London Breed Gives Up on Twitter, The Bike Vote, Having People Like Her

After a storied career as a caustic and crabby Twitter user and occasional District 5 Supervisor, London Breed shut down her unfettered Twitter account this afternoon amid accusations that she's unprofessional and generally thoughtless. Why?  London's straight-shooter and all-around dopey answer to a softball question about safe streets:

That's correct: a couple of human flat tires means all cyclists are undeserving of safe streets, or something like that.  Streetsblog breaks down the troubling sentiment:

The underlying assumption in this argument is that cycling is an activity for a distinct class of people, rather than just a way of getting around. According to this way of thinking, the city cannot implement proven redesigns that make streets safer for the general population until this “class” exhibits suitable behavior. Imagine if you applied the same logic to car infrastructure: No highway or garage would ever be built until we sorted out all the speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving that kills thousands of Americans each year.

It seems London Breed decided she could no longer control her impulses—her judgment kaput—and she signed off for good.  And it's a shame, too.  We'll forever miss her implications that her constituents are pro-slavery, declarations of being SF's top party host, and general petulance.

[Screenshot by mikesonn]

Comments (30)

I thought Streetsblog’s response was exactly right. As someone who nearly gets run down by reckless bicyclists at least once a week – and has a partner who commutes everywhere by bike – I certainly have opinions on the topic. Where LB is way, WAY off is that (1) better bike infrastructure leads to better behavior (by everyone), because traffic has more room for separation and we don’t have situations where pedestrians are dodging bikes who are dodging cars all on one thoroughfare, and (2) gripes about the behavior of some cyclists should have zero effect on city-level decisions about making transportation safer and smoother for everyone.

I’m doing my part! I’m a pedestrian, and also kind of a jerk!

GG: Yup. Concur.

“Nearly getting run down by reckless bicyclists” happens to me less than once every five years. Your mileage may vary.

You aught to check out haighteration anytime there is anything about the wiggle. This likely won her votes.

As for streetsblog they literally ban anyone who disagrees with the groupspeak.

By the way I have commuted by bicycle for more than 30 years in a wide variety of climates and population densities (last 15 SF), and agree whole heartedly with London Breed’s view.

Some of my best friends are black, too.

That is more like “my friends ride”.

What I said is “I ride” and most likely have for a shit ton longer than you have (even in my 40s I’m probably faster than you as well)

To be honest I am horrified by how unaware a large number of other cyclists are, how often their unawareness puts themselves in a position of danger but for the awareness of others.

“Hi my name is Alan Keyes”

She has a good point. Whether you feel it’s justified or not, public perception of bicyclists isn’t always the best and that reputation is fueled by a few very bad eggs. It doesn’t help when the justification for the dangerous behavior is, “cars do it too” or “cars kill more people” as if they can’t see the false equivalence. Furthermore, the push for a more bike-friendly city doesn’t seem to be coming with an increased responsibility expected of bicyclists. Not to say this is accurate, but many feel that the increased friendliness to bikes is a reward for deviant behaviors like Critical Mass, ignoring stop signs, and flying through crosswalks without giving a damn about pedestrians; as if the City policy-drivers have said, “well, screw it - we can’t stop it so let’s just pander to it.” Unfortunately, this divide could result in the pro-bike groups winning the policy battle while losing the war for a public perception. The latter is required for a truly bike-friendly City.

I personally can’t speak to how the green lanes have changed things as I moved from the City some time ago. But I used to walk from Cole Valley to work in the Tenderloin a few times a week. It was not the relaxing exercise I was hoping for. A green light, an invite to enter the intersection, was not a fun experience due to bicyclists ripping through their red light at pretty exceptional speeds. My current walk from Civic Center BART to Van Ness seems to be better with the green lanes - less sidewalk riding - but I’m not sure if that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Agree with alot of what you said,but one real quick defense of Critical Mass. Critical Mass at this current time is a sanctioned event by the city. When they stop sending police to escort us in parade fashion then we can say otherwise. The police are in the front and in the rear of the mass,no matter how big or how small. The police DEMAND that we keep riding when we get to red lights once the front of the mass has already passed thru the intersection(s).
As far as the cities “Friendliness” to cyclist, I think this has more to do with voting, younger demographic that are not car centrist and the fact that the city has a 20% by 2020 plan.
Making the streets safer for cycling is not being Friendly,it’s being responsible.

She made the point that the “Biggest Obstacle” to better bike infrastructure is bad behavior by cyclists.

Does this imply that if we weeded out all the bad cycling behavior, protected bike lanes would start popping up everywhere? Not a chance.

The biggest obstacle is almost certainly “Money”. Even the worst hater in the world would not really care about a west bay bridge bike path if it was donated by Mark Zuckerberg. But when we are fighting over resources, it’s easy to push back against bike infrastructure as “undeserved by the cyclists” given that the money comes from the general pool.

The second biggest obstacle is political will. If the BoS wants to get something done, they have to listen to the people who object to it, but they have no obligation to take their advice. By virtue of being elected, they have the power to ignore public comment. But if they are worried that it will cause trouble for them in their *next* election, they might back down.

Have to agree with Miss Breed on this one… Stop at stop signs,stop at lights,use hand signals. Those 3 things done by cyclists would make the streets safer instantly. Of course the best way to make streets safer for peds and cyclist would to make the streets #CarFree

Yup. Same streets. Same rights. Same responsibilities.

I disagree.

I bike 2-3 times a week. My GF does the same too. And in the past 6 months the following have happened: I’ve been hit by a cabbie who just stopped in front of me and the passenger door flew open, slamming into me (no blinkers, there was a bike lane); my GF has been hit by an SUV making a right turn, from behind (in other words, the SUV had to have seen her), damaging her bike; I’ve been nearly run over by a pickup making a right turn, as he tried to beat me to the green light (and failed).

No amount of hand signals, stopping at stop signs, etc. would have prevented any of these.

The reality is: drivers in this city are just not interested in watching out for bikes who are traveling legally in their bike lanes. Unless there is severe punishment for hitting a cyclist, the sorry state of affairs will continue.

Critical Mass has made being a dickhead cyclist cool… Well done.

Funny that you should mention that. We personally have been to 20+ critical mass rides and ONLY run stop lights and stop signs while at Critical mass. This is usually at the demand of the motorcycle cops. We have a police escort at the front and rear so we see this as technically a parade and therefore no need to stop. That being said, as soon as the mass is over we go back to stopping at every sign/light once again. We meet alot of cyclist new and old that don’t go to Critical mass cause “They think it gives cycling a bad image” Yet they then run stop signs and lights….

The sum total of riders in any given Critical Mass is probably around 500. There are 50,000 or more people who ride bikes in SF at some point in any given year. One percent of cyclists in SF have anything to do with Critical Mass. Think about that.

Agree with everything you say except the numbers. We avg 2k-3k a ride. That’s avg over the yr. Some rides(Jan-Feb) 500 some rides(Sept-Oct) 5,000+

In reality if what Ms. Breed said has any merit than we shouldn’t be seeing a single new strip of asphalt in this city. By her metric user behavior would have seen roads spending and infrastructure flat line before I was even born. Just think off all those times you have seen a car blow a red to make a high speed right turn, barge a crosswalk with pedestrians in it, speed, and so on. Likewise crosswalks couldn’t be improved because of pedestrians ignoring walk signs and lights or just j-walking.

London Breed is an utter failure, but was successful in getting the Ed Lee/Willie Brown machine to financially support her as a hedge against Olague developing political stances of her own.

I’m disappointed she left twitter, her overly confrontational tweets and self alienation at least provided some entertainment value for this resident of D5 who will otherwise get nothing but the screw job from our new Sup until her four years are up.

Who still uses twitter? So 2011.

Everyone loves to hate on bicyclists. Tough shit. Dumb cyclists will eventually get run over. By a bigoted asshole slurping a 64 oz Gulpee while searching for that copy “Who cares? magazine.

My personal worry is being run over by a bigoted asshole on a bike with his 12 pack of PBR while searching for that “Chase Cool” magazine. And, yeah, I could get run over by a car. That is possible. But that doesn’t do much for me if I do get run over by a bike, does it? I guess that should just fall under your banner of “tough shit” right? I hope you don’t wonder where this assumed “hate” comes from because, even if it exists, it’s arrogant posts like this that are the cause.

you suck, yeah?

Support the SF Bike Coalition. Become a member! These folks have been the catalyst for literally hundreds of miles of bike lanes in the city. As a result of these lanes and the resulting increased safety we’re seeing record numbers of people using a sustainable, health-beneficial mode of getting around; a bicycle.

Unfortunately the bike coalition doesn’t do squat to actually ensure that these bike lanes continue to be safe to use.

Please bike coalition folks ride all the bike lanes in the city and report the potholes and other problems. You guys have actual lobbyists who can deal with crap such as the weird duct taped 5 inch high something or other completely covering the bike land of south eastbound embarcadero around pier 33 for the past 6 weeks. Also streets like 17th which was celebrated about a year ago as being striped is currently getting completely torn up, and I am dubious that the quality of the end product will be a safe bicycle route. (as there has been a completely wavy 6 foot square patch at Guerrero for around 4 months, that can easily knock an unsuspecting cyclist off their bike)

Unfortunately the bike coalition doesn’t do squat to actually ensure that these bike lanes continue to be safe to use.

Please bike coalition folks ride all the bike lanes in the city and report the potholes and other problems. You guys have actual lobbyists who can deal with crap such as the weird duct taped 5 inch high something or other completely covering the bike land of south eastbound embarcadero around pier 33 for the past 6 weeks. Also streets like 17th which was celebrated about a year ago as being striped is currently getting completely torn up, and I am dubious that the quality of the end product will be a safe bicycle route. (as there has been a completely wavy 6 foot square patch at Guerrero for around 4 months, that can easily knock an unsuspecting cyclist off their bike)

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