Thursday, February 19, 2009

Save Golden Gate Park

In which we take up the cause of civilization

San Franciscans! Man the barricades!

The San Francisco Board of Stupidvisors is meeting today to consider installing parking meters in Golden Gate Park in an effort to balance the City's budget and "encourage" use of mass transit.

This is the worst idea I've heard in a long while in a city famed for bad ideas.

Ever tried to ride the bus with a large picnic hamper full of nosh and wine -- and then carry it through the park for a half-mile or so to your picnic site? It ain't easy. How about parents with kids? It is completely unfair to the people who need the Park the most -- City families with little or no outdoor space to call their own. And how are you supposed to enjoy a relaxing stroll around Stow Lake while worried about feeding a meter?

Besides these obvious drawbacks, parking meters in the Park are simply barbaric and completely outside the spirit of what the park's original champions, William Hammond Hall and John McLaren, had in mind.

Do not let the Board of Supervisors or the Department of Parks and Recreation brutalize Golden Gate Park for the sake of a few pennies.

Please join our well-dressed protest at City Hall today, Feb. 19, 2pm, Room 416 -- or call or write your Supervisor!

4 Comments:

Blogger SSSF said...

M2 is clueless.

William Hammond Hall was a state engineer who designed much of Golden Gate Park. Mr. Hammond, who was born in 1846 and did in 1934. Hall did not include vehicular parking because public transportation and NOT vehicle parking was preferred by the people of San Francisco at the time. It is entirely unlikely that Hall would approve of Golden gate Park being used as a daily parking lot for out-of-town commuters.

It is even more ridiculouas to suggest that John McLaren, who spent a lifetime in disapproval of automobiles in general and the emerging automotive lifestyle that existed during his lifetime. McLaren was born in 1846 and died in 1943.

Herb Caen would be horrified to hear that M2 so grossly misunderstands Herbs life. I knew Herb caen personally and I knew him for many years. Herb hated cars, congestion, traffic, smog, and everything associtated with it. M2 just plain doesn't have a clue what he is talking about.

Listen, M2,stop re-writing history to suit your purposes. History should be retold, not re-written

1:20 PM  
Blogger M2 said...

Well someone needs a lesson in grammar and spelling as well as history.

2:12 PM  
Blogger SSSF said...

I apologize for the spelling. I type with two-fingers.

That fact, however, should not lead you to believe that I am uneducated. I hold an advanced graduate degree.

I am not mistaken about the history of San Francisco and I am prepared to prove it beyond any reasonable doubt. If you really want to take me on regarding your use of William hall's name, John McLaren and Herb Caen, then please be advised that I am ready, willing and able to provide more than adequate evidence to you.

If you want to pursue your argument in a public forum i will oblige you. Are you sure you are ready for this?

You are shooting blanks.

William Hammond Hall was a state engineer who designed much of Golden Gate Park. Mr. Hammond was born in 1846 and did in 1934. Hall did not include vehicular parking in his plans because public transportation and NOT vehicle parking was preferred by the people of San Francisco at the time. It is entirely unlikely that Hall would approve of Golden Gate Park being used as a daily parking lot for out-of-town commuters. There is certainly nothing in Hall's life that would suggest he would support long-term daily commuter parking in Golden Gate Park. To connect his name with such a cause is ludicrous.

It is even more laughable to suggest that John McLaren, who spent a lifetime in disapproval of automobiles in general and the emerging automotive lifestyle that existed during his lifetime, would approve of a vote to keep things using his park as a commuter parking lot. McLaren was a man who saw the future and listened to what the people wanted. San Franciscans at the time traveled throughout the City by a network of streetcars and cable cars that was much larger and more extensive than today. San Franciscans were not generally automobile enthusiasts during McLaren's lifetime. He was born in 1846 and died in 1943, long before cheap-skate commuters from points south began using our park as a parking lot. To suggest that John McLaren, of all people, would support a move to give commuters free daily parking inside Golden Gate Park is an insult to our intelligence. M2 may be able to convince newcomers that his revision of history is right, but old-timers like me, historians and well-educated San Franciscans know better.

Herb Caen would laugh to hear that M2 so completely misunderstands his life. I knew Herb Caen personally and I knew him for many years. Herb hated cars, congestion, traffic, smog, and everything associated with it. Herb loved San Francisco with the same passion that runs through my veins.

M2 is using the names of past great San Franciscans in a wholly objectionable manner.

Listen, M2,stop re-writing history to suit your purposes. History should be retold, not re-written.

I've been a San Franciscan since 1947 and my family first came to this City in 1849. I know what I'm talking about.

You, M2, are mis-informed

2:30 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Not that I expect it to have any effect, but here's what I wrote on SSSF's blog:

"The problem with your proposal is that it forces two concepts into an arranged marriage -- a revenue source for the budget shortfall, and commuters allegedly taking up space needed by park visitors. I find no reason to believe that this marriage is anything but the material fallacy of affirming the consequent.

Let's agree that there is a budget shortfall. Would the proposed parking meters generate a significant revenue? Would the revenue go directly to that shortfall? San Francisco has a long and rich history of wasting new revenue on old problems, or simply piddling it away on salaries for more bureaucrats. Or the settlement of lawsuits.

And let's presume for the moment that some of the parking spaces in the Park are indeed used by commuters as a free place to leave their cars. What percentage of the spaces in the Park are so used? One percent? Five? Ninety-nine? You have yet to demonstrate that the majority would be better served by everyone being charged to park. Is it fair to extort parking from 100% of Park visitors, if less than 50% of them are abusing the system?

In my opinion, the Park and its attractions should be free. Instead, the Tea Garden is $4, the Conservatory is $5, the deYoung is $10 and the Academy of Sciences is a staggering $25. Parking meters would add at least an additional few dollars to a family's outing. Also, visitors tend to spend hours away from their vehicles. Who is going to feed their meters? Most meters in SF can only be paid for an hour or two at a time. Is it sensible to add the stress to visitors of keeping tabs on their meter, rather than enjoying the Park? Alternatively, if meters with longer feed-times were employed, they would cease to deter commuters.

Finally, this 'my family was here before you were' pissing match is pretty silly. Herb Caen was a Sacramento boy and John McLaren was a Scottish emigrant. I reckon that either of these transplants were at least as much of a 'San Franciscan' (whatever that means) as you. Argue this on merit and leave the pedigree-flaunting to petty aristocrats, shall we?"

11:18 AM  

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