Bike advocates have made real progress, but there's still a long way to go

|
(51)
SFBC Director Leah Shahum addresses a large crowd in the War Memorial Building during the Golden Wheel Awards.
Volker Neumann

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum mused on how far this influential advocacy group has come during its 20th Annual Golden Wheels Awards last night, noting that the first such award recognized the commercial landlord at 555 Montgomery Street for installing indoor bike parking.

“Back then, that would get you a Golden Wheel Award,” she said, noting that this year's award to the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco (BOMA) was for its support of legislation requiring all commercial buildings in San Francisco to provide indoor bike parking. “We've come a long way in 20 years, clearly.”

In addition to the majority of the Board of Supervisors who showed up to offer their support, Shahum ticked off a long list of other city and regional officials who ride bikes and understand their potential as an increasingly important transportation option during the era of peak oil, traffic gridlock, and public health problems.

“Regularly, we have these top leaders in the city who are biking because they love it, biking because they've always biked,” Shahum said, citing the Sunday Streets road closures and the school district going from discouraging cycling to facilitating it as signs of the pro-bike mindset that has taken hold of San Francisco.

The fact that SFBC recognized BOMA – a powerful downtown player that has progressed from seeing cyclists as enemies to embracing them as allies – was telling of the mainstream embrace of bikes.

“We get it, we're learning,” Meade Boutwell, president of BOMA's board, told the crowd as he accepted the award, going on to say that “less cars are good for all of us.”

It was a lovely if ungrammatical sentiment and a sign of just how far the business community has come in accepting the imperative of promoting alternatives to the automobile. But there's still a bit of a disconnect in San Francisco about the role that bikes play in the world's great pro-cycling cities, evidenced partly by Boutwell's opening comment, “Under this polyester suit is lycra.”

Keynote speaker Gil Peñalosa – executive director of 8-80 Cities, a nonprofit that promotes creation of cycling infrastructure that is safe and inviting from those 8-80-years-old – mocked the MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra) and the notion that people should be athletic or wear special equipment to be able to cycle in cities.

“We dress normally, we act normal, and so on,” Peñalosa said, later arguing that, “Cycling is for everybody.”

In Boutwell's defense, much of mainstream San Francisco still has a hard time accepting cycling as a normal, safe option. When the San Francisco Chronicle covered Pealosa's visit to Sunday Streets last weekend – our version of the car-free ciclovias that Peñalosa pioneered as a city official in Bogota, Columbia more than a decade ago – reporter Sam Whiting was jarred by the guest's casual approach.

“They had come from overseas and were riding in jeans and without helmets, both rookie mistakes,” he wrote of Peñalosa and his wife (“Sunday Streets welcomes its source of inspiration,” 6/4).

But Peñalosa argues that the real mistake is when cities cater primarily to automobiles at the expense of the safety and livability of their neighborhoods, and treat cycling as a dangerous fringe activity. He argues that cities should be built primarily around pedestrians, “but very close to the pedestrians is the cyclists...I think that cycling is just a more efficient way of walking.”

Public transit is important and should be robust, he said, but it's just not as efficient, user-friendly, economical, or environmentally beneficial as bikes. “We need to walk and bike as a part of everyday life and then we'll be much healthier,” he said.

Peñalosa urged the crowd to be politically active and push the city to prioritize bikes over automobiles, noting that even in wealthy neighborhoods, only about a third of residents drive cars. And from a design perspective, he said city officials must choose between “Streets for cars or streets for people.”

Once we make the latter choice, Peñalosa laid out an agenda for achieving that goal, starting with slowing vehicle speeds to no more than 20 mph in residential areas.

He cited statistics showing that only about 5 percent of pedestrians hit by cars driving 20 mph will die, whereas the fatality rate shoots up to 80 percent when the vehicles are traveling 40 mph. And for streets in which cars are traveling faster than 20 mph, he said it's imperative to have bike lanes that are separated from cars by physical barriers, rather than just lines painted on the street.

He noted that Seville, Spain drastically increased its cycling rate in just a few years by committing to building bike infrastructure, and that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel installed that city's first physically separated bikeway within his first 30 days in office and has perhaps the US's most ambitious program for installing new bikeways. “San Francisco should not be any less than Chicago,” he said.

In Cogenhagen, which already boasts some of the world's highest rates of urban bicycle use, Peñalosa said the city has sought to capture more long-distance riders by building 200 miles of “cycle superhighways” – which includes two lanes in each direction to facilitate both fast and slow riders – all for the price it costs to build about a half-mile of subway.

The goal, he said, is to make cycling as “easy, fast, and convenient” as possible, and to apply the political pressure to make that a priority because “if you aren't doing those things then someone else is and someone else is setting the agenda.”

Comments

The biggest city in Canada has concluded that bike travel is elitest. After all, if you are young, old, frail, disabled or nervous, cycling is not possible. And it is the ultimate form of private transport - even more so than cars which at least can transport several people if used as cabs, car shares etc. And SF is a transit-first city which means a private form of transit like bikes should not be emphasized.

Also, SF bike activists have hardly done themselves any favors by aggressively breaking laws about stopping at stop signs and lights, riding on sidewalks, and ignoring one-way street signs. Two pedestraians have been killed by cyclists in the last year - an appalling indictment of the fact that there is no training, testing, licensing, registration or insurance of bike riders.

My personal feeling is that the bike lobby has over-extended itself and is now declining.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

I'm not sure how bikes are elitist. Can you please explain? There are cargo bikes that would fit at least two children and a parent and there are bikes for 2 or more people. Also, how many thousand cars on SF streets never have more than one passenger in them at any time?

If we're to follow you're argument, we'd just cancel streets altogether and force people to ride BART and muni trains only.

Also, don't keep repeating that same lame argument that the "bike activists are breaking traffic law." All bike activist organization are actually conducting education classes regularly on bike safety and traffic laws. Douchebags breaking traffic law while riding bicycles aren't "bike activists" by any means.

Bike advocacy organizations are growing. Your wishful thinking isn't going to change that. Accept that you have to share the road, and encourage EVERYONE to follow traffic laws.

Posted by Anas on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

the nervous don't have that option. The vast majority of cyclists I see in SF are yuppies. Blacks and hispnaics take the bus, which is true public transit - bikes are the ultimate in private transit, more so than even cars.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:16 am

You keep repeating the word elitist. It doesn't mean what you think it means.

I've seen plenty of 80 year olds on bikes, and the "nervous" will feel safe riding when you give them separated bike lanes from traffic. There are bike designs that cater to the "disabled." Heck, last week a lady with a prosthetic leg flew past me up a hill.

You can't reasonably claim that any activity that the elderly or disabled can't participate in is elitist, and even then your argument isn't even true when it comes to cycling.

"Blacks and hispnaics take the bus." Zeus! We've never seen a person from a minority group on a bike! Also, that's not how you spell "Hispanics."

I can tell from your choice of terminology that I'm not really talking to a reasonable person.

Posted by Anas on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:50 am

white. The idea that they represent the city at large is ridiculous. They are whiter, younger and wealthier than the average city denizen.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 8:50 am

Especially up San Francisco's many hills! It'll do those elderly people good to get off their asses and ride a bike up to the top of Twin Peaks every other day. And as far as the disabled - bicycles DO exist which can be powered by the arms you know - most disabled have the ability to use at least one of those and if one works then they can certainly get off that unhealthy wheelchair and onto the seat of freedom - the seat of a bicycle!

I foresee a future where everyone bikes everywhere - infants, toddlers, children, pregnant women, disabled, elderly, sick and infirm. Where firefighters move quickly to fires on tandem bikes carrying firehoses over their brawny shoulders, where contractors move large amounts of building supplies on multiperson bicycles, where garbage is collected individually by grateful apple-cheeked wenches in straw baskets wheeling silver cruisers.

The time is coming.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

Exactly how grateful would they be?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

I am so obviously an elitist, because I actually know how to spell the word. I also know how to spell "its" (#brotip: no apostrophe). I'm certainly not an elitist for biking to work, as it is the most popular, affordable, and healthy commute mode in the world.

Toronto elected a right-wing idiot who removed bike lanes at greater cost than it took to put them in, and polls show serious voter remorse. Not sure what this has to do with what's going on in smarter cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, etc.

Posted by Elitist on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

I always know I've won an argument when the only comeback is an anal-retentive spelling correction

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:46 am

It should be clear to anyone with a command of reading comprehension to discern that Elitist [sic] actually wrote more than a single "only comeback." His/Her arguments are undercut (though not, of course, negated) by a failure to make proper use of the accent aigu in the word "élitist." Shocking.

Posted by Élitist on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:36 am

=v= Toronto is the only North American city going backwards on this, and it's thanks to a mayor with too much power. The rest of the continent is moving forward. To point to Toronto is an admission of desperation and a failure of reasoning.

There are 21 pedestrian fatalities a year from cars; as far as I know, the 2 from bikes are the first since 1988. They have certainly received far more media attention, and the anomaly of them happening so close together will no doubt fuel all sorts of rhetorical nonsense such as this. But any such is also a failure of reasoning, of course.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 9:06 am

Both as a result of blowing thru stop signs and lights. We can do better.

Toronto is the biggest city in Canada, and an eastern city at that. The 180 they've done could catch on if the bike lobby keep making themselves unpopular.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

More pedestrians are killed and injured by walking into fixed objects and falling off of the curb than by bicycles.

It is clear to all but the most jaundiced pro-car observers that the tragedy at Castro and Market was caused by collective recklessness on the part of pedestrians who left the curb when it was not safe to leave the curb, before the intersection had cleared as is required by law.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

Vehicles always have to give way to people on roads even when they have the right of way. You can't just mow down a pedestrian because you technically have the right of way.

Both cyclists blew through stop signs/lights instead of stopping. And were going too fast for the prevailing conditions.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

If you can't stop, then you can't stop.

That does not necessarily mean that you're going too fast although it can.

One can be going well below the speed limit and if pedestrians enter the crosswalk without looking, according to the laws of physics as I understand them, they are essentially asking to get hit.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

Bicyclists are always "asking to be hit" for traveling on roads designed for cars. That's how I see it.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

No, the law allows us to be in the roadway where cars are because we are vehicles.

The law does not allow pedestrians to enter the intersection until it is safe to do so.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 2:01 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

1) The usual lefty doggeral
2) Whines about other lefties
3) Totally whacked out viewpoints that nobodu understands ro agrees with.

You just hit an example of #3

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

vehcile (or person) who isn't moving, it is ALWAYS your fault because you were obviously going too fast to stop. Insurance companies always find the vehicle at motion at fault if they hit something that isn't moving, or moving slower.

Both these cyclists were at fault which is why they are facing criminal charges - they were not accidents - negligence was at work. They're lucky it's not a manslaughter rap.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

It is clear that the first incident involved the bicyclist running a red light.

But it is less clear as to what happened at Castro and Market.

These are legal matters, not an insurance dispute.

Blowing through a red light is different than entering an intersection on the yellow or green and leaving it on the red because there are competing interests between vacating the intersection to avoid being hit by cross traffic and avoid hitting pedestrians.

Collisions can happen without meeting the elements of a crime in such cases.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

Exactly, televised news reports from El Cerrito indicate that authorities there indicate that the cyclist who hit the elderly woman in the cross walk was not cycling recklessly and would not be charged. This is probably because the City is informed that it has a dangerous condition in place and has taken no steps to make it safer. Similar legal logic would likely apply to the Market and Castro intersection.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 6:22 am

=v= I am of course aware when those 2 fatalities happened, as should be obvious from the words as I wrote them. I am also aware that there are those who would spin such an anomaly is something it's not, your anonymous self included, apparently.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:21 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

I live in Portland now cause it's got great bike lanes. People are moving here in droves because of the ability to live without cars. I was recetnly in a e-bike store in North portland where the owner had built a custom recumbent tricycle with an electric assist. the customer who had been stuck in a wheelchair was ecstatic about his new ride as he could use his arms and when they got tired he could use the assist. That's positive thinking for you. If you are old frail or sick it's never too late to put some effort into moving your body. there's a guy crossing the dead see with no arms or legs swimming. Three years ago I almost died of liver failure. The thing I missed most was going for a ride on my bicycle. I'll never take health for granted again and riding my bike is part of the solution. Elitist is an insult that jealous people throw at smart people mostly by right wingers.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

in that it presages the coming conflict between bicyclists and users of public transportation. No longer comfortable with slamming automobile drivers, the bike lobby is now muttering about how public transport encourages "unhealthy" activity (sitting) and that even walking is no longer preferable to biking. Evidently wanting to rest after working a 10-hour shift is a sign of sloth and should be discouraged whenever possible in favor of a brisk ride up one of San Francisco's many steeply graded streets.

It will be interesting when this, as always, comes down to an issue of funding. Bicyclists have become so self-centered and egotistical that they're now looking down on BART and MUNI users as "unhealthy." How long until they're demanding that bike lanes be given priority funding over public transportation?

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

False. Bicycling advocacy groups advocate for bike access and facilities on public transportation such as allowing bikes on BART and adding bike racks on buses.

All cyclers really want is not to get killed on while getting around in the city. It's not a hard thing to achieve. Doesn't cost the much to build or maintain. I don't get all the hate.

Posted by Anas on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

they are the only ones that matter, and feel entitled to roadspace dedicated only to them. But if they are not willing to share the road with others, why should we go out of our way to accomodate what are their endless demands for more and more space?

The bike lobby would have more credibility if they weren't a de facto anti-car lobby.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:49 am

Cycling and alternative transit advocates don't hardly advocate for more and more reliable public and rapid transit not for cyclists but for non cyclists.

The more transit is attractive to those who would choose between transit and driving, more will take transit and fewer will drive and that will make streets safer for cyclists.

The most important policy change we can do for cyclists is to improve transit for everyone else, but that is not apparent to the single issue siloed cycling or pedestrian advocates.

I've actually had ped advocates state that we need fewer bus stops because it is healthier for people to walk more. Try that on crutches or with arthritis and get back to me.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

bike lobby as being detrimental to a transit-first city, on the basis that bikes are not transit!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

That's not at all what anyone said, but don't let reality stop you from spewing nonsense. You'll probably get way more support on SFGate, where they love that sort of thing.

Posted by Elitist on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

So it must be doing something for you.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

The best part is that trolls are actually job creators who keep Tim Redmond and Steven T. Jones fed and happy every time they post here, bumping up hit numbers and ad revenue and such. Perhaps my theory that paid progressives with close ties to established political sectors are spies who advance the ends of corporate power is true after all?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

Parking advocacy individuals are a "mob" according to Steve Jones because they want things for free, while the bicycle lobby is visionary because it wants things for free.

I know there are all these extraneous reasons why one group has more entitlement than another, but it is none the less interesting to see it all in action.

Posted by Matlock on Jun. 06, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

Motorists already have far more dedicated roadway space than cyclists, so until we more closer to parity -- or at least until the currently proposed bike network is finally complete -- it's ridiculous to accuse cyclists of over-entitlement. As for the previous comment on public transit users, cyclists strongly support public transit, but it's undeniable that it's far more expensive to build and operate transit systems per passenger than it is to create bike infrastructure, so it's smart policy to engage as much bike ridership as possible. But the point is that we need to do both, and to recognize that the hegemony of the automobile needs to come to an end. And that means, among other things, ending the expectation of free vehicle storage on public streets.

Posted by steven on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 10:54 am

Never had all the problems you and all the other activists do.

entitlement pure and simple.

Posted by Matlock on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

Cycling will not get safer until not just in-city public transit, but reliable regional rapid transit becomes an attractive alternative.

So long as BOMA wins by getting Muni to provide subsidies for in-bound commuters with CalTrain shuttles to Twitter, etc, then that comes at the expense of making out-bound commuting easier with transit services for San Franciscans to regional transit.

What we're seeing here is the effective picking off of loosely connected components of the progressive coalition by downtown corporate power. Just like Obama seeks gay votes for his drone wars by supporting same sex marriage, BOMA and downtown seek to strip alternative transit supporters from the economic justice component of the progressive coalition. The economic justice component, for their part, has abandoned their task in favor of collecting contracts from the City and foundations.

All the while, more and more upscale condos are being built with and without parking, yet more and more upscale people are driving through the City. You can see the increase in the number of sports cars on the road. So for the cost of a few parklets, a few cans of paint for bike lanes and for a few contracts and grants for former social and economic justice nonprofits, corporate power buys off any organized resistance.

We can only hope that the demise of the Rainbow Grocery SFBC discount brings their membership back down to where it was five years ago.

But Steve, what fabulous bicycle fashions were people wearing? Who, what, where and what-on?

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 5:47 am

a city-wide vast political conspiracy. They're just bikes, you know, and if you ride slowly and carefully, it can be perfectly safe. The problem is that they want to treat the entire city as their personal, private domain.

People drive in this city because it is a very driveable city. I can get to most places in the city in 10-15 minutes, which is how it should be. I have no objection to sharing the streets with bikes but asking for wholesale changes to space utilization just so you can ride 2mph faster isn't going to get my vote.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 6:10 am

Bicyclists WERE part of the progressive coalition, now corrupt corporate power that is extracting value from San Francisco as fast as it can be produced has excised bicyclists from the progressive coalition by offering them crumbs, just like they've done to the poverty nonprofits.

Nothing conspiratorial about it, just corruption playing for keeps.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 7:41 am

Your vision appears to be ticking boxes on a list - oh, if I'm a progressive then I have to support, bikes, whales, redwoods, the disabled, tenants, gays.

Most people don't think in such a cookie-cutter way, and are liberal on some issues and conservative on others, which is why moderates usually win.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 8:54 am

The historical record of endorsements demonstrates that the alternative transportation activists WERE part of the coalition that elected the progressive board of supervisors 12 years ago.

The current record demonstrates that these activists are apt to support whomever promises them parklets irrespective of any other political considerations.

Posted by marcos on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 9:07 am

I love to travel and the first place i go in a new city is the bike rental shop. I am always amazed how few americans ride bikes in urban or even suburban areas. I rarely have to take any other form of transit. Even in winter, we rent bikes on the east coast! dress warmly .Stay in bike lanes(when they have them) and ride slower in busy streets.Im 57 years old, and find that it is for everyone.thanks to all who consider it. It saves the country on foreign dependence, reduces emissions, is far healthier, and ...well, plain ole fun!!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 07, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

more suitable for bikes, miles, carts and such.

And even there, Toronto is now rolling back it's bike program as it is a highly inefficient use of road space.

In the west, with our wide open spaces, bikes will only ever be marginal forms of private transit. Cars and public transit must dominate.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 08, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

is that bicyclists consider themselves superior to others due to the fact that they ride a bike. Drivers do not consider themselves superior because they drive, nor pedestrians because they walk.

That superiority feeds into a smug sense of self-entitlement as bicyclists isolate themselves by spending more and more time with other cyclists, going to bicycle-centric events and reading Wigg party manifestos. They then develop a sense of bewilderment and anger when confronted with the reality that most people in SF do not bike nor do they want to bike - their insular worldview means they're ill-equipped to deal with that reality. That hostility comes to the fore with the bicyclists in the transportation and planning departments within the City of SF - who feel that if they make it difficult for drivers, in essence exercising their rage at non-cyclists, they'll be able to force more and more people to give up their cars and embrace the bicycle-centric worldview they themselves have chosen.

It's a very sad dynamic.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 09, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

Car drivers consider themselves superior to everyone on the road. They demonstrate this with their idiotic and selfish behavior every day. Car drivers often honk, throw things at bicyclists and flip off and otherwise harass cyclists. I have seen it often.

Furthermore, they threaten everyone around them with their boorish and illegal behavior: drinking and driving, texting and driving, eating and driving and driving around with their windows down and loud music blaring out annoying everyone around them.

In short, car drivers are a menace to society and should all be locked up.

Posted by Troll666 on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

"SF bike activists have hardly done themselves any favors by aggressively breaking laws about stopping at stop signs and lights, riding on sidewalks, and ignoring one-way street signs."

I agree with this & think it's a brilliant point. Bike activists should be very careful not to run stop signs because if they do it makes all the other bicyclists look bad & they should care more about their fellow bicyclists than that. That's why motor-vehicle activists always come to complete stops at intersections, because they know that if they just roll right through without stopping they will make all their fellow motor-vehicle drivers look bad, & they don't want to do that. The same goes for speeding, turning without signaling, running red lights, etc. It is actually a very effective way to keep all illegal behavior in check, because people identify so strongly with the other members of their class, and they have such a strong sense of social conscience about not wanting other people to be blamed unnecessarily for their own bad behavior.

Seriously, I feel sorry for anyone who is still grousing about people riding bicycles. Aside from being around for almost 200 years at this point -- longer than cars, in fact, and certainly long enough for people to be used to them at this point -- I truly believe that they are the wave of the future, and that that wave is, fortunately, unstoppable. Whoever disses bikes for fun needs to find a new hobby. You're like little tiny fleas on the rear-end of an elephant. You can gripe and gripe all you want but nothing you do will change this. So I really advocate for you to find better uses of your time and energy, and to find a more worthy target for your prodigious amounts of righteous indignation. This may make me elitist in your eyes, but at least I am not the elitest. I am also not the feminest, the anarchest, or the dogmatest. I'll leave it up to other spelling nazis [sic] to claim that title.

Posted by grrlfriday on Jun. 11, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

It's not about complaining about people who ride bikes in SF. It's about the bike lobby's anti-car bias. Anything that makes it harder and more expensive to drive in SF gets the SFBC's support, which is why they opposed the parking garages in Golden Gate Park, at Hastings College, and at the UC medical offices near Divisadero. And taking away more than 50 traffic lanes and 2,000 street parking spaces to make bike lanes as per the Bicycle Plan on behalf of a small minority of cyclists.

Yes, Rob Anderson thinks Muni is the real alternative to driving in SF, not bikes, even though the bike lobby has re-written the City Charter's definition of Transit First to include bikes! When you take away traffic lanes on busy streets, you not only delay motorists but a number of Muni lines, which the EIR on the Bicycle Plan demonstrated.

Of course city cyclists are the grossest elitists. Can anyone seriously think that the Bicycle Plan would be passed by city voters if it was on the ballot?

Posted by Rob Anderson on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 9:47 am

=v= I am an anti-car bicycle and transit advocate, and all I've got to say about Rob Anderson's oft-repeated bogus claim here is that I truly WISH the "bike lobby" would take a stand against the infernal deadly contraptions that are ruining our lives, our city, and our planet. Instead, they're all about co-existence 'n' stuff.

The city's transit-first policy was strengthened (and extended to bicyclists and pedestrians) by a ballot measure in 1999, and was reaffirmed by voters in 2007 when Don Fisher attempted to have parts of it overturned. The changes that Anderson is complaining about are, in fact, implementing the will of the voters.

Allegations that bicycling is élitist are desperately wrong. Motorists are some of the most privileged people in the world.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

City voters in the 1999 election voted to merge DPT and Muni, but you had to read the fine print of the lengthy text of legal language in the voters guide to know that, yes, the rewritten Transit First definition would henceforth include bicycles. No one but you bike zealots and your enablers in City Hall knew that was what they were voting for.

As it is now, anything City Hall wants to do to our streets---including taking away traffic lanes on busy streets to make bike lanes, which will also delay Muni lines---can be called "transit first."

Oh yes, Prop. A in 2007 was another great victory for you bike folks over everyone else. Tucked away in the text was anti-car and anti-parking measures, along with guaranteeing Muni workers the second highest pay rate in the country for transit workers, a measure that had to be rescinded by the voters in 2010.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

Contrary to your revisionist mischaracterizations, the pro-bike provisions of both measures were widely-publicized by hostile parties, including by mainstream media and self-important bloggers like yourself.

Posted by Jym Dyer on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 11:57 pm