Councilmember IV

Executive summary: Vote against Kevin Faulconer.

In previous stories, over a month ago, I have sent an email which asked whether government should encourage, discourage, or do nothing to promote bicycling as a form of commuting.

Only two council member have responded Sherri Lightner and Mari Emerald. They have both come out in favor of cycling. I met Todd Gloria on a bicycle ride, so he, too is overall encouraging of cycling as a mode of commuting.

If this were a political ad–which it is not–we’d cue the evil sounding music now.

I called Kevin Falconer’s office to see what his people had to say.

They say you should give people a happy sandwich so I can say that on the plus side, they answered the phone.

After I introduced myself, told her how many cycling commuters there are, which is .6% last time I checked, I asked the question, “does Kevin think that the government should encourage, discourage, or do nothing to encourage bicycle commuting?”

There was a pause. “I don’t understand.”

I repeated the question. “I don’t understand.”

I asked her how she got to work. “I don’t understand.”

“You drove.”

Confusion on the other end.

I explained how the government actively encouraged motor vehicle use spending billions on its promotion and I asked her if the government should do the same for cycling.

“I don’t understand.”

[I’ll pause here and say, I’m really, really trying to be nice here, but this is as verbatim as I can make it. If Kevin wants to change his tune later, I’ll put up a full retraction. I want to believe in the best of people.]

Me: “What if you could get to work by bicycle and to pick up your groceries by bicycle?”

Her: “I probably wouldn’t because I have too many meetings.”

[Again, this is a representative for a city council member who is fielding public phone calls. Yet she acts as if we are having a private conversation–as if I’m some kind of loon trying to get her to jump off a cliff or something.]

Me: “I don’t mean you. I am just asking whether the government should encourage cycling commuting.”

Her: “I don’t know what he’d say.”

OK.

Her: “Is your group local?”

Me: “I represent a couple of hundred thousand San Diegans.”

Her: “Is your group local?”

[Note: I have worked with people who are like this. They are very good at certain types of tasks, but I don’t get on with them. They are extremely literal to the point where if you answer their question, but things are not spelled out 100% they don’t get it right. They make good computer programmers and they are good with filing and nursing among other things. They are NOT good at working with people because people work takes creativity. I also got the feeling that she actually thought I was putting her on as if this were a prank call, and I got the tone of a woman who had an easy life where many people admired her as she seemed highly impatient with the task of answering an extremely simple question that required a single word.]

Me: Yes. Local to San Diego.

Her: “I’ll put you through to the media person.”

Again, there was an answering machine.

The irony is that since he represents the beaches and downtown, there are actually quite a few people who commute by bicycle relative to the other areas. Yet, his spokesperson seemed unaware that bicycles even existed or they could do anything more than go in a circle on Fiesta Island.

This also surprised me because the motorists in San Diego seem to be somewhat aware of how to deal with bicycles on the road so she had to have seen one. I am still scratching my head here.

God bless her. May she be happy.

On the other side of the happy sandwich, I am officially half way done with my survey!

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