Monday, December 20, 2010

Chronicle editorial: Flab-gab and misinformation

The editorial on cycling in yesterday's Chronicle manages to say less than nothing, since it distorts the issues and omits crucial information, making it a net loss as a contribution to public understanding:

The city's network of lanes and suggested riding streets is little known, one side-effect of an obstructionist lawsuit that delayed bike lane work for four years until this year. The learning curve has barely begun.

This falsehood comes after the editorial tells us in the opening paragraph that bike riding in SF has increased by 50% in the last four years. The successful litigation on the city's Bicycle Plan didn't prevent the city from educating the public about existing bike lanes. It was only about making the city follow the law by doing the required environmental study of that major project that will redesign city streets on behalf of a small minority of cyclists.

Since cycling has actually increased during the litigation and the injunction, the moral of the story is that bike lanes have nothng to do with riding a bike in San Francisco, which is now fashionable among the generation of young people flocking here to work out their Mommy and Daddy issues on the streets of our city. Whereas a previous generation had drugs, tie-dyed shirts, and long hair to signify their way of life, this generation sees the bicycle as a crucial accessory for a politically correct way of life here in Progressive Land.

Cycling's rising popularity doesn't make it immune to opposition. Other cities, notably New York, have faced revolt and taken out bike lanes where neighbors, drivers and merchants objected. No such rebellion has happened here, perhaps because an expansion of bike programs was held up by legal delays and is only now rolling out.

What New York and San Francisco have in common: people there also never had a chance to vote on bicycle lanes. Mayor Bloomberg, like Mayor Newsom, fancies himself as a green visionary eager to impose these "improvements" on the people of his city, whether they like it or not.
The crucial information the Chronicle editorial omits: the Bicycle Plan will take away traffic lanes on busy city streets to make bike lanes, which, as the EIR on the Plan told us, is going to screw up traffic on those streets and delay a number of Muni lines.
San Francisco is just beginning to do the hard part by implementing the Bicycle Plan on busy city streets, like Second Street, Fifth Street, and Cesar Chavez. Bike lanes will also be installed on Masonic Avenue early next year, which will slow down traffic and delay the #43 Muni line on that street.

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At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The surge is fueled by a generational change in a city where young people flock to live in the South of Market, Hayes Valley and Mission neighborhoods, all flat areas where bike riding makes sense."

We know you hate us whippersnappers. We hate you too. We're winning. You're losing. Neener neener.

Merry Christmas!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I don't "hate" city cyclists, though some people do. Even more people just find the behavior of a substantial minority of cyclists on city streets boorish, an ongoing public relations problem for your movement. The Chronicle editorial cited the Grand Jury report on that bad behavior and criticized the "bike-messenger riding habits" of many city cyclists.

Add the routine bad behavior of many cyclists to Critical Mass, and you begin to understand why you folks aren't universally respected even here in Progressive Land.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I don't often agree with Jim Herd, but he nails the Bicycle Plan/CEQA issue, except for the last sentence:

"The City gambled and lost on CEQA. It took a judge about five minutes to agree that Our City was improperly horsing around with Environmental Impact Report laws. Could it be that CEQA itself is obstructionist?"

CEQA requires any project that could have a negative impact on the environment to do an environmental study before the project is implemented and/or built. Of course developers---and bike people---think the law is "obstructionist." I mean, why can't everyone just build what they want anywhere they want?

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any comment on the lack of pedestrian safety in the city?

And you don't hate city cyclist? My god, look at everything you've written in the last couple of years. It is nothing BUT hate for them. You reference yourself constantly, you should know that what you said is still accessible.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

If all this hate is so accessible, why don't you give us some direct quotations? Because you are so unused to criticism, you mistake criticism for hate. I'm the only consistent critic you have, and you can't even handle that.

At 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with your last comment. The young new comers to the City seem somewhat over sensitive to comments related to a small number (not all) of their cohort who really do insist to act out their parental issues on the streets of the City. They are "free" to do what they want here the San Francisco, kinda like when kids first go to college away from home.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had constructive criticism then we'd all be better off. But all you do is rant at and about "bike-nuts". You think Muni runs fine and the city's streets work well when in fact people are getting hit by cars all over the city at an alarming rate. You ignore that and then complain about a couple of bike lanes slowing someone's car commute by a minute also ignoring that those bike lanes might induce ridership. You only look at commuting stats to point out that cycling isn't really growing (but it is, even in this category) but skip that cycling is growing for all trips (people do things other then go to work, I assume you do things and since you don't work. Do your activities have no meaning?)

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This is the impression you have from reading my blog, but it's lacking in any direct quotations, probably because you find it too painful to go back and re-read what I actually wrote. None of the so-called opinions you list is mine.

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't have the time to reread ALL your comments. You said Muni works just fine for you in a comment section a couple months back. Many people have asked you to take up Muni as a cause, instead of being anti-bike, since Muni is obviously very important to you.

Your blog organization is horrendous and apparently only you hold the key to finding anything in this rat's nest.

I don't really care what you state in your blog so rereading it isn't an issue. It's the disorganization and circle logic that is so frustrating.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I do cop to using the "bike nuts" terminology, which, in the proper context, is scientifically accurate.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, Muni works fine for me, but I'm retired, and the cutbacks have obviously been bad for other regular passengers. Muni needs to reform its work rules for drivers and more money to keep enough vehicles in service. If you want to make Muni your "cause," who's stopping you?

The way my blog is "organized" is simple and straightforward like all other blogs---in chronological order, with the last post on top. You can use the search function, which is quite good, and you can even track posts by date, since the date of every single post from the beginning in December, 2004, is in the right-hand column.

It's all about bikes and Muni? I do a lot of posts on other subjects, including the city's awful, misguided "progressive" development policies, but of course that's of no interest to you bike people, who are monomanicacs.

Notice that in the post you're commenting on I have five links to other posts that, in turn, have links to documents pertinent to the point I'm making.

If you don't have time to make a proper, evidence-based argument, why bother commenting at all? Just to let me know that you don't like my blog? Thanks for sharing.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe "monomanicacs" can outgun "refudiate" for word of the year.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, it should be "monomaniacs," which of course is a word.


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