Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Report debunks Big Lie about Masonic and Fell

OMG, it's a photo by Jim Herd

Before Judge Busch allowed the city to install a new traffic light at the Masonic and Fell intersection, for years the Bicycle Coalition and their enablers in City Hall had been whipping up hysteria about the intersection:

In response to repeated requests, letters, public comment and Resolutions by the SFBC, Fix Masonic, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Board of Supervisors, and more, the city has acknowledged that it must act to make changes to the Fell Masonic intersection, for the sake of public safety. The City Attorney's brief requests that the Fell Masonic intersection be exempted from the Bike Plan injunction, and proposes that a dedicated crossing phase for bicycles and pedestrians be installed, during which cars would not be allowed to turn left.

A few months later, based on misrepresentations by the city, Judge Busch allowed the city to install the new signal. The latest report from the city---"San Francisco 2009 Collisions Report," of April 21, 2011---shows that the campaign by the bike people never had any factual basis, that the number of accident injuries at that intersection varied little over the years before and after the new traffic signal was installed.

I pointed this out at the time, based on the available information, while accurately predicting that the new signal would make no difference. Once again here in Progressive Land, symbolism prevailed over reality. Judge Busch was conned by the city on the issue.

One of the useful things these annual collision reports provides is an analysis of the intersections that have the most accidents. The analysis of Fell and Masonic is on page 16, where we are told what I just pointed out: "This location has had a stable pattern since 2006 of 6 to 5 reported intersection collisions a year."

In fact the figure at the bottom of the page shows that for the last 10 years the intersection has, with some occasional spikes, averaged six injury collisions a year, a number that includes all accidents, not just injuries to cyclists. There were 6 injury accidents there in 2007, 5 in 2008, and 6 again in 2009, after more than a year with the new traffic light. On page 25 we learn that in the three years between 2007-2009, there were 12 injury collisions involving cyclists, an average of 4 a year before, during, and after the new traffic signal was installed.

In short, the whole campaign about that "notoriously dangerous" intersection was bullshit, just part of the Bicycle Coalition's permanent campaign to convince City Hall and the public that there's an ongoing bloodbath on city streets, and that to combat it the city must continue its anti-car policies.

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