mind. Dufty has a strong tendency to support neighborhood programs and services, and it's clear that most of the neighborhood people are behind road closures — and now that the city's own study shows there are no associated parking or traffic problems, this ought to be an obvious one for him. Dufty should announce that he'll support McGoldrick's bill — and end this stalemate for good.

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