Friday, March 11, 2011

Open letter to David Chiu

Bicycle Coalition's Leah Shahum and David Chiu

The other day I speculated that, as a bike guy and a candidate for mayor, David Chiu could lead a useful discussion of traffic policy in the city, particularly City Hall's anti-car policies that are not only a massive inconvenience to everyone who drives in San Francisco but also threaten to damage the city's economy. Without any prompting from me, Chiu is evidently eagerly filling that role, though it looks like he's determined to ignore questions about those policies.

Here are some questions Chiu should answer to let city voters know what he will do to our streets if he's elected Mayor of San Francisco:

1. Do you support the city's plan to redesign Cesar Chavez Street and Masonic Avenue? The EIR on the Bicycle Plan warned us that bicycle projects will have "significant impacts" on traffic on busy streets, including delaying a number of Muni lines. How can this be justified in our supposedly "transit first" city?

2. Did you support the city's attempt to rush the 500-page Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review? If so, why? Judge Busch scolded the city in his decision ordering it to follow the law and do an environmental review of the Plan. Do you think his decision was wrong? If so how and why? (Candidate Herrera should also answer these questions, since, as City Attorney, he supervised that attempt to avoid complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, the most important environmental law in the state.)

3. Do you support a Congestion Pricing system in San Francisco that would charge city residents to drive downtown in their own city?

4. Do you ride in and/or support Critical Mass, the monthly demonstration by the city's bike people that snarls city traffic during the evening commute and costs city taxpayers $10,000 a month for a police escort?

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At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming you did not take this photo, you are in violation of attribution. AGAIN.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You never fail to show how full of shit you are, Mike. Did Chiu ask you to answer the questions for him?

The link to the story about Ocean Avenue is about the small businesses on that street that rely on street parking, not about "lazy" drivers. Typical that you didn't understand that.

#1 Of course David will support whatever the Bicycle Coalition wants to do to our streets. The question is whether the city's voters think screwing up traffic and delaying Muni lines is a "transit first" policy.

#2 If Chiu follows your advice and dodges the question, he'll look just as wimpy as you do with this flab-gab. He's both a bike guy and a lawyer and surely has an opinion, especially if it's one that reflects poorly on Herrera, one of his opponents in the race. But I bet he supported the city's illegal attempt at flouting the law all the way.

#3 Right. Like many bike people, you support charging the people of SF for driving downtown in their own city! Marin? Only people in SF can vote in this election, Mike, which is the point. There's plenty of space for cars downtown, though the bike people like to pretend that SF has traffic problems like London or Paris. The city itself owns a number of parking lots downtown.

#4 Not a surprising answer from a bike nut like you. Make it harder for working people to get home after working all week! I expected nothing more from you, but Chiu's is the answer that city voters need to hear.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Working for the Working People" - Rob Anderson and Scott Walker.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good questions Rob: I think David Chiu should respond to all of them; after all as a public servant he MUST answer to the people.

Mike is wrong, again: CM is not predictable. It occurs in very random locations, disrupting lots of people, peds and traffic. It's simply done by the young bike punks, like mike, who in their childish mode just want to get back at the grownups who own and run this city.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Plenty of street parking on Ocean Avenue now that the city took most of it away to make bike lanes? Of course you know better than those small businesses what's good for them. Recall that five years ago an arrogant Leah Shahum lectured the small businesses on upper Market Street about how they needed to accept change when the city took away most of the street parking between Van Ness and Octavia. She knew their interests better than they did!

"Chiu didn't ask me to answer just like the city didn't ask you to pose the questions."

So why are you in such a rush to answer them? Do you think Chiu needs your help? I bet city voters---and the other candidates---will be interested in his answers.

"Maybe David wants the connecting the city plan because he likes the idea, not because the SFBC told him to. He may have his own opinion, radical as that may sound."

Conformists often think they are making up their own minds. And maybe individual lemmings say to themselves, "Gee, I think I'll to the beach with these folks." But the real issue is whether Chiu's opinion is shared by city voters.

"I think you are just stuck on the way the city handled the case and feel as though you can get Chiu to 'validate' you on some level. Pretty pathetic actually."

I've already been "validated" by Judge Busch in how the city handled the Bicycle Plan litigation. But city voters would probably like to hear what lawyer and bike guy Chiu thinks about it, since he may be their next mayor. As I've pointed out before, if Herrera dragged out a case that way for a client---wasting thousands of dollars of the client's money---while in private practice, he would be guilty of malpractice.

So you oppose the city's Congestion Pricing proposal? I'm a little surprised, Mike. But it's still Chiu's opinion that's of interest here, not yours.

"Critical Mass is predictable and can be avoided. I'm sure you are aware when it happens every month. It's kinda like the same congestion that occurs EVERY day at the same time. But I'm sure that's the bike's fault too."

No, it's the "fault" of all the individual people involved---and the city's "progressive" leadership---Supervisor Mirkarimi is even on record as supporting Critical Mass---that fails to condemn this lawlessness. The Bicycle Coalition finally took it off their online calendar, but they now need to actively discourage the event, which would be the responsible thing to do.

How do people who work downtown avoid Critical Mass? In fact, how do people in other parts of the city avoid it, since it takes a different route every month and lasts for several hours as it winds through city neighborhoods? I understand that you want to punish those wicked motorists, but what about the people who get home via Muni?

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet city voters---and the other candidates---will be interested in his answers.

He'll never see them, so it's irrellevant, just like you.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

City voters, whether hard-working or not, have never had a chance to vote on either the Bicycle Plan or Critical Mass. While he's answering the other questions, maybe Chiu can discuss that reality, too.

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Joe Dansk said...

Re: The Embarcadero Freeway (see linked article):
"Civic-minded people hated the Embarcadero Freeway, but 60,000 cars a day used it."

Sounds a lot like your protests against bike improvments... why improve for bikes when #### cars drive the streets every day.

Look at what we have now on the Embarcadero. Amazing, beautiful and a tourist draw instead of an ugly outdated useless waist of space (not unlike you). I'm sure if Agnos used your way of "thinking" back then, the Embarcadero Freeway would never had been torn down and the blight would still exist.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, I was glad when the Embarcadero freeway was torn down, but not the price the city ended up paying---the Central Subway boondoggle.

"Assuming you did not take this photo, you are in violation of attribution. AGAIN."

You're right. But I can't remember where I got that picture. I'll try to do better on attribution in the future.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I wrote: "I bet city voters---and the other candidates---will be interested in his answers."

Anonymous wrote: "He'll never see them, so it's irrelevant, just like you."

I just emailed the questions to Chiu's website email address, so he presumably has the questions. Interesting to note that his site doesn't have a "contact" function. You have to click on the "contribute" banner to get an email address.

No mention of bikes or traffic on his site yet---or even an "issues" page, but it's early in the campaign. But his protege, Jane Kim, never had an "issues" page on her campaign website. Why bother with mere issues when you don't have to to get elected? Chiu's not pretty enough to get away with that.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Gee, I wonder why Mike Sonn took down all his comments? Probably because even he realized how dumb they were. But readers can figure out what they were based on my responses.


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