Saturday, August 24, 2013

The bike people fail the IQ test

The above was greeted with glee by the anti-car bike people commenting on Uppercasing as if Jonathan Swift had been reborn among us. But the thing about satire is that readers are supposed to know who you're satirizing---and you can't do satire if you're kind of dumb and have no real sense of humor.

Who exactly is being mocked here? Not me, since I rarely use exclams and never put things in caps. Nor can it be the folks at Save Masonic, where the only exclamation points I find are on their flyer, which is typical for that genre.

The comments to Uppercasing seem to revel in the fact that this lame attempt was even made, not that it was done well, which they would be incapable of recognizing anyhow.

It's really a case of projection, since it's the anti-car bike people who are routinely unglued when opposition to their trendy cause is hindered or criticized (The latest: Streetsblog is outraged that "merchants" in the avenues oppose removing street parking to make bulbouts and parklets decorated with artsy "sculptures." Like the people in Polk Gulch, these folks don't seem to understand that City Hall and Streetsblog know their interests better than they do.)

Did you know that besides countless meetings, mailers, and community outreach the MTA is trying to SNEAK IN a redesign of Masonic Avenue TO MAKE IT SAFE FOR ALL USERS?? This is an OUTRAGE!

In fact there were only three "community" meetings that were of course stacked with Bicycle Coalition members (My account of the first meeting here). The thing about the bike people is that they always have people at the meetings. The rest of us---that is, normal people---tend to ignore the government as much as possible. The downside of that healthy attitude: San Francisco's City Hall is aggressively meddlesome with the various "improvements" it's foisting on city neighborhoods, which we thought were pretty good they way they are. The next thing they know, DPW is on the street with a backhoe to start implementing a project they never heard about.

The satirist's assumption is that the Masonic Avenue bike project has something to do with safety, a flat-out lie by the MTA and the Bicycle Coalition, which I've documented a number of times on this blog.

Despite a number of crashes, deaths and accidents, this street is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SAFE! Shout down and talk over anyone who disagrees with you and your made up FACTS!

It's an article of faith among the bike people that Masonic Avenue between Fell and Geary is the site of an ongoing bloodbath for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists, but the facts---gathered by the city itself---show that Masonic isn't particularly dangerous for anyone, especially considering the volume of traffic it carries: more than 32,000 vehicles every day (see page 26 of this city presentation for a traffic count on Masonic).

It's the bike people who ignore the facts, even those published by the city in their annual Collision Report and in the Masonic Avenue Redesign Study. I always write about the relevant reports, but the folks at Streetsblog and the Bicycle Coalition rarely do. Why is that? Because the facts about what's really happening on city streets---they have actually been getting safer over the years---don't support their narrative of an ongoing bloodbath on city streets that requires more bicycle lanes and traffic "calming" that make it increasingly difficult and expensive to drive in San Francisco---and make city traffic a lot worse than it has to be.

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The high-speed rail fantasy

Important articles by Wendell Cox on high-speed rail: here, explaining why governors in Florida and Ohio rejected federal money for rail projects. And California High Speed Rail: An Updated Due Diligence Report, which Cox wrote with Joseph Vranich.

Thanks to The Antiplanner for the link to the video.