Friday, April 04, 2008

The bogus Fell/Masonic emergency

My Dear Winton:

You mean It's All About The Kids? Bullshit. In the first place, changing the configuration and/or the signals at the intersection won't necessarily make it any safer. Cyclists and drivers will still rush to beat the lights. More importantly, this move is just another ploy by the Bicycle Coalition and its many enablers in City Hall to do an end-run around the injunction on the Bicycle Plan. The Bicycle Coalition has been whipping up hysteria about the Fell/Masonic and Market/Octavia intersections for months.

I've lived in SF off and on since 1961, and the Fell/Masonic intersection has always been dicey. The left turn off Fell Street onto Masonic Ave. is not a new thing. Has that intersection become any more dangerous since, for example, the injunction was issued in 2006? I don't believe it, and the city doesn't seem to have any numbers to prove that. In fact, the city doesn't really have any reliable citywide data base on cycling accidents in San Francisco, which the Bicycle Plan itself points out (see page 6-12 in the Framework Document). 

The same people who insisted that the 527-page Bicycle Plan didn't need any environmental review are now trumping up a bogus safety emergency on city streets to get around the injunction. That's what's really happening here, Winton. You and other city progs are simply being manipulated by Leah Shahum and her many allies in city government.

Winton is responding to this article in the SF Chronicle.

See also the article last year by Steve Jones on the Fell/Masonic intersection.

Dear Rob,

Why on earth are you opposed to the safety of kids? My friends and I walk on the panhandle a lot, and I am always amazed by the lack of a separate pedestrian/left turn phase at Masonic. I can't believe you are opposing fixing this. I'm a driver, pedestrian and a motorbiker, and just like you I generally HATE SF cyclists lack of respect for the Driving Code, but you are completely wrong on the Masonic/Fell Oak intersection. Try crossing that road a dozen times and find out how many times cars try to run you over. It's true that cyclists need to learn to stop at Stops, etc, but at that intersection they actually have the right of away remember when the lights are green. I frankly hate making that turn when I'm driving because I'm worried someone will ride thru on their cycles at 15 miles an hour and hit me in my car. Please withdraw your opposition to this.


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