Friday, December 12, 2014

District 5 Diary's tenth anniversary

Ten years ago today I made the first post on this blog about Supervisor-elect Mirkarimi's appearance at a Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council meeting to address an issue that was important to city progressives at the time: the construction of a garage under the Concourse in Golden Gate Park and the proposed "widening" of MLK Blvd. to comply with a court order about access to the garage.

What impressed me was that Mirkarimi clearly didn't understand that issue very well, since he apparently thought that only the garage entrance at Tenth and Fulton was necessary, that there had been Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinance violations of the public process, and that the "widening" proposal was illegal. None of that was true, which was explained by Mike Ellzey in an interview a few months later.

Building the garage was obviously a good idea once the city chose to rebuild the de Young Museum and the Academy of Sciences on the Concourse. Who were the main opponents of the garage? None other than the city's bike people, including the Bicycle Coalition and Leah Shahum, even though the garage was a $55 million gift to the city from Warren Hellman and the city's rich people.

In short that first post foreshadowed the issues in many other posts in the next ten years.

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