Eyes on the Street: Traffic Stop for Violating Trial Diversion Zone

traffic_stop_small.jpgA cautionary tale about violating the personal vehicle diversion on Market Street. Photo: Matthew Roth.

As I was riding my bicycle on Market Street to City Hall yesterday, I saw another SFPD sting for vehicles violating the mandatory personal vehicle diversion on Market Street north of 10th Street.

I was stopped at Van Ness waiting for the light to change with a gray Mitsubishi to my left. When the light changed the driver and three others proceeded forward as I negotiated my space leading up to the protected green bike lane starting at 11th. The driver of the Mitsubishi started toward the mandatory turn lane, then made a last-second merge back to the left and into the bus and taxi lane. 

Not an uncommon sight, in my experience, as I've witnessed numerous drivers ignore the signs at the last second to avoid the mandatory turn. The Mitsubishi stopped half a block in front of me at the red light and as I neared him, I was of half a mind to warn him he could get a ticket for violating the lane.

Rather than get into it with him, though, I simply rode by and proceeded through the light at 10th when it turned green. To my (I have to admit pleasant) surprise, there was an SFPD motorcycle cop positioned by the Muni island near 9th and Market who immediately signaled to the driver to pull over (into the bike lane) to get his ticket.

After taking several pictures of the moment, I rode past the officer, who gave me a knowing smile and asked how my day was. Good I said, and thanked him for making it safer.

Several weeks ago I witnessed another officer stopped here with a patrol car, issuing tickets to drivers who violated the diversions. He said he was letting some drivers off with a warning if they were clearly not from San Francisco and he seemed to think the message was getting across.

Although the SFPD Public Affairs office has told Streetsblog there is no special enforcement blitz, nor are they keeping track of the tickets as part of the diversion, this seems to be a fairly regular occurrence. Anyone else have a similar experience? 

market_street_cop_2.jpgSeveral weeks ago, another officer was making stops. Photo: Matthew Roth