Avalos and Chiu vie for bike vote at Sunday Streets

Avalos signs had the slight edge over Chiu signs at Sunday Streets, but all other candidates were absent.
Steven T. Jones

If yesterday's jam-packed Sunday Streets event in the Mission was any indication, only two mayoral candidates are vying for the votes of bicyclists, skaters, and strolling families who appreciate carfree streets: John Avalos and David Chiu. They were the only two candidates who showed up, and both had lots of supporters with signs to help campaign for them, with Avalos supporters enjoying a slight edge in overall numbers.

It's a testament to the lackluster field of mayoral candidates this year that Avalos and Chiu were the only ones campaigning at such a popular, cool, and high visibility event. It also foreshadows what is likely to be a tough fight between the two sitting supervisors for a constituency they each need to win.

With more than 13,000 dues-paying members, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is the city's largest grassroots political organization, an active and high-profile group of voters that both candidates have sought to stake their claims with.

Chiu often touts the fact that he doesn't own a car and bikes regularly, he took a fact-finding trip to Amsterdam with bike advocates last year, and he sponsored legislation setting the policy goal of 20 percent of SF vehicle trips being by bike by 2020. Avalos has the strongest progressive credentials in the race, he sometimes rides his bike from the far-flung Excelsior District, and he has close and deep relationships with many bike-riding political activists.

The choice could determine where bike-advocacy ends and progressivism begins, particularly at a time when Chiu has sought to marginalize Avalos and what was once a solid progressive majority on the board. Chiu has won over some SFBC leaders and snagged a few early endorsements from the bike community (such as SFMTA board member Cheryl Brinkman, who spoke at Chiu's campaign kickoff), but the endorsements are made by a vote of SFBC membership that is likely to be hotly contested.

Well, hotly contested by the only two candidates who seem to care about the bike vote.


probably less than 3% of those who vote. They're also typically poorer than car owners and so less useful for fund raising.

Anyway, the idea that there is a "bike vote" is risible.

Posted by Walter on May. 10, 2011 @ 5:50 am

What a ridiculous comment. 3% of people bike every day to work, but over 15% bike somewhere at least once a week. Most people I know in the city own both a car and bike. Biking certain routes is often faster than driving and you never have to worry about finding parking.

Posted by Steve on May. 10, 2011 @ 11:53 am

According to other media accounts, Mayor Ed Lee also showed up, acting very much like a candidate. If these accounts are correct, then perhaps Steven T. Jones should adopt a wider perspective on things.

There's nothing progressive about tunnel vision.

However, it does reinforce one's dogmas.

Posted by Arthur Evans on May. 10, 2011 @ 8:25 am

I was there for the whole day, and I didn't see Lee, but I saw a lot of Avalos and Chiu's signs. That's all I can say. I think showing your support for a more bike-friendly city is not a negative thing. It's not because there might only be 3% of regular cyclists in the city that there's not a lot more people supportive of bike initiatives. And let's be real SF is way behind with regards to alternative means of transportation. I feel I live in the conservative mid-west out here in the supposedly progressive city. It would be really important to see these candidates show their support for not only more bikes infrastructure, but also a re-org of the bus system. 100% of the streets in the city are open to cars, that's not true of a single city in Europe! It's obvious streets like 24th and Valencia should be made pedestrian, bike, and buses only streets. It doesn't impact traffic. Traffic could be redirected to Cesar Chavez (that should be made a fast track instead of the 2 way streets with bike lanes it's about to become?? what a lack of vision, that's backward thinking), Mission and Guerrero. More green light wave for the cars to move through instead of going light by light, creating jams, sending pissed off drivers in smaller streets, etc.. To be progressive, you have to improve car traffic as well, not make it more and more a mess for people who need cars to go through. If cars have more streets like Fell/Oak, it smooths traffic, alleviate it in smaller streets, allows to close entire street to car traffic, to only allow buses, bikes and pedestrians. THINK forward America, cause you're moving backward!

When is Market st going to be closed to car traffic, when? what are we waiting for? What's the purpose of the car traffic on Market except for lost tourists?

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2011 @ 9:46 am

“I was there for the whole day, and I didn't see Lee.”

- Guest

* * * *
“Supervisors David Chiu and John Avalos were out in force in the progressive-leaning district, as was Mayor Ed Lee himself, who isn’t running for mayor. At least, that’s what he says.”

- SF Examiner

Click here:


* * * *

Bottom line:

Steven T. Jones is a professional reporter. He should make some effort to see the whole picture before writing reports about the picture.

Then again, if Steven T. Jones is just a propagandist, and not a professional reporter, he's entitled to his blinders, right?

Which reminds me:

What ever happened to investigative reporting by The Bay Guardian? Anybody see any evidence of it lately?

If Steven T. Jones and the rest need some leads, here's one:

The Milk Clubbers urged an entire generation of gay men with AIDS to use marijuana for medical purposes. At the same time, studies show that marijuana suppresses the immune system.

Just a suggestion.

Posted by Arthur Evans on May. 10, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

"What ever happened to investigative reporting by The Bay Guardian?"

What do you mean? That the SF examiner is a reference in that regard. You want investigative reporting, you got to pay for it. Nothing is free if you want quality, you need to pay, bitching doesn't do it, except in France. Send your dollars and maybe something will change. To me it seems that you have as much an agenda as you're implying Jones has. Use a mirror, and think before posting.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2011 @ 9:21 am


Posted by Pat Monk.RN. on May. 11, 2011 @ 10:06 am