Posts Tagged ‘bicycle coalition’

Exploring Alternatives to the Crowded, Problematic “The Wiggle” Bike Route – “RIDE OAK?” – Sure, or McAllister

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Here you go:

Due to police harassment on the SF Wiggle we have no choice but to ride Oak.”

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Well, let’s see, there are LOTS of reasons to not ride the vaunted THE WIGGLE route and also, there are other options asides from OAK.

But let’s consider Oak now. Oh, here’s famous fixie-riding Andy on the left side of Oak, from all the way back in aught-seven.

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And look, the dashed lines made a sort of bike lane on the left side – good times. (Unfortunately, this space for bikes is no longer there, due to subsequent restriping.)

Anywho, going straight on Oak instead of taking the Wiggle at Scott is nice because you’ve only got one sort of steep block. I see people take Oak all the time. Oak is good. Oak is fast. Oak is congested a lot of the time due to horrible horrible Octavia Boulevard (what was dreamed up by wealthy homeowners in Hayes Valley), so you’d spend some time weaving about, getting around drivers trying to get on the I-80 / the 101 superslabs, but that’s OK. I’ll add that Oak is for the adventurous, certainly.

So, Oak is far from being a ridiculous choice, a choice TO TEACH US ALL A LESSON about the dangers of the SFPD handing out citations. It’s a viable option.

Or what of Oak and Baker to Fulton to Divisadero to Mcallister to Market? This is THE UNWIGGLE with no wiggling at all betwixt Divis and Market. And look, you’ve defeated the rich people of HV who put a 105 foot wide BOULEVARD betwixt you and your destination, ’cause Octavia is but a nothingburger walking path / federal housing project parking lot on this route – it won’t slow you down at all.

Or Fulton? It’s a bit hillier than McAll and you’ve got big old City Hall in your way, but it’ll do.

Or Golden Gate? That works too.

Or Haight all the way to Fillmore, just to avoid the congested THE WIGGLE?

Notice that all these routes avoid “cycling” a bunch of people through the stop signs at WALLER and STEINER in the Lower Haight.

Those are some of your inbound routes.

As far as using Fell to go back home, well that’s CRAZY TOWN, that’s ill-advised. I rarely have seen that, in all my years.

IMO, the best way to get back is MCALLISTER

rt30

…of course, there are other non-THE WIGGLE choices as well.

But feel free to do whatever you want, commiserate with this knucklehead, who lacks self-awareness, as you both deal with $238 tickets from John Law.

Just saying…

Surprise! Bicycle Use in San Francisco Has Stopped Growing on a Per Capita Basis, Per This Official Report

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Here it is, a brand-new SFMTA PDF, published in May 2015:

Annual Bicycle Count Survey 2014

And here’s your nut graf, on the topic of Bicycle Use, as seen on Page 5:

“2013 vs 2014: … 1% increase.”

And here’s your summary, also seen on Page 5:

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Now let’s add in a little population growth in the 2013-2014 period:

It’s boom time in San Francisco: Population, jobs are growing

And all this adds up to the headline above.

(And, coincidentally, these are the days of falling membership at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, from a claimed “over 12,000″ to well less than 10,000 these days.)

What can explain this all?

There’s no SF Bicycle Plan injunction preventing new construction these days – that ended a while back, right?

And the weather – the weather the past few years has probably been most bike-friendly since before the First San Francisco Bicycle Boom back in the 1800’s.

Here’s the reaction so far – I’ll show all that I can find, which isn’t all that much:

Grab your pom poms:

Tim Papandreou ‏@tpap_ May 15 2014 SF bike count report is up! 206% increase in cycling since 2006! Go team!”

So I guess we’d call this spin? I mean this report, or something like it, comes out every year, right? And we already knew* about the Great Fixie Craze Of The Late Aughts what made bikes cool again, so why focus upon what we already knew? The new news here, the actual news, is that Bicycle Use in San Francisco Has Stopped Growing on a Per Capita Basis, right? Moving on…

…to this, from Stuart Rob Anderson’s Black Angus Steakhouse Square Cow Fun Bar District Five Diary

Bicycle count report: “Bicycle use slowed down with 1% increase”

The bicycle Count report: A closer look

I should point out that a “1% increase” is an actual increase and not a “decrease.” And also, the reported increase is actually a little bit more than 1.5% IRL, so that’s on a par with the population increase over the same period – I mean, it’s a really close call here. The big point is that the recent era of rapid growth has ended.

I can see why SFGov wanted to delay this news until Bike To Work Day 2015…

*Or I should say I already knew, since I have more years decades hours miles on a bike in San Francisco than you, Gentle Reader, or anybody at the SFBC, or anybody at the SFMTA for that matter. Yes, bike use in SF is way up since the 1980’s, since the 1990’s, since the mid-aughts, yes, freely conceded.

KRON-TV’s Big Stanley Roberts vs. the Little Lebowski of the Southern Wiggle: “I Don’t Want To Release This Footage”

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:

Oh No, Shaming! – “Referee the Wiggle” Event Coming April 23rd to “Red Card” Cyclists at Infamous Waller and Steiner

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:

FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN

That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.

Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.

Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.

Here it is:

Capturegdgggg copy

“Referee the Wiggle
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 3:00pm – 3:30 pm
Waller and Steiner st – The Wiggle

While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!

Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”

*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.

**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.

***Named for Landsford Hastings, a distant cousin, surely, of UC Hastings’ Justice Serranus Clinton Hastings.

NIMBY’s vs. the SFMTA: Local Objections to New Traffic Signals on McAllister at Broderick and Scott for the 5 Fulton

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

This effort appears to be similar to the SFMTA’s attempt to add traffic signals on Haight at Scott and Pierce.

This isn’t the worst example of NIMBYism, but I’d say it’s fairly alarmist, fairly absurd.

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I’ll just say that, generally speaking, it’s generally harder to get around town these days by car, by bike and by MUNI, compared with ten or twenty years ago. Part of this has to do with our newer, absurdly-wide sidewalks, designed for pedestrian “comfort.”

And yet, most ped and cyclist deaths in San Francisco involve fault from the peds and cyclists. Here’s 2014:

The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.” 

(I should do a video on how to be a pedestrian in SF. It might involve some jaywalking but it would also involve extreme alertness on behalf of peds. You see, the way to prevent a lot of ped deaths in SF would be to get inside their heads to see what’s going wrong.)

IMO, the SFMTA should leave McAllister alone and then start taking out as many bus stops as politically possible.

I’ll tell you, not that many cyclists pass by Broderick and McAllister compared with Scott and McAllister, it seems, owing to geography. So looking at McAllister and Scott, it seems that the lights will be timed against cyclists using FULTON DIVISADERO MCALLISTER eastbound as an alternative to the already-overcrowded Wiggle route to get from the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to the Financh.

So for my own selfish reasons, I’d prefer that MUNI not make these changes, but who am I to stand in their way? What the MUNI people are saying is that we’ll all be better off overall, and 40 seconds each way each day will add up to millions of seconds, eventually.

In conclusion, meh. If MUNI wants to put in lights, we should let them do it.

Oh, the Urbanity! Incoming SF Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick is Looking for a 2-Bedroom Apartment for _Less_ than $3K per Month

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Wow, a person made a post trying to help out incoming San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick by getting the word out about an apartment hunt

And check it, the poster is just like me, as he doesn’t agree with with everything the SFBC does AND he thinks the SFBC is an effective advocacy group.

And here it is:

“While I don’t agree with everything SFBC does, it is certainly the most effective advocacy group I’ve ever belonged to. And here’s a way to help them: by finding  their new director, who is moving here from the east coast, an apartment in San Francisco. I know xx#xers care a lot about bicycle advocacy, and we all know that finding an apartment here is a bloodsport where knowing tenants and landlords is a definite advantage, hence this message.

Desired attributes:
• Close to a BART stop
• Two bedrooms
• Less than $3,000/month

If you have any leads, please email me and I’ll make the connection.”

The kicker is that NY Noah wants his crib to be in SF and he wants it to be close to a BART stop.

(IDK, these requirements rule out Crackton as an option.)

I think I’d advise young Noah to lower his expectations, but who knows – it’s in any event smart to get the word out.

This was the first of many replies:

“Awwwww, he’s adorable. I hear Daly City is nice…”

Ouch.

Now lately, the SFBC has stopped boasting of its increasing membership, because lately membership is way down – thousands of people have decided not to re-up. Now why is that?

Mmmm…

Now you tell me – which is a bigger problem to solve? Is it:

1. Finding a “nice” 2-bed close to BART for $2K-something in 2014; or

2. Finding 2K-something more people to join the SFBC AND then get them continue paying dues, year after year.

That’s a toughie.

Amazingly, the Corrupt SFMTA Gives the SFBC Money to Say that the Corrupt SFMTA Needs More Money

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Republican Sean Walker is financing a ballot proposition this fall and the SFBC is not amused:

Despite an official “Transit-First” policy in San Francisco, biking, walking and taking transit in our city have been historically underfunded…

Uh, riding a bike isn’t actually “transit,” which IRL is “a system of buses, trains, etc. that people use to travel around in a particular city or area.”

This lack of funding and priority, means Muni is too often overcrowded and unreliable…

Or perhaps MUNI is poorly managed? Oh you don’t care because you get hundreds and thousands from the SFMTA each year? Why don’t you disclose that fact before crowing the SFMTA’s party line? Oh, you used to post your tax returns but now you don’t because you’re worried people might actually look at them? OK fine.

…dozens of people are killed just trying to walk across the streets each year.

Not dozens. Too many to be sure but not “dozens.”

…livable streets…

Our streets currently aren’t “liveable?” What does that mean? How Orwellian is your fund-raising “framing” going to get?

…there is a group of San Franciscans who think that there’s actually too much space given to sustainable ways to get around…

Well now, if you give the voters of the 415 / 628 the chance to freeze for five years the amount of money the SFMTA MUNI makes from parking tickets, they just might say “Aye,” right?

Your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will be working with partners to make sure our transportation system is moving forward

MUNI is a disaster, right? MUNI is not “moving forward.” How much does the SFMTA give the SFBC every year to say stuff like this?

Our Board of Directors voted last week to oppose this “Transit-Last” measure, while supporting two important transportation funding measures on this November’s ballot, which will advance and truly better balance our city’s transportation needs. The first is the Transportation & Road Safety Bond, a $500 million general obligation bond dedicated to transportation capital improvements, including modernizing our transit system and investing in bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Will this allow landlords to up rents in SF? Howard Wong, who is not on the SFMTA payroll, says it will “raise property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

(It’s important to note that this measure will not raise local property taxes, as it only infills expiring debt.)

What does this mean? Is Howard Wong incorrect?

And the second is a charter amendment linking population growth to transportation spending, specifically long-ignored transit & safe streets needs. 

So the corrupt SFMTA gives you money to say that the corrupt SFMTA needs more money?

Here’s the rest of what Howard Wong has to say, FYI:

Arguments against MUNI infrastructure improvement bond

What does the ballot measure do:

Raises property taxes and rents (50% pass-through) to pay for General Obligation Bonds of $500 million, with $350 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $850 million.

Funds “may be allocated” for transit and roads—carte blanche authority for unspecific projects.

If the Bond is rejected by voters, property taxes and rents would be reduced for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

To read the Ordinance’s legal language is to oppose the Bond Measure.

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

The Ordinance’s legal language makes no definitive commitment to any specific work:  “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bondmay include but are not limited to the following: 

Then, for eight project types, all eight begin with:  “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” 

In financial decisions, never sign a contract when the terms and deliverables are ambiguous.

Throwing billions of dollars at bad Muni projects hasn’t worked. 

Since 2006, Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations annually)…. Large project cost overruns have cut funds for infrastructure and maintenance.  The Central Subway alone has taken $595 million in state and local funds.  Huge subway cost overruns loom ahead, unveiled by the Central Subway’s cost engineer, whose whistle-blower’s complaint alleges a cooking of the books.

Bond Does Not Restore Muni Service Cuts

Muni has cut neighborhood transit, cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors.  …  Eliminated bus lines will not be restored—Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 34, 89…  Shortened bus routes will not be restored:  Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48, 53, 67, 88, 91, 108…  Muni has been an integrated citywide transit system, interconnecting outlying neighborhoods.  By cutting neighborhood transit, driving is encouraged—then penalized by more fees/ fines/ parking elimination.

Learning From the Past:  SFMTA’s Poor Spending Habits 

·        In 1999, Prop E created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and a 85% on-time performance mandate.  Instead, Muni falsified on-time performance data and paid bonuses to its Director.

·        In 2003, Prop K extended the transportation sales tax and provided a list of projects.  The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.578 billion.  The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

·        In 2007, Prop A gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars.  Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

·        In 2011, voters approved a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with $181 million in interest payments, for a total debt load of $429 million.  Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

·        SFMTA’s budget grew by hundreds of millions of dollars to $978 million.  Number of employees grew by thousands to 4,921.  Salaries have soared.  And riders get service cuts.

Mayor’s Transportation Task Force (TTF) and Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

This proposed Bond, a second Bond, future fees and taxes will not meet objectives.  Only 49% of the TTF”s recommended funding goes to Muni.  TTF’s proposed $2.955 billion does not remotely solve Muni’s $25 billion in 20-Year Capital Plan Need.  The proposed TEP continues transit cuts to neighborhoods, shifting service to rapid corridors.  Better planning is needed for a citywide integrated Muni system.  Oppose this Bond Measure.

Sincerely,

Howard Wong, AIA, a founding member of SaveMuni

www.SaveMuni.com

www.SaveNorthBeachVillage.org

Wow, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Goes After Bicycle-Riding Supervisor David Chiu Big-Time – The “David Chiu Injury Counter?”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Whoo wee, where to begin here? Apparently, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thinks Supervisor David Chiu is the Great Enemy of Cyclists in San Francisco County. Read on, below.

And this is sort of funny because  I’ve never ever seen him in a car. I’ve seen him walking in the Financh, I’ve seen him getting on a bus on Market, and I’ve seen him many many times wearing a dark suit while riding a bicycle, but I’ve never seen him in a car. Isn’t that funny?

All right, a couple opening matters here. Cyclist Chris Bucchere, who actually is responsible for death on the streets of San Francisco has gotten praised, defended and ignored by zealous cycling advocacy crowd of San Francisco.

Praised: Oh, Chris Bucchere is a “good guy.” Oh, Chris Bucchere didn’t do anything at all wrong because he “entered the intersection [of Market and Castro] legally.”

Defended: Oh, Chris Bucchere had a concussion when he wrote all those things. Oh, the people who saw him blowing stop signs before the accident are car drivers so of course what they say is unreliable.

Ignored: I’ll tell you, I don’t think the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has ever used his name – he’s become an unperson, basically. He’s bad for business, of course.

So that sets the bar pretty low, but here comes David Chiu, who, apparently, deserves his own body count webpage, you know, on account of all the people he’s killed on just one street over the years. See below, I’m srsly.

And the other thing is this. You might not know this and it might not look like it but, I have:

More miles,

More hours,

More years, and

More decades

on a bicycle in San Francisco County than anybody at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, at WalkSF, and at the StreetsBlog (And to that tally you can also add driving vehicles and walking around and, perhaps, riding transit but I’m not regularly on MUNI anymore.)

Now, on with the show. This kind of stuff just showed up in my reader about a couple of weeks late. Check it:

Leave us begin

“Why are David Chiu and the SFMTA Turning Their Backs on Your Safety?”

ALL RIGHT, YOU’RE STARTING OFF JUST ASSUMING THAT SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON SAFETY, RIGHT? IS THIS HOW YOU ROLL, SFBC? WE GIVE YOU ALL THIS TAX AND FEE PAYER MONEY, HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR TO DO WHAT? TO PAY YOUR SALARIES, TO PAY THE RENT ON YOUR OFFICE. TO ENDORSE THE ELECTION OF ED LEE SO THAT YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY TO PAY YOUR SALARIES? OK FINE. BUT SINCE I’M BEING TAXED AND FEE’D TO PAY YOUR BUDGET, I’LL SUGGEST A BETTER HEADLINE FOR THIS SCREED – HOW ABOUT, “HERE’S WHY WE THINK SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF USERS OF ONE STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY?”

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, March 27th, 2014. David Chiu’s Injury Counter – Collision history from Update to the MTA Board of Directors PAG Committee. Visit sfbike.org/polk for live injury counter. We are deeply troubled to see that Supervisor David Chiu and the decisionmakers at the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) are turning their backs on your safety on Polk Street. Facts are facts: Polk Street is the second most dangerous corridor in San Francisco, according to the City’s official data.

UH, ISN’T MISSION A MORE “DANGEROUS CORRIDOR” THAN POLK? AND ISN’T THE LOWER THIRD? I THINK SO.

Yet Supervisor Chiu and the city’s transportation agency officials are ignoring these facts by promoting a watered-down design for Polk Street that is light years behind what is needed to make bicycling and walking a safe, comfortable experience for all.

HOO BOY. UH, BICYCLING AND WALKING ARE NEVER GOING TO BE “SAFE” AND “COMFORTABLE” EXPERIENCES “FOR ALL.” SORRY. SO S.F. DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT S.F. TO DO ON JUST ONE STREET IN THE CITY ISN’T GOING TO ATTAIN YOUR GRAND GOAL.

And they are ignoring their recent votes and public pronouncements supporting Vision Zero — apparently your safety on our streets is not such a high priority after all.

HOO BOY. UH, VISION ZERO IS WHAT, NOW? IT’S SAYING WE’RE GOING TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, WE’RE GOING TO ELIMINATE ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY IN A DECADE, BY 2024. VISION ZERO IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. SORRY. DON’T YOU KNOW THIS, SFBC? OH YOU DO BUT YOU WANT TO PRETEND TO BELIEVE IN VISION ZERO SO YOU CAN BE DISAPPOINTED WHEN SFGOV DOESN’T DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT IT TO DO EACH AND EVERY MONTH OF 2014-2024? FOR WHAT, FOR BEING ABLE TO RAISE MONEY TO PAY SALARIES, FOR FUNDRAISING? OH, BUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS ARE DOWN LATELY? WHY’S THAT? AND YOU MAKE FAR MORE MONEY FROM SFGOV GIVING YOU MONEY THAN FROM SFBC MEMBERS PAYING DUES? ISN’T THAT BACKWARDS? I THINK SO.

This is not acceptable.

OH, OK, SO WHY DON’T GIVE BACK ALL THE MONEY WE’VE GIVEN YOU OVER THE YEARS? AREN’T YOU A GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED INSTITUTION NOW? SO WHY DO YOU TAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESPISE SO?

To hold these City leaders accountable, we launch the David Chiu/MTA Polk Street Body Count clock, tracking the number of people hurt on Polk Street on their watch.

SO IF DAVID CHIU DOESN’T BEHAVE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT HIM TO, THEN HE’S RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS ON ONE RANDOM STREET IN SF? HAHAHA! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS THROUGH? SO LIKE WE’RE LIVING IN “STRONG MAYOR POLITICAL SYSTEM,” SO WHY NOT CALL IT THE “ED LEE / SFMTA POLK STREET BODY COUNT CLOCK” INSTEAD? AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A “BODY COUNT” IS? IT’S, “The number of people killed in a war, disaster, etc.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/body%20count SO I THINK YOUR HYSTERICAL “COUNT” IS OFF BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. AND ACTUALLY, DAVID CHIU DIDN’T KILL ANYBODY ON POLK STREET.

We will keep this clock up until Chiu and the MTA get serious about safety by bringing to the MTA Board of Directors a true safety-first Polk Street proposal of separated bikeways the entire project length.

I SEE, SO DAVID CHIU, THE BIKE-RIDINGEST SUPERVISOR EVER, THE DUDE YOU SEE ALL THE TIME ON A BIKE WEARING A GOD-DAMNED PIN-STRIPED BLUE SUIT, THAT GUY, HE’S THE GREAT EVIL OF CYCLING IN SF? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS ONE THROUGH? I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE, SFBC.

We are hearing from Chiu that he believes the watered-down design shared publicly this week is a compromise that is “good enough.” But have no doubt: the only thing this proposal compromises is YOUR SAFETY.

WHOA, ALL CAPS. “SO ANGRY.” BUT IRL, THE WAY TO INCREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF EVERYBODY. THE WAY TO DEACREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO GIVE IN TO NARROW, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED, MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS.

Hundreds of people have reviewed the lackluster design and voiced their concerns to Chiu and the MTA, but to no avail.

WELL, TO _SOME_ AVAIL, RIGHT? AND IF THAT FIGURE WERE THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE LARGER, LET’S SAY SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF HUNDREDS _OF THOUSANDS_ OF PEOPLE, WELL, IF THEY ALL WANTED THE EXACT SAME PLAN FOR THIS ONE STREET, THEN THEY’D GET IT, RIGHT? BUT JUST HUNDREDS ON ONE SIDE AGAINST THE WHOLE REST OF THE CITY, WELL, THAT’S NOT MUCH A OF A FIGHT, RIGHT?

Instead, they are responding to a vocal minority of people opposing bicycle safety improvements on the street.

UH, I THINK _YOU’RE_ THE VOCAL MINORITY, SFBC, RIGHT?

The resounding message from people who bike and walk on Polk Street is that the current design is a recipe for mass confusion and dangerous conflict.

YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK FOR A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO LACK YOUR MONOMANIACAL VISION, SFBC.

The proposed bikeway zig zags between parked cars and the curb, stops and starts, sometimes completely disappearing for blocks at a time, leaving you hanging while biking and leaving drivers confused and stressed out.

WELL GEE, WHY NOT LEAVE POLK STREET THE WAY IT IS THEN? OR JUST REPAVE IT AND CALL IT A DAY – IS THAT AN OPTION? ACTUALLY, THE BULK OF SAN FRANCISCO JUST MIGHT PREFER EXACTLY THAT. WHAT IF THAT WERE THE CASE? MMMM… AND WOULD DRIVERS GET MORE “STRESSED OUT” BY HAVING SOME PARKING OR NO PARKING ON POLK STREET? IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT DRIVER STRESS, THEN YOU’D KEEP TYHE EXISTING LAYOUT OR GO BACK TO PREVIOUS DESIGNS, ACTUALLY.

We’ve heard loud and clear that all road users desire orderly, predictable street designs that minimize opportunities for conflict.

WHO TOLD YOU WHAT NOW? DOES THE SFBC NOW SPEAK FOR “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. HAS THE SFBC EVEN HEARD FROM “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. IN FACT, MANY PEOPLE PREFER WHAT DAVID CHIU PREFERS. AND ACTUALLY, THAT’S THE VERY REASON HE DOESN’T DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO DO 100% OF THE TIME. OR DO YOU ALL THINK THAT DAVID CHIU IS IRRATIONAL?

So we ask: Do David Chiu and Ed Reiskin really imagine that parents will guide their child through this proposed biking slalom course that disappears entirely at times?

HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE I SEEN RIDING BIKE ON POLK IN MY LIFE? MMMMM… I KNOW THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW, BUT I CAN’T RECALL ANY. AND WOULD THE SFBC THEN PREFER THE CURRENT NON-SLALOM SET-UP? OR PERHAPS SFGOV NEEDS TO GIVE SFBC ALL THE MONEY IT WANTS AND, IN EXCHANGE, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD TO GIVE THE SFBC EVERYTHING ELSE IT WANTS, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE ALL OTHER MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS IN THE CITY AND GIVE IN TO JUST ONE, FOR SOME REASON.

Is this their vision for a bicycle-friendly San Francisco?

YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY SAN FRANCISCO, SFBC. YOUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE ATTAINED.

What happened to Chiu’s call for 20% of trips by bike by 2020?!

WELL, AGAIN, JUST AS WITH VISION ZERO, THE 20% BY 2020 GOAL WON’T BE ATTAINED. AND WASN’T THE SFBC ITSELF THE PARTY THAT WAS CALLING FOR THIS PIE IN THE SKY? I THINK SO. HOW MUCH ARE POLITICAL PROMISES WORTH IF EVERYBODY KNOWS FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THEY WON’T BE ATTAINED? AND WHY ARE THE TIME-FRAMES FOR THESE GRAND FLOURISHES ALWAYS ENDING IN THE 2020’S, BY WHICH TIME ALL OF THE IMPORTANT POLS WILL HAVE BEEN TERMED OUT? MMMM…

Do they think that drivers of delivery vehicles want to do a new round of mental math every block to figure out where it’s OK to park?

SO DELIVERY DRIVERS WOULD PREFER ZERO PLACES TO PARK OVER SOME PLACES TO PARK? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY SAYING, SFBC? I THINK DELIVERY DRIVERS WILL DO JUST FINE FIGURING OUT WHERE TO PARK WHETHER IT’S LEGAL OR NOT – THERE’S NO MATH REQUIRED.

Do they think that San Franciscans will welcome confusing and antagonistic conditions on the city’s official north/south bike route, which is already experiencing a record-number of injuries among people biking and walking?

IRL, POLK STREET IS PRETTY SIMPLE. IRL, POLK STREET ISN’T “CONFUSING.” IRL, IF YOU WANT A “CONFUSING” STRETCH OF ROAD, LOOK TO THE EASTERN SECTION OF SFBC-APPROVED JFK DRIVE IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. IRL, IF SOMEBODY DIES AFTER GETTING HIT BY A MUNI BUS OR A CYCLIST GOING FOR A STRAVA KOM ON POLK STREET, IT’S NOT ACTUALLY DAVID CHIU’S FAULT.

But it’s not too late to steer the Polk Street project back to safety.

UM, IF BY “SAFETY” YOU MEAN WHICHEVER PLAN YOU’VE DREAMED UP, SFBC, THEN YES IT IS TOO LATE. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ALL THAT YOU WANT, SFBC.

We ask you to join us now to stand up to David Chiu and let him know that cowardly decisions today have direct, life-and-death impacts on real people like us.

WHOA!

Hold David Chiu (who represents much of Polk Street and is running for State Assembly this Fall) and MTA decisionmakers accountable by telling them loud and clear that they cannot not continue to turn their backs on your safety.

OH, I SEE, THIS IS A FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO STAVE OFF THE DECLINING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS, I SEE.

Call Supervisor David Chiu’s Office: 415-554-7450

OH, SO WHO’S THE “VOCAL MINORITY” NOW?

Call MTA Director Ed Reiskin’s Office (leave a message at the general front desk): 415-701-4500

AND ED REISKIN WORKS FOR ED LEE, RIGHT? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST CALL YOUR BODY CLOUNT CLOCK THE ED LEE BODY COUNT CLOCK AND BE DONE WITH IT?

Tagged as: Connecting the City, David Chiu, Polk Street, Safety, SFMTA, Vision Zero

PERHAPS YOU’VE LOST YOUR WAY, SFBC…

(more…)

Ouch: Membership Dues Have [Fallen] at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

[UPDATE:  Per the SFBC, “…you should have read Part VIII, lines 1b and 2a, of the 990s for both the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Education Fund.”

So, here’s 2010:

1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And 2011:

Again, 1b makes sense but 2a is not membership dues so adding them together doesn’t help.

And here’s 2012:

(And the Bicycle Coalition Education Fund 990’s don’t really factor in all that much, like $10 or $20 grand each.)

So IDK, would you, Gentle Reader, suppose that different strategies were applied for 2010 and 2011 vs. 2012? I would. Because the “non-contribution portions of membership dues” went from $0 in 2010 and 2011 all the way up to $135,933 in 2012. Is there any explanation for this? Did the accountant(?) for 2011 and earlier fill out the 990 forms incorrectly? IDK. Is this kind of a thing a big deal, worth amending a bunch of other recent returns? IDK.

(Did IRS laws on this topic change the past several years? I don’t think so, as this guide from 2008 remains unchanged.)

Now when I say “membership dues,” what’s actually written in there for 2012 is “memberships.” Now memberships is a different thing, IMO. Memberships is what the SFBC spent a lot of time crowing about when memberships were actually increasing. But these days memberships are decreasing. Why is that? I ask.

So, what the SFBC is now calling it a 3% “membership income change” I’d call it a 3% membership dues decrease. And this comes at a time when the population of San Francisco is increasing and at a time when SFGov and the SFBC officially “expect” a sixfold increase in the number of trips made by bicycle in San Francisco by 2020, all the way up to 20%. (“20 by ’20” or something.) I don’t think anybody believes in this fantasy, you know, actually, but, well, there you go.

So, membership dues at the SFBC have decreased more like 3% year over year, rather than 40-something percent.

But if I were running the SFBC and I were as sensitive about giving out my 990’s as this…

“The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual reports discuss our biggest successes and challenges, and present a broad picture of our income and expenses. If you have specific questions about our finances, please contact Leah Shahum, Executive Director, 415/431-BIKE x306.”

…I’d amend my returns so that they would be self consistent, at the very least. END UPDATE]

And by the past year, I mean let’s use the most recent Form 990, the one* that was filed about four months ago, and compare it with the one what was filed for the year before.

Check it. Here’s the 990 for 2011 – $344,663 in reported membership dues:

Click to expand

And here’s the 990 for 2012 – just $185,921:

Now, what could explain this sudden and dramatic drop in “support?”

Well, we had the Chris Bucchere accident in the first quarter of 2012 and some members didn’t exactly approve of the way that SFBC officers dealt with the issue. Perhaps revenue went down in the following quarters?

And we had the shocking SFBC endorsement of Republican-backed Mayor Ed Lee near the end of 2011 – I doubt that paying members would have approved of that had they been given the opportunity.

You know, this guy, the one who always looks up to the formerly-despised Willie Brown:

Of course, people can always do a Barter Membership, but you’d think that dues-paying members would volunteer anyway, right?

Take a look at the numbers on the tax returns, it seems as if the SFBC is just another arm of the SFMTA or, indeed, of SFGov. (Except it’s an agency that can officially endorse Ed Lee for Mayor.)

Oh well.

Anyway, this is why the SFBC no longer boasts of increasing membership anymore.

[UPDATE: Did the 10% discount for SFBC members at Rainbow Grocery really make that much of a difference? IDK. See Comments.]

*There’s also something called the Education Fund, which also gets membership dues – $10k for 2011 and $20k for 2012. But if you throw those numbers in you’re still looking at a 40-something percent decline year over year.

Quintin Mecke, Second Place Finisher in Mayoral Race and Now Director at Barbary Coast Consulting, Yells at Traffic, Good-Naturedly

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

And then he got out of the saddle to pump up the steepest block of McAllister what’s on the Snickerdoodle route.*

Click to expand

*It’s the UnWiggle, it’s the better choice to get west of Divisadero from Market