Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Muni boss will "slow traffic" for cyclists

Apparently the new Muni boss will be Ed Reiskin, who now heads up the Public Works Department. As he told the Bicycle Coalition last year, he's a dedicated bike guy, who hauls his five-year-old kid around the city on his bike. He's an appropriate choice, since he buys City Hall's anti-car policies:

We need more public realm improvements to make the city generally more welcoming for people so it’s less that the city’s built for cars and everyone else is an afterthought. We want to flip that around. The more this happens the more welcoming it will be for bikes. It will all slow traffic and improve safety for everyone...

No mention of Muni, but, if you slow traffic for cars, you're also going to delay Muni passengers on a system that already has ontime issues.

But here in Progressive Land, according to our City Charter, "transit first" also means bikes: "Bicycling shall be promoted by encouraging safe streets for riding, convenient access to transit, bicycle lanes, and secure bicycle parking." (Section 8A.115, Transit First)

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When the Beat Generation and the counterculture merged

Poster for the Incredible Poetry Reading

I don't indulge much in nostalgia, though I do occasionally. A real today is usually much more interesting than an imagined yesterday. But Sunday's piece on the beat poets by the Chronicle's official nostalgist, Carl Nolte, reminded me of one of my favorite events of the past, when the Beat Generation seemed to merge with the counter-culture of the 1960s. 

It was 1968, the Nourse Auditorium was packed for a poetry reading to hear Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lew Welch, and Richard Brautigan---and others[Later: Michael McClure was there] I've forgotten---read their poems. 

The event opened with the Mime Troupe marching down the center aisle playing their version of the Star Spangled Banner. When they finished, someone yelled "play ball," the crowd roared, and the event began.

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