This trial of shutting down Lombard Street to tourists looks unstoppable now.
Some rich property owners in Russian Hill have had their aesthetic sensibilities offended by those, those people known as tourists. So these richers want to gate off Lombard Street and make part of it a private.
Except they don’t want to pay for making it a private road. Oh. And the purpose of roads in California is so that people can use them – it’s like burned into the vehicle code or someplace.
So the next best thing for these white millionaires is this trial to cut down on tourism. And the way to get that is to turn an aesthetic issue into a safety issue.
For example here’s how this works when rich white property owners decide they don’t want telephone poles and MUNI wires lousing up their enclaves. Here we go, from “Report of Meeting with Supervisors Farrell and Chiu”
“Supervisor Farrell is also looking for ways to pitch it beyond aesthetics.”
So then the people who don’t want to see telephone poles and MUNI poles starting talking up the “safety issue.”
You see, ’cause if you tell the truth about your motives, then you give the rabble, the masses, the Proles a chance to undo your self-described “improvements.”
OTOH, if you say your concerns are about safety, then your biases will be given more deference if and when it comes time for higher authorities to give a stamp of approval. Of course, sometimes this safety argument works, sometimes it doesn’t:
1880: “There are too many Chinese working in San Francisco” – let’s do something about it.
2014: “There are too many Chinese* visiting Hyde and Lombard” – let’s do something about it.
One problem with district Supervisor elections is that a handful of property owners can have an outsized influence over matters that should be decided on a citywide basis. If tourists, all those millions past, present and future, threw house parties for Mark Farrell to raise money in, then maybe he’d consider what they want.
But they don’t, so he doesn’t.
*And Euros and upper-middle-class-and-lower domestic tourists as well, but just look at the worst case scenario photo here.