Posts Tagged ‘scott james’

Forget About Rob Anderson, the StreetsBlog Crowd Now Has a New Public Enemy #1: It’s Writer Scott James of the Bay Citizen

Friday, July 15th, 2011

[UPDATE: Right on schedule"Bay Citizen’s Scott James Tries to Drum Up Opposition to Fell and Oak Bikeways"]

Back in the day, Rob Anderson was The Most Hated Man In Town, ’cause he tied the City and County up in knots by insisting upon an Environmental Impact Report for the San Francisco Bicycle Plan. He instigated a slam-dunk lawsuit (really, he was pretty much guaranteed victory) owing to the City trying to go around CA state law by just pretending that an EIR wasn’t necessary.

But eventually, after years, the required report got finished and that was that. IMO, he should have quit while he was ahead, but no, he and his lawyer said the EIR wasn’t good enough – they ended up losing on that issue. Still, you’d have to say he was one of the most successful NIMBYs in CA history.

Remember when he was on the front page of the national edition of the Wall Street Journal? Good times:

But that was then and this is now, so forget about Rob Anderson.

Comes now Scott James of the Bay Citizen - feel free to set your sights (sites?) on him:

Why?

Well, because of stuff like this. People didn’t like that bit, not at all.

And now, today, ooh boy, that’s not going to go down well, no sir.

I was pleasantly surprised by how there’s not a ‘no way, this is crazy, don’t do it’ feeling out there,” [Mike] Sallaberry said, according to Streetsblog.org, a pro-cycling website. But the bike coalition research, obtained using the open-records law, surveyed only 14 businesses — and it actually reveals very serious objections, which some survey respondents later reiterated in interviews.

To annoy drivers “and make it worse of a pain is not the solution,” Miloslavich said.

Robert Williams, owner of Panhandle Guitar, said: “Fell Street is dangerous to have bike lanes on.”

[SFMTA Spokesmodel Paul] Rose said he was not sure whether Sallaberry’s remarks had been correctly reported. Sallaberry was not available for comment.”

Wow, that’s all you can come up with? You’re “not sure whether the remarks had been correctly reported?”

Wow. That’s the last arrow in your quiver that you should be using, right? Oh, it was the only arrow you had?

Wow.

Obviously, when the SFMTA and its affiliates decide to do a program, it’s the job of the SFMTA to push that program through come Hell or high water. If the program gets executed then the manager succeeded and if the program doesn’t get executed, then the manager failed – it doesn’t matter a whit whether or not the program itself is good or bad for the commonweal at that point. Not at all. What matters is that the SFMTA decided to do something. It’s the job of SFMTA employees to cheerlead and mislead and lie to get any particular program through.

Remember the traffic circles of the lower and upper Haights? Boy, they took out stop signs on Page Street and Waller and then you’d just have to guess at what drivers were going to do when they came upon the intersection. You see, drivers didn’t have to stop. Anyway, that crazy idea got voted down – it lost five times out of five – but all the people behind the stupid traffic circles could say is how “sad” it was that the traffic circles were such a failure.

The fact that they weren’t a good idea never seemed to occur to the people behind the traffic circles.

Fixing the eastbound Panhandle-to-Wiggle connector shouldn’t be that hard. Mostly, it’s about taking out some parking spaces or otherwise freeing up some more room. It’s not about “completing” Oak Street, it’s not about being the next “win-win” from the SFMTA. It’s about making compromises, it’s about winners and losers, it’s about costs and benefits.

Lying to people about the costs doesn’t benefit the people of San Francisco.

Of course.

Do San Francisco Cyclists Really “Pray for Safety on Sundays?” Mmmmm

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Check out this recent bit from Scott James: “Cyclists Pray for Safety on Sundays.” Or, better yet, the same bit in the New York Times complete with links ’n stuff:  ”Parking Leeway for Churchgoers Poses Danger for Cyclists.”

O.K. then, I have two beefs. (Mmmm….beef)

Beef #1. Now, I’ll tell you, it never occurred to me before that San Francisco’s unconstitutional tolerance of religion-related double-parking presented a net danger to cyclists. The primary reason for that is that the resulting congestion from church parking slows traffic wayyyyy down. (And actually, I would think that pedestrians would have it worse than cyclists.)

Check it. All these cars were parked (or were in the process of parking, like the red Land Cruiser you can see) on Dolores, the Trail of Sorrow, last Sunday. I’m not sure where the increased danger would come from: 

Has anyone sued the City over an accident created by church double parking? Even the laziest, ambulance-chasing 33-percenter/shyster would have no problem spotting this issue and suing the City (in addition to all other possible defendants of course) specifically on this issue, right? Anyway, it’d be nice to have a for-instance from a cyclist who was imjured due to Sunday parking is what I’m saying.

Beef #2. The SFPD actually has an explanation for its informal policy on the record. Here’s the link from Katie Baker (and I’ll show my work right here). Here it is:

SFPD spokesperson Sergeant Lyn Tomioka confirmed that for me, and stressed that the service is for community activities, not strictly religious ones. According to Tomioka, standard parking regulations are also lifted for Boys and Girls club meetings and elementary school open house nights.”

Now, this song and dance from the police doesn’t exactly float my boat, but it’s the right thing for them to say, certainly. They should be entitled to offer up their best defense, non?

(Oh, just noticed that speedy Katie Baker has a fresh update of her own. I’ll tell you, this is a fight that the SFPD wants no part of. Oh well.) 

Anyway, those are my two beefs, or beeves if you will.

Carry on.

Is the SFPD Starting to Enforce Traffic Laws at the Start of the Wiggle Bike Route?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Who knows how many fatwas were issued last week against New York Times reporter Scott James - no matter. But now it seems that the cops of the SFPD are getting picky about how cars handle the now-famous intersection of Steiner and Duboce, start of The Wiggle bike route.

This aging Land Cruiser (with tiny 15-inch wheels – a 1993 model?) will never die, but it will get its fair share of tickets on the Streets of San Francisco, for both parking and, as here, yesterday night, moving violations. Oh well.

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Will this controversy result in a safer Wiggle?

Only Time Will Tell.

Scott James of the New York Times vs. the Scofflaw Cyclists of San Francisco’s Wiggle

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Scott James has a tiger by the tail with “San Francisco’s Cyclists Facing Backlash for Flouting Rules of the Road.” You see, he doesn’t just talk about cyclists blowing stop signs at speed, he goes and documents it, all judgmental like. Then he posts it on the YouTube for tout le monde to see. That’s going to rub some peoples’ fur the wrong way.

Not sure if anything has changed in San Francisco lately as far as a “backlash” is concerned. If there were some big new enforcement action these days, we would have heard of it by now. Oh well. One new thing Scott mentions is a Critical Mass website that recently popped up, but those kinds of things have popped up before only to earn derision from the “leaderless” corkers on the street. Oh well.

The SFPD will tolerate “California stops” from car drivers if they’re done “correctly” (you know, slowly enough under the circumstances) and they don’t seem to mind cyclists doing the equivalent, which in this town means blowing through a red light or a stop without losing any speed at all. All bets are off if there’s an enforcement action going on. In that case, the cops will want you to stop and put a foot down before proceeding.

The Scott Street part of San Francisco’s Route 30 Wiggle – the route so nice they paved it twice. 

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Anyway, writer Scotty has people looking out for him:

“Just try to talk about obeying traffic laws, and suddenly the loveliest ecofriendly riders are instantly transformed into venom-spewing bike bullies. I was warned several times not to write about this or risk being publicly vilified as an enemy of the bike world.”

I’d say yes, let’s count down how long it takes for the writer to be “publicly vilified as an enemy of the bike world” due to today’s article. It’s probably happening already.

Oh well.