Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fell/Masonic "improvement" is a bust

The "improvements" at the Fell and Masonic intersection probably won't make any difference in safety for cyclists and pedestrians. I drove through it the other day; if anything it may be even more dangerous than before, and the bike symbol on the traffic light is so small it's hard to even make out what it is.

We approached the intersection in the left turn lane on Fell just as the light changed against us, so we stopped. But the arrow for through traffic was still green, so the car behind us honked, since it apparently wanted to continue on Fell and didn't understand that that lane is now a left-turn lane, which is bound to be a common confusion among motorists.

And then there's human nature, which means that some people will continue to try to beat the light, whether they are on a bike or driving a car, whether that light is a bicycle symbol or not. It's all typical prog symbolism that's hollow at the core, which makes it a good symbol for Mirkarimi's brand of progressivism.

Here's a question that bike people need to answer: Once the Bicycle Plan is completely implemented, how are they going to explain why cyclists continue to be injured in SF? My answer: riding a bike is an activity with its own obvious dangers, which means that, yes, cyclists will continue to be injured on the streets of the city, not to mention the fact that most cycling injuries have nothing to do with other vehicles. There seems to be an assumption among some cyclists that the city is somehow obligated to make their dangerous transportation "mode" safe.

But the hardcore bike people like Leah Shahum and Andy Thornley understand that the great bike movement is really as much about being anti-car as it is pro-bike. They will simply continue to "take space away from cars" whenever and wherever they can, Bicycle Plan or no Bicycle Plan.

And check out a new bike blog by Peter Smith, which pushes the crybaby notion that doing an EIR on the Bicycle Plan is somehow a great injustice to the poor, oppressed cyclists of San Francisco: Smith, typically, doesn't seem to know anything about either the Bicycle Plan or the litigation.

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