San Fran has 45 miles of cycling lanes, and, apparently, an additional
35 miles will soon coat the roadways of Townsend Street, North Point Street,
Laguna Honda, 17th Street, and Ocean Avenue. The goal, Newsom explained, is to
surpass the hated Portland, Oregon, as the most bike-friendly city in the realm. (He didn't mean he hated Portland, Newsom explained quickly, he just hated that Portland was winning this particular contest.)
San Francisco Bike Coalition; and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who had
just "jammed" from the budget committee meeting, also gushed.
Then the floor was opened up for questions -- "only on this topic," one
of Newsom's press handlers cautioned -- and Newsom himself tried to
jam. "Let's go paint," he roared, dashing to the perimeter of the circle as
if he were suddenly a participant in a game of Red Rover.
When the softball question period concluded, Newsom strutted over to the
opposite side of the street, where an officially designated slice of bike lane no more than a
foot long awaited. He removed his jacket and greeted a man in a highlighter yellow vest, who wielded a
small bucket of white paint. "Sup, my man?" Newsom queried.
He then called out for various helpers, including Tom Nolan, chairman of the Municipal Transportation Agency board, to come forward and help. Together, Newsom and Nolan slid the paint roller haphazardly
down the asphalt, creating an unruly stripe above two parallel pieces of tape.