Editor’s note: it’s positively numbing that I can’t finish writing a piece about two cycling deaths in 24 hours, when a third cyclist is killed, this morning, this time in Pleasanton.
Two three more families and groups of friends will endure unbearable absences. For them, the agony never ends.
And yet, the legislative priority is to slash fines for motorists blowing through red lights. Tone-deaf law makers boast about making it easier for law-breaking drivers to restore suspended licenses. And every time hard-fought safety measures are put in, our politicians and city planners cow to angry motorists clamoring to roll them back.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, in a statement, put it this way:
We know what our city’s streets need; we need the SFMTA to deliver. Ultimately, we need leadership at the top, and Mayor Ed Lee is failing as a leader. Where we need transformative safety improvements and transformative leadership, we have vague promises and a void of action… We need protected bike lanes on JFK Drive. And across SoMa, we need physically protected bike lanes and intersections. These crashes were preventable, and the city should urgently act to see that such tragedies are not repeated.
San Francisco State University geography professor, writer, and Streetsblog contributor Jason Henderson summed it up too:
There are too many cars in the city and it is too easy to drive them fast and violently. Every day I observe it getting worse. Every single day is worse than the previous. This is a political problem with a political solution. Golden Gate Park could and should be completely car free. South of Market should have fully-separated and wide cycletracks on every street. But the SF mayor-BOS-SFMTA-SF Planning Commission simply pander to angry motorists and give them more parking.