Wednesday, August 24, 2011

San Francisco's Tea Party politics

Like the Republican Party on taxes, all the candidates for Mayor of San Francisco mindlessly support the Bicycle Coalition's agenda. People complain that the campaign for mayor is boring, but that's because the candidates are bores who have nothing original or interesting to say about city policy, including the bike fantasy.

Once again the city's political candidates submit to the SFBC's bend-over-and spread-your-cheeks questionnaire on their agenda: Do you ride a bike? If elected will you give us everything we ask for? Will you guarantee more money for bike projects we support? Do you support "reforming" Level of Service (LOS) standards of measuring traffic congestion and replacing it with our bogus, traffic-snarling "auto-trips-generated" standard? Will you kiss Leah Shahum's ass at high noon in Union Square?

Okay, I made some of those questions up.

It's not one of the questions, but the SFBC would probably like to ask the candidates this: Will you continue to support giving the SFBC contracts to organize Bike to Work Day and other events?

One of the many questions: "The City has established a goal that 20% of trips in San Francisco be made by bicycle by 2020. Do you endorse this goal?"

The only way the city could even approach that goal is by creating gridlock on city streets by taking away even more traffic lanes and street parking to make bike lanes than the radical Bicycle Plan. Recall that the Bicycle Coalition's former goal was "10 percent by 2010," which wasn't achieved and probably never will be. According to the latest numbers in the city's 2010 Bicycle Count Report, (page 4) the all-trips-by-bike percentage in SF is still only 6%.

Let's also look at the percentages of bike commuters over the years since 2003, when that number was 1.9%. In 2009 that percentage was 3.2%, a not-exactly-whopping increase of 1.3% in six years, an average gain of .22% per year! The city and the SFBC like to hype the numbers of bike commuters counted every year, but the percentages show how insignificant those numbers really are in the context of city traffic overall.

The genuinely significant impact this PC minority might have is, with a big boost from the lemmings in City Hall, how badly they will be permitted to screw up traffic for everyone else who uses city streets.

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At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only way the city could possibly even approach that goal is by creating gridlock on city streets by taking away even more traffic lanes and street parking to make bike lanes than already contemplated by the radical Bicycle Plan.

--> So you are saying, that if we have more bike lanes, that more people will ride? The only way you can draw that conclusion is that people will decide that cycling is more safe because there are bike lanes. Which is in direct conflict with some of your prior rantings.

--> Nonetheless, if 20% of private automobile trips were replaced with bike trips, the level of congestion in this city would plummet to zero. No cars = no gridlock.

"The genuinely significant impact this PC minority"

--> Confirming your status as "grumpy old man". The annual Beloit tome on the world of incoming college students lists "Incoming college students think 'PC' means Personal Computer, not Political Correctness"

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was observing car critical mass last night on Market St. Every intersection between 5th and 2nd street had traffic blocking the box and not allowing car traffic to cross Market St in either direction. I don't know what agenda these people have, but they aren't helping their cause. They seemed very angry and were honking and swearing at one another. If they published the route in advance, maybe it could have been avoided. Also, extra traffic control workers were being posted at the intersections -- how much does that cost? And most of the drivers were just ignoring them when they tried to control the traffic. The cops should clamp down and arrest or ticket these people who make it hard for innocent people to get home from work.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Who's talking about Critical Mass? Instead of trying---and failing---to be clever, why don't you comment on the substance of this post?

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous bike-nut said...

Anon #2, spot on!

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the questions lacking. They were softball questions which did not tell us which candidates would truly lead on the issue rather than give lip service. Lip service would apply to Ed Lee.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, he had a very good point. And let's be real CM and the Bike Coalition are one and the same: a pc minority who is bent on bullying the city leaders into giving in to ALL their demands.

Whether a city leader rides a bike or not (for work or pleasure) is pretty irrelevant to their performance on the job. The bike people love "symbols" without actually looking at actions and solutions.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Broadway is on the diet block now as well. Awesome. So awesome.

Densest part of the city does not need every person with car to drive through it.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bent on bullying the city leaders into giving in to ALL their demands

--> Bent on it? We're already getting it. And frankly we didn't have to do any bullying...

--> you can always have Houston. I hear the weather is nice this time of year...

At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, creating an efficient, safe and clean public transit system as a way to move vast numbers of people while reducing auto congestion never enters the discussion.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya gotta understand that the bike kids grew up in families where they were told they were the center of the universe. Wonder what a psychologist would come up with ...are they mentally healthy, yes...but man they have this sense of entitlement and destiny which doesn't seem too healthy.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @7:57, shut the fuck up you old bag.

Really? Just going to spit up some rehashed talking points from the "greatest generation"? You realize that it was you old fucks that built out a country in which "freedom" is defined by owning and operating a car? There is nothing further from "freedom" then HAVING to own something to be "free".

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

This is the kind of stupidity typical of many of the bike people when they struggle to formulate a defense of their goofball anti-car perspective. The assumption is that the previous commenter is an old guy, though there's no evidence for that.

Nor have I ever heard anyone define freedom as owning and operating a car, though cars provide millions of working people with the mobility to find work and recreation in a wide area. Is that bad? Evidently these people should only work and play in an area defined by how far they can ride a bike.

The greatest failure of the anti-car, bike movement---and that of the dim-bulb politicians who pander to them---is intellectual. They have a dumbness problem, which is clear when you read their websites and the comments here.

And yes, the sense of entitlement is obvious. It's been pointed out by me and others that what we're witnessing here in Progressive Land and other cities in the US is a generation with an inflated sense of self-esteem. They are furious when we point out that their political ideas are shit and their activism is narcissistic and juvenile.

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I read it - you feel entitled to the status quo. Shut up you old windbag with a sense of entitlement!

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitches about "entitled youth".

Claims to be "youth".


At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Anon @7:57. I am not young nor am I "old". Is 36 old? Anyway I am on my bike during the weekends all the time never use the car then, but heck I am single so I don't have to take the kids anywhere and my gf and I stay local when we go out or grab a cab. The rest of the week i have to use a car to get to work cause i use it during work. No choice at the moment to get to my clients. Anyhow, I really do think this core group of bikers feels a sense of entitlement. My view of course, but somewhat informed by chatting with them at ....Zeitgeist! Guess what you can catch me there this friday night at about 4:30pm.


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