Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius took another shot at stoking some bicycle controversy today with his latest fact-free piece sharing his “concerns” that bike lanes “may be on [a] crash course” with cars.
“Bikes and automobiles are still crashing into each other,” as Chuck breaks it to us. ”Part of the problem is simply sharing the street. But there’s also a concern that the green bike lanes may actually be encouraging collisions,” he wrote.
Since Nevius doesn’t actually provide any evidence for this “concern,” we can’t really be sure why he’s publishing another article on the matter of bicycle safety. But taking even a surface-level look into his baseless claims only seems to reveal yet another attempt to ruffle some feathers around bike lanes.
While the bike lane examples Nevius chooses seem largely arbitrary, he does point to the intersection of Market Street and Octavia Boulevard, which had the highest number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries in 2011, with a total of ten (Nevius probably would’ve done well to actually cite the numbers). But the vast majority of bicycle crashes there are caused by drivers making illegal right turns onto the freeway.
State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano has pushed for a change in state law to allow camera enforcement, and the SF Bicycle Coalition said violations have dropped since a concrete island and other improvements were installed there. Still, Nevius somehow names the bike lane as the problem. (Quick fact correction for his piece: The SFBC confirmed that Nevius misquoted Executive Director Leah Shahum as saying they were illegal left turns. Also, this section of bike lane isn’t painted green.)