“Cost hits $18M to clean up former Lake Merced gun club site,” The City, Oct. 5
Gun club cleanup part of commercialization effort
Joshua Sabatini’s report on the $18 million to be spent cleaning up the Pacific Rod and Gun Club’s toxic mess skirts an important issue. Millions are being spent on renovating the area so that a consortium, called “Lake Merced Recreation LLC,” can commericalize it. The Marin-based consortium will charge atrocious rental fees — an hour on a double kayak with paddle and life preserver comes to $56 with tax! — and will rent out space to yoga instructors, a bike rental “nonprofit” and others while receiving “rent credits.”
This is but one more example of how taxpayers are subsidizing public space so that others can benefit financially.
Harry S. Pariser
“SFPD pushes traffic safety measures as SF sees third pedestrian death in as many weeks,” The City, Oct. 5
To save lives, slow down intersection timers
One of the most pivotal reasons pedestrians get hit is the intersection timer. It’s way too fast. I’m a 55-year-old runner and I almost make it at the intersection of Van Ness Avenue and Market Street. Imagine someone over 80.
I was in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, and their timers are adequate. If you want less deaths, slow down the timer.
“Ballot measure to close supervisor term limit loophole rumored to rise again,” On Guard, Oct. 3
Term limit ‘loophole’ for supervisors is no mistake
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez’s latest column gave the impression that there is a flaw in local elections, a “loophole” perhaps.
There is no loophole. Ordinary San Franciscans have struggled to compete with realtors, developers and Big Tech. District elections have been a huge victory for the distribution of power to working-class San Franciscans. But realtors, developers and Big Tech have been trying to erode district elections, and the neighborhood-based leaders that they have nourished, since 2000.
The problem is not that a seasoned, formerly elected official can run for his or her seat a few years later. The problem is all that money in politics, the ability of wealthy industries and rich people to buy their way into office and put measures on the ballot. Think how hard Airbnb, realtors and developers worked to defeat Aaron Peskin in his 2015 race to take back his old seat. They didn’t succeed, so their next tactic is to prevent other neighborhood former supervisors from running again.
Bike capacity reduction on Caltrain is senseless
Bike riders don’t have enough bike capacity on Caltrain as is, and now they’re talking about decreasing it? Are they also talking about making the engines coal-burning? This is going backward in a ridiculous fashion, and it’s bad for the environment.
I frequently travel on Caltrain with my bike from San Francisco to San Jose to visit and help my 82-year-old father. I always get a place because I board at the end of the line, but I see huge numbers of bikes unable to get on. This is totally unacceptable. Is Caltrain trying to make all these people use cars? Does Caltrain want them not to use the train?
Caltrain needs 84 bike spaces per train (and 672 seats) to meet the board’s directive for electrified trains. I teach science, not math, but I don’t quite see how subtraction equals addition. And the proposed new car design? Lowest bidder? Really, just distribute the bike racks and seating through all the cars. This would cause less of a scrum and shorten boarding times, as well as be generally safer for everyone.
Caltrain, you can and must do better than this.