Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Commuting to work in San Francisco

Frontsteps San Francisco


Grand Jury and scofflaw cyclists

This letter to the editor appeared in the SF Examiner:

Target Scofflaw Bicyclists

Reducing bicyclist, pedestrian and motorist fatalities is a laudable goal, but are the remedies offered by the civil grand jury effective and appropriate?

The grand jury report urges City Hall to take the initiative to reduce bicycle deaths through education and enforcement. Since police enforcement is currently close to nil for bike violations, especially for riding on the sidewalk, it is doubtful The City has the political will to enforce traffic violations made by scofflaw bicyclists.

And the grand jury wants to extend "bicycle education" to motorists and pedestrians. Since there is no apparent decrease in accidents, fatalities and near-misses with the current level of bicycle education, why would San Francisco want to expand a failed "education only" approach to bicycle safety? Apparently not mentioned in this report as a way to generate funds and promote safety for everyone is to require licenses and insurance by bicyclists in San Francisco. If the Grand Jury was truly concerned about safety for all, it would have addressed licensing and insurance issues.

Sadly, it appears that the San Francisco grand jury has become another San Francisco scofflaw bicyclist apologist. Let the next report on bicycle safety be written by insurance adjusters, risk assessment specialists and physics professors.

Fiona McGregor
San Francisco

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Democrats vote to gut the Public Records Act

Photo by Randy Pench
Kathy Hamilton on a sinister vote by state Democrats:
Hidden in the budget process a couple of days ago were trailer bills, SB 71 and AB 76, which passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. Last minute bills have become the norm rather than the exception under Governor Jerry Brown’s rule. These bills will make the Public Records Act optional for local agencies and make it difficult for those who seek information for the public good. This 11th hour kind of legislative activity should be banned. It is rumored that many legislators weren’t even aware of these changes and frankly they just voted blindly on them. It’s called follow the leader or leadership---a “trust me” kind of atmosphere.
The Fresno Bee also warns its readers about this legislation:

On Friday, lawmakers approved a pair of budget trailer bills (SB 71 and AB 76) that would free local governments of the obligation to comply with certain aspects of the California Public Records Act. The bills zipped through the Legislature with little or no committee review. Lawmakers clearly wanted to rubber stamp potentially embarrassing legislation under cover from prying eyes.

The Fresno Bee tells us that our Senator Yee opposed the creepy legislation:

Only one Democrat---Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco---had the courage to buck the party line and and join Republicans in voting no. Said Yee: "It's not about saving money. It's all about curtailing an open, transparent government that can be held accountable."