This Week: Double Parking Fines, Cesar Chavez, East Bay BRT

This week, the SFMTA Board considers raising fines on double parkers and sidewalk riders, the Planning Department presents new plans for eastern Cesar Chavez Street, and AC Transit holds the first of its public meeting on the East Bay BRT final EIR. Here are the highlights from the Streetsblog calendar:
  • Tuesday: The SFMTA Board of Directors meets. The board will consider raising fines for double parkers and sidewalk riders and hear updates on the Central Subway, Mission Street repaving, the E-Line Streetcar, and the budget. 1 pm.
  • Also Tuesday: SPUR Forum: Smart Growth Strategies: a Mayor’s Perspective. Ventura Mayor Bill Fulton, also an author and a principal at DC&E | The Planning Center, “draws upon his recent experience in Ventura and his influential career in the planning and economic development fields” to discuss the future of California’s sprawling suburbs, the planning challenges we face in the current economic climate, and what planning strategies can we learn from other cities. 6 pm.
  • Wednesday: Cesar Chavez East Community Design Plan Open House. The SF Planning Department invites the public to review the latest plans for the eastern Cesar Chavez Street redesign after the city dropped the previous community plan for a road diet. 6:30 pm.
  • Thursday: East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Public Workshop. AC Transit holds the first of its series of community meetings to field input on its East Bay Bus Rapid Transit EIR as finalizes the project plans. Check the AC Transit website for more meetings. 6 pm.
  • Friday: Critical Mass. Kick off your weekend with a ride in the San Francisco-born monthly tradition of reclaiming the streets for bicycles that has spread to cities around the world. 5:30 pm.

Keep an eye on the calendar for updated listings. Got an event we should know about? Drop us a line.

  • Mario Tanev

    Riding bicycle on sidewalk: $100
    Parking in crosswalk: $90
    Parking in intersection: $90
    Parking on sidewalk: $105

    The justification for the above are the same: pedestrian safety. Why is the fine for riding on the sidewalk higher than that for parking a vehicle in the crosswalk? I am glad to see that the sidewalk parking fine is $105, although enforcement in my experience has been very low. I can’t unfortunately go to the SFMTA board meeting, but any pedestrian advocates should argue that the fines for parking in a crosswalk be raised. Furthermore, parking in a red zone adjacent to a crosswalk should also be raised, since it impedes the ability of both pedestrians and drivers from noticing each other. There doesn’t seem to be a special code for that though, and the closest to that seems to be Red Zone parking, which carries a fine of $90.

    Also, the city should use judgment in enforcing sidewalk-riding provisions. The city’s own study concluded that compliance is high where there are bicycle facilities and low where there are no bicycle facilities. Those who ride on the sidewalk on Valencia St should be fined, but those riding on the sidewalk on Masonic should not be.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed that riding on the sidewalk is not cut and dry, and that the fine for doing so is too steep, especially when compared to the problems caused by cars not parking properly. On streets with good bicycle infrastructure and heavy pedestrian traffic (like Valencia), it makes no sense for people to be riding down the sidewalk and that’s where it should be enforced. But on dangerous streets with little or no bicycle infrastructure, it isn’t appropriate to be fining cyclists who are riding on the sidewalk $100 when it is the only place they are safe. Same with quiet residential streets with little foot traffic where I cyclists rides on the sidewalk the last couple hundred feet or so before arriving at their house, job, etc.

    But honestly, I just want to see the city enforce the illegality of double-parking. It is completely out of control in this city (like most US cities) and it’s high-time motorists start dealing with the consequences of their own choice of transit and have to deal with finding a safe place to park legally even if it means being a few blocks from their destination. Find that inconvenient? Then get out of your car. Or deal. Your convenience cannot jeopardize the safety of everyone else. Why is it so difficult for the city (and motorists) to understand this?

  • The Greasybear

    Does Mayor Lee promise not to arbitrarily wipe out the community’s extensive investment of time and effort in the new Cesar Chavez plan like he did when he torpedoed the old plan?

  • I’d take that deal – raising fines for sidewalk riding and for double parking – in a heartbeat if I believed for a second that enforcement would be even. In the past year we have seen several stings by the SFPD on sidewalk riding, and I have never heard of any enforcement on double parking.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking as a pedestrian, bicycyle riders on a sidewalk creates a hostile pedestrian environment every bit as much as the other violations cited.

  • Just as an interesting comparison… I’m currently in Barcelona and while they’ve got some really nice bike facilities here, it’s very disconnected. You’ll have a nice separated path for a few blocks and then you’re dropped onto the road without anything to help you. Sidewalk riding here is entirely acceptable here. The only place you seemingly can’t ride is on La Rambla.

    San Francisco is entirely different – for one, our sidewalks are much more narrow – but it just goes to show that this isn’t a black and white issue. With cycle tracks often up on the sidewalk, many cities see bicycles as belonging more on the sidewalk than the street.

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