Willie Brown’s successors don’t look so bad when reading the former mayor’s windshield perspective drivel in his latest Chronicle column.
It’s hard to imagine San Franciscans once again electing a mayor who responds to a spate of pedestrian injuries by lambasting everything but the primary cause: reckless driving. But according to yesterday’s column from the increasingly out-of-touch Brown, San Francisco wouldn’t be plagued by “increasingly unsafe streets” if only we had more freeways and fewer people walking and biking:
We have only ourselves to blame for San Francisco’s increasingly unsafe streets.
We tore down the Central and Embarcadero freeways and in the process dumped thousands of additional cars onto the already crowded streets, many driving at nearly the same speed they did on the freeways.
We encouraged more people to ride bicycles, then all but exempted them from following traffic rules.
We brought thousands of pedestrians into downtown, then allowed them to jaywalk at will, often with their heads buried in their latest mobile devices.
We tell the cops to write more tickets, then when they do, some supervisor accuses them of racial profiling or picking on the poor.
And now, in the name of tech, we’re allowing hundreds of ride-share gypsy cabs onto the streets without commercial driver’s licenses.
Ten years after Brown left office, even the SFPD is re-shaping its policies around what its data shows — that the vast majority of pedestrian injuries are caused by reckless driving. Not that we should expect data to be relevant to a man who seems to base his transportation and street safety views on no data or empirical evidence whatsoever.
Apparently, little has changed since September 1996, in Brown’s first year as mayor, when his limo driver hit Karen Alexander in a crosswalk. Hold on to your jaw as you read the Chronicle’s report of Brown’s casual dismissal of the incident: