Wednesday, August 03, 2016

NOPNA survey ignores the Masonic bike project


Since the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA) has always supported the Masonic Avenue bike project, why leave it out of their survey we all received yesterday? 

Masonic Avenue is a major city and regional north/south street---carrying more than 32,000 vehicles a day---that goes through the middle of District 5. Surely district voters would like to respond to a question about a project that will, at the very least, be controversial, since it's likely to make traffic worse in that part of the city.

We already know that Supervisor Breed supports the dumb project, but her opponent, Dean Preston, offers District 5 voters only a profile in lameness, since he doesn't take a stand on anything but housing

Preston's website is only about raising money, and his Twitter account has nothing about issues. London Breed is wrong about almost everything, but at least she has taken stands on important issues.

The survey's "transportation" questions:

What are the biggest challenges you see in transportation and what are your proposed solutions?
What are your priorities for Muni (e.g. expansion versus maintenance).
How would you help SF make Muni, BART, and Caltrain more well integrated and seamless?
What is your ideal balance of efficiencies and minimal residential imposition of regional commuter shuttles?

These are questions posed by someone who doesn't really know much about how city transportation impacts District 5. The Masonic Avenue project is not mentioned and neither is The Wiggle, another controversial District 5 transportation issue. And "priorities for Muni" is a softball question that both candidates will easily finesse. 

Instead, what about a growing Muni bureaucracy that now has 6,263 employees? Why not put some of those people to work analyzing every injury accident to figure out how to make our streets safer, instead of "improvements" that only make it harder and more expensive to drive in the city? 

What about the Vision Zero fantasy? Can there possibly be zero fatalities by 2024? Speaking of fantasies, is it possible that 20% of all trips in the city will be by bicycle in 2020? What about a predatory City Hall that sees motorists as primarily a revenue source?

How did the coagulated phrase "efficiencies and minimal residential imposition" in the last question make the cut when these questions were written?

Six years ago I wrote about NOPNA's early support for the Masonic Avenue bike project ("Input" from NOPNA):

Unlike Fix Masonic's website, NOPNA's is informative, if you do a little digging. It seems that NOPNA has already taken a position on "fixing" Masonic. Evidently the group is supporting The Bicycle Plan's Option #1 for Masonic. From a draft of a letter from NOPNA to the MTA:

The Masonic Avenue bike lanes under Proposed Option 1 of the Bike Plan EIR will improve traffic flow and greatly reduce the speeding and unsafe turning that currently make this traffic corridor so dangerous. NOPNA has worked closely with the advocacy group Fix Masonic to make Masonic safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Funny, but neither of the links in the first paragraph work anymore, and "digging" in NOPNA's website doesn't retrieve the documents. Gone forever down Orwell's Memory Hole! But the second paragraph is a direct quote from the letter of support NOPNA sent to the MTA. 

That short paragraph is packed with falsehoods---including the safety lie---not to mention that Fix Masonic was always a Bicycle Coalition front group.

Tim Hickey, who's now NOPNA's president, summarized the group's clueless support of the Masonic project in a 2014 newsletter story. See also this and this.

Some questions I asked the 2012 candidates, which of course none of them answered.

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