Monday, March 12, 2018

Aaron Peskin, the Bicycle Coalition, and congestion pricing

Aaron Peskin was elected supervisor in 2000 and termed out in 2009. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle / ONLINE_YES
Aaron Peskin

Not surprising that Supervisor Peskin supports Scott Wiener's congestion pricing legislation:

“I’ve long been a proponent of congestion pricing as a way to change driving behavior and reduce traffic,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also serves as board chair on the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. “While this won’t raise significant revenue toward our massive citywide transportation infrastructure and operations needs,” he added, “it’s an important tool to address vehicle gridlock in our transit-rich downtown core. I’m ready to sponsor a local ordinance to create the pilot, should this enabling bill pass.”

Why Aaron Peskin ever got a reputation as a leader is a mystery. In reality he's always been running with the political lemmings, beginning with the progressive failure on homelessness, an issue that then-supervisor Gavin Newsom took control of in 2002 with Care Not Cash. Can anyone remember Peskin ever saying anything about homelessness?

Actually, even before the homeless fiasco, Peskin voted with the prog majority for a resolution asking for a new trial for cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Mumia was black and the cop he killed was white, so he must have been innocent, right?

After Newsom rode the homeless issue into the mayor's office, city progs made bicycles their big issue. In 2005 the Board of Supervisors---Peskin was then president of the board---unanimously passed the Bicycle Plan with no debate and no environmental review, though we tried to warn them that was illegal, which was confirmed by Judge Busch's decision the next year. Does anyone remember Peskin saying anything about the Bicycle Plan issue before or since?

Long before the advent of Scott Wiener, Peskin supported highrise development in San Francisco, except in low-rise North Beach where he lives.

Peskin supported the Central Subway before opposing it.

From the Examiner's story on congestion pricing:

Ed Reiskin, director of transportation at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, told the Examiner that international cities like London and Stockholm have demonstrated congestion pricing can work to reduce the number of cars on the road.

London is much larger than SF, with a population of more than 8 million, though Stockholm's is closer to ours, with around one million people. Recall that Reiskin is a bike guy, which is why City Hall chose him in 2011 to lead the MTA as the city remodeled city streets on behalf of a small minority of cyclists:

Brian Wiedenmeier, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, said the booming number of cars in San Francisco “means more traffic, more dangerous streets and more air pollution.” Wiedenmeier supported a possible fee to enter downtown and said “a congestion pricing pilot would allow dense California cities, like ours, to find the strategy that best fits our communities’ needs.”

The Bicycle Coalition has long supported congestion pricing---and anything else that makes it harder and more expensive to drive in San Francisco.

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