Thursday, August 28, 2014

Streetsblog: "Man killed by Muni bus driver"

Streetsblog thinks there should be a crosswalk here

According to Streetsblog, their team has simply suffered another casualty in the ongoing traffic war on city streets (Man Killed by Muni Bus Driver at Closed Crosswalk Outside Geary Tunnel). This man was apparently jaywalking across Geary Blvd. early Monday morning and was hit and killed by a Muni bus: "Both crosswalks across Geary are closed at that intersection, just east of the Masonic tunnel..."

Look at the photo above, and you can see there are no crosswalks there for obvious reasons. Were there ever crosswalks there? Seems unlikely, given that location near the entrance/exit to the tunnel.

I walked by that area yesterday, and it's clear that any pedestrian who tries to cross Geary there would have to be very reckless, even at 1:00 o'clock in the morning.

You can't clearly hear or see individual vehicles coming from either direction unless you are vigilant. All you hear is a dull, background traffic roar from the tunnel. One wonders if the guy killed was drunk or stoned.

The grammar of the head is what's offensive, as if the bus driver intended to kill anyone and was somehow morally responsible for this death. I've written before about Streetsblog's crude, unhinged reporting whenever a cyclist or a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle. It doesn't matter to them how such accidents happen or who was actually responsible. It's all grist for the anti-car mill.

More nuttiness is reflected in their terminology: Geary Blvd. is "a traffic sewer," since it's a major east/west street in San Francisco that carries more than 65,000 vehicles a day, and the #38 Geary line carries more than 50,000 passengers a day. Why can't all those folks ride bikes?

Still more nuttiness:

There are currently no plans to re-configure the intersection, or to close the Masonic tunnel and bring Geary back to grade. The tunnel also prevented center-running transit lanes from being built east of the Richmond District as part of the Geary Bus Rapid Transit project.

Like the goofy idea of filling in the underpass at Geary and Fillmore, bringing "Geary back to grade" would create a horrendous traffic jam at the Masonic and Geary intersection, a prospect the bike people view with equanimity.

Of course the anti-car Walk SF has to pile on to use a death caused by a reckless pedestrian to score points:

“His death is all the more tragic, given the crash occurred on Geary — long identified as one of the six percent of streets which make up the city’s high-injury corridors and account for over 60 percent of crashes involving pedestrians,” said Natalie Burdick of Walk SF...“The city made a laudable commitment to Vision Zero,” an end to traffic deaths, said Burdick. “However, this latest loss of life is a painful reminder of how far the city currently remains from implementing the engineering solutions critical to reducing the number of serious and fatal injuries, which continue to plague the city.”

Obviously there's no "engineering solution" to prevent this kind of accident, unless Burdick and Streetsblog have an engineering solution to human nature itself. Whether on foot, on bikes, or in motor vehicles, people will sometimes do unsafe things.

These people don't seem to understand how dumb they sound when they pretend that every accident on city streets is preventable.

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Multiculturalism, Islam, and child abuse in Britain

Alexis Jay: Those who failed to act should resign

I heard the shocking story on NPR early yesterday morning: "More than 1,400 children suffered sexual abuse in a small English town from 1997 until as recently as last year. The report says local authorities were aware of the problem for years but did nothing."

Host Steven Inskeep asks, "Why? Why would authorities act like that?"

The reporter answers:

The report gives a couple answers to the question. One is that people refuse to believe something this systemic and widespread was happening in a place like Rotherham despite all the evidence that it was. Another answer is that there was a racial element to this. The report says the abusers were of Pakistani descent. And police and politicians---many of whom were white---were afraid of inciting ethnic tensions or being accused of racism if they tried to tackle the problem.

In other words, this was also about Islam and political correctness, not just child abuse. Islam is a religion, not a race. And it's about a goofy "liberal" definition of multiculturalism:

Denis MacShane, the former Labour MP for Rotherham, has admitted that as a “Guardian reading liberal leftie” he shied away from the issue of the oppression of women in the Muslim community. Mr MacShane...admitted he should have “burrowed into” the issue. He told the BBC: "I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that.”

A writer in the Spectator zeros in on the issue:

How could this have happened? A clue is given by the report’s authors, who state that ‘several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist’. ‘I didn’t want to appear racist’ is truly the ‘I was only obeying orders’ of our time...Political correctness was supposed to make us nicer, but in reality it just makes people stupider.

Where have we experienced this kind of stupidity before? Right here in Progressive Land, when City Hall and all right-thinking city progressives denounced Pamela Geller's anti-jihad ads on Muni buses (see this also). Moslem terrorists were apparently considered part of the multicultural society of San Francisco.

Islam doesn't have a good record on the abuse of women and girls. Muhammad himself had a nine-year-old wife.

Recall that Theo Van Gogh was murdered ten years ago on the streets of Amsterdam by a Moslem fanatic after he made a movie about how women are treated under Islam.

The NY Times story yesterday on the British child abuse scandal (Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says).

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