A Letter to the New York Times: Safe Streets Are Family-Friendly Streets

In light of Scott James’ egregious hit piece on the Bike Plan that ran in the New York Times today, I’ve decided to write the editors of that paper a letter, from a genuine resident of 17th Street.

What does family-friendly mean? What’s more important: safety or parking? Do most San Franciscans ever ride a bike in the city?

Before I get to all of those questions, can I suggest to you a different framing and headline for the Scott James article that ran today: Cyclists and pedestrians still left exposed because a few people oppose safe street plan.

If that sounds like the biased view of a former transit reporter, then consider this. Just this past Wednesday, as I rode my bike down 17th Street through the intersection with Dolores, I was struck by a minivan going the opposite direction that was making a left turn onto Dolores. I was thrown to the ground, lucky to only be bruised and scraped. My bike, by contrast, was totaled from the impact. I was lucky to be in decent enough shape to console the driver of the minivan, who was deeply shaken by the crash.

To paraphrase James: I’m recovering from a bad case of road rash – not from ill-fitting cycling shorts in which I wouldn’t be caught dead, but from the direct impact of a collision with a left-turning driver on 17th Street who didn’t see me traveling straight on my bike through the green light until it was too late.

Can you imagine why I’d be rubbed the wrong way by Mr. James’ suggestion that building a safer bike lane is anti-family and anti-senior citizen?

Count me in among the “emerging group of residents and businesses raising concerns about how the city is carrying out its ambitious bike lane agenda.” When the city compromises on safety to satisfy a few vocal people, citizens have every reason to raise concerns. As part of the compromise on 17th Street, the SFMTA agreed not to remove parking it planned to replace with bike lanes. Instead, it has added extremely narrow bike lanes next to the parking that are not up to the standard prescribed by the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ in its recently released set of urban bike facility guidelines.

The impact of my crash.

The crash I was in wouldn’t have been avoided with better bike lanes – it would take a focused effort to address the left-turn visibility issue at the intersection. But many hundreds of cyclists, myself included, will be exposed to a greatly increased dooring or clipping risk on the new stretch of bike lanes because the compromise solution was implemented. The compromise was on safety, and anyone who hopes to ride a bike in the city lost.

Another line in James’ column got to me: “city leaders had forgotten that most people did not bicycle (7 percent of trips in the city are by bike, according to the coalition), including parents who must shuttle children or those with physical limitations.” A more salient figure is that 7 in 10 San Franciscans rode a bike in the city in 2009, according to a David Binder poll, and every day on my bike ride, I spot more and more parents shuttling their kids on bikes. After my crash, it makes me cringe all the more to think that the city isn’t doing everything it can to make the ride safer for those parents who choose to make an environmentally friendly decision that gets their kids out in the fresh air every morning.

In the building I live in, every unit has a garage space, and most are occupied with cars (a higher rate than the 70 percent of households in the city as a whole that own a vehicle), but almost all of the tenants also own bicycles, which can be found in the garage as well. This is hardly atypical. Glance into any open garage in the city and you’re likely to spot as many bikes as cars.

Which makes you wonder: does family-friendly mean lots of parking and streets that are unsafe to walk or bike on? Or does it mean streets that are safe enough for all users, from small children to seniors? Shouldn’t there at least be some streets in San Francisco that are safe for everyone, even if it means converting a few hundred of the city’s 280,000-plus on-street parking spaces to curbside bike lanes?

I write this not as a maniacal speeding bicyclist but as a regular San Franciscan, someone who was too intimated to ride a bike on city streets when I first moved to 17th Street. After all, at Streetsblog, I was the Muni reporter, not the bike reporter, and wrote well over a hundred stories about the former and perhaps two dozen on the latter. Only through hours of staring out the window at my stretch of 17th Street, the personification of Jane Jacobs’ eyes on the street, did I build up the fascination and courage to try riding myself. My use of transportation modes, from walking to transit to biking to driving, couldn’t be more balanced. The most common long ride I make is from home to my brother’s house in the Richmond to visit my two young nephews. When I ask for safe and family-friendly streets, I mean that I literally want to be able to visit my family safely.

It would be easy to take Mr. James to task for trying to bring the trumped-up controversy over bike lanes to San Francisco, and for attempting to turn a strong woman who advocates for safer streets in San Francisco into the next focus of undeserved controversy, just like another strong woman who works for safer streets in New York. But I’d rather turn the attention from Mr. James’ attempt to gain traction on anti-bike sentiment to the need for truly safe facilities for everyone in this city.

We know that bicyclists and pedestrians (in other words, just about every person in San Francisco) both face grave danger from cars on the city’s streets. After all, 755 pedestrians were injured by cars in the city in 2008, and 390 bicyclists were in injury collisions with vehicles. By contrast, there were just 21 pedestrian-bicycle injury collisions, none of them fatal, belying James’ rhetoric portraying bicyclists as the biggest menace to pedestrians. Pedestrian and bicycle safety is a shared goal, founded on calming traffic.

So what am I to do about Mr. James’ piece? Of course, the thing my parents taught me to do in such situations.

My parents were both journalists. One of them still is. That meant they were avid readers of the local newspapers, and when the newspaper ran a story they found particularly slanted or poorly done, their recourse was to cancel their subscription. This usually would last for a month or two, during which time I’d feel inconvenienced about not being able to read the sports section or the comics, but it was a quiet yet poignant form of protest, sometimes against the very newspaper my dad used to work for.

That’s why I’m glad I’ve recently signed up for the New York Times’ new online subscription system. When the otherwise stalwart institution of journalism runs an article like Mr. James’ piece today, I have the satisfying recourse of canceling my subscription. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. No doubt my partner and I will find this an inconvenience for the next month or two, but journalism in the nation’s finest paper needs to be held to a high standard. An overtly slanted article marked by a suburban obsession with automotive storage over the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians is not up to that standard.

Michael Rhodes is a former Muni reporter for Streetsblog. He is currently a master’s student at UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning.

  • mikesonn

    Michael, well put. Thank you.

  • MichaelSF

    Impressive, Michael. Thank you for your very focused analysis — much more thorough and insightful and accurate than the NYTimes story.

  • Fran Taylor

    As a 61-year-old woman with an arthritic hip, I find the “only the young and fit cycle” line particularly galling. Anyone who’s seen me lumber up to the podium at an MTA hearing can testify that “young” and “fit” aren’t the words that would leap to your lips. Cycling is actually very gentle exercise (though I could use a small portable forklift to get on and off the damn thing) and, for me, much easier than walking.

    The other complaint sure to surface is lack of notification. We in CC Puede worked for more than five years to let our neighbors know what was being planned and discussed for Cesar Chavez Street. We went to neighborhood group meetings, wrote stories in numerous community papers and got covered in the mainstream press, distributed by hand 2500 letters in English and Spanish, and posted flyers not just on poles but in laundromats, bus shelters, and cafes.

    Yet even now, people come forward in shock: What is this plan? I just heard of it! OMG, why don’t you put the bike lanes on 26th Street?!

    Of course, the best outreach is always a personal door-to-door conversation, but what organization has the resources to do that? Still, it’s up to us to plug away and stay patient, even as we hear the same arguments we’ve heard a zillion times put forth as if they’re new. Most people do eventually come around.

  • WillSanFran

    It seems to me that you are just upset that people have different views on bikes and bike lanes than you, and you are outraged that the New York Times had the temerity to report those views.
    You claim that this was all really a “trumped-up” controversy. But it obviously wasn’t. The people on 17th Street had real concerns. You may disagree with them, but their views were not manufactured.
    Like the SFBC leader, you seem more focused on squelching the reporting (by canceling your subscription) than actually dealing with the issues that were raised.
    Rather than being rubbed the wrong way by people who disagree with you, maybe you should learn to respect their concerns.

  • Guest

    The flip side to what you’ve said is that the Scott James piece left out complimentary quotes on the bike lanes from the business owners cited. I am upset, not because of the existence of opposing viewpoints but because James deliberately withheld viewpoints that didn’t conform with his angle.

    I’m also upset because I was struck by a vehicle that entered my right of way, but perhaps I’m not being inclusive enough of other viewpoints on that!

  • Peapod mom

    Hear hear, Ms. Taylor! I too could use a forklift to get on and off the bike. Not because I’m older, but because I’m 5-1/2 months pregnant and ferrying my 35+-lb toddler around.

    I suppose I’ll spare any vitriol for bitter old men who take up the mayor’s time complaining about cyclists, simply because I feel sorry for them for their inability to see the forest for the trees.

    But allow me to say this in the most family-friendly way I can: Frank Gilson and Scott *cough, Nevius, cough* James can suck it.

  • “The crash I was in wouldn’t have been avoided with better bike lanes – it would take a focused effort to address the left-turn visibility issue at the intersection. But many hundreds of cyclists, myself included, will be exposed to a greatly increased dooring or clipping risk on the new stretch of bike lanes because the compromise solution was implemented.”

    I would argue that the on-street parking also contributes to visually obscuring people on bikes, even if they’re in front of them. Cars make for a visually messy streetscape – picture an open street, and you can imagine the simplicity makes users a lot more distinct to one another.

    Also, a bikeway that puts you farther away from car traffic, and less directly behind it, seems like it would make you easier to spot. Colored markings through the intersection would also make a significant difference. (Isn’t it interesting we don’t stripe bike lane crossings like we do pedestrian crosswalks [debatable, of course] even though they’re just as vulnerable?)

  • gneiss

    I still don’t understand how parking of private vehicles on public space trumps safety. I’m 43 and ride 17th Street four days a week to get from work in SOMA to Noe Valley to pick up my daughter from preschool (full disclosure, I put the bike on a car and drive home to the Haight from there). I definately feel safer than I used to on the stretch where the bike lane has been added between Kansas and Petrero Ave. I wish it could have been extended at least to Harrison, but so be it. I guess too many parking spaces would needed to have been removed on that stretch by Franklin Square. So instead, the intersection and street leading up to Bryant and 17th is still a bit dicey (even for cars). Please let’s keep making our streets safer, MTA.

  • Every bike article I read on the NY TImes is so biased it’s laughable. Between their unworkable (and rather silly) paywall ideas and their pathetic bicycle coverage I”m about done with them.

    Seriously, I don’t get the fear of bicycles. You’re afraid of a 20 point bike hitting you but not a 1 ton SUV? I think it’s just a case of people being afraid of something they’re not familiar with. And what’s worse is that most of these articles are dealing with NYC and SF… both places where a majority of the population doesn’t even own a car.

  • Except that just about every article NYT has written on the subject doesn’t even pay lip service to pro cycling arguments. It’s like they don’t even bother to research the other side of the issue if a bicycle is involved.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bit mystified by the controversy (?) swirling around the 17th Street bike lanes. In my experience as a local who rides 17th every day, it was a nice bike friendly street before, and friendlier and slower now after the new lanes have been painted. Lot of hard work organizing and pushing for them, and the result is definitely worth it.

    I love cycle tracks, but they aren’t always possible to fit in or even appropriate. Personally 17th seems just fine right now, and the obvious but perhaps politically difficult solution would be adding cycle tracks on 16th from 3rd to past Mission, ideally all the way to Market? Yes!

  • Anonymous

    The motorcycle business complaint is probably in the same vein to opposition of parking spot removal by the autobody shop in Noe Valley – the business is using public parking spots to store vehicles in excess of what they can hold in their shop. I understand why they would fight for the ability to extend their commercial space for free onto public space, but it’s an argument that deserves immediate dismissal.

  • Anonymous

    I find it hard to believe that they replaced the car parking with a bike lane during the day without anyones knowledge. Did The Times really look into this?

    When they did the bike lane on Townsend, it was very well marked beforehand that they were going to do it. They towed a bunch of cars anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve a lot of questions around the circumstance of Dr Gilson getting a ticket. Wouldn’t the crew want to vacate the street the night before work? It is no fun to try to do work around parked car or have them later pull out and ruin the wet paint. The paper should have asked more questions before reporting it. If there is any mistake the official has made, it would be a procedural problem of failure to vacate the street, not on the bike plan itself as it is trying to infer to.

    Also I understand people like to rant about parking issue. But this is a rather unjustified case. He is located in the small building on the upper right hand corner of the map. The area is filled with large parking lots around the freeway! Not all them are open to public. But it is plainly obvious that there are far more parking per business compare to his peer in other part of the city.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve a lot of questions around the circumstance of Dr Gilson getting a ticket. Wouldn’t the crew want to vacate the street the night before work? It is no fun to try to do work around parked car or have them later pull out and ruin the wet paint. The paper should have asked more questions before reporting it. If there is any mistake the official has made, it would be a procedural problem of failure to vacate the street, not on the bike plan itself as it is trying to infer to.

    Also I understand people like to rant about parking issue. But this is a rather unjustified case. He is located in the small building on the upper right hand corner of the map. The area is filled with large parking lots around the freeway! Not all them are open to public. But it is plainly obvious that there are far more parking per business compare to his peer in other part of the city.

  • Putting people on bikes between parked cars and moving cars leaves them exposed to a ton of hazards. The most common type of bicycle crash in this city, I’ve been shown, is dooring. Most of the city’s bike lanes put you within reach of the door zone (3-4 feet) and make it harder for parked drivers to see you even if they do look first. Next, it makes bicyclists less visible by putting them within the margins alongside parked cars. This makes it harder for riders to be seen not only by drivers moving alongside who might decide to park or swerve into the bike lane for whatever reason, but also particularly at intersections, where the parked cars block sightlines.

    Finally, these bike lanes put bicyclists directly in the path between where cars park and where they drive. They are literally designed to be blocked, as there is no way for cars to parallel park without stopping and reversing in the bike lane. If there isn’t a spot, they will most likely double park there (see: Valencia Street). I’m sure you know the thought as a rider, in the back of your mind, that any of the parked vehicles you’re passing could potentially pull out in front of you.

    As the Danish urban planner/architect Jan Gehl put it, these bike lanes are a great way to protect parked cars with human shields.

  • For the record, most SUVs are at least 2 tons :^)

  • David, I just don’t get that at all, but maybe it’s just me. I really think 18th is substantially better to ride on, even with the bike lane in place. Both before and after the changes. The street is narrow, badly paved, and gnarly. I do appreciate the lanes from Potrero to Kansas, but from Potrero to Harrison is a disaster, attested to by the several times daily train of Caltrain riders turning left on Hampshire and right on Mariposa or 18th – and then taking 18th to Valencia.

    I understand that riding 18th requires one to channel a bit of their inner John Forester, but I am still puzzled by exactly what brand of cyclist would like 17th.

    But I guess that’s why it’s good to have lots of choices. I don’t consider it “dangerous” – just yucky.

    And of course the most underrated road in the area is 15th.

  • Susan

    Here’s the City code: SEC. 3.4. – DIVERTING OF TRAFFIC AND TEMPORARY PARKING RESTRICTIONS.
    Summary of requirements: signs must be posted at least 24 hours in advance for commercial districts, and 72 hours before on residential streets. Signs must be a min of every 100 feet.

    No matter how many signs, fliers, etc you put out, people’s cars get towed because they didn’t pay attention or don’t take the signs seriously.

    One more thing, it is illegal to park any vehicle on SF roads for more than 72 hours in one place. Anyone who gets towed because they park longer than 3 days in one spot (even with a Residential Parking Permit).
    sk

  • Susan

    er, I meant ‘Anyone can get towed’ otherwise it is a fragmented sentence. Sorry for the poor grammar.

  • Anonymous

    On the flip side, it may well be that the business actually needs the room to function, and I don’t want to chase anyone out of the city for that reason. Instead, they should be allowed to rent the spots at market rate. Of course it might be a bit expensive for them, but that’s ok: it shouldn’t be the city’s job to provide free space to businesses. But the city should accommodate them by allowing them to rent street space if they need it. As long as everyone has the same option, there’s no issue of fairness.

  • Anonymous

    If the business were willing to pay market rate then this would be a non-issue, there are plenty of private lots in the area. He wants to store vehicles for free on public space.

    If we are going to allow rental of those spaces for uses other than “public parking”, then perhaps the SFBC can rent the spaces out at market rate for a bike lane.

  • This moron is the Times’ own personal CW Nevius. Go read the archives of his regrettable journalistic ejaculations. Some of his past gems include the complaint that there’s not enough parking on 6th between Market and Howard, that it’s hard to get an appointment at the DMV, and, from 2009, how the “backlash against cyclists” is rising in the city. Total windshield perspective. Apparently his main qualifications to write about the city are that he moved here and wrote some third-tier novels set here. Personally I don’t see how anyone could live in SF and form the belief that more free parking is just the thing 6th Street needs.

  • Lionel

    Susan, the 3-day rule is not enforced unless a resident specifically complains. That typically happens only if the vehicle appears obviously abandoned.

    The far more frequent reason for a citation is for street cleaning, which is usually weekly. If a vehicle then gets a second ticket for that, implying it’s not moved for at least 2 weeks, it is then typically towed under the 3-day rule.

    But in practice, the 3-day rule is a non-issue. And where there is no street cleaning, e.g. on steep hills, vehicles remain unmoved for weeks at a time

  • Understood, but as a matter of policy, if there was 3 day notice of the bike lanes going in, and he didn’t see the signs because his car was sitting there for more than 3 days, he really doesn’t have much of a valid complaint about “lack of notice”

  • He’s basically a print version of an internet troll, if you ask me. Sadly there is money to be had in that occupation.

  • Cfsggf

    70% of San Francisco households own a car. Easily verified by Google or searching past articles on streetsblog.

  • That’s one statistic. You could also point out that 40% of households own only one car, totaling 70% of households who own 1 or 0 cars. With several people to a household, that’s hardly a majority, most likely. You could also point out 0.58 vehicles registered per capita, but that includes all kinds of vehicles – service trucks, motorcycles, etc. Also, car ownership is disproportionately concentrated in outer neighborhoods poorly served by transit, offsetting all averages and totals. For instance, the extreme of low car ownership is 17% in Chinatown, but that’s not accurately represented by citywide averages.

  • Anonymous

    Totally disgusting article, one I would expect to see more in a Murdoch paper than in the New York Times. Scott James should not only be fired, I honestly can’t understand why the NYT ever hired him in the 1st place. Then they trumpet how we San Franciscans should be sure to snap up every single Friday Times because this one has OUR section in it!! I don’t know which San Franciscans they’re referring to, exactly, but to me, Scott James writes about SF from the POV of someone who has never stepped foot in this city in his whole life, yet has somehow managed to believe every bad stereotype about SF that anyone has ever told him. If that’s journalism, I give up.

  • Anonymous

    Shorter (nytimes) article: “Boo hoo! They took away the free parking that the taxpayers owe me.”

  • mikesonn

    Somewhat like all the news now about gas prices: “Boo hoo! They are taking away my cheap gas that the world owes me.”

  • Charles_Siegel

    Scott James is primarily a columnist for Bay Citizen. He gets into the NY Times because they have an arrangement with Bay Citizen to report on Bay Area News once per week. The NY Times should not get most of the blame for this. I expect that Bay Citizen chooses which stories to send along to the Times, and the Times reprints them without much thought.

    In my opinion, the right reaction is to tell the Times to stop including the Bay Area news from Bay Citizen.

    I don’t think anyone in the Bay Area reads the NY Times because it gives them a smattering of Bay Area news once a week. Anyone who is interested in local news has better places to get it.

    And now the Bay Citizen feature is losing the NY Times some readers.

  • icarus12

    “This moron is the Times’ own personal CW Nevius” — comment

    To the editors of Streetsblog San Francisco. With this article and associated, unedited comments you have transformed yourselves from a news source to a pure advocacy sheet. Be careful of that standard you bear aloft — it is blinding you. Behind it march bullies who try to drown out dissent with harsh words. Embolden them and you have lost your way as a source of information and respectful debate.

  • thomas

    If running occasional opinion pieces and attracting rabid commenters is a problem, I fear for all of our newspapers! Which, wait a minute, I do!

  • Abon

    I agree with 95% of this response. However, the no hit barriers, (such as on Market) while albeit a safety precaution for cycling, DO prevent curb access for vehicles. And inasmuch as people with disabilities, whom most likely can’t bike, can no longer access such locations, the bike ‘plan’ is disingenuous in its claim to create a safer streetscape as some of the most vulnerable are faced with increasingly unsafe or unhealthy circumstances. We are all grasping at straws and the growing political mass that is the bicycle coalition has little compromise for those who have the littlest voice, seniors, the disabled and the truly vehicle/transit dependent.

  • Jonathan Weber

    I appreciate many of the perspectives offered here on Scott’s column. As the editor of The Bay Citizen I’d like to make a few points:

    – It is in fact that case that we produce the Bay Area section of the NY Times and we make the calls as to what appears there. So if you want to say the NYT shouldn’t carry our work, fine, but otherwise the responsibility lies with us.

    – In general I think it would be quite hard to argue that The Bay Citizen is anti-bike. Among other things we put a lot of resources into creating a bike accident database and we’ll soon be updating that http://www.baycitizen.org/data/bike-accidents/ Streetsblog is an editorial partner as well and we often publish Streetsblog stories.

    – It is surprising and disappointing that seemingly informed folks would be so quick to call for people to be fired, or subscriptions cancelled, or whatever because they disagreed with the angle on one particular story. The aspect of the story that apparently escaped many commenters is that it is precisely this “if you don’t agree with me about bike lanes you’re an idiot and a heathen” attitude that is part of the problem. Sane people can in fact have an actual disagreement about something like bike lane policy without calling for people to be hanged for having a different view. The fact is that the people quoted in the story are real people, with real concerns. If everyone in the world who disagrees with every opinion that you have about something should be muzzled, ignored, treated with contempt or some combination of the above, we’d have an awfully quiet and uninteresting world.

    – Finally, one point specific to the piece above: safety, unfortunately, is relative, not absolute. Public policy can never be made on the basis of “safety concerns must always be paramount.” If safety is the only consideration, then the solution is no vehicles of any kind traveling more than 15 miles an hour, ever.

    Thanks,

    – Jonathan Weber

  • Anonymous

    Well said …. And I think the speed limit should be 15 MPH for all vehicles in downtown San Francisco. Setting that 15 MPH speed limit around schools would be a good start.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the article quoted real people who don’t like the bike improvements on 17th St. Did it quote anyone who *does* like the improvements? No. I’m sure plenty of such folks exist, so the article seemed lame and biased.

    (That’s just my opinion. Don’t try to muzzle it!! 😉

  • taomom

    Actually, people do make decisions to subscribe or unsubscribe to a newspaper all the time due to the quality and underlying agenda of the reporting. I don’t read the Bay Citizen, and now I am even more unlikely to do so. I was a decade-long subscriber to the SF Chronicle, but as their quality sunk lower and lower (after being bought by the Examiner, oh woe the day!) one day after reading yet another anti-bike article I said “enough!” and canceled my subscription. (Granted, if the paper had been excellent in every other respect, I would’ve had much more tolerance for an idiot columnist or two.)

    The New York Times for reasons not clear to me has been rabidly anti-bicycle the past six months. And now they want to charge money. My son pointed out that you can get around the fee by getting rid of the cookies on your computer from time to time, but I feel guilty doing this so am reading Reuters.com, Zerohedge, and the BBC instead. And, of course, Streetsblog. If I loved, loved, loved NY Times reporting, believed they didn’t carry water for the current administration, were interested in new ideas and adapting to the kind of future we face–if, in other words, I felt I could trust their values, their intelligence and their integrity–I would be ecstatic to pay their subscription fee. Sadly, this is not the case. I’m actually more fond of The Economist even if I often disagree with it. Their writing is witty and intelligent, and although they are clearly biased, they are upfront about it with no bogus pretense of being impartial while promoting an agenda all the while.

  • Anonymous

    (Longer) shorter (nytimes) article:

    They’re a juggernaut. They’re sneaky. They hiss and name call. They’re anti-senior, anti-family, and anti-worker. When pressed, they have no answer.

    They took away my parking spot.

  • Didn’t know the Bay Citizen wasn’t written by the staff at NYTimes.

    Doesn’t change the fact that I read it on the NYTimes which has a history of anti bike articles (especially these last couple of months) and it doesn’t change the fact that it was a biased article.

    If anything, I don’t think you really understand the complaints against the article. Bay Citizen wrote about a subject without getting all angles of the story, and the way it was written suggested there wasn’t any other angles that mattered. If you had just interviewed a few people who liked the changes, and they most definitely exist as you can see, the article would’ve been fine. You guys should have just done your job. You wrote an opinion piece and published it as news.

    15-20mph in city streets sounds fine to me. It’s not a highway.

  • Anonymous

    “It is surprising and disappointing that seemingly informed folks would be so quick to call for people to be fired, or subscriptions cancelled, or whatever because they disagreed with the angle on one particular story.”

    This isn’t Mr James’ first offense.

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