Thursday, February 22, 2007


In local San Francisco politics, the use of public space is increasingly contentious. Area population is growing and total public space is diminishing.

Two groups that are vocal and organized are bicyclists and dog lovers. Bicyclists ultimately want cars banned from the city (Green), and dog lovers want their animals to be able to run free and shit all over the place (Brown).

Dog lovers have their eyes on Ocean Beach, and bicyclists want to close a busy roadway in Golden Gate Park to cars on Saturdays and Sundays. I don’t have a dog and I don’t like dogshit. I don’t have a bike, and my doctor recommends against urban bicycling (for health reasons). So I’m opposed.

To the dismay of my lefty friends, I have voted against previous park road closures and promise to do the same in future.

And I vote against dogs whenever I can (teehee).

Part of the problem is that each individual group thinks its own demands aren’t that onerous. But when all the demands of all the groups are combined, the general unaffiliated public gets shut out.

So here’s my modest proposal. I’ll vote yes on the roadway closing if the closed JFK Drive area is designated an off-leash dog play area also. The interaction of the two groups could create new paradigms of interest-group cooperation.

Dogs, bikes, kids, trees, sounds great.

Besides, on the many rainy weekends, dogs and their owners would have the whole area to themselves. That way in wet weather, with cars banned and bicyclists rained-out, the area would get some sort of use.

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Anonymous said...

I commend your courage on taking on two powerful lobbies. I watch bike riders break the law on a daily basis - and do it with attitude. Ditto for dog lovers who allow their dogs to shit all over the place and never clean it up. I wish that bike riders and dog lovers would be more responsible citizens. Maybe a little bit less of what they want and a lot more of behaving like members of the citizen body would get a bit more of up on their side.
BTW - I love your blog. You tell it like it is!

nancy (

sfwillie said...

Thanks, Nancy,

Pud and the fact check crew really appreciate your encouragement.

Me too.