Today’s Headlines

  • Will SFPD Change Its “Tone-Deaf” Response on the Botched Amelie Le Moullac Investigation? (SFGate)
  • Wigg Party‘s Morgan Fitzgibbons Blasts the Mayor, SFPD, and SFMTA for Failing to Provide Safer Streets
  • State Senate Approves Third Three-Foot Bike Passing Bill; Needs Gov’s Signature (CBS)
  • Bay Bridge Span Could Open Early (KTVU), Will We Avert Carmageddon Once Again? (CoCo Times)
  • Motorcyclist Killed in Crash at Kezar and Lincoln (KTVU); Three Injured in Portola Car Crash (SF Appeal)
  • Muni Bus, Tour Bus Crash at California and Drumm Streets (SFist)
  • “Ride the Ducks” Tour Guide Routinely Tells Tourists “SoMa is the Worst Neighborhood” (U. Almanac)
  • Take Two Parking Spaces and Suffer the Wrath of Notes Left on Your Windshield (Bernalwood)
  • Berkeley Considers Removing Car Parking for Upgrades on AC Transit’s Line 51 (Berkeleyside)
  • Two Car Occupants Killed After Driving Off I-280 Outside Burlingame (Almanac)
  • Nanny Arrested in Kentfield for Picking Up Kids From School While Drunk (CBS)
  • Mercury Roadshow Readers Rail on Parents Who Drive Kids Walkable, Bikeable Distances to School

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    Morgan, I felt like you were speaking for me. Thank you for writing that. I won’t hold my breath for the city to change, even in the slightest. #sloganfirstcity

    Hell, we can’t even get the board president’s own commute route upgraded to something remotely safe and he’s the one who coined “20% by 2020”. This city is a joke.

  • Mario Tanev

    Great progress always comes at a great cost and it takes time. I know we’re all disillusioned and there is a fair bit of negativism. I am wondering though, does this city really lack people with a vision, conviction and leadership or are we just mired in the casualties of the battle? If this city is a joke, are we a joke too?

    I for one would like to see a somber, but positive campaign, “We can do better, SF”, where we point out the sever problems, how utterly embarrassing they are for a world-class city, engage our collective shame and drive for improvements. Unfortunately just shaming people sometimes drives them into defensive mode. What can we do to change the collective mentality in this city to be about problem solving, not about protecting one’s own irrational narrow self interest (e.g. parking, and the ability to drive fast)?

  • mikesonn

    In the case of Chiu, he brought this on himself. No one pushed him to make a “20% by 2020” goal. He made it to sound all high and mighty but when we needed him to step up, he backed away w/ the real goal coming to the forefront: higher office. Also, Transit First is in the city’s charter, but yet you’d never guess it from the [lack of] action/change on the streets.

  • Ted King

    Link glitch in Muni Bus, Tour Bus … – s/b :
    http://sfist.com/2013/08/26/muni_bus_crashes_into_tour_bus_in_t.php

  • Anonymous

    There is indeed something to be said about only framing the discussion in a negative light. However, I think of the case of the Netherlands in the 70s where they achieved massive change (and quickly) through protests and demonstrations:
    http://youtu.be/XuBdf9jYj7o

    The issue there was that people, especially children, were being killed left and right by cars and the people wouldn’t take it anymore. I do think such protests would also work here, but I don’t think we have critical mass to get enough people out on the streets. Because honestly, I think taking it to the streets through (peaceful) protests might be the only way. (Or else get a “czar” like Janette Sadik-Kahn in NYC who can just get stuff done without getting hyper-democratic on every little change, but I believe that is precluded due to our hyper-democratic process of government here in SF.)

    And though we love to blame city leadership (and they certainly deserve their fair share of blame, a la Morgan’s article), the reality is that WE the citizens don’t seem to care, because most people drive and think cyclists and pedestrians — who are “the other” — are just in the way anyway. To me, it’s kind of like people who drive everywhere and then only blame BP for the oil spill in the Gulf: BP is the drug dealer and they are the drug addicts, and both are at fault. BP wouldn’t be doing what they do (and trying to cut so many corners to keep gas cheap since that’s what everybody thinks is their right) if the people weren’t demanding it from them. So it’s hypocritical to blame BP will simultaneously buying up the crap they are peddling.

    Same goes with our city. If the people really wanted changed, it would get done because we would elect leaders who felt the same (for example, Alvaros instead of Lee for mayor). Unfortunately, the reality is that most people are car-centric and see all improvements to bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure as diminishing their way of life.

    So we have two choices the way I see it: 1) the majority of the people need to get onboard with these changes and demand it from the leaders, or 2) we need to stop this hyper-democratic process of trying to use non-experts (the uniformed and too-busy-to-do-the-necessary-research as well as not trained in being open-minded citizens) to approve every little damn decision. For the former, I remain skeptical that will happen anytime soon. For the latter, it would be like every decision neurosurgeons made the citizens would have to approve. Or every design decision made by engineers who make commercial airplanes would have to be approved by the whole populace. I don’t know where we get off thinking that every little person who knows nothing about all sides of the issue, is not trained to be open-minded and to think rationally, and is too busy with their day jobs has any business telling experts what to do, experts who are looking at all sides of the issue and also aren’t in denial about the very problematic environmental, health, and economic issues that under car-centric development. Democracy is supposed to take place at the high-level, i.e., the people decide who they want to lead them. But it was never meant that they were supposed to be involved in every little decision those leaders make once they are elected.

    After all, all new ideas by their very definition have to start from a minority. So if everything is left to being hyper-democratic, nothing would ever change. That is why we need to stop deciding policy via popularity but by the *merit* of the arguments at hand. What I’m tired of is hearing *both* sides claim that the majority of the people want this or that. It’s not about what the majority want, but about what is the best way forward. Until our leadership figures this out, SF is going to go from being an urban leader to one that is struggling to keep up.

  • Anonymous

    Great article from The Atlantic Cities on how we need to improve driver’s education so that drivers are trained to always look for cyclists:
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/08/one-simple-tip-could-save-cyclists-life/6683/

  • Jason

    It would be much easier to read Streetsblog if you caused linked articles to open in new tabs. Streetsblog is, in almost all other ways, my favorite blog. Please change your linking protocol.

  • On PC, you can open in new tabs by holding ctrl+click, clicking with the mouse scroll button, or right click > “Open link in new tab.”

    We tried forced “new tab” links for a short while, and we got complaints that readers should have a choice. We’re going with that.

  • Matt Laroche

    On Mac Chrome, hold down “Command” and click and it opens in a new tab. I agree that new tab should not be the default.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    -1000000. AOL^-1.

    If I want a new tab, I will ask for it. Thanks.

    What next? The Streetsblog app and mandatory Facebook assimilation?

  • Anonymous

    “I don’t think we have critical mass to get enough people out on the streets. Because honestly, I think taking it to the streets through (peaceful) protests might be the only way.”

    Ah, but we *will* have the critical mass to protest in the streets–this Friday, 6pm, Justin Herman Plaza. Critical Mass was in large part founded to call attention to these critical issues we’re struggling with right now, and we’d be fools to not utilize it for its original purpose.

  • Ted King

    “Middleclick” is the customary way to launch a link in a new tab. Some browsers may require adjusting the mouse settings in the preferences dialog box (e.g. Opera). Others do so by default (e.g. FireFox).

    Opera : Preferences -> Advanced -> Shortcuts -> Middle-Click Options …

    FireFox : “about:config” (Configuration page for advanced users.)
    “browser.tabs.opentabfor.middleclick” – s/b true

  • Guest

    Using sarcasm in every one of your comments isn’t sarcasm; it is bitterness.

  • Guest

    Using sarcasm in every one of your comments isn’t sarcasm; it is bitterness.

  • Anonymous

    I agreed with all of Morgan’s points but thought his editorial verbose, overblown, and weakened by those style choices.

  • mikesonn

    I think the tone is warranted and needed since this city is all about the talk with nothing to back it up. We need to get fired up, and dammit, I’m sick of playing nice while people die.

  • Morgan Fitzgibbons

    Verbose? Sure. Overblown? You must not be paying attention. (Sorry for the late reply – just got back from Burning Man). P.S. Looks like the harsh tone may have worked.

  • Morgan Fitzgibbons

    Thanks mikesonn! I hope my piece helped in some small way to get these jokers to pay attention.