Bus Stops and Crosswalks: Does Mayor Lee Care Where His Car is Parked?

Photo: @terrapin_sf/Twitter

Ed Lee is at it again. After the mayor’s car was found parked in a Muni bus stop, he was spotted entering the vehicle while it blocked a crosswalk.

SF Weekly and the SFGate Blog reported that Mayor Lee was photographed yesterday by a Twitter user as he entered his Chevy Volt, which his driver had stopped in a crosswalk at Noriega Street and 46th Avenue in the Outer Sunset. Lee was apparently visiting a merchant at the corner, and seemed not to worry about his vehicle blocking a designated pedestrian crossing.

As we reported last week, Lee’s car was found in a Muni stop, while he ordered food at a taqueria outside Glen Park BART. Mayoral spokesperson Christine Falvey said that Lee had “was dropped off and he expected that the vehicle would have been parked in a legal parking space,” even though the driver apparently left the car with Lee. Falvey said the SFPD officer driving the car was “admonished,” adding that “the mayor believes this is unacceptable and steps have been taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Given that it did happen again, it’s quite apparent that pedestrian safety and efficient Muni operations are not on the mayor’s radar as he makes his way around the city. Even though the mayor isn’t driving the car himself, he’s now missed at least two opportunities to ask his chauffeur to not illegally park, and thus insult people who walk or ride Muni.

Daily transportation choices say a lot about individuals, including elected officials, and how much they understand the importance of making the city safer for walking, biking, and transit. A leader certainly can get around in a car, while still caring about street safety. However, Mayor Lee has yet to demonstrate that sustainable transportation and livable streets are a high priority for him, neither through leadership at City Hall nor in his everyday behavior.

Put simply, San Francisco won’t get to Vision Zero if pedestrians have to squeeze around the mayor’s car.

Taking just a few trips by Muni, foot, and bike can go a long way to show that an elected official empathizes with her or his constituents who get around without a car. To see what that looks like, take a gander at tweets like this from Supervisor Scott Wiener’s Twitter feed:

  • guy

    That pic is great because it demonstrates how tall Supervisor Wiener is.

  • Chris J.

    Kudos to Supervisor Wiener and others like him. There’s no better foundation to understanding transportation issues like Muni than to experience it from the public’s perspective on a regular basis.

  • Jame

    Only peons use crosswalks and take muni!

  • voltairesmistress

    So true! I ride public transit just a handful of times per month (biking often or driving sometimes), yet each transit ride gives me lots to think about. The mayor would do well to ride his bike and take muni and Bart to work a couple of times a week. I think that would do more than anything to change his disdain for the citizens who get around without cars. So far, Mayor Lee has been nothing but an empty suit, mouthing platitudes about safety while continuing business as usual. Truly an unthinking tool of a man.

  • stitch94133

    Maybe if Rose Pak and Willie Brown can get contracts worth millions to repair crosswalks Ed Lee will finally pay attention.

  • mike_napolis_beard

    We all know where this is going, right? Photographs of the Mayor will be strongly discouraged and the behavior will continue unabated.

  • Tony

    Another car is parked in the red zone at the stop sign. Part of the mayor’s entourage?

  • murphstahoe

    He lives in Glen Park and works at Civic Center. Not exactly an easy transit journey. Cut him a break.

  • alberto rossi

    that 7 minute ride on BART is a real killer

  • RoyTT

    To be fair, the photo shows Lee leaving the car but gives no indication that any vehicle was “parked”. A snapshot doesn’t reveal duration. There are various circumstances where a vehicle stops somewhere momentarily to let someone out or in, but is never parked. Cabs do that all the time, for instance, as do valet parkers.

    Isn’t there also a security issue here? Any leader like the president or a governor or mayor will typically have a security detail tasked with his safety. That is easier to maintain if the leader is delivered directly to and from his destination. We’ve already had one mayor assassinated, not to mention a couple of Presidents.

    I suspect that Obama’s motorcade routinely breaks all kinds of traffic rules but don’t we make a special allowance for that?

    None of this is to say we should grant immunity from the regulations for political executives. But at the margin, can we not accept the idea that some people get chauffeured to their destination for sound reasons?

  • Sanfordia113

    Mayor Ed Lee is much less of an asset to this city than 90% of its residents. He doesn’t deserve any “detail”. SFMTA and police should rabidly enforce any and all double parking violations or stopping in a crosswalk/bus zone.

  • Dark Soul

    Cut what break ? As that guy said a 7-Min Ride on Bart

  • Dark Soul

    Obama is in this article? Where?

    Anyways..

    The Tittle says “Bus Stops and Crosswalks: Does Mayor Lee Care Where His Car is Parked?”, The Car is parked?


    Do you guys see pic in the Train that is running & using the new Seating Program. Look at the people sitting on those Single Chairs on the side it seem to be very uncomfortable and unsafe.

    The Unsafe Seating and it would be best it remain the same seating format for the trains without the program to make safe.

  • NoeValleyJim

    He rode in on his bicycle on Ride To Work day. That is part of the reason we have a new bicycle lane on San Jose. I bet if he rode in every day, we would finally get some enforcement from SFPD on the double parkers in the Valencia Street bike lanes.