Please do not adopt the ordinance allowing Idaho Stop in San Francisco

To Mayor Lee, President Breed and Supervisors:

Please do not adopt the ordinance proposed by Supervisor Avalos to make citations for bicyclists who don’t stop at stop signs the lowest law enforcement priority and to permit bicyclists not to stop at stop signs if the intersection is empty.

If this legislation becomes law bicyclists may go through intersections without stopping when they determine that there is no ‘immediate hazard. This proposed legislation may lead to increased crashes because many bicyclists, especially our young riders, will misunderstand the law and blast through stop signs with tragic results.

The extent that stopping is a burden to cyclists is up to the individual. As a longtime cyclist I’ve never considered stopping to be a problem. Cyclists who are not fit enough to start and stop multiple times when riding, perhaps shouldn’t be on a pedal-bike?

Here’s a scenario to consider: a cyclist approaches a red light. She stops, looks both ways, and decides to cross or turn left on the red light. Unbeknownst to her, motor traffic on her left or across the intersection has just gotten a green left turn arrow. Conflict (or worse) occurs. She wasn’t aware of that because many such signals are not visible to the cross traffic because there’s no reason for them to be when all traffic is supposed to obey them according to the same black and white rules.  I suppose you could argue that a prudent cyclist would not cross on the red light under the circumstance where there was cross traffic waiting to turn left across her path. But how many of us would make that determination under those circumstances?

My observation of the “judgment” used by many cyclists when choosing to ignore stop signs or red lights is that they often make very poor and dangerous decisions. Making such behavior “legal” won’t reduce the danger to them or others.

Is it REALLY all that onerous to stop at stop signs and red lights?The “Idaho Stop” runs counter to the principles of vehicular cycling and also violates one of the primary elements of traffic safety: predictability.

Please take a moment to view this video and oppose this ordinance that would diminish pedestrian safety and give cyclists special treatment.

Robert
Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF)

Why Uber is wise to destroy itself, before someone else does

By Thomas Lee : sfchronicle – excerpt

From taxicab unions and package couriers to politicians and regulators, a growing crowd of people would like to destroy Uber.

Add one more name to the list: Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.

“There is an insane amount of public good” that comes with driverless cars, including better safety, Kalanick said. “As a technology company, am I going to be a part of the future or resist it? We don’t want to be the taxi companies before us.”…

Somewhere lost in the scrum over whether Uber drivers are employees or contractors, or whether the company conducts proper background checks, is the simple fact that Kalanick wants to eventually replace all Uber drivers with software and computers. Like Google and Tesla, Uber is trying to develop a car that can drive without a human operator.

This makes for some odd contradictions. At the Dreamforce conference last week in San Francisco, Kalanick suggested that he started Uber to help drivers as well as riders…

“We like to say that we give riders high-fives and give drivers hugs,” Kalanick said. “Taxi drivers have to pay $140 a day to rent a car. For that privilege, they get to be impoverished. Taxi drivers are good people. They are just treated badly.”

So why is Uber trying to put all human drivers — including those who work for taxis and Uber — out of business?

On the surface, Kalanick sounds flaky, even hypocritical. But his plan also reflects a business reality that Silicon Valley knows all too well. Technology is evolving so fast that companies must adapt or risk getting disrupted into extinction…

It’s the reason Apple and Cisco hoard cash. And why Google is reorganizing itself into a holding company called Alphabet. The era of one or two companies dominating a market for decades is over; a small startup can bring down the mightiest of corporations… (more)

It feels like Uber, Apple, Google and Alphabet want it all. If their employees and contractors don’t design it they will buy it to keep the competition down. Silicon valley is leading the way in putting humans out of work while building the new Gotham of the West. No doubt everyone working for them is on their way to disrupting themselves out of a job.

Number of ‘Google Bus Stops’ grow, even in the west, activists say

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Where the “Google buses” go, evictions follow.

And those private shuttles are expanding all across The City, with more than 20 new stop locations and over 900 more annual pickups made by shuttles so far in 2015, compared to last year, according to new data.

Those are the assertions of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and some advocates suing San Francisco and various tech companies. The goal of the suit is to compel an environmental review of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot Program, which legalized private commuter shuttle activity.

The data on the growing number of private commuter shuttles, nicknamed “Google buses” comes via public records requests of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency by activist Sue Vaughan.

Vaughan is one of the litigants in the lawsuit, along with local activist Sara Shortt and the local SEIU.

Mapping project activist Erin McElroy famously protested a Google Bus in 2013, along with groups like Heart of the City, demanding Google and other tech companies help stem evictions.

“We found that evictions were up 69 percent more in proximity to [shuttle] stops between 2011 and 2013,” McElroy said, adding the newer commuter shuttle stops would likely bring higher rents and evictions.

The mapping project also released an interactive map last week, showing new commuter shuttle stops in the west and south ends of San Francisco:
http://www.antievictionmap.com/

When the San Francisco Examiner asked SFMTA if they had studied the correlation between evictions and shuttle stops, they said questions should be referred to the Planning Department.

Gina Simi, a spokeswoman for the Planning Department, said “This isn’t something that would fall under Planning’s jurisdiction or analysis.”

As previously reported by the Examiner, public documents show the SFMTA is working hand-in-hand with the Planning Department to exempt The City from conducting environmental impact reports, which may include measuring community displacement effects…. (more)

The SFMTA is using our tax dollars to hire lobbyists in Sacramento, and possibly Washington to change the laws in favor of the tech buses. This is especially concerning because no other city has this problem that we know of.

Please let us know if there are other cities, particularly in California that have tech buses.

A gentrification report came out, or was discovered on twitter this week that shows a strong correlation between the transit-oriented development and gentrification that further proves the point many have been making for some time.

The goal is to build, not build a green or clean city. Just build, and any story, no matter how true, will do to get that next project approved and shift the demographic in San Francisco to one that can be easily controlled.

The question that arises out of this realization is: Should the regional transportation agency be elected?

RELATED:
Tech bus drivers forced to live in cars to make ends meet
Scott Peebles drives employees to their jobs at Apple, the wealthiest tech company in the world, yet he can’t afford a place to live. (so he lives in his van.)

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