Today’s Headlines

  • Google Bus Issue in Supervisor Race (SFExaminer)
  • Transit Dancing (Hoodline)
  • Castro Escalator Upgrade Almost Done (Hoodline)
  • History of Tall Buildings in San Francisco (Curbed)
  • Rents Down in San Francisco–But Still High (Curbed)
  • Debating the BART Bond (EastBayTimes)
  • BART Proposes Web Site to Let Public Study its Inner Workings (EastBayTimes)
  • BART Delays (Kron4)
  • Opening Date Not Specified for BART Warm Springs Station (EastBayTimes)
  • Wealthy People Also Take Public Transit (MarinIJ)
  • Redwood City Housing Crisis Protest (DailyJournal)

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  • Rogue Cyclist
  • A friend of mine was the victim of a hit and run collision by a car driver on Thursday while bicycling in the Sunnyside neighborhood. His injuries are life-threatening. His loved ones are anxiously hoping he will survive.

    There are almost no bike lanes in the part of San Francisco where was he hit. Even if there were, paint does not create safety. Slow speeds, enforcing responsible driving behavior, and a network of physically-protected bike lanes create safety. As far as I can tell, Vision Zero is largely a smokescreen that sounds good in speeches while actually hiding the city’s indifference to the suffering that irresponsible car driving creates.

    http://patch.com/california/san-francisco/hit-run-60-year-old-bicyclist-suffers-life-threatening-injuries

  • RichLL

    Sad, of course, and more so that this was a hit-and-run, which typically indicates that the driver was intoxicated or otherwise did not want to deal with the police for some reason.

    But I think you exaggerate the intention of Vision Zero. “Zero” fatalities is set as a theoretical target and not as an attainable goal. The idea is that accidents will gradually decline over time, and will approach zero without necessarily ever reaching it.

    If you think about why it is a slogan more than a mandate, think about what it actually would take to immunize every cyclist and pedestrian in the city from accidents. You’d need radical and aggressive concrete barriers segregating cars from bikes, and bikes from pedestrians.

    The expense would be enormous, the execution would be massive, the appearance would be ugly and the result would be more like something out of “1984” than the so-called “livable” cities typically advocated for here.

    And of course speed limits would have to be in single figures, which the voters probably would not tolerate, and even then there would probably still be some deaths, if only because of cars hitting other cars.

    Can we reduce fatalities? Sure, and we have done. Can we get to zero? Probably not even close. The 80-20 rule applies here, as it does most places. And while the voters will support well-meaning slogans, there is little evidence that they are really willing to pay the price of zero deaths. Rather it seems that the voters are willing to tolerate an acceptable number of casualties per annum.

  • mx

    I’m sorry to hear that Karen, and hope your friend recovers.

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