Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Reading your shit just kind of makes me sick"

Justin Eichenlaub thinks I don't get it:
rob, you just do not get it. the point of adding bike infrastructure is to get more and more people biking---you add bike lanes, take away traffic lanes where they do not need to be (they are in excess already), and more people can then bike who thought they had to drive everywhere before. reading your shit just kind of makes me sick because you pretend to be even-handed but are incredibly close-minded. you know you are going to fail. the 'vocal minority' has the high ground here, not you. you cannot defend the supposed 'rights' of able-bodied people to drive recklessly on ill-designed streets by playing the 'all-drivers-are-in-theory-disabled-or-otherwise-NEED-to-drive-card.' i don't want you to go away, i just wish your criticism could be a little more intelligent.

Rob responds:
It may make you even sicker, Justin, but you need to read my "shit" more carefully. I understand the half-baked PC theory/fantasy behind the Bicycle Plan---make more bike lanes, and many more people will ride bikes in the city. And where exactly are all the "excess" traffic lanes in SF? I don't believe that enough people will ever ride bikes here to justify redesigning city streets to meet the anti-car specifications of the SF Bicycle Coalition. That will only make traffic worse for everyone else, including city residents who, according to the DMV, own the 465,905 motor vehicles registered here, not to mention the millions of visitors/tourists who drive into our fair city every year (tourism is our most important industry).

Of course I don't think all car drivers are disabled or absolutely need to drive, though there are many in both categories. I'm saying that not only are cars here to stay in a rapidly gentrifying SF but that our economy depends on allowing them to move more or less freely on our streets. Nor is it a good idea to make it more difficult for Muni's 1000 vehicles to move on city streets, since an efficient, convenient Muni system is a better bet than the bicycle fantasy to get people out of their cars.

On the other hand, Anonymous agrees with me:
On the Market/Octavia issue, I am confused as to how anyone thinks that keeping cars on market street for several blocks longer so they can turn onto Duboce helps traffic on Market Street. It seems like the best solution would be to get the cars off as soon as possible. Also, I am perpetually amused by the people who talk about "European" cities that are doing this that or the other thing for bikes. The assumption seems to be that because it is European it is better. But the deeper point is that beyond Amsterdam there is really not a lot of biking in European cities. In any case, all of this money would be much better spent on improving public transportation (something that Europeans have, so that should be OK). Public transportation is accessible to the vast majority of the population, in inclement weather and at all times of day and night. Much better than biking, which only a few percent of residents will ever want to do on a regular basis.

Rob responds:
Yes, nicely put. The bike people seem determined to turn this major American city into a cutesy little Amsterdam-like place. And yes, the assumption always seems to be that other countries are better at most everything than our rather vulgar United States.

The ban on the easy right turn onto the freeway at Market/Octavia is just one more anti-car policy instituted by the city at the behest of the Bicycle Coalition.

The idea is to make it as expensive and difficult as possible to drive in San Francisco, thus encouraging people to abandon their cars and use bikes instead. This is a fantasy pushed by people who don't understand the country they live in. Our Muni system mostly needs more money for buses and drivers to improve it enough to lure more drivers out of their cars. Otherwise, the city and the bike people should leave our streets alone. What many of our streets really need is some new pavement, which would be good for cyclists and motorists.

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At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't believe that enough people will ever ride bikes here to justify redesigning city streets..."

Reminder: you also didn't think bike use was on the rise.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only one trapped in a fantasy is you.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

more drivers and buses would not make MUNI any faster. MUNI is not reliable or efficient mostly because of traffic and double parkers. (including the 38 which your delusional experience led you to conclude is "fine" - the 38 is always delayed).

And no, we can't build our way out of a double parking problem by adding parking garages. The double parkers are not parking there for lack of a garage - they are double parking because they are LAZY. "It will just be 5 minutes"

Collectively the drivers of SF are a conspiracy of dunces against MUNI. And that keeps more people from riding. Including the cyclists you so abhor - I will ride my bike because the drivers make MUNI so much less than it could be.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't believe that enough people will ever ride bikes here to justify redesigning city streets..."

There were twice as many bicycles on EB Market Street last Thursday than cars.

Makes one wonder what might be possible if we had a truly connected network of bicycle facilities.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bike to Work Day is not an accurate indication of the normal bike traffic on Market Street or anywhere else in the city, since all you lemmings turn out for that event. "What might be possible" is the whole point with the Bicycle Plan. In fact, the law requires that the city determine what the probable consequences will be from taking away street parking and traffic lanes to make bike lanes. In short, they can't simply rely on BikeThink and wishful thinking, which is what they were doing before the successful litigation that forced them to do an EIR on the Bicycle Plan.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless we redesign city streets, we will never have enough people riding bikes here.

At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rob, the SF bike coalition reports getting 773 new members on Thursday's "Bike To Work Day".

I personally don't think this many new people would have signed up if not for the injunction against the bike plan.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Justin said...

this is just ranting -- i admit my piece was a bit free of content as well -- but really this post is just ranting. i think we should change tactics and either a) ignore Mr. Anderson (but it's so hard because he's kind of like watching Fox News to see just how bad their very presentation and broadcasting skills are) or b) begin sending messages that agree lock-step with his ideas and suck the air out from his campaign, as it thrives on people (like me last week, yes..) sending him notes telling him he is wrong.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many members of CFAR these days? how many people voted for you last time you ran for D5 Supervisor?

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Justin: If I'm so wrong, what are you worried about? The marketplace of ideas will sort things out. In the mean time, why don't you try to inject some content into your comments? For example, let's discuss some specific city streets now being considered for bike lanes, like Masonic Avenue. Do you think it's a good idea to put a bike lane on Masonic by taking away a traffic lane or street parking? How about Second Street and Fifth Street downtown?

You bike people comment on my transportation posts but not on my housing posts. Why does the SFBC support the awful Market/Octavia Plan? Why are they silent about UC's ripoff of the extension site on lower Haight Street? Because both projects radically limit the amount of parking for the thousands of new residents these projects will bring into the area under the fantasy assumption that the 10,000 new residents encouraged by the M/O Plan and the 1000 new residents encouraged by UC's development will ride bikes and/or an already maxed-out Muni. Hence, the BikeThink dogma is not confined to screwing up city traffic; it's also affecting the city's housing policies. Consequently, Supervisor Mirkarimi---the SFBC's rep on the BOS, though of course he doesn't ride a bike himself---supports both of these unwise projects and the Daly/Peskin luxury highrise condos at Rincon Hill.

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"how many members of CFAR these days? how many people voted for you last time you ran for D5 Supervisor?"

Is this how you judge the truth or falsity of an idea, by counting heads? This is the lemming-like politics typical of you bike nuts here in Progressive Land. You like to travel in groups, like Critical Mass and Bike to Work Day because it boosts your self-esteem to think that there are a lot of like-minded twits. Come election day, you clip the Guardian's recommendations before you vote on the completely false assumption that there's actually a sensible "progressive" agenda for SF.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger jt said...

332 people voted for Rob in 2004 which equals 0.95% of the vote for D5 Supervisor.

As far as I know CfAR has only one member - Mr. Anderson.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger John Spragge said...

On housing --

With the price of oil going up, reducing commuting distances and car use simply makes sense. Policies that accomplish this goal include increasing housing density. Whether the specific projects you cite make sense or not I can't answer, since I don't live in San Francisco.

On counting heads --

Rob, in nearly every post of yours I have read, you claim that bicycle advocates "don't understand" Americans or what most Aericans want to do. It seems that, at least in San Francisco, most people don't cast their votes for the things you expect. That might lead an observer to conclude that you have made an inaccurate assessment of what Americans will or will not agree to do.

In any case, if you make an argument that turns on the accuracy of your perception of the popular will, you automatically make measures of the accuracy of your perception relevant. These include your political success or the lack thereof.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Of course reducing car use and commuting distances makes sense. I've never said anything different. I haven't owned a car in more than 20 years. I walk and take the bus everywhere I go. What I'm saying is that there will never be enough people willing/able to ride a bike in SF as a primary means of transportation to justify redesigning city streets to make it more difficult to drive here. And I'm convinced that cars are here to stay, especially in a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco.

Within the last 10 years SF voters have voted for the underground garage in Golden Gate Park, against Healthy Saturdays (closing part of the park to autos on Saturdays), and against a hike in fees at city parking lots. The bike people opposed all of these measures.

I appreciate your comments, John, but it's arrogant to presume to know more about city politics than I do, since you don't live here. But your mind runs on BikeThink, so what else do you need to know?

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Shawn Orr said...

Rob you are my hero. I just read the WSJ article today and agree with all you points. Bicyclists are extremely sanctimonious. I will keep reading your blogs. Keep up the good fight.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Shawn Orr said...

How can I join C-FAR? I would like to start a chapter in New Canaan, CT.


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