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    Drew D

    Is there a list available online of the merchants who supported the watered down Polk St design or those that put up “SAVE POLK STREET” fliers in their windows? I’d like it to inform my Polk St shopping habits.


    Jamison Wieser

    I’ve been having a conversation on twitter with the optometrists – @hiura_optometry – if you’d like to join in. As you might imagine from those who’d put parking over human lives, their solution is cyclists should just not get hit: “@sfmuniverse I actually used to communte 12mi/day on bike. Reg bike lanes are plenty safe given you FOLLOW the rules.”



    That’s sometimes the case but let’s also read it more metaphorically. It’s her, but it is also her real perception of what her clients need. For example, a chiropractor couple live right near their practice on Polk St. but they have been amongst the nastiest and most perseverant opponents to parking removal. ‘Health’ practitioners, of all people.



    We do that too, which is not to say it’s bad, it’s just normal primate. We need to feel identity with a community, especially in a mass culture like the US. The important thing is that we recognize it and use it productively. That is, not be the whiners we hope to change in SF.



    …and make sure the data is airtight.



    There’s a lot of talent and skill in the MTA but too many at City Hall and amongst businesses exploit their poor public image to scapegoat and deflect responsibility for their own actions. Being a constant target discourages any organization from staying firm in their convictions. Does anyone think that if they had support they wouldn’t do what’s being done all over the world? It doesn’t help us to participate in that blame fest.



    ‘The City’ is no more a monolithic bloc than we are. Do you agree with every decision that is made by the executives at your workplace?



    Bureaucrats of all stripes learn to remain poker-faced in situations like these. I was there and not only didn’t see pride in the faces of the Board members, but in fact it was one of those rare times when a flicker of emotion passed over the faces of some. It was sadness and disappointment. They’d worked hard on our behalf. Why focus just on the ones you disagree with?



    there are more loading zones in the new design and the raised cycleway wouldn’t preclude drop-offs



    Let’s stop the presumptions and stereotyping. The meeting was full enough of nitwits who got away with nasty generalizations about people who ride bikes and we don’t do well by doing the same. Not all the Board members are ‘unaware’ by any means – 3 holdouts and at least two who worked very hard on this (and many other thankless projects), including giving up weekends to visit many Polk businesses and talk with people there, something that most on this forum probably have not.



    Not about the MTA. Please stop perpetuating the myth that it’s all them. #LeaderlessSF



    Innovate – in the Cloud, be Mid-century on the street.



    *Every* discussion of urban change, conversations with JSK, E. Peñalosa, et al concludes with, ‘It takes political will and leadership. We have the will but not the leadership so we’ll have to motivate our current leadership in order to create it.



    Yes, A-c-t-i-v-a-t-e. Do what you can and be honest about what you can do. Here’s what your opponents do right to be effective: They remain motivated and stick together as a tribe, they organize, and they show up. Any successful effort requires boots on the ground.



    Good summary. Hope you spilled some of that ink in the direction of the City and amongst the unconverted.


    Gary Fisher

    You make me feel better, David as I think your right. We will not be stopped. What we really need is to take back whole streets. This will come, Our city will not be first, but will not be last. There is so much more solid evidence now from around the world that taking cars out of cities helps the bottom line.


    Jamison Wieser

    For those who’d give Hiura Optometrists some feedback on their anti-safety campaigning, they’re on twitter: @hiura_optometry



    Police report or it didn’t happen.



    Shut up troll. The driver ran a red light = 100% responsible.



    14th is a very tame street used by flotillas of cyclists. It is the primary route from the Mission towards Caltrain.



    I understand and agree, but also believe that this is 2000′s era thinking. We should be turning around the corner where we just flat out do better.

    It will come soon. The other big stink at the SFMTA meeting was RPP for Alamo Square. The main protestation came from pastors and parishoners of historically black churches in the area, which congregants who were unceremoniously run out of the Fillmore in the 60′s. That means those congregants are all in their 70′s and above. Even if they live for decades their driving days are near done. The average age of the nay sayers keeps rising to the point where they are on an island about to go underwater.


    Mike Fogel

    What’s happening past Union? Union to north point is important to complete the connection to the bikeway on the northern edge of the city.


    David Baker

    Poly Anna that I am I see this has a big win for people riding bikes in San Francisco. It comes out to protected bike lanes for 75% of Polk, with the table set for the remainder in a few years. Sweet.


    Lee Ross

    As long as the Political Hack Ed Lee is Mayor nothing substantive re Bike Safety enhancements will occur in this Town. Falling in line at the behest of his Optometrist who feels set upon by Bike Lanes says it all about this Accidental Mayor. Noah Budnick, new Chief at SFBC, says in New York this kind of Nonsense doesn’t occur. Well Noah welcome to this Village masquerading as a Major Metropolitan Enlightened City. His predecessor at SFBC must be thankful to have rid herself of NIMBY San Francisco. Honk Honk for these Small Minded Polk Street merchants.


    Reality Broker

    SFMTA Board member Joel Ramos told Streetsblog he thinks the clout of merchants on Polk led to a more ”incremental, comfortable” approach than the city’s stated commitments to Vision Zero and increased bicycling would call for. The improvements “are a lot,” he said, and “ultimately, we’ll be able to learn whether it was enough or not.”

    In other words, we’ll build something that we know to be unsafe. Then we’ll count how many people are preventably killed or maimed. Only then we’ll be able to justify making it safer, standing on the shoulders of the corpses.

    Except that’s the OPPOSITE of Vision Zero — the fundamental premise of Vision Zero is to rely on leading safety indicators. You act before people are killed or injured. You don’t wait for the lagging indicators until you finally act.


    (It could be an interesting twist on the dialog to actually do the math and calculate how many people actually die or are preventably injured, relative to each parking space retained.)



    That picture at the top of the article really sums it all up. When we’re all done, we’ll have spent millions to have have cars parked in the part-time bike lane during the wrong hours, delivery trucks blocking the only vehicle lane, bus stops conflicting with “protected” bike lanes, and all sorts of other nonsense. SFMTA’s “complete street” designs always seem to assume that nobody will ever want to drop off a passenger or deliver merchandise to stores. When reality sets in, after things get built, we wind up with delivery trucks blocking lanes, sometimes the only lane and/or a bike lane, like we see on Market all the time.

    One of the very few things I appreciate about Willie’s time as mayor is that he attempted to declare war on double parking. That’s been abandoned in the years since. By all means, let’s rip out parking and put in white and yellow zones as needed to accommodate deliveries, but then let’s put a stop to the belief that people can abandon their cars and trucks in the middle of major streets because they have goods to deliver. In my experience, we vastly underestimate the danger and delay caused by double parking, especially as cars, bikes, and buses have to swerve to get around blocked lanes.


    Gary Fisher

    Polk street is dead, an outdated street dead, long live polk st. May it’s merchantants die the death of a frog in a slowly heating pot!



    So the only person who is putting a positive spin on this is the head of the SF Bicycle Coalition? Get used to that irony folks, because this is how we roll in New York.



    You’re right. He should never have left his house. Like those people who have been hit by out of control drivers while standing at a bus stop. They need to shoulder some of the blame for standing there in the first place.



    (So apparently what makes our neighborhoods our neighborhoods is curbside parking on every block.)

    And San Francisco was a one horse town nobody had even heard of before it was flooded with cars in the mid 20th century, of course.





    That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, cyclists are so out of control in San Francisco that stopping at a red light is considered a stunt.



    Death can come to any of us without warning. I was hit by a car in 2012 and woke up at SF Gen for two weeks without memory of it. One day I was riding on a beautiful summer day to the Marina and the next I was waking up to a doctor stitching up my forehead. My bad decision was to take a ride to Trader Joes that day when I didn’t have to be doing that.

    I had no medical insurance and $255,000 bill. So don’t be so cocky out there, I notice an incredible amount of arrogance among bicyclists who have no fear of death out there doing all kinds of stunts (not to mention skate boardists).



    No, just a way for me to emphasize bad decisions lead to bad outcomes. Just be careful what road you choose, consider a certain amount of accidents happen at certain intersections in this city. There’s a map online to show the most dangerous areas.



    Who said he deserved it? I’m just saying don’t make it so easy to get hit by a car and stop holding the driver entirely responsible. It goes both ways.



    That’s an unfair comparison. Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.



    The reason their dangerous is this is a highly populated city. You can’t afford to be arrogant with a bad attitude that can lead to a bad outcome. If you blame the car driver you’ll attract that kind of energy you’re always looking for. It’s up to us and our decisions much of the time. I wouldn’t have taken that road he was on personally.



    What I’m saying is our choices lead to these accidents. Think before you decide which path to take somewhere.



    My reading of the optometrist comments was that he was worried that with a raised bikelane the patients couldn’t be dropped off close-enough to the curb. Or at least one of the pitches they used. In the end it doesn’t matter how many time you point out the easy solution (uh, dude, every cab in the city has a sticker saying it’s ok to drop people off at the curb that NEED it and besides they do it no matter what anyway) some people with myopia aren’t looking for a solution.



    Of course, the author phrased it awkwardly and passively. Try “Are you aware that…motorists kill more pedestrians than cyclists?”


    Michael Morris

    An objective measure of Muni is almost impossible, every population is going to have some bias. I live in SF but sometimes go as long as a week without riding Muni so I might even become out of touch, I haven’t seen any improvement in the last year. Daily commuters are almost universally dissatisfied, are they right or do they just see Muni at it’s worst?



    The Mayor appoints both the SFMTA director and the board of directors. It’s a neat arrangement for a politically savvy mayor who acts like he has no involvement. He can then use them to deflect much of the popular anger from advocates while working behind the scenes to help his political allies achieve their individual, specific goals.



    I was wondering about that too. Of course, they don’t tell us how many of the 500 respondents ride Muni, so we have no idea how valid the subsample is anyway.



    Ok then. Let’s look at the city Controller’s report on Muni’s on-time performance: That seems like a measure of “experience in general” rather than my specific commutes this week.

    If on-time performance hasn’t improved, what aspects of Muni service have improved to make up the difference? The buses aren’t suddenly more luxurious, the fares aren’t lower, and my fellow riders don’t seem more polite or less smelly. Performance is the primary measure that matters here, and we have objective data saying it has gotten worse.



    “Improving” is a measure your experience in general, rather than one or two specific incidents. Myself, I feel that Muni is improving.



    I think you need to re-read the comment you responded to. It does not say what you think it says.


    Michael Morris

    did I miss something? the article ends with “The poll, done by David Binder Research, was based on a telephone survey of 500 likely voters, taken between Feb. 3 and Feb. 8.”



    Your not recognizing all the factors certainly doesn’t make *me* dumb.

    You’re right the driver killed him, Capt. Obvious. I’m right that the city-designed placement of the bike in the road killed him.



    Really disappointing. I think we need a new director of the SFMTA, someone with more passion for Vision Zero and hutzpah to make it happen.



    You can’t stop all of it, but we can fix the street design to slow cars down to safe speed. It’s been show by a multitude of statistics that 20mph is many times less deadly than 30mph. Where there are people on bikes and on foot, we need to change the roads to become streests. Narrow lanes, bulb outs, sharper turning at corners. These things will naturally slow down drivers at intersections by making them visibly less safe for them, which will cause drivers to slow down.

    When your city streets look like freeways, they will be treated like freeways.

    No amount of cops, lights, and crosswalks can fix a freeway-like street. I wonder how many collisions happen right out front at Bryant and 7th.