Today’s Headlines

  • Is 30 Percent of Traffic Really Circling for Parking? SF Examiner Reporter Questions the Stats
  • SPUR’s Gabe Metcalf: Bay Area Needs to Find Local Sources to Fund Transportation Needs (SFGate)
  • Mona Caron’s Wiggle Utility Box Painting Found; SFMTA Explains (HaighterationUptown Almanac)
  • SFMTA Board to Consider Taxi Dispatch Performance Standards (SF Examiner)
  • Muni Bus Driver Makes Sudden Stop to Avoid U-Turning Car Driver, Injuring Four Passengers (CBS)
  • Muni Diaries Readers Alarmed by TEP Proposal to Cut 3-Jackson, 12-Folsom for Service Trade-off
  • BART Negotiations Finally Get to the Money After Focusing on Safety Issues (KRON)
  • You Shouldn’t Be Able to Take Out Two Bike-Share Bikes With One Key Fob, But You Can (Cyclelicious)
  • EBBC’s Tweed Ride Brings Some Old-Fashioned Charm to the Streets of Oakland (Oakland North)
  • In “Google Land,” Rainbow Bikes With Baskets and Drivers Using Cell Phones (People Behaving Badly)
  • Walnut Creek Considers Demand-Based Parking Pricing to Get Drivers Into Garages (KTVU, NBC)
  • More CA Bike-Related Legislation Updates From Cyclelicious

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    Driver turns left in front of cyclist, sends cyclist to hospital, driver doesn’t get citation. Rinse. Repeat.

    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_24112678/car-cyclist-collide-fairfax?source=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  • Anonymous

    I share your frustration, Mike. But Streetsblog interviewed SF Capt. Al Casciato a few years ago and asked about citations. Here’s what he said about why citations are generally not issued on the spot in situations like the one described in this article (from http://sf.streetsblog.org/2011/08/31/streetsblog-interview-sfpd-captain-al-casciato-head-of-traffic-company/):

    “Some of the officers have special training, especially
    reconstructionists, that’s why we have a major accident investigative
    team called MAI (Major Accident Investigation). And they’re trained, and they go out with the total station and they take all the measurements and recreate it, and everything else like that. The reason we normally do not cite is because if you issue a citation you muddy up the District Attorney’s case for issuing a charge of vehicular manslaughter, or something like that, whatever the criminal charge is going to be. So that’s why you don’t issue a citation. And also you don’t issue a citation based on the original facts because you don’t know if the original facts are true or not, and in a lot of them we’ve had
    situations where what is believed to have been the initial – I don’t
    want to compromise any cases we’ve got now, but what you believe the initial story to be is not what is the true story once we review it with
    the coroner. Maybe we might find film, cameras, additional witnesses,
    the physical evidence when the reconstruction is put together that says
    ‘this couldn’t have happened in the way it’s said in the first report.’
    And that’s why you have a preliminary report. And I’ve been around long enough that you look at them and you go ‘Huh?’ Because if you’ve got an intersection and you’ve got four people, one at each corner, you’ve got four different perspectives, and you have four different stories. Two witnesses said one thing to the officers. They both said the same thing. And when we finished, and then when we found that there was a camera on it, and then when we looked at it and put it back together, the two witness statements were partially correct, but totally – for the accident facts, totally not true. And it was because of perception versus what really happened.”

  • Anonymous

    The situation you’re referring to is when there’s been a death or an injury that might result in a death. Do you really think they are going to send the Major Accident Investigation team in for this? No one was killed (fortunately) so there’s no case that can be forwarded to the DAs, but the police have not found the driver at fault. That means the driver’s insurance won’t pay for medical bills, the cyclists medical insurance (if she has some) will, even though it appears the driver was at fault.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a good point, that this probably doesn’t qualify as a “major accident.” But it seems to me there are still a bunch of other possible charges that could be forwarded to the DA in an injury case like this, no? Negligence, distracted driving, unsafe driving? I also don’t feel like I understand where the line is between the police not pursuing an investigation/citations because of how they prioritize resources vs not pursuing because they give auto drivers some sort of benefit of the doubt. I’d be interested to hear more from police themselves on this point.

  • Anonymous

    A representative of the SF DA’s office gave a presentation to a pedestrian safety meeting I was in, in which she said that if a pedestrian is not killed there is no crime. I would think the same (or worse) applies to the treatment of bicyclists. The best you can hope for is a citation. I’m not saying that’s right or correct, but that’s the prevailing attitude from police and the DAs.

    Sure we can give the police, the DA, and even the driver the benefit of the doubt in this case, but I think for most of us that benefit has long been used up. Especially after the treatment of the public and the investigation of Amelie Le Moulac (sp?) death.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing what you learned in that meeting. It’s helpful, if depressing.

    Just to clarify, by “benefit of the doubt,” I was talking about the *police* automatically giving the benefit of the doubt to drivers, not those of us who cycle and walk (and know better) giving drivers the benefit of the doubt.
    I really appreciate your help in me wrapping my head around this situation, and others like it. Hopefully the public exposure of the lack of investigation after Amelie LeMoullac’s death will help move this system at least one small step toward increased accountability for negligent motorists.

  • Anonymous

    I re-read your comment and realized my mistake. I think a dialogue with the police would be useful, and there have been some change ups higher up in the police force for better or worse. For me, the police almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the motorist. At least in SF (and elsewhere) they have consistently demonstrated a lack of understanding of the law, an unwillingness to enforce reckless behavior on the part of motorists, and an unwillingness to do a minimum of investigation for a cyclist or pedestrian death when they can just call it an “accident.”

  • From the examiner comment section….lols

    “This article is cookie cutter template from OPENPLANS.ORG and its
    streetsblog arm, all funded by one rich guy with a mania about
    eliminating cars for bikes worldwide.

    Their playbook has already been tossed as mostly made-up and manipulated
    and its propaganda has become so discredited that you barely ever see
    it anymore.

    The focus has been shifted to transit only lanes, bike sharing, bulb-outs and parklets.”

  • My guess is it’s probably the same conspiracy-hungry nut who created sfpark.info. When I first posted an article criticizing his site and ENUF, he wrote on the ENUF mailing list that Streetsblog was funded by the SFMTA, and that Jay Primus and I were close, etc., seemingly out of nowhere.

  • mikesonn

    Is SFPark expansion DOA? I haven’t heard anything about it at all. North Beach needs it bad, real bad.

  • 94103er

    Now I’m just really confused. Are citations ever issued on the spot in any collision, then? What about if there’s a dooring? Or a running of a red light or stop sign? If drivers get cited for those violations but not for anything else, well, that pretty much makes no sense.

  • 94103er

    You can collect from the driver’s insurance in a civil suit, at least. But obviously that’s not anyone’s idea of a good use of time.

  • 94103er

    One of the comments–why do I read comments??–was simply priceless. After trying to explain away the collision as to the effect that the driver ‘didn’t look around her A bar (thing between her windows?!?)’ the commenter concluded that therefore pedestrians (and I guess cyclists, too?) should be careful out there by ‘keeping an arm extended while crossing’ etc etc.

    Do we all just have a collective case of Stockholm Syndrome or what??

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