Today’s Headlines

  • SF Gets $11 Million Transportation Grant from Feds (SFGate)
  • New Speed Bumps in the Haight (Hoodline)
  • SFMTrA Plants More Safety Posts (SFBay)
  • SFPD Captain Sanford Still Fretting Over Cyclists (Hoodline)
  • More on Naming Subway Station after Rose Pak (SFGate)
  • Should Stations be Named after Places or People? (SFist)
  • Ratio of Housing to Jobs (Curbed)
  • Motorist Right Hooks Bike, Blames Cyclist (MercNews)
  • More on SMART Train Quiet Zones (MarinIJ)
  • Prop L and Control Over Muni (SFExaminer)
  • Do Not Let BART Fall Apart (SFChron)
  • Commentary: Yes on Oakland Measure KK for Street and Sidewalk Repair (SFChron)

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA
Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Dexter Wong

    “More on naming a subway station after Rose Pak” is not a SF Gate article, but a SF Chronicle article!

  • PaleoBruce

    The MercNews article about the motorist cutting off (and hitting) a child cyclist then yelling at the child for “hitting my car”. WOW! It is tempting for motorists to forget that their license to use of the roadway is conditional, and includes an obligation to slow down and stop for any and all conditions.

    On a street, this includes children, animals, deaf people, crazy people, drunk people… basically every erratic condition imaginable. Your license to drive was granted in exchange for you agreeing to slow or stop to avoid hitting these conditions.

  • Agreed, but same goes for the cyclist who blows through red lights/stop signs, rides against traffic and on sidewalks.

  • PaleoBruce

    My quibble: Both have a duty to the law, but only motorists have signed a revocable license agreement.

  • RichLL

    Sounds like you think the real problem is that cyclists are not tested, licensed, registered and insured. It’s reasonable that all road users should “sign a revocable license agreement”, for the reasons you cite.

  • thielges

    … and motorists control a vehicle with a much greater ability to cause harm, hence the license requirement.

  • RichLL

    True but, even so, cyclists have managed to kill 2 pedestrians in SF in the last 5 years. so clearly they also present a non-zero risk. And have injured others.

    Are you suggesting immunity for no reason other than that another class of road users have done more harm?

  • SF Guest

    Since I haven’t read any posts from Bob Gunderson lately I will add some drivers are more likely to slow down and stop for deceased animals and humans over live ones.

  • PaleoBruce

    I’m not a lawyer, but I read a lot. As I understand the legal theory; the right to use public roads is Constitutionally protected (coming from the right to interstate travel & the right to petition government in person). Therefore, because motor vehicle licenses are revocable, that the denial of road rights to all people (including children, drunks, etc.) is not allowed without meeting ‘strict scrutiny’ thresholds. Therefore, bicycle licenses, horse riding licenses, etc. are not Constitutionally allowed.

  • RichLL

    Bruce, I do not follow your logic at all. And in fact Madison, Wisconsin requires all bikes to be licensed and I am not aware that there has been any constitutional challenge to that.

    https://www.cityofmadison.com/bikeMadison/programs/registration.cfm

  • KJ

    Re. the housing/jobs balance article in curbed. It is important to dig a little deeper on the statistics…Atherton, for instance, is listed as being almost in balance, yet what are the jobs: nannies?, gardeners? … same thing with Hillsborough. How many are these are full-time jobs? And some cities have recently built housing, such as Redwood City which built a few thousand housing units downtown in the last two year; these may not have been counted.

  • PaleoBruce

    Madison WI has bicycle registration, which is different than licensing. Licenses are granted and revocable. Again, this is not my logic, it is what I have read. See the book ISBN-13: 978-1931382991

  • RichLL

    Well, technically it would be cyclists who are licensed and bikes that would be registered. But the Madison case shows that there is no reason why municipalities cannot bring cycling under some measure of control much as cars and drivers are.

    And it would follow that cyclists could be tested for proficiency and that mandatory liability insurance could be imposed.

  • PaleoBruce

    Well, not in Madison Wisconsin. Nor anywhere else in the USA that I am aware, basically anyone (Including children) has a right to bicycle on a public road. Or, to walk or ride a horse, etc. No license restriction, or at least, any restriction must meet a ‘strict scrutiny’ standard.

  • RichLL

    Clearly there is no constitutional reason why a city, county or state can discriminate against different classes of road user. So a city can license any class of road user legally – it’s more a matter of whether a municipality decides there is utility to doing so, as Madison, WI does.

    I suspect if cycling ever grows beyond its fringe statues, it can reasonably be expected to be legislated.

  • PaleoBruce

    Clearly? Like mud.

  • SF Guest

    I think any kind of licensing for a road user would have to be introduced at a state level. Bike registration can be implemented from a city level.

  • RichLL

    You have not make any kind of case for the premise that it is unconstitutional for a State, County or City to issue licenses or registration for different classes of road user. And the Madison example is clearly a challenge to your presumption.

    I think “SF Guest” above has nailed it.

  • PaleoBruce

    Re-read what I wrote above. My “coherent case” is found in a book “See the book ISBN-13: 978-1931382991”. Simplification of the reasoning is that the courts have found that all people have a Constitutionally protected right to use public roads. (Founded in the Constitutional right to petition the government. Hence, a right of interstate travel.) So, because motor vehicle licenses are revocable, other types of locomotion (such as horses and bicycles) cannot be revocable unless the reasoning meets strict scrutiny. Even drunks have a Constitutionally protected right to bicycle to Washington DC, though they do not have a right to a motor vehicle drivers license to do so.

  • RichLL

    I’m sorry but the fact that you once read something in a book doesn’t mean that you have won the debate.

    The fact that one class of vehicles can be required to be licensed does not in any way imply that other classes of road user cannot be licensed. Typically municipalities do not see sufficient value in doing that, but there is no legal or constitutional reason why they could not.

    If you think the city could not, for instance, require a license for anyone who wants to ride a horse in the street, you are naive.

    A decent analogy is with gun laws. The constitution guarantees you the right to bear arms, but that doesn’t prevent cities and states requiring licenses. Nor from taking away that right if there is a compelling public interest served – which is why felons can’t legally obtain guns

  • PaleoBruce

    So a book written by an expert on the subject doesn’t carry weight, but your armchair reasoning picked out of thin air does carry weight. Nope.

  • SF Guest

    Both you and @PaleoBruce are correct with your respective arguments. First @PaleoBruce is correct a licensed or unlicensed cyclist cannot be denied the right to use the road unless a designated road is off limits (banned) [e.g., Broadway Tunnel] for all cyclists. In addition you are correct any city has the power to initiate bicycle registration.

    With respect to gun laws that’s not a good analogy since the right to own a gun is revocable whereas the right to ride a bicycle on a public domain is irrevocable even if the cyclist is proven incompetent or injures someone.

  • RichLL

    A single book cherry-picked by someone with a biased agenda to push isn’t that persuasive. There, fixed it for you.

    Nothing you have said indicates that a city cannot require registration and licensing for bikes or horses.

  • PaleoBruce

    I am left trying to guess how you distinguish “biased agenda” from “expert in the subject”.

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