Further Down That Road
Okay, maybe not your employer: I enjoyed "Path to Civility" [Matt Smith, Column, 6/30], about bicycles in San Francisco. I rode a bicycle in the city in the early 1970s, when it was uncommon to do so.
Very few bicyclists ride lawfully, politely, or safely these days. Most are arrogant and offensive and couldn't care less about their fellow humans around them in cars, on bicycles, or walking. Add to that a greedy and lazy police department that refuses to do basic enforcement of traffic laws, and it is amazing that more people are not injured or killed in San Francisco.
It's unfortunate that drivers of bicycles, cars, taxis, buses, and other vehicles don't obey the laws and follow safe practices. Their selfish behavior does kill people. I doubt if many of the selfish bicyclists will change their ways until they get a ticket and a night in the graybar hotel after mouthing off to the wrong cop.
Can't we all just get along? Behave on your bicycle or in any vehicle as if the people around you are friends, family, or your employer. Have respect for others. Do unto others before they do it unto you.
More bikes, less community: The idea that more bicycle riders on the streets will result in more chance conversations and a greater sense of community is a bit of puffery from the new urbanist movement. I'm surprised Smith fell for that.
There are now a great number of bicyclists on S.F. streets, far more than in Dianne Feinstein's era, when I rode every day. Back then you tended to note the other cyclists, wave to them, or make eye contact. Now there are too many to do that, and frankly, we are all competing for space. Think Market Street at 5:30 p.m. It's not a club, just another way of getting around now. I don't think that's bad, but let's take off the rose-colored glasses and think more rationally about what lots of bikes on S.F. streets will look like — a different form of commute. That's it.
Snitch Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about a proposed ban on bottled water: From the beginning, companies selling bottled water did so as a fad. However, the fad became mainstream, and now many people believe that only bottled water is pure and healthful. It's because of this marketing ploy that they feel a need to purchase bottled water. Maybe an environmental agency should take legal action against the companies. If we are holding BP responsible for the oil spill, what's wrong with holding companies responsible for the containers in which they sell their product? This not only includes water, but also soda, milk, juice, etc. It's time companies became more eco-friendly.