Friday, April 22, 2011

SFBC to 17th Street merchants: Congratulations, you've lost your street parking!

Turns out that it's not just grouchy old Rob Anderson who questions the wisdom of taking away 50 traffic lanes and 2,000 parking spaces in city neighborhoods to make bike lanes. 

This morning's NY Times tells us how the city and the SF Bicycle Coalition's modus operandi has angered the folks who do business on 17th Street: before taking away street parking to make bike lanes, slap an 8 1/2 x 11 notice on a utility poll and rush the changes through in meetings packed with bike people.

Leah Shahum, the SFBC's executive director, apparently tried frantically to prevent today's bad publicity by calling the folks the reporter interviewed. She did the same thing five years ago when the city and the SFBC rolled over merchants on upper Market Street, taking away their street parking for bike lanes. 

Shahum even lectured the Market Street merchants about how they needed to accept change! We used the Market Street incident to show Judge Warren how the city was continuing to implement the Plan on city streets even before the hearing on our suit to make the city do an EIR on the 500-page Bicycle Plan. Judge Warren issued the injunction shortly thereafter.

During a discussion of the Bicycle Plan on the radio last year, the MTA's Mike Sallaberry---quoted in today's story---said it was okay if the Bicycle Plan delayed Muni lines all over the city. "Transit First" in SF now means "Bikes First"! (City Hall has even rewritten the City Charter's definition of transit first on behalf of the bike people to include bikes.)

Supervisor Chiu, as a candidate for mayor and a bike guy, should be asked if he supports how the Plan is being implemented in the city. And so should candidate Herrera, who, as City Attorney pushed the city's opposition to the Bicycle Plan litigation to curry favor with the city's bike people in anticipation of his campaign for Mayor of San Francisco.

Something similar happened late last year on Ocean Avenue, when street parking was taken away to make bike lanes.

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