Posted on Masonic: Hilarious Send-Up of Cars-First Vitriol

This flyer was seen posted along Masonic Avenue this weekend. Scan by Jen Houghton via ## Click to enlarge.

Along Masonic Avenue this weekend, an anonymous safe streets advocate found a creative way to call out the absurd behavior of neighbors who showed up way too late in the game to oppose a redesign of the street in a bid to save car parking.

The satirical flyers, reported today by Uppercasing, pretty much sum up a lot of the vitriolic, baseless rhetoric typically heard when proposals to make streets safer and more livable threaten to take space from cars.

Photo: Noah Brezel

A few choice selections:

Despite a number of crashes, deaths and accidents, this street is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SAFE! Shout down and talk over anyone who disagrees with you and your made up FACTS!

A FLOOD of frustrated drivers whose trip now takes 5 minutes and 15 seconds instead of just 5 minutes will go on a KILLING SPREE!!! YOU MAY BE THEIR NEXT VICTIM!!! LIKE SUDDEN IMPACT! YOU WILL BE IMPACTED! ALL DAY EVERY DAY! Analogous to what happens when a speeding automobile strikes you when you are crossing the road.

Do you have your own anecdote about a cyclist being rude? Present it as DATA! Did a pedestrian hold you up for five seconds? Were you MAD that YOU had to WAIT? Tell the area representatives! Raise your voice! Shout at them! Get screechy! So the SFMTA has “engineers” who hold “Masters Degrees” and “Professional Certificates” — do not be fooled! YOUR IDEAS ABOUT TRAFFIC ENGINEERING ARE JUST AS GOOD AS THEIRS!

And we must conclude with this deliciously hilarious call to action:


  • GuestCommenter

    Scary how close that rhetoric is to the real thing.

  • It can be difficult when you can’t tell the parody from the real thing.

  • MarkB


  • Anonymous

    Awesome! At first I actually thought it was one of the real flyers that occasionally surface in the neighborhood.

    Well done anonymous satirist!

  • Ellen

    Please, I beg you: ANYTHING but the PIZZA!!!!!!

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Rob Anderson is filing a CEQA suit against whoever is making fun of him with this poster – countless trees were cut down to make them; plus think of all the tape wrapped around the poles that will eventually go into landfills.

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of some of the shriller bicyclist’s comments about the Polk Street merchants.

  • neigh-bor

    Do you have your own anecdote about a cyclist being rude? Present it as DATA!

  • [citation needed]

  • Anonymous

    yes – “some” plural, surely you can find one on the internets to regale us with…

  • Yes! So satisfying!

  • John Lloyd

    Brilliant satire! So close to real anti-bike NIMBYism … with fewer misspelled words.

  • Guest

    Like it wouldn’t be hard to lampoon the pro-bike lobby just as easily? I could probably compose a similar hit piece in about ten minutes.

    But wouldn’t it be better to debate the issues rather than try and insult those who hold a different view? Dismissing the opinions of people because they are “over forty” doesn’t smack of the kind of inclusivity and empathy that ideally should accompany attempts at persuasion.

  • Bob Gunderson

    Be my guest, guest!

  • Anonymous

    The whole point of this satirical flyer is that the people advocating for the changes state their case, and the “debate” is continued by those who do not want the changes by simply resorting to RAGE CAPS. If all you have is RAGE CAPS – expect to be dismissed.

  • Bob Gunderson

    Yes those damn bicyclists. Fortunately the sane Polk Street merchants added some sanity to the earlier proposed plans.

  • Pretty lame. You True Believers can’t do humor very well. And the reality about Masonic, according to the city’s own reports, is that it’s not really unsafe, especially given the volume of traffic it carries every day.

  • timsmith

    Are you high? There were 19 bike collisions and 12 pedestrian injuries on Masonic from 2004-2009 according to the report, not to mention two fatalities since then. That’s despite the fact that many people on bike and foot avoid Masonic because it’s such a nasty street, even though there are few good alternatives that are as flat and continuous. There were also 118 auto collisions during that period.

    You call that “not really unsafe”? Individuals with your idea of what a street should look like had their day, and we have dangerous and unpleasant streets like Masonic to thank for it. It doesn’t take a true believer to recognize that, short of abusing environmental laws, you won’t be getting another chance to push your vision for this city.

  • Anonymous

    Not high. Irrelevant.

  • Jesse

    Didn’t you know that Rob is the definitive authority on humor, in addition to street analysis and design?

  • Jesse

    If you want some real laughs check out his blog, which I’m surprised he didn’t link to in his post.

  • Maudie

    I’m always amazed that San Francisco can be such a shit town for transit, walking and cycling and I’m not talking about the hills. Who ever claims that tourists usually drive is a fucking moron. We avoid driving because the city us tourists visit is not really suited to driving. The whole point of visiting SF is to see a city on the west coast f the United States that wasn’t destroyed for the sake of promoting automobile use. If I wanted to drive everywhere I would go to Portland where driving and parking is a piece of piss. As a tourist without a car I am always amazed that this city seems to not want me. Your streets are surprisingly highway, like you people drive 20km/h faster than one would on a similar street in Vancouver and you apparently don’t believe that pedestrians ever have the right of way. I could write paragraphs describing my bad experiences on a bicycle. The hills were the best part. Everything else sucked. The regular attempts on my life, general hostility and third world roads reminded me of my experiences in Long Beach and Huntington Beach.

  • Those numbers are for a six-year period on a street that carries more than 32,000 vehicles a day. I don’t avoid Masonic at all as either a pedestrian or as a passenger on the #43 line, which moves quite well between Fell and Geary, in spite of the stop signs or stop lights at every intersection. And there are more than 12,000 people riding the #43 every day, which means that Masonic now works well for more than 44,000 people a day.

  • Jesse

    You could have used that logic on the Embarcadero Freeway, because it carried 100,000 passengers a day. Now it carries much less and *gasp* has a dedicated bike lane. The sky didn’t fall, traffic didn’t get any worse than it already was, and seems a lot better. It also revitalized the area and has less accidents. The only problem was it had to succumb to political pressure and idiotic merchants that needed the central freeway to pacify their baseless fears.

    But please, continue repeating the same tired 50’s based argument over and over hoping that someone will eventually believe it as truth.

  • Jesse

    *Central Subway


    You’re right, it looks so much less insane in rage caps.

  • What’s more, they competed with the anti-Peter Shih posters.

  • That’s pretty much the entire U.S. really. Certainly it fits California.

  • Marian

    I am a pedestrian and I live on Masonic. I have seen bicyclists go through red lights and stop signs. What will happen when the bicycle lane will cross the sidewalks on the 10 crossings on Masonic?

  • Jesse

    I live on Masonic too and I see every type of person doing something wrong. I see cars going through red lights and stop signs, I see bikes doing the same, and I also see insane pedestrians trying to jaywalk now and then. I mean this is all sincerity when I ask if you’re more afraid of bicycles than you are of the traffic that moves in upward of 50 miles an hour? If you want to know what happens when people and bikes mix, take a look at the panhandle where both pedestrians and bicyclists mix. That’s what will happen.

  • What does the Embarcadero have to do with Masonic? Nice try to change the subject. Of course taking down the Embarcadero freeway was a Good Thing for the city, except that doing that prompted Rose Pak and Mayor Brown to make the Central Subway deal, which is not good for the city.

  • Jesse

    Your myopic view of the world is just staggering. Your inability to see the parallels between these two corridors isn’t my problem.

  • David Wright

    Yes, it is pretty funny. It was the lack of misspellings and grammar mistakes that gave it away.
    I was very happy to ready something funny by bike activists – it’s not a group I’ve noted for their sense of humor.


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