On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors killed the proposal to charge the hundreds of thousands of suburban auto commuters who jam San Francisco’s streets every day a congestion-pricing fee.
In doing so, the supervisors turned their backs on San Francisco’s long-established transit-first policy. This surprising turn of events has San Mateo County’s newspapers gloating and bragging about their toughness.
It’s nice that San Francisco’s supervisors care about the rights and privileges of those who drive across the San Mateo County line every day. But how about the people these supervisors purport to represent?
To avoid the cost and polluting effects of driving, I commute to the East Bay by Muni and BART. The Muni leg of my journey is already slow and destined to get even slower if the disastrous Central Subway project is built.
When are the supervisors going to start looking out for Muni riders — who, by the way, are also voters?
Encourage less driving
The lack of congestion pricing is negatively impacting San Francisco families with kids.
Our city’s streets are the highways that bring tens of thousands of single-occupant vehicles into and through our city. These cars pollute with their exhaust and noise, and they imperil our kids on their bikes and in crosswalks. Greater exposure to tailpipe toxins increases asthma and cancer risks.
I would prefer to minimize those risks to our kids. Congestion pricing discourages destructive and unsustainable behavior and provides funding for an improved alternative to driving. This San Francisco family welcomes it.
From the time of conception and for vaguely 18 years forth, it is the responsibility of a parent to guide their child in making the wiser choices.
It is unfair to place the onus upon fast-food service chains that which belongs with the guardian of our younger set. The time has come for parents to add and utilize, with true meaning, the word “no” to their vocabulary.
William J. Coburn
Ambassador of peace
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s reported last words before undergoing surgery, according to his family, were, “You’ve got to end this war in Afghanistan.”
In an interview on PBS’s “News Hour” in early 2009, Holbrooke said of the U.S. war in Afghanistan: “The victory, as defined in purely military terms, is not achievable. I cannot stress that too highly.”
Holbrooke authored part of the “Pentagon Papers,” which, after its release by Daniel Ellsberg, further revealed the futility of the U.S. government’s foreign policy in conducting the Vietnam War and its perpetuating of the “Vietnam quagmire.”
Holbrooke, whom President Barack Obama called a “giant of American foreign policy,” died after surgery to mend an aortic tear. The truth is also that Holbrooke died while in pursuit of peace, rather than the perpetuation of war.
Holbrooke saw the futility of war. He understood humankind’s yearning to live in peace.