Friday, January 29, 2016

How angry are Americans?

Kevin Drum

From Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:

It seems as though I've heard about the seething anger of the electorate before nearly every election in my life. Joe Klein takes a drive through the heartland every few years and reports back about this. But all sorts of polling evidence suggests that Americans aren't really all that unhappy in general and not really all that angry about the government. No more than usual, anyway. Now, maybe this year really is different. Maybe voters are more responsive to angry appeals even if they aren't especially angry in general...


Berkeley: Is this the city you want?

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Scott Wiener on double parking

For once I agree, more or less, with Supervisor Wiener on an issue. In an interview with SF Streetsblog, Roger Rudick complains about double parking in bike lanes:

I went for a tour of the new bicycle infrastructure in SF and almost immediately I saw a DHL truck just pull right onto the new raised bike lanes. I’ve actually seen this happen already right in front of SFPD and they don’t seem to act on it at all. What do we do about that?

Wiener: SFPD and MTA have really just failed when it comes to double parking enforcement; whether it’s double parking in traffic or on a bike lane. And I don’t say that lightly. I work closely with both agencies. I think there are certain things they do really well. But this is one area where I would give both agencies, to be charitable, probably a “D” and maybe an “F.” I feel for delivery truck drivers. It’s a really hard job in a city like SF. And there are times where they have to double park...

There’s a culture that’s developed in SF over many, many, many years. And it’s hard to change. And also to be clear I’m not advocating that we’re going to eliminate all double parking. There are situations where a delivery truck can’t pull over. They’re are situations where a driver is running in to get something on a street where they’re not causing a problem by double parking. To me it’s about reducing the amount of double parking and also taking a look at the corridors where it causes real problems whether it’s for traffic or for Muni or for cyclists. I’m not saying we should be wiping double parking off the face of SF. It’s about taking a thoughtful approach...

Of course truck or auto drivers who double park when a parking space is available should be ticketed, and maybe the problem has a cultural dimension that could be reduced by more enforcement. 

But the problem in San Francisco is that neighborhood commercial districts have two-lane streets with much-used parking on the side. Delivery drivers double park mostly out of desperation to do the job. At least Wiener has a "thoughtful" understanding of the issue and didn't pander to Rudick's readers with a knee-jerk anti-motor vehicle response.

Wiener should also do a more "thoughtful approach" on other issues, like high-speed rail, a project that is heading for a political defeat and/or a derailment by the courts. He should join Gavin Newsom and other Democrats by recognizing the folly of the project before it collapses completely.

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