I've been super-busy with a new research position at the University of California at Berkeley. This has been fun, but leaves little time for blogging. But I made time to do my first-ever change.org petition, for the Board of Supervisors ban smoking on San Francisco sidewalks.
I've written about this before when I was exposed to smoke while waiting in line at the Bicycle Film Festival. Well, it turns out smoking is already banned for waiting in lines on sidewalks, so I was already justified there in asking the smoker to take it elsewhere had I chosen that approach. But in many cases exposure to smoke on sidewalks is just as unavoidable, in particular for small children who aren't free to go where they want. In some cases the child is even in a stroller being pushed by a smoking parent.
This has become a bigger issue with me since I started running more. When running on a sidewalk, running the gauntlet past a group of sidewalk smokers is unpleasant in addition to profoundly unhealthy. There's one particular section, on Stanyon near Haight, where the smoke is particularly bad, and this has nothing to do with Big Tobacco, or any tobacco, for that matter... but it's generally a problem.
It's really time for acceptance of exposing other people to toxic gases to stop. This petition is my little attempt to do something about it. Maybe it will help, maybe not.