Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Good for Senator Feinstein!

Simpson explains why the document was created, contrary to the Repug narrative. 

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SF's faith-based traffic "collision" system

Demonstrators form a People Protected Bike Lane for cyclists during the evening commute last month to pro test what they see as San Francisco’s delays in installing protected lanes. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle
Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

The SF Chronicle once again pushes the pro-bike, anti-car PC line in last Sunday's edition:

On a dark December night, with a chilly breeze blowing from the west, a dozen bicyclists parked their rides on the sidewalks of Market Street at Octavia Street[sic], pulled bright-yellow T-shirts over their work apparel and grabbed glow sticks and signs...“Join us,” they yelled, as portable speakers boomed “The Safety Dance,” a 1983 pop hit. “Protect the bike lanes.” The group quickly grew to about 70 people.

This was the latest rendition of People Protected Bike Lane, an amalgam of performance art, political protest, street party and community organizing event that was born in San Francisco and has quickly spread to cities across the country and around the world. The goal is to get local governments moving on building barriers to separate bike lanes from vehicle traffic on some of the city’s most dangerous streets.

Are Octavia Blvd. and Market Street in fact "dangerous streets"? (It's Octavia Boulevard, not street, by the way.) Not according to the latest city Collisions Report, which tells us that two thirds of injury accidents happen at intersections (page 13)

The intersection of Market/Octavia is listed among the most dangerous in the city, with 22 "injury collisions" in a recent four-year period, which is 5.5 accidents a year. Is that really a large number for one of the busiest intersections---and a freeway entrance/exit---in the city? per Vision Zero ideology, the city doesn't believe in "accidents," since they are all supposedly preventable.

Neither the Chronicle nor the city provide any more information on those accidents: among them 4 pedestrians injured and 15 cyclists, though it's fair to think that many were due to the negligence of cyclists and pedestrians.

But what the demonstrators are claiming is that Market Street in general is a dangerous street, which is simply untrue according to the Collisions Report: two Market Street intersections are on the list of Highest Injury Collision Intersections on page 13---Market/Octavia and Market/Fifth (25 injury accidents).

Of course Market Street is on the Vision Zero "network" of high-injury streets, but then every busy street in the city is on that map. That makes it easy for the city to cherry-pick streets on which it can make safety "improvements" by not providing any information about why accidents/"collisions" happen, like who or what was responsible and what should be done to prevent them in the future.

In short, the Vision Zero slogan/policy is a faith-based system. The public is supposed to trust a city government about how and why traffic accidents happen on our streets, even though back in 2013 a UC study showed us that a supposedly pro-bike City Hall couldn't even count cycling accidents on city streets.

Speaking of faith, city residents can't count on learning about the city's troubled history of counting traffic accidents from the Chronicle, since long-time transportation reporter Michael Cabanatuan has never written about that UC study. Nor has anyone at the Examiner, the SF Weekly, Streetsblog, or the Bicycle Coalition (see Local media ignore cycling accident study).

There's been a North Korea-like blackout on the subject here in Progressive Land, except for yours truly at District 5 Diary.

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