Friday, March 04, 2011

The Examiner and the war against cars

Good to see the SF Examiner joining the debate on the nationwide anti-car movement that's being waged by the Obama administration:

The man Obama appointed in 2009 to manage the Department of Transportation is former Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, who a few months ago promised to put cars and bicycles on “an equal footing” in federal funding decisions. In an October interview, LaHood denigrated the “traditional people in Congress who like the idea that we continue to build roads and bridges and things like that,” as opposed to the “big things” he and Obama support, including enormously expensive forms of government-subsidized mass transit. LaHood has become an outspoken proponent of what rabid environmentalists misleadingly call “livability” (emphasis added).

The Examiner of course is a conservative, anti-Obama newspaper, while I am a Democrat and, for the most part, an Obama supporter. But the anti-car movement is not really a partisan issue, since a lot of Democrats agree with us, especially here in San Francisco, where voters have never had a chance to vote on Critical Mass or the Bicycle Plan. 

Until now the Examiner hasn't joined the battle on the local level, where for years the Bicycle Coalition and City Hall have been waging a war on cars, trying to make it as difficult and expensive as possible to drive in the city, which is a massive inconvenience to most city residents and damaging to the city's economy.

The Examiner's reporters have been telling us about the anti-car war in SF. A couple of years ago reporter Mike Aldax confirmed that implementing the Bicycle Plan is going to screw up traffic and delay Muni on a number of city streets. And last December reporter Will Reisman wrote about how the Bicycle Plan is damaging small businesses on Ocean Avenue. The next important anti-car phase of the Bicycle Plan will be on Cesar Chavez and Masonic Avenue, where the city is determined to screw up traffic and delay Muni lines on behalf of the city's anti-car movement.

The "enormously expensive forms of government-subsidized mass transit" in the Examiner editorial is apparently a reference to the high-speed rail boondoggle favored by the Obama administration---and Senators Boxer and Feinstein and Representative Pelosi. The Examiner needs to join the anti-high-speed rail movement, too, since it's just another front in the anti-car war.

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