Today’s Headlines

  • Upper Market Will Get its Protected Bike Lanes (HumanStreets)
  • Speed Limits in McLaren Park (Hoodline)
  • More on the Barge on the BART Tube (SFExaminer)
  • Transbay Transit Center Rooftop (SFChron)
  • Q&A With SF’s Planning Director (Curbed)
  • Architect Comments on SF’s Towers (SFChron)
  • SF Construction Slows Traffic (SFExaminer)
  • Can State Dems Extend Cap and Trade? (KQED)
  • East Oakland Hit and Run (MarinIJ)
  • New Bay Bridge is Not for the Birds (SFChron)
  • San Francisco’s Future Past (Curbed)
  • Commentary: Does a Planning Commissioner have a Conflict of Interest? (SFExaminer)

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

  • bobfuss

    So if someone dies in a building fire on Market because SFFD equipment cannot get the access it needs for all the reasons that they gave here, then who should the family of the fire victim sue? SFBC? SFMTA? Goebel?

  • baklazhan

    One point made repeatedly in these discussions is that the biggest impediment to fire department access is… cars. Parked cars, double-parked cars– these are far harder to get around than a low curb, soft-hit posts, etc. Even in this case, it’s not the bike lane that’s the problem, it’s the parked cars that will be closer to the center of the street.

    But rarely do you find the fire dept calling for a crackdown on double parking, or to eliminate street parking in bottleneck areas, or to institute congestion tolling, even though these measures would be far more effective. Possibly because the people running the show are drivers themselves, and frequently double park, so are sympathetic. It shows the priorities at play: car convenience > emergency access > bike safety. Which is strange, and is something that advocates are trying to change.

  • bobfuss

    The article goes into that topic some, and in fact SFFD said they’d be happy with this arrangement if parking was removed. But the article points out that would then introduce a whole lot of new objectors – the residents and businesses on Market Street who rely on that parking. Which in turn makes a compromise harder to achieve.

    As for the tradeoff between safety and convenience, that’s always the conflict. SFMTA is not a safety organization. Rather it has to pursue multiple competing goals e.g. safety, capacity, convenience etc., and to take advice from SFFD and SFPD.

    Where those priorities fit relative to each other is something that SFMTA ultimately take direction about from the Mayor, and therefore the voters.

  • Drew Levitt

    From http://visionzerosf.org/: “With Vision Zero SF, safety is first.” That’s a pretty clear statement of priorities, from a multiagency effort embraced by the Mayor.

  • bobfuss

    That’s what the slogan says. It’s not what the reality is. Otherwise we’d have a 5 mph speed limit throughout SF and zero deaths, and yet we don’t. Explain that.

  • I think you mean “If someone dies in a building fire but only where we can possibly bike infrastructure…”

  • bobfuss

    No, I mean that if bike advocates say that they want X, and the SFFD says that if we create X then we cannot put out fires in that location, and then Y dies as a result of X, then what?

  • Stuart

    He means that he is completely ignorant of the jurisprudence related to what speech can be held accountable for actions by others. (Answer: almost none.)

    Or he is fully aware that a suit against the SFBC or a blogger in the scenario he describes would be thrown out immediately as having no merit, and he’s just hoping this complete fabrication might intimidate some people who don’t know that into being afraid to advocate for safer streets.

  • Drew Levitt

    Oh for goodness’ sake. Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

  • bobfuss

    My point is that these slogan pay lip service to safety and sound good, but in reality the tough changes that really would significantly reduce accident deaths do not happen because of a lack of public support.

  • baklazhan

    What if the bike advocates say they want K to prevent traffic deaths, but the fire department insists on J, and then Q dies as a result of J, then what?

  • bobfuss

    There’s an irony there. Generally if nothing changes and somebody dies, that outcome is accepted as is.

    But if we change something and then someone dies as a result, then the change is blamed for the death, and someone may get sued.

    So the burden of proof is greater for changing something than for leaving it as it is. It’s safer to not change if results could go either way. Ideally we can make cyclists safer without making others less safe.

  • bobfuss

    The question stands. Your assumption is that it is OK to increase fire risk in order to reduce cyclist risk. In other words you prefer some types of people to be safer at the expense of other types of people.