“Being older in a youthful San Francisco, The City, Oct. 25
Seniors need bicycle infrastructure
Sally Stephens correctly suggests that transportation planners should consider the needs of seniors and people with disabilities in their bus stop designs. But her argument that seniors need more accommodations for private automobiles is completely off the mark. Parking lots and wide, fast streets force our destinations farther apart and make a simple walk to the store more difficult. The most isolated seniors are those who live in suburbs that were planned around the automobile when failing eyesight and slower reflexes make it dangerous to keep driving.
I’m 66 years old and after my second hip replacement, I did have to turn in my rugged bicycle for a more ladylike model, but I still find it invigorating to ride my bike for errands, and I attribute my healthy recovery from those surgeries to years of cycling fitness. On the other hand, diminishing coordination and night vision make driving increasingly scary. Seniors are both disproportionately killed and injured in collisions and more likely to cause crashes themselves when they stay behind the wheel too long in the aging process.
Seniors need bicycle infrastructure designed for riders eight to eighty, public transit accessible to all, and sidewalks and crosswalks free of parked cars and oblivious turning drivers. Having fewer cars on the road makes it easier for drivers on those occasions when we do need a ride. More pandering to cars equals less real mobility.
Raiders arena answer
With the Warriors new arena site here in San Francisco pretty much a done deal, maybe the Raiders should consider moving here to San Francisco, too. After all, their fans are mostly here in the Bay Area.
Thanks to the former opponents of the Warriors arena being built next to the hospital in Mission Bay, the Raiders can avoid all that hassle and acquire the site proposed by the Mission Bay Alliance. That’s a piece of land just over a mile from the site of the new Warriors arena.
It’s at Pier 80, with easy access to both Highway 101 and Highway 280, which would also be served by Muni’s new Third Street rail line, and possibly by a new ferry stop built at Pier 80 by San Francisco’s outstanding ferry system.
Desire trumps all
The scare tactics in the anti-Prop. I mailers are blind and sweeping. Building more market-rate housing will not bring down rents because the desire to live in San Francisco and a few other world cities is almost infinite. This produces a worldwide market of absentee investors trying to get a piece of our inflated rents.
Our demand cannot be satisfied with more supply, not even the 20 percent increase in The City’s population reportedly planned by Bay Area governments for the next 30-35 years. The idea failed in New York, too.
We might obliterate the face of The City, but that’s too high a price to pay. We have already added quite a lot of new housing in the last 20 years, and what is the result? Higher rents. We have a democratic right to preserve our amenities.