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View Diary: Cyclist-attack motorist arrested in SF (128 comments)

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  •  It's called "Critical Mass" and it's monthly (8+ / 0-)

    and there's a lot of bad behavior on the part of some few of the attending cyclists, which rubs many easy-to-provoke motorists the wrong way. Not a good scene.

    SF may be "bike friendly" in an official way, but I would not consider riding one outside of Golden Gate Park. It's just too dangerous an urban environment.

    •  I should add SF isn't car-friendly either (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caelian, greendem, G2geek, lgmcp, science nerd

      so everyone suffers, if not equally. And with budget cutbacks, Muni sucks too.

    •  Not to mention the hills are so steep. (4+ / 0-)

      I live in the flatlands (central valley) and the idea of trying to bike in SF sounds terrifying.

    •  International tourists come to ride it these days (4+ / 0-)

      It's in the guide books.

      It's been normalized.

      Everyone knows not to bring a car downtown on the last Friday of the month.

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 03:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  SF is excellent for biking. (5+ / 0-)

      I do it almost every day. I was more cautious yesterday morning than usual, but it is a safe and beautiful place to ride. It helps if one can handle hills, but with marked, dedicated lanes all along Valencia, Market, the Embarcadero it is quite safe also

    •  Critical Mass is past its shelf date. (7+ / 0-)

      I'm only surprised there aren't more road rage incidents. IMO, the cyclists should be required to take out a parade permit, have their route approved by the city, and pay for the extra law enforcement costs. The notion that snarling downtown traffic on a Friday rush hour in one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America is somehow productive or helpful to increasing bicycle usage and decreasing driving is absurd.

      I live on a major bike route in SF (and like it). Bike riding is not a good option with my disability, but I almost never drive unless I'm leaving the city. I actually prefer taking the bus, even when I know there is adequate (free) parking where I'm going.

      I've seen a lot of assholes on bicycles, especially out in the country. I'm starting to feel the same way about bicycles as I do about Porsches--I love the cars, not the assholes who drive them.

      "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

      by homogenius on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 03:44:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, it has served its purpose. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius, citisven

        Cycling is going much more mainstream now.

        Families who want occasional car free street play days for their children are starting to get organized.

        "Play Streets" are found all over Europe in the summertime.

        And the Ciclovia movement has taken off worldwide.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

        by greendem on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:01:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and San Francisco has Sunday Streets (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caelian, greendem, homogenius

          which has been very popular and drawing way more people than critical mass. Check it out.

          Live life. Not too fast. Mostly walk. (or bike)

          by citisven on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:07:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Critical mass is about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erratic, citisven

            commuting on a bike, not just riding bike.  As much as I like Sunday streets it isn't intended to address any cycling issues other than recreational cycling.

            I'm not going to be happy til we get rid of all the cars down town.  There's no reason to have them there.

            I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

            by AoT on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:26:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm with you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, erratic

              being from Germany I know it can work without cars, despite what people say.

              Live life. Not too fast. Mostly walk. (or bike)

              by citisven on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:34:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Certainly for the able-bodied (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              erratic

              If they want to bring a car downtown, it should be expensive, like London.

              At least $10.

              "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

              by greendem on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:46:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  With the saturation of public transportation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erratic

                in the downtown area there's no reason for cars there.  There are plenty of options for mobility impaired folks, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was easier than driving.  I read a news article a couple of years ago about how there are more handicap tags in San Francisco than there are parking spots.  Doesn't surprise me.  I know I've seen a lot of folks who simply don't need those using them, and I think there needs to be more police action in terms of that.

                I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

                by AoT on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:07:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In Oakland they cracked down hard (0+ / 0-)

                  $750 tickets, first offense.

                  "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

                  by greendem on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:16:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  public transit has hit the skids though (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  homogenius

                  in SF

                •  Say what? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  Have you ever taken public transit with impaired mobility?

                  Seriously?

                  I don't have enough time to explain all the ways that you are spewing teh stoopid. I'm not exaggerating.

                  I've navigated all the major transit methods in SF in a wheelchair, walking on my prosthetic leg, and on crutches. Until you have experienced those "options"...FUCK OFF!

                  As for your PERCEPTION that you have "seen a lot of folks who simply don't need those using them", HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THAT???

                  Oh, yeah...I get plenty pissed off at the idea of people parking in disabled spots who don't need them. I have permanent tags and I don't use them a lot of the time because I know there are lots of folks who need the space more than I do. But who made you the instant expert on who is disabled and who isn't?

                  Fuck that fucking shit.

                  Do you have any idea the complexity of disabilities and who needs to use that handicapped space and who doesn't?

                  Fuck. Just...Fuck.

                  Somebody please explain just how stupid that is because I can't.

                  Yes, there are massive abuses of handicapped tags. But you don't have clue-one about how to discern who really needs them. Moreover, you think mass transit is more gimp-friendly than it really is. How many times have you missed a scheduled bus or train because of disability?

                  Christ on a cracker, spare me the stupidity of the ignorant.

                  "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

                  by homogenius on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:00:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

                    for that.  I understand that there are serious problems with muni and people with mobility issues.  There shouldn't be, it's entirely possible to run them in a way that works for everyone, including folks with mobility issues.  I was thinking more of the downtown area, which seems like it's better than the rest of the city.

                    As for your PERCEPTION that you have "seen a lot of folks who simply don't need those using them", HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THAT???

                    I'm thinking about the folks who I've seen park in a handicapped designated spot, put the tag up, then literally run two blocks.  My mom has a tag, and needs it, but doesn't "look" like she does.  I'm not talking about that.  I mean the folks that use other people's tags, or have obtained them under false pretenses.

                    Do you have any idea the complexity of disabilities and who needs to use that handicapped space and who doesn't?

                    I do have a good idea about these issues, and I'm sorry for the way my post glossed over it.  The issues of disabilities is far more overlooked than anything having to do with bicycles, mainly because disabilities don't have the same political cache as bikes do right now.

                    In terms of the "easier than driving" comment, I meant that in regard to the fact that there aren't enough parking spots for all the people with handicap tags.  Obviously, having experienced all of this first hand, you know a lot more than I do, so I'll defer to that experience.  I will say that I'd be happy to simply convert all the parking spots to handicapped spots.

                    I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

                    by AoT on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 03:16:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks for your reasoned reply. (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm afraid you hit a nerve and I over-reacted.

                      You are correct that there are is an epidemic of people abusing placards and disabled spaces. However, there are a lot of people with hidden disabilities who get abused by know-it-alls who don't have the first clue how to deal with the situation.

                      My preferred form of verification is if someone asks "are you the holder of that placard". That is vastly preferable to "you can't park there" or "you don't look disabled" (both of which can get a fast "fuck off" from me, most likely if I'm wearing long pants). Bear in mind, however that the placard can be used if a driver is dropping off or picking up the holder.

                      Sorry for the rant--but there is a lot of misinformation out there.

                      "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

                      by homogenius on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 04:29:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't begrudge you (0+ / 0-)

                        your anger at all.  I've known a number of people with mobility issues and even in places that do a better job of policy around the issues, and in my experience San Francisco is one of those, there are still a huge number of problems.

                        I'm afraid you hit a nerve and I over-reacted.

                        Completely understandable.  When it comes to getting around in the world everyone gets irritable and riles easily, especially when they are thought about last, if at all.  That's one of the things I learned as a cyclist and from being around people who use wheel chairs.

                        I had an eye opening moment when my best friend got back from a trip to Europe with her now late brother, who was used a wheel chair.  He had huge problems getting around because even areas that said they were wheelchair friendly really weren't.  Soon after I was at a bar talking with a few english folks who started on about how they could tell that Americans were lazy because we had so many elevators.  I'll be damned if I didn't blow up at them over the fact that I didn't remember seeing a single god damned person in public in a wheel chair when I was in Europe, and the reason for it was that people in wheelchairs simple had no reasonable way to get into most buildings and such.

                        My preferred form of verification is if someone asks "are you the holder of that placard". That is vastly preferable to "you can't park there" or "you don't look disabled" (both of which can get a fast "fuck off" from me, most likely if I'm wearing long pants). Bear in mind, however that the placard can be used if a driver is dropping off or picking up the holder.

                        I've never actually said anything to someone who I thought was misusing a placard.  Mostly because I'm a bit of a coward that way, but also because I know that physical problems that might necessitate one aren't always obvious to me.  That or the fact that they ran too fast after getting out of their car.  That was always the one that got me.  I could not believe it.  It was always around the college, SFSU, so I assumed it was asshole kids using their parents or grandparents placards.

                        I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

                        by AoT on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 05:02:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  A little more on the topic (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    homogenius

                    I think it would be really easy to rework buses and trolleys to be much more friendly for people who are mobility impaired.  I don't know exactly how to do that, although I have a couple of ideas, but I imagine there are other people who have thought this out a lot more than I have.

                    I refuse to represent my political beliefs using numbers. It isn't accurate, nor is it helpful. But I'm around a -10 on both scales.

                    by AoT on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 03:19:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  So that must be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius

        your wifi that shows up on my phone when I'm near Cafe Flore.

      •  well said. It's counterproductive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homogenius

        If they are trying to promote bicycle riding, their assholish behavior is accomplishing the opposite.

        •  Yes, but every other day of the month (0+ / 0-)

          the cars all line up and do a critical mass.

          Why is that traffic not cracked down on?

          "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

          by greendem on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:48:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm...I believe it is. (0+ / 0-)

            Breaking traffic laws results in citations all the time. SF is one of the most car-unfriendly cities in the country. Parking as a regular commuter is very expensive and logistically difficult.

            I'm all in favor of policies that make bike riding easier and cheaper. I especially favor increasing subsidies for mass transit rather than decreasing them--I'm a regular user.

            Your statement is stupid--the cars don't all line up and do a critical mass--that presumes that every day hundreds of cars gather in an organized frenzy of civil disobedience to disobey traffic laws and disrupt the afternoon commute.

            I call bullshit.

            "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

            by homogenius on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:06:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't agree more (0+ / 0-)

          When it started, Critical Mass served a very useful purpose. Unfortunately it morphed from a movement that promoted cycling as a viable form of transportation into something closer to lawlessness and mob behavior. It's not as though there aren't people doing Critical Mass who ride for a good reason; it's that they're now far outnumbered by folks who like being disruptive for the sake of being disruptive and who have no respect for any form of transportation other than their own.

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