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  1.  

    p_chazz

    You should totally create an app to rate a business’ bicycle-friendliness. You could call it “SpokeUP.”

  2.  

    murphstahoe

    This says more about Yelp than anything else.

  3.  

    Nicasio Nakamine

    Bicycles are the only area where you can get those types to actively advocate for government registration, licensing and taxation.

  4.  

    p_chazz

    Nice try, but the reviews have nothing to do with the quality of the service delivered by the Drs. Hiura which is what Yelp reviews. There was a similar case where a restaurateur made life difficult for a food truck that was parked outside her establishment. This resulted in a flurry of bad Yelp reviews, which Yelp removed because they had nothing to do with the food.

  5.  

    Gezellig

    Yelp has a pretty detailed history of removing reviews that reference a business owner’s record on corporate-social responsibility issues.

    Yelp claims that these things are irrelevant to consumers–as if consumers only ever care about (and, per Yelp’s prescriptivist stance *should only care about*) whether the owner smiled or poured them extra coffee, not that the owners vocally support/oppose policies that affect the whole community.

  6.  

    murphstahoe

    “This is a legitimate policy debate about what Polk St. should look like”

    Bullshit. That policy debate was had in open forum. Then the Hiuras pulled a Frank Underwood and went around the debate and got Ed Lee to kill the bike lane outside of public debate.

    That’s crap.

  7.  

    chetshome

    Yelp has removed them!

  8.  

    jd_x

    I disagree with @disqus_IY18SJ53WP:disqus and agree with @Tom. Ignoring the effects your business and comments to officials have on your community (in this case bicyclists and pedestrians are being killed and maimed because of a dangerous, car-centric road design) is not much different than actively taking action against people when the the status quo is already killing people. Even being passive and not wanting the status quo to change, people are getting injured/killed and this business is effectively saying it doesn’t care. And this is a medical professional, no less, who should care about these things.

    I don’t think it’s any more wrong for a reviewer to use the business’s politics anymore than it is for the business to play its own politics to manipulate the community for their own monetary gain. Why is it okay for businesses to be able to manipulate politicians (which, by the way, is usually done behind the scenes) but then one place where the community does — online reviews, which are public — it’s not okay?

  9.  

    Michael Morris

    classic example of why you shouldn’t fight fire with fire when talking about SF transportation.

  10.  

    mx

    It’s simply bullying behavior. This is a legitimate policy debate about what Polk St. should look like. There’s a big difference between advocating for a certain proposal (even if it’s a design many of us here disagree with) and “endanger[ing] the lives of the community members” as you put it. If the optometrists were randomly putting spike strips in the road or something, I’d agree with you, but that’s not what’s happening here.

  11.  

    EastBayer

    Probably because it’s good for the environment.

  12.  

    murphstahoe

    millions for what I use, not one penny for anything I don’t understand a direct benefit from.

  13.  

    Tom

    I support a business if that business supports the inclusive local community, including their safety. Service and price are secondary to me. If a business decides to go out of its way to endanger the lives of the community members, I think that’s entirely relevant to a review. I did not leave a review, but feel that those who did were completely justified.

  14.  

    thielges

    Indeed. Not familiar with Blaze I thought it was the web presence of a US city’s newspaper. “Why does this city hate bicyclists so much?”

    Wrong, TheBlaze is a national right/libertarian leaning website which sort of explains the strange level of hating.

    But is there any basic reason that right wing and libertarians tend to hate bicyclists more than the general public? Bicycling is fiscally conservative and increases personal freedom, both facets that fit will with this ideology. Yet when you read the comments you see myth that bicyclists don’t pay their fair share of roads over and over. The commenters seem to believe that the gas tax and vehicle fees cover it all.

    So what is the deep rooted cause that Glenn Beck’s followers really dislike bicyclists? It seems to go beyond the stated ideologies and into something psychologically warped.

  15.  

    murphstahoe

    I looked at some of the reviews. Do the reviews impugn the Hiura’s skills as optometrists? If so, those are false reviews. I say nothing of that sort.

    If the reviews point out the Hiura’s position on the bike lane, and recommend that people who dislike this position should refrain from supporting the Hiura’s business, this is NOT a false review. The reader can decide for themselves if they consider the Hiura’s position – which very well may actually impact the conditions on the street – to be relevant to their decision to patronize that business.

    Wal-Mart sells a lot of items that I purchase from other stores, at lower prices than I pay elsewhere. I choose not to patronize Wal-Mart solely due to some of their practices that have nothing to do with their core customer facing facets – price, selection, service. The Hiuras are no different.

    The Hiuras made a calculated decision to oppose the bike lane. Perhaps because they worried it would impact their business. Maybe they miscalculated the fact that some of their patrons/potential patrons would be upset about their position. All businesses make decisions that impact their success that have nothing to do with their core business. Perhaps the Hiuras will find out if they made a prudent decision or not.

  16.  

    42apples

    Breaking news: people want free lunches. More spending and lower taxes.

  17.  

    mx

    As a sidenote, Polk St. bike lane advocates have taken to posting four one-star Yelp reviews for Drs Hiura & Hiura Optometrists based seemingly on StreetsBlog’s coverage of the debate.

    It’s certainly one thing not to shop there if you disagree with their position, but intentionally going out of your way to hurt a business by posting false reviews (if you’ve never been there, you have no business giving a one-star review) because of their legitimate disagreement with you is wrong.

  18.  

    EastBayer

    Ack. Prepare thyself with some spandex-grade body armor if you venture into The Blaze website…

  19.  

    M.

    Meeting deets: http://bit.ly/LastPolk
    Recommended Talking Points: http://bit.ly/TalkPolk3Mar
    Suggested Template letter: http://bit.ly/3MarTempl

  20.  

    roymeo

    That’s awesome. So no more adding another layer of tape with new dates to a 2 year old sign?

    Does this apply to event-type signs as well? Dogpatch Studios seemed to ‘recycle’ their event signs for quite a while, though I think they went legit after a while (AKA complaints).

  21.  

    roymeo

    I recall listening to a merchant on 3rd in Dogpatch who was mad at the MTA because he couldn’t reserve the parking space in front of his business for his car.

  22.  

    roymeo

    If 85% of cyclists did that, they’d have to change the one-way street, eh?

  23.  

    roymeo

    My feeling has been that the grassroots latched onto this Vision Zero idea and pushed it up the tree. Unless I missed something that actually looked like real embracing of it? i mean sure, let’s put the slogan on a banner and have a press conference, now that you’ve made all this noise about it and made me uncomfortable and there’s no way I can say I’m against it, either.

    There’s a difference between smiling for photos while you hold that stick up against my hand vs. taking the baton and running with it.

  24.  

    Prinzrob

    Some people seem to routinely fly off the handle when they think that someone so much as touched their car, as though it were an extension of their soul. The car that they drive around on the street, running over skunks and getting crapped on by birds.

    These are often the same people who seem to have little concern over coming in contact with and doing damage to someone’s human body with said car.

    Not that this is something I recommend, but if you are driving close enough to a person that they can reach out and slap your car then I would say that’s fair game.

  25.  

    Prinzrob

    John Oliver publicly shames Oakland’s poor pavement conditions in this great piece on the US infra maintenance deficit. He does a nice job covering the gas tax issues, but unfortunately leaves out the VMT alternative. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpzvaqypav8

  26.  

    jd_x

    “Video Shows Driver Cut Off Cyclist in Bike Lane, Unleash Road Rage at Webster and Geary”

    Let me guess: there will be no charges against this driver because there “isn’t enough evidence”, right? I hope I’m wrong, but if this guy is not punished (which must include the loss of a license for a significant amount of time (I suggest 1 year) and community service working with pedestrian and cyclist advocacy groups) then Vision Zero and “20% by 2020″ are nothing but empty slogans.

  27.  

    Reality Broker

    As an aside, protected bike lanes may be ‘new and unconventional’ to SF – but even as close as Seattle, we’re literally cranking a new one out every few months.

    Here’s a great overview: http://www.theurbanist.org/2015/02/20/hitting-all-of-seattles-protected-bike-lanes-in-one-ride/

    (They’re so non-controversial that I didn’t even realize most of these existed — and I live here.)

  28.  

    hp2ena

    WEEKEND UPDATE:

    Thank you all for those who took to calling him out on Twitter and Yelp! As of Saturday, the optometrist took down the Save Polk Street flyers from his storefront. He may still have them on his desk. Also, in a possible effort to hide his Yelp page from people who would otherwise see the four one-star reviews he got, he also removed his “People Love Us on Yelp” sticker from his storefront. For those unaware, before this debacle, he posted misleading flyers on his block about the SFMTA wanting to build a bike freeway, and started a petition opposed to this idea that gathered 300 signatures. In other words, he has a history of opposing this.

    There is more work to be done. Show up to the SFMTA Board Meeting on March 3rd and tell the Board you want separated bike lanes on Polk! If not, send an e-mail to the following:
    -MTA Board: mtaboard@sfmta.com
    -Supervisor Christensen: julie.christensen@sfgov.org
    -Ed Reiskin: ed.reiskin@sfmta.com
    -Ed “Is It Even Worth It?” Lee: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

  29.  

    M.

    Mr. Lee should have an open and public debate with himself.

  30.  

    M.

    There are at least three others elsewhere on Polk.

  31.  

    hp2ena

    You’d be down to organize this for us, big guy? We should also do this in front of the other opposing businesses. Text me.

  32.  

    Anandakos

    I sincerely hope that anyone in San Francisco who bikes can “see his (or her) way clearly” to finding another optometrist.

  33.  

    murphstahoe

    “They are just looking out for the best interest of their patients.”

    If I believed this and then continued, you’d be right.

  34.  

    Kyle

    “Every year, we see an increase in people using bicycles… because we’re making it easier” – Ed Lee Bike-to-Work Day 2014

    “Any pedestrian death or serious injury is one too many” – Ed Lee Vision Zero Press Release

    “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking.” – Ed Lee regarding Polk St

  35.  

    BK

    *first time

  36.  

    BK

    Maybe we should consider organizing a premature park(ing) day event outside of his business this year? It could be a form of protest or could be a way to encourage people to go to his business and tell him that they noticed his business for the first because it wasn’t blocked by parked cars.

  37.  

    Marven Norman

    You mean like in places where they actually care about people?

  38.  

    Jeff Gonzales

    Then take away their license and $10000 fine if they ever stop on railroad tracks. Deterrence and revenue.

  39.  

    M.

    Serious opposition won’t be about winning, it will be about forcing accountability.

  40.  

    M.

  41.  

    M.

    There will be more parking for the disabled to comply with the federally mandated 4%

  42.  

    M.

    Pretzel Logic ≠ logic

  43.  

    M.

    Too bad for him we are. http://bit.ly/LastPolk

  44.  

    M.

    Way bigger than that; too easy to scapegoat identifiable ‘villains’

  45.  

    M.

  46.  

    M.

    They’re organized, motivated (believe their livelihoods are threatened), and contribute $ for campaigns. Mini-corporations exercising their rights under Citizens United. We can at least do the first two http://bit.ly/LastPolk

  47.  

    M.

    Absolutely. It’s really important for people to stop driving when physical compromises make it dangerous. So we need to ensure that the alternatives, like walking, transit, and yes, cycling are safer and easier. Have your say: http://bit.ly/LastPolk

  48.  

    M.

    The docs reveal that the MTA Polk team et al did their best to point out that the area is not short on parking.

  49.  

    M.

    “It takes political will,” Is the most important take-away from statements from J. Sadik-Khan to Peñalosa to NACTO to Vision Zero NYC. The MTA’s boss is the Mayor and they’ve been stymied over and over in transforming our streets. The MTA isn’t w/o its flaws, but no one’s got their backs; the trope of a “weak, inept” agency is a tired one. Activate: http://bit.ly/LastPolk

  50.  

    Justin

    When I first read this article I thought this was a total joke, it sounded so ridiculous to see, but realizing what happened I feel like once again this comes to show this agency’s lack of audacity and inability to get things done in a timely manner and get it done right. I just don’t know why SFMTA can’t trust their gut in trying something new and unconventional and taking a chance? Why is it every time their decisions become very political and not based on the data that all shows most people don’t drive to get to Polk St, their own flipping data for crying out loud???

    This incident of wiping out an additional block of PROTECTED bike lane for the mayor’s optometrist really creates a new low for a weak, inept slow to respond agency like SFMTA. I’ve lost all faith on their ability to get proper infrastructure improvements done in a timely manner like PROTECTED bike lanes. They continue to put up with this garbage, well never see the complete light of day with these improvement projects, they have a chance to get it done right but always cave into all the ridiculous concerns that probably don’t add up at all or sound so downright BS

    It makes me feel sick to my stomach.