If it seems like a lot of these posts are about San Francisco, that’s because it has just about the worst parking problems in the country, besides New York City. The high population and topography are challenging enough, but strong and varied opinions about parking complicate matters further.
In fact, an SF.streetsblog.org blogger recently penned the following headline “Parking-Obsessed Extremists Threaten Plan for Safer Walking on Potrero.” How’s that for a loaded statement? It seems a planned sidewalk expansion in the Potrero neighborhood would eliminate 100 parking spaces. The walkers love this and the parkers hate it, naturally. The parkers sent around a petition that might have an affect on the plan, but the walkers say the parkers have lied to to public about how pedestrian-friendly changes will affect the neighborhood.
“In their attempts to appease the parking-obsessed opponents, city planners already reduced that number to 79 spaces a few months ago. … While the pedestrian improvements in the plan would help reduce injuries and tame motor traffic, some petition signers seem to believe the claims that the “local street” will be turned into a “high-speed transit” corridor. Others simply insist that car parking is paramount.”
Bloggers aren’t subject to the rules of ethical journalism, which emphasize truth, impartiality, and the dissemination of information without bias, so this blogger is well within his rights to label people who choose parking spots over wider sidewalks as as “obsessed extremists.” His use of hyperbole endears him to his supporters and gives his detractors ample ammunition to discredit him – and that makes everybody happy.
The blogger, a Mr. Aaron Bialick could easily be called a “sidewalk-obsessed extremist,” or my favorite, a “bleeding-heart liberal, kale-smoothie-drinking hipster.” But name calling doesn’t get anybody anywhere, it’s another nice big word that smooths some of the bumps in the earth’s rotation: “compromise.”