Saturday, September 03, 2016

Conor Johnston: "Putting the planet over politics"

Conor Johnston's op-ed in the Examiner complains about the Sierra Club (SF Sierra Club puts politics over the planet):

They[Sierra Club] opposed Parkmerced, with 5,679 new homes and transit improvements for a car-dependent area once billed as “suburban living in The City.” Chapter leaders opposed the Treasure Island plan, with 8,000 new homes, the country’s first congestion pricing program, and acres of parks and wetlands.

Assuming this is true---the Sierra Club's website isn't helpful, since it's hard to even find its search function; when you do it still isn't helpful getting information on those projects---there are good reasons for opposing both projects, as I've pointed out here City study: Parkmerced project will degrade city's quality of life and here Another hate crime by D5 Diary.

How allowing 19,000 residents on Treasure Island---there are now 2,000---and more than 5,000 more housing units at Parkmerced, a part of town that's already near gridlock, can possibly be good for the environment has never been explained. 

Parkmerced will always be "car-dependent," since it's near the Southern border of the county, a reality that none of the "transit improvements" in that project can change. 

Yes, the Treasure Island project includes congestion pricing---future residents who want to leave the island in cars will have to pay for the privilege, including, presumably, future guests at the hotels that will be built on the island! (The idea of congestion pricing is very unpopular with the present residents of the city.)

Yet our Sierra Club leaders endorsed Kim over Wiener, just as they endorsed David Campos over David Chiu, and Breed’s opponent over her; not because the candidates are stronger on environmental issues — they aren’t — but because their politics better align on other issues.

Supervisor Wiener has always had a sketchy understanding of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the most important environmental law in the state. (See Scott Wiener, WalMart, and the Bicycle Coalition.)

And Johnston's boss, Supervisor Breed, apparently thinks creating traffic congestion on Masonic Avenue and filling in the Geary/Fillmore underpass will somehow be good for the planet. Maybe Johnston can explain how that will work in a future op-ed. 

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