Today’s Headlines

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA
Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    The BART Director story is also available on SF Gate – no subscription required.

  • david vartanoff

    Maybe MTC should sell their Taj Mahal to bailout Port Authority Bus Terminal West

  • the_greasybear

    The “Bailout…”, “Season’s First…”, “Glen Park…”, and “BART Director…” stories are all behind the Chronicle’s paywall.

  • mx

    Roger: if you use the “sharing” links (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc…) at the top of the Chronicle articles, you get links the bypass the paywall.

  • jd_x

    Re: Sunday Streets

    One thing that I noticed at Sunday Streets yesterday that really bugged me: going up and down the length of the event on Valencia a couple times, I probably saw a dozen cops on bicycles, walking, and one (obnoxiously) on his ridiculously load motorcycle (seriously? Did he have to drive that down the length of Valencia? And why can’t the cops get quiet motorcycles?). And it hit me: why are there so many cops actually on the beat as they should be (i.e. on foot or on bicycle) when the roads are the safest they are all year!? Why can’t these cops do this the *rest* of the time when the road is *actually* dangerous?

    Once you notice this phenomena, it is truly unbelievable how biased SFPD is: people walking, cycling, and recreating on the streets warrants tons of police attention even though the roads are safer than ever, but when you let all the motorists run wild blocking bike lanes, making dangerous turns, etc then the cops disappear and will nary give a ticket even though their police station is smack in the middle of the chaos. This is yet another sign of why we will never get to Vision Zero with a police force this distracted from what really makes our roads dangerous.

  • Roger Rudick

    Thanks for the workaround. I fixed the first couple and will keep that in mind moving forward.

  • Roger R.

    Thanks for the work around. I fixed the first few and will keep that in mind moving forward.

  • I thought yesterday’s Sunday Streets was great. I volunteered to take counts which made me sit in one spot and actively look at who was passing by. The mix was remarkable. People from ages 8 months to 80 years. All racial groups, with whites not making up more than half the passers-by. It’s hard to tell economic class in San Francisco just by the way someone looks, but it appeared to me that all economic classes except perhaps the tippy top were well-represented. What I like most about Sunday Streets is that it is participatory and active, not passive in the way that, say, watching a parade is. And it’s not about buying things/being a consumer which seems to be the usual way citizens are welcomed to participate in streetlife. Instead, Sunday Streets is mostly about interacting with one’s neighbors and neighborhood via the most democratic of activities, the neighborhood stroll. (Of course quite a few were on wheels of one type or another, too.) It is quite possibly one of the most participatory, egalitarian events that occurs in San Francisco.

  • I’m not sure why there has to be such a heavy police presence at Sunday Streets, either, especially given the cost for all the overtime. Ironically, the only source of any kind of conflict I saw was the group marching against SFPD, and that group, though loud, was entirely peaceful. I noticed that SFPD is getting smarter about trying to use Sunday Streets as a positive PR event for themselves.

    Totally agree about quiet electric motorcycles. All San Francisco departments should be going all electric as soon as possible.

  • RichLL

    “with whites not making up more than half the passers-by”

    I’ve not been to one of these events and so will take your word for it that it was a success. But surely that success is not judged by how low the percentage of whites attending was?

    Can you imagine claiming an event was a success because not so many blacks showed up?

  • mx

    It is certainly not the only metric for success, but it’s a nice thing to see. SF is less than 50% white, but that diversity isn’t always reflected in all our civic events. I think Karen’s point is that the crowd seemed to better reflect the demographics of the city, and that’s a good sign the event is reaching a broad range of participants.

  • Sunday Streets should reflect the diversity of the neighborhood where it takes place and of San Francisco at large. As of the 2010 census only 42% of San Franciscans are non-Hispanic white. In the Mission, roughly half are Hispanic, 4% African American, 13% Asian. If Sunday Streets in the Mission were a majority white event, that would be a sign that the organizers had work to do to welcome and engage all the people it was trying to serve. As it turns out, having people of all races show up in large numbers means it was indeed a success in this way. Of course it was a success in the other ways I mentioned as well.

    San Francisco’s diversity is a wonderful thing, and it doesn’t diminish white people to be happy about genuinely sharing city streets equitably with people of different racial backgrounds.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    It really doesn’t have anything to do with electric vs. internal combustion. The standard police motorcycle comes from the factory with a near-silent exhaust, and then the police departments intentionally modify them with illegal exhausts, because cops are assholes.

  • RichLL

    I can see that having a diverse crowd is a good thing.

    But nevertheless, once you find yourself in the position of assessing success based on the premise that somehow the presence of some races is better than the presence of other races, then you are descending a slippery slope.

    Your point would have been better made by simply stating that there were all ages and races present. When you go beyond that and exclaim glee that there was a relatively low percentage of one particular race present then you open yourself to accusations of something between political correctness and racism.

    An event can be successful whether the percentage of any given race is 10% or 90%. Try not to exhibit racial preferences and your broader claim will seem more credible. No event is better simply because there are too many non-whites relative to a neutral demographic. Fair-minded people simply do not think that way.

  • RichLL

    Actually no, the most recent census has whites as 49.7% of the population, and that excludes the many Hispanics that identify as white, and the 10% plus who identify as mixed race.

    60% white is probably a better guess.

    But even better would be to look at a crowd and not even see race, which is how more evolved post-racial and race-neutral people see things.

  • westinghaus1

    “But even better would be to look at a crowd and not even see race, which
    is how more evolved post-racial and race-neutral people see things.”

    This made me LOL, next you’ll be saying “but I have tons of black friends”. If anyone uses the “I’m colorblind” trope (or in your case, “race-neutral”), it’s an instant indicator that you’re white and don’t face the constant racism and reminders of your race that people of color do on a daily basis. It’s impossible for POC to be “post-racial” or “race-neutral” because society reminds them of their race every single day.

  • Thanks for the link. Eye opening. The standard motorcycle still would’ve been 80 decibels, which is far from silent compared to electric motorcycles that produce only 40 decibels. It’s true, however, that 80 decibels would be far, far better than 120, which appears to be the noise level the police officers in Oakland insist on. This kind of noise creates not only hearing loss for the rider, it makes anyone not encased in a car suffer as well. (Also true for emergency vehicle sirens that have the decibel level set entirely to reach drivers inside of cars, regardless of the misery they cause everyone else on the street.)

    An all electric world will be a much quieter world.

  • RichLL

    I feel sad that you think seeing race everywhere you look represents the future for American. Pitting one race against another was never right and that doesn’t change just because you adopt an anti-white stance.

    Karen seeks to advance the pro-transit and pro-cycling agenda. No problem. But how does cheap race-baiting achieve that? Especially since most cyclists in SF are affluent professional white males?

  • murphstahoe

    you’ll throw shade on anything

  • RichLL

    Murphstahoe, you live in Sonoma County, right? According to the last census that county is over 87% white. Only one person in eight there is non-white.

    Can you explain to us why it is better to live in a location that is 7/8 white while simultaneously telling those of us who live in SF that we are too white?

  • westinghaus1

    The fact that you consider the most innocuous mention of race to be race-baiting says all anyone needs to know about you. You’ve ruined enough Streetsblog comment sections recently with your illogical, pedantic arguments; I’m sorry I contributed to you ruining another one.

  • murphstahoe

    the census didn’t count all the illegals

  • RichLL

    If “ruining” a topic is compelling others to see how there is more than one side to every story then your attribute is a compliment, and I thank you.

    I do not believe that the cause of advocating for transit and liveability is helped by people declaring war on people who are white.

    If you can refute my points then please do. If not, then better to remain silent than resort to insults and snidery.

  • the_greasybear

    *60% is a ridiculous guess and entirely unsupportable given the data we have.

    *Latinos who identify themselves to the Census Bureau as white are counted as white. All ethnic and racial information is volunteered by individuals and tabulated accordingly–the bureau does not make any classification of its own.

    *Diversity is part of what makes this city special and there’s nothing wrong with noticing and enjoying it at events like Sunday Streets.

  • Flatlander

    It’s pretty obvious that Karen was celebrating that the diversity of the event reflected the diversity of the neighborhood. That you contorted that into somehow meaning “the presence of some races is better than the presence of other races” is race-baiting, pure and simple.

    And I second the LOL at the “I don’t see race” remark. Must be nice!

  • neroden

    Oakland PD is just plain lawless. We all know it. This is just more proof: deliberately making *federally illegal* modifications to their motorcylces, with city money.

    Is there a reason Oakland PD hasn’t been liquidated yet? I think it can simply be done unilaterally by the mayor and city council, though I may be wrong, it may require a charter revision.

  • murphstahoe

    Then you must love a war on white people because you hate transit and walking. Don’t even get me started on cycling.

  • RichLL

    The 60% number included not just the many Hispanics who identify as white but also those of two or more races whose primary identity is white. Either way the number is well over 50%.

    “Noticing diversity” is fine. Claiming that fewer whites is somehow a positive thing goes a lit further than that, and not in an attractively post-racial way.

    How about just not seeing race at all, and instead just seeing people enjoying themselves. Why play a race card at all?

  • RichLL

    Celebrating a diverse crowd is a good thing and if Karen had phrased it that way I would not have called her out on it.

    But singling out just one race and commenting on how the percentage of them was somehow more favorable and desirable than some other percentage went too far.

    “It was a mixed crowd” was perfectly sufficient.

  • RichLL

    How about not hating anyone?

  • mx

    The 2014 Census estimates have White alone non-Hispanic/Latino at 41.2% for SF; 4.2% identify as two or more races.

    In any case, and not to derail too far from a discussion about transportation, simply “not even seeing race” is a lovely thought in a grand “let’s all join hands in a beautiful rainbow of humanity and live together in harmony forever” sort of way, but it ignores the reality of the world we live in. Race matters to a lot of people in a lot of different contexts. Not seeing race also means being blind to inequality.

    Specific to what this blog is about: race and urban transportation have been intertwined in the US for quite some time. A few examples off the top of my head: the Montgomery Bus Boycott; curtailing and redesigning transit systems with deliberate racial animus (Atlanta’s MARTA system has another nickname:; pollution from vehicles disproportionately causing serious health impacts to minority and poor families (; and Federal Civil Rights law specifically targeted around equitable provision of transit services. This stuff has a long history in transportation planning, and just saying we should ignore race means we’re not addressing it or working to do better.

    Anyway, the point here is that, Sunday Streets is a city-funded event intended for the entire community. Apparently, according to Karen, a fairly diverse crowd showed up and enjoyed the event, where diversity means age, economic status, and race. That’s a good thing for everyone.

  • THAT’s why I am always going NNNNNNNNNEEEEEERRRRRRROOOOOOOMMMMMMM when I ride my bike.

    I also never pass the deaf or hard of hearing. They get to drive around oblivious because they can just use the excuse from the article that they “hadn’t heard the officer approaching.”

    “The cyclists was wearing a helmet, high-viz and reflective vest, signaling appropriately and obeying all traffic laws, but was NNEEEEERRRROOOMMMMing at less than 80 dB. I guess it was just a tragic accident.”