Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gays in SF: Just another special interest group

 Photo: Rick Gerharter

For all the talk about rainbow coalitions, gays in San Francisco are becoming just another special interest group, like the Bicycle Coalition or the Chamber of Commerce. Witness the push by the LBGT community to collaborate with a predatory UC to turn the old Extension site on lower Haight Street into a massive housing development---450 housing units on less than six acres. What's in it for them? More than 100 housing units for elderly gays.

Never mind that UC lied about why it stopped providing night classes for working people on the site.

Never mind that the property the city is allowing UC to privatize to fatten its bottom line has been reserved for "public use" for more than 150 years. UC has had the property tax-free from the city for more than 50 years only because of its education "mission." Instead of allowing UC to use the property for its own gain, the city should have gone to court to take the property back for the people of San Francisco as soon as UC abandoned its education "mission" way back in 2004.

Never mind that it's a dumb idea to add more than a thousand new residents to an area that's already gridlocked most of the day with all the freeway traffic on Octavia Blvd. only a block away from the site.

City progressives, led by Supervisor Mirkarimi, have been instrumental in allowing the sell-out on a project that's going to trash a national and a state landmark.

Elizabeth Hemenway tells us how UC hastily decided to turn the property into a housing development.


Bike dude now in charge of screwing up Masonic

A bike guy has now been put in charge of the plan to screw up Masonic Avenue. That's not surprising, since the movement to jam up traffic on Masonic has always been led by the bike people and high on the agenda of the Bicycle Coalition. Javad Mirabdal, who led the effort until he retired, didn't dissent from the claim that Masonic represented some kind of safety problem for everyone, even though the powerpoint presentation he brought to the first community meeting on screwing up Masonic showed that it was a lie.

The plan involves taking away all the street parking on Masonic between Geary Blvd. and Fell Street to make bike lanes, which means that the city will no longer be able to create an extra lane during commute hours to deal with the traffic: more than 32,000 vehicles a day and more than 12,000 passengers a day on the #43 bus. The project will cost $18 million, but no expense is too great for the city's ongoing jihad against motor vehicles, since we're talking about religion here. And it will probably be done in time for the additional traffic generated by the opening of the new Target store in the old Mervyn's location at Geary and Masonic.

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