Monday, September 03, 2018

Another anti-car cyclist appointed to MTA board

Amanda Eakin

From the SF Examiner:

Transportation environmentalist Amanda Eaken is Mayor London Breed’s pick to join the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Office announced today.

The seven-member board has had a vacancy since director Joel Ramos stepped down to join SFMTA as a public outreach staffer in June. Eaken’s appointment will make the board whole and add statewide and national expertise.

Eaken, who resides near the Panhandle, is director of transportation and climate for the Natural Resources and Defense Council and director of transportation for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, which aims to provide $70 million across 20 U.S. cities to meet climate goals.

“As a regular Muni rider and bicyclist in the city, I am excited for the opportunity to improve the reliability of our transportation network and help San Francisco implement our transit first goals,” she said in a statement (emphasis added).

Eaken’s appointment also comes at a tumultuous time at SFMTA, as Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin has taken heat from Breed and the public over the recent Muni citywide slowdown, controversial revelations around contractor Shimmick Construction’s history of safety violations, and what Breed called an “opaque” scooter permitting process.

A letter sent by Breed on Aug. 20 lambasting Reiskin was widely seen as an attempt to oust him, but only the MTA Board of Directors has to power to fire him. A board majority signaled they have confidence in Reiskin at a meeting this week, but this appointment by Breed could potentially give her another vote.

In a statement, Breed praised Eaken’s “extensive track record” in promoting public transportation policies.

“Her expertise on issues regarding transportation, land use, and the connection to sustainable communities will bring a valuable perspective to the SFMTA Board of Directors,” Breed said.

Rob's comment:
Anti-car Joel Ramos gets aboard the MTA's gravy train and is replaced by anti-car cyclist Amanda Eakin. (Recall that Ramos supported Sunday parking meters and putting parking meters in the Dogpatch/Portrero Hill neighborhoods.)

Eakin's appointment will please the SFCTA's Tilly Chang, since Eakin also supports Congestion Pricing

Seems unlikely that Eakin and the SFMTA board will fire Reiskin, since that would mean repudiating City Hall's anti-car policies that Reiskin has been implementing aggressively since he was hired in 2011.

In San Francisco the definition of "Transit First" includes bicycles: "Bicycling shall be promoted by encouraging safe streets for riding, convenient access to transit, bicycle lanes, and secure bicycle parking."

You probably thought "transit" referred to buses and trains. Not here in Progressive Land, where parking is denigrated as "car storage," motor vehicles are "death monsters," and busy streets are called "traffic sewers."

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Religious fanatics rule Mayaysia

From Slate:

Two gay women in Malaysia were convicted by a court of “sexual relations between women,” an illegal act in the country, and caned six times each Monday in the Shariah High Court in the Malaysian state of Terengganu. The punishment meted out by the court in the Muslim-majority country was carried out in front of more than 100 people, according to local reports. The two women, aged 22 and 32, were arrested by Islamic enforcement in April while attempting to have sex in a parked car.

The conviction for same-sex relations was the first in the state and the first public caning, an official told the BBC. Human rights groups decried the punishment as torture, raising concerns about the treatment of the gay community in the Southeast Asian nation. Both women pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay an $800 fine along with the corporal punishment. The women “were led to a stool where two female officers from the Kajang Women’s prison carried out the sentence in turns,” the Daily Star reports...

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Kevin Drum

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