SFPD officers were posted at the bottom of the hill on Page Street at Octavia Boulevard this morning ticketing bike commuters who squeezed to the left of stopped cars. Freeway-bound drivers routinely queue up to turn right, occupying several blocks of Page’s only eastbound traffic lane.
Tickets were issued to people headed downtown who are essentially given no safe, legal, or practical alternative to use this official bike route. It’s one more sign that the department has no plans to stop targeting innocuous, common-sense behaviors by people on bikes while violations that hurt people remain under-enforced.
“It’s adding insult to injury,” said Jason Henderson, a board member of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association and author of “Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco.”
“Bicyclists don’t want to be doing that,” Henderson said. “It’s because the city has shirked its moral responsibility and left bicyclists to fend for themselves at that intersection.”
Squeezing to the left on Page, where the oncoming westbound traffic lane is mostly empty, has been normal for years and hasn’t been known to cause any crashes. The SFMTA has actually proposed a partial center-running bike lane on Page to legitimize the behavior as part of street improvements on and around Octavia.