Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Beef and water

Thanks to Alternet.

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Examiner readers support crackdown on scofflaw cyclists

Readers of the SF Examiner approve of Captain Sanford's policy on scofflaw cyclists (Examiner readers react to “Park police target scofflaw cyclists” story). Letters to the editor in today's edition:

It’s good to see SFPD exercising courage to keep us safe from rogue cyclists. I was knocked down and seriously injured by a speeding cyclist who not only ran a red light but was going the wrong way! Yet there is no accountability for such actions.

Instead of attacking Capt. John Sanford Jr. of Park Station, whose goal is to keep everyone safe, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition should work with him to encourage playing by the road rules for all cyclists and publicly criticize those cyclists who endanger the rest of us.

Sherrie Matza
San Francisco

Capt. John Sanford Jr. is to be praised for courageously resisting the constraints of political correctness and taking enforcement action against the lawless, reckless, inconsiderate behavior practiced by most cyclists and endorsed by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. He is doing more to achieve Vision Zero goals than all the cyclist/pedestrian activists who argue that only automobile drivers are the problem.

Anyone who walks about The City knows that scofflaw cycling is the norm, not the exception, and that pedestrians almost universally ignore pedestrian traffic control signals, often while dangerously focused on their cellphone screens and deafened by the buds in their ears.

As long as Vision Zero relies on perfection by drivers and tolerates reckless, careless, inconsiderate, scofflaw behavior by cyclists and pedestrians, it is doomed to failure.

Barrett Giorgis
San Francisco

New Park Station Capt. John Sanford Jr. is right to clamp down on scofflaw bicyclists who endanger not only pedestrians but all of us. The City, in its urban fantasy that bicyclists would one day become 20 percent of all commuters, has allowed bicyclists and the San Francisco

Bicycle Coalition to dictate policy and practice. Presently, bicyclists are only about 3 percent of commuters, despite the millions spent on making San Francisco “comfortable” for scofflaw bicyclists and uncomfortable for the rest of us. Bicyclists — with their scofflaw mentality, refusal to follow traffic laws and provocative behavior — create an atmosphere of chaos and danger. Traffic laws work on the presumption that most people would follow these laws.

Scofflaw bicyclists are the “broken windows” in traffic enforcement. Thanks, Capt. Sanford.

Fiona McGregor
San Francisco

I shouldn’t be appalled by the arrogance of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, but I am. Who do you people think you are? Are you and the cyclists of San Francisco so entitled that you’re above following the traffic laws? There are certainly more cyclists running red lights than drivers. Last I checked, bicycles are moving vehicles too. You all want to be heard and respected, but a large majority of cyclists don’t exercise common sense or courtesies.

City Hall should also insist that cyclists have and use bike horns. The coalition lobbied for bike lanes, but cyclists ride on sidewalks on streets that have bike lanes. Cyclists zoom by on sidewalks weaving in and out of pedestrians without warning. Cyclists want drivers to be more mindful of them, but the vast majority aren’t being mindful of pedestrians. And drivers can’t stop on a dime when cyclists weave through traffic. Instead of blasting the Park Station captain, you should be supporting him by reminding cyclists that they’re susceptible to injuries/death if they’re hit because they ran a red light. They hit a pedestrian, both are injured or killed.

If Vision Zero is going to be a success, then drivers, pedestrians and cyclists need to take responsibility for their safety and stop whining that the Police Department is singling them out.

Debi Gould
San Francisco

It’s about time the police ticketed scofflaw cyclists. They ride wherever they want, whenever they want. They ride on sidewalks (which is generally illegal in The City), run red lights and stop signs, etc.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is showing its true colors. The organization claims to promote safe and law-abiding cycling, but it’s obvious from their petition that they don’t. The City spends millions of dollars to give cyclists a better environment in which to ride, but the cyclists show little, if any, appreciation. The cyclists pay nothing for roadway changes aimed at making things safer, and then complain when they are cited for a violation.

The article states that 1 percent of traffic tickets are given to bicyclists. I think if you open your eyes, you will see that they commit far more than 1 percent of the traffic violations.

As to the complaint about the cost of tickets by bike messenger Santiago Campos: The City doesn’t charge you anything to ride your bicycle if you obey the law. Try it sometime.

I salute Capt. John Sanford Jr. for doing his job and not caving in to a “politically powerful” Bicycle Coalition.

Arthur P. Samuelson
San Francisco

Thank you so much for that article. Finally! I’m a pedestrian who walks all over town. Cyclists and BMW drivers are the most arrogant in The City. They always think they have the right of way. I would never challenge a cyclist, except maybe midtown. They expect rights (bike lanes), but don’t stop at red lights or stop signs and cut off pedestrians in crosswalks. Again, I appreciate your article.

Willa Crowell
San Francisco

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Flight MH370: Still missing

It's been 500 days since Malaysian flight MH370 disappeared. The search goes on. Meanwhile, Jeff Wise is blogging about the possible scenarios and getting deep in the weeds on the issue. Interesting stuff, when it isn't too technical, which is most of the time.

Liberal multiculturalists are hoping it wasn't another act of Islamic terrorism, but I bet they're going to be disappointed.

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People driving more than ever

From Calculated Risk

Some discussion at Vox and Kevin Drum: 

...the basics seem simple: the economy has finally been growing and gasoline prices have been low. That's enough to get us all back in our cars.

So was it ever the case that American young 'uns fell out of love with the automobile, which partly explained why miles traveled dipped so dramatically during the recession? That's a favored explanation among urban pundits, where Zipcars and Uber are popular and lots of people don't bother owning cars. But I've always doubted it. It really does seem to be true that teenagers simply don't care about learning to drive as much as teenagers of my generation, but for the most part that just means they learn to drive a little later. And if they live in the burbs, they need to drive, same as always. They couldn't afford it while they were living in mom's basement during the recession, but they can now, and that's why car sales are up and miles driven are up.

We still love our cars, and now we can afford to use them. That will probably continue to be true until gas goes up to five bucks a gallon again...