When I started my job at Streetsblog San Francisco I had no idea that it would turn out to be the best job I’ve ever had. I really mean that. I often tell people I’ve had more impact in the last two-and-a-half years at Streetsblog than I did in all my 20 years as a radio and TV journalist. That’s why it’s very difficult for me to announce today that I am stepping down as the editor San Francisco Streetsblog, effective September 30, to pursue other opportunities.
Back in December 2008, when Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek hired me, I didn’t know what chicanes and bulb-outs and woonerfs were. I hadn’t read “The High Cost of Free Parking” or heard of Jan Gehl. All I knew was that I was angry San Francisco had a bike injunction that was preventing an expansion of the bike network, and I wanted to do something about it.
Boy, did I.
I was paired with one of the smartest and most passionate colleagues I’ve ever worked with, Matthew Roth, and together with our wonderful team of writers, including the talented Michael Rhodes, and the legendary Chris Carlsson, we built Streetsblog San Francisco into a successful advocacy news site that I’m proud to say has influenced transportation policy in San Francisco. Our stories are constantly sourced by mainstream media reporters, and we have amassed a loyal following of thousands of daily readers, whose intelligence and passion is on display in the comments section.
Beyond our success influencing the mainstream narrative, we have also worked behind the scenes to help advocates get real change on the streets. That’s why the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition honored us with a Golden Wheel Award last year. Accepting the award, and giving a speech before hundreds of movers and shakers in the bike movement, was one of my proudest moments as the editor of Streetsblog San Francisco.
The outreach and relationships we maintained was key. We were definitely not producing just a blog. Combined with our national coverage from Sarah Goodyear and Angie Schmitt at the Streetsblog Network and Tanya Snyder at Streetsblog D.C., Damien Newton’s tireless work at Streetsblog L.A. and the steady stream of wonderful Streetfilms (from transportation super heroes Clarence Eckerson, Elizabeth Press and Robin Smith in New York, and by our local filmmaking genius John Hamilton), we produced what I think became the most prominent sustainable transportation news site in the Bay Area.
I owe a great deal of thanks to all of you. You are part of my success story. There’s no way I could have done this without you. Thank you for coming back to the blog every day and donating when we needed it most.
OpenPlans, the parent non-profit of Streetsblog, is committed to keeping the blog going, and my colleague Ben Fried in New York will have a separate post on the future of Streetsblog San Francisco.
I’m going to miss all of you, but I take pride in the fact that Streetsblog San Francisco flourished under my leadership, and that I had a good run.