Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Recently City Powers announced that a few school playgrounds might be opened on weekends for neighborhood kids. They announced this at a remote press availability attended by the Mayor, the local Supervisor, the School Superintendent, the Head of Rec and Park and a few others with short to-do lists.

I commented that so much fanfare for such a pathetically small accomplishment showed how hick a town San Francisco really is.

I’m writing this after picking myself up off the floor where I had fallen after seeing this piece in Pat Murphy’s excellent San Francisco Sentinel about another gathering in my district.

According to the Sentinel, tomorrow’s dignitaries will include:

Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D., San Francisco Supervisor Carmen Chu, Bijan Sartipi, Director, Caltrans District 4; Bon Yee, Director, San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic; Dr. William Miller, 19th Avenue Pedestrian Safety Action Group (witnessed April 2007 fatal accident); and Manish Champsee, President, Walk San Francisco.

So, what’s the important event? Launching a battleship? Breaking ground on a new community center? No, and no.

They’re installing a traffic light. A goddamn traffic light!

It’s not even at a previously unprotected intersection. They’re just replacing one light with a newer model, or something. The Sentinel’s excellent story didn’t provide many excellent details.

I don’t mean to be too harsh—we don’t want our elected officials to work too hard or actually strain themselves.

But… a traffic light?

They're proud that they do anything.

See for yourself: 19th Avenue and Sloat Blvd., Thursday, November 1, 2007, 10:30am.

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sfmike said...

I certainly hope you are using the words Sentinel and "excellent" in a disturbingly ironic way.

Do go and document the Streetlight Event. The reason there are probably so many dignitaries is that I think there are about a half-dozen state, city and county agencies that all seem to have jurisdiction over 19th Avenue. It's a way for them to all jostle, schmooze and show each other contempt.

sfwillie said...

There was a noteworthy fatal accident at that intersection earlier this year, which increases the likelihood that the bleed-lead press will cover it, hence the faces looking for face time, I think.

"...jostle, schmooze, etc" --on our dime.

Jerry Jarvis said...

I second mikes sentiments about the sentential.