Monday, April 12, 2010

Children and the bike cult

It's no surprise that children of parents who belong to cults are initiated into the beliefs and rituals of those cults. Many parents in the city's bicycle cult are eager to indoctrinate their children in their ideology. The Bicycle Coalition leads the way with Family Day and Safe Routes to School.

But these programs apparently aren't enough for some, which is why we have a website devoted to the idea that kids should ride bikes on the streets of San Francisco.

The Bicycle Plan proposes indoctrinating city school children in the benefits of cycling as a lifestyle, though that won't begin, you understand, until the children are nine years old: 

Before the age of nine, most children do not have the maturity and developmental skills required to ride a bicycle in urban traffic situations...In addition to technical skill and traffic laws, bicycle-safety education for children should promote bicycling as an enjoyable transportation method with positive lifestyle, health, and environmental benefits. (pages 5-7, 5-8, San Francisco Bicycle Plan, Policy Framework, May, 2005)

In a discussion of John Forester's ideas, bike messenger and author Robert Hurst (The Art of Cycling) has a different view: 

While Forester claimed that even children could ride safely on busy streets using the vehicular-cycling principle, our way is unquestionably for adults. Freedom will be our food and our poison. The streets demand from us[cyclists] an awareness and maturity that would be very rare in a child.

Kids and bikes can be a dangerous combination:

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), each year more than 700 people are killed and over 500,000 are treated in emergency rooms as a result of bicycling injuries in the U.S. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 are particularly prone to bicycle-related injuries and account for the majority of those treated for cycling injuries in hospital emergency rooms.

From the National Safe Kids Foundation:

Bikes are a classic symbol of childhood recreation, transportation and health...Unfortunately, bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile. In 2001, 134 children ages 14 and under died and nearly 314,600 were injured in bicycle crashes. Additionally, more than 176,000 children ages 5 to 14 are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to skateboards, scooters and skates.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons finds that cycling is the most dangerous recreational activity for children: of the top 10 head injury categories among children ages 14 and younger in 2008, cycling is first with 34,366 and football is a distant second with 16,902.

See also how San Francisco is Getting children on bikes.

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Haaland's sit-lie resolution

Robert---I don't know what the "Gabriel" is about---Haaland's proposed resolution (below in italics) illustrates nicely the delusions characteristic of city progressives. Conflating gay rights, hippies, and the homeless with the sit-lie issue is so far off base that it qualifies as a delusion, since the real issue is whether to allow lowlife punks to sprawl on the sidewalks of the Haight, panhandling and harassing residents and passersby. 

They may indeed be homeless, and it's likely that many of them are living in nearby Golden Gate Park, which is also encouraged/tolerated by city progressives. Suggesting that they are just poor people---they need "youth programs"!---who are having a hard time paying the rent in SF is laughable. Based on how they dress and behave, these folks have chosen living on city streets as a way of life.

Interesting to note that uber-prog, Supervisor Mirkarimi---he represents the Haight---isn't listed as a sponsor of the resolution. Maybe he's beginning to understand that he needs to take sensible positions on these quality-of-life issues if he's going to run for higher office.

Recall too that in 2008 the Democratic County Central Committee endorsed legalizing prostitution in the city and dumping JROTC from city schools. Of course they're going to adopt Haaland's resolution.
By Gabriel Haaland
April 10, 2010

Below is a resolution I will be introducing at the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. Please come and lend your support on Monday, April 21, 6PM, State Building on Golden Gate Avenue.

Whereas in the 70s, the City passed a law which banned sitting or lying down on city sidewalks in response to a call to remove hippies who were sitting on sidewalks in the Haight District of San Francisco, and whereas law enforcement personal ultimately selectively used these powers primarily against mostly gay men who were sitting on sidewalks in the Castro District, usually outside of bars (which lead to an incident in 1974, wherein City law enforcement personnel beat up a young gay man outside of a bar in the Castro, and arrested 18 others for “obstructing” the sidewalk). The gay community, led by Harvey Milk, rallied to their cause and against police harassment. One year subsequent to Harvey Milk’s death, the sit-lie law was found to be unconstitutional.

Whereas, the sit/lie law currently proposed will not prevent obstruction of sidewalks or harassment of passersby, as it’s already illegal to block the sidewalk and harass pedestrians and this legislation will not solve longstanding, complex problems and City Hall has openly and repeatedly admitted in the press that the criminal justice system is failing to deal with similar issues in the Tenderloin, and has created an alternative known as the Community Justice Court that is founded on principles of Restorative Justice;

Whereas a process known as Restorative Circles, a method based in Restorative Justice that has been used in the favelas (or shantytowns) of Rio De Janeiro, where drug gangs are the main employers of youth and homicide is the most common cause of death for people under the age of 25, unlike incarceration, has resulted in reduced recidivism and high rates of satisfaction by all parties, and has been embraced as an effective strategy.

Therefore Be it resolved, the San Francisco Democratic Party urges the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to oppose incarceration for non-violent crimes and explore successful alternatives to incarceration, specifically the Restorative Circles Process; and

Be it further resolved, the San Francisco Democratic Party urges the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor to immediately prioritize funding for homeless youth programs to restore funding for youth employment, programs, and housing.

"If you want people off the street, give them a place to live!"

Sponsored by Gabriel Robert Haaland, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Supervisor David Campos, Supervisor Chris Daly, Supervisor Eric Mar, Aaron Peskin, Hene Kelly, Rafael Mandelman, Michael Goldstein, Joe Julian, Jane Morrison, Jake McGoldrick, Michael Bornstein, Debra Walker, John Avalos, Alix Rosenthal

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