Skip to content

Recent Comments

  1.  

    M.

    The Mayor has embarrassed himself – and got outed.

  2.  

    sfo2cnx

    Would towing double-parked cars work as a deterent?

  3.  

    SF_Abe

    @Prinzrob

    Personally, I’d prefer they pull as far to the right as possible. I don’t like the idea of riding through the narrow canyon between the truck and parked cars (where the driver can pop out any second). I’d rather pass the truck on the left, in the part of the traffic lane that isn’t blocked.

    You’re absolutely right, though, about how dangerous it is to park a truck right at a crosswalk. I regularly cross 16th and 17th at San Bruno (or Utah) and the UPS drivers are almost always either in the crosswalk or up against it, making it impossible for drivers to see me crossing (the fact that they don’t have any stop signal means they’re not even thinking about people crossing there).

  4.  

    sparky403

    Wow – I don’t understand how you can say that?? I am the furthest thing from and ED Lee fan, this is the one time that he’s compromised…. all other times, all the dedicated bike lanes, bulb out and the other projects that have meant a net loss of 5,000 parking spaces in SF .. add to that another 5,000 meters – most of which were no where near biz districts (turk and gough). Nearly all of those in the name of safety.

    Unlike the compromise agreed to on polk, the doubling of parking ticket and increase both meter rates and the number of meters were only to raise more $$.

    I have lived in SF for 25 years and there has been far more progess, at the expense of drivers than in whole other 20 years combined.

    if you care to look at the other side of the coin – for drivers, both parking meters and tickets have double under ed lee in just the last 5 years. The loss of other parking as mentioned above… in the name of biker safety. He compromises on one issue and suddenly he values business more than life…. honestly, get real.

    If the Biking community were really that interested in Safety they would do a great deal more to promote safe cycling, sharing the road, and mandatory helmets… none of which I see advocated here or with the bike coalition…..

    >>>

    A Mandatory Helmet Law Will Make California’s Streets Less Safe: Sign
    the Petition!

    Petition to California State Senator Carol Liu
    CC: Senator Jim
    Beall, CA Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Chair

    Scrap the Mandatory Helmet Law!

    We oppose SB 192, mandating that everyone wear helmets and reflective gear
    when riding a bicycle. A mandatory helmet law would make California’s streets
    less safe by discouraging bicycling. We urge you to withdraw the mandatory
    helmet law and focus on measures that will protect people who ride bicycles.

    Petition Background

    On February 11th, 2015, State Senator Carol Liu introduced a bill (SB 192)
    that will require everybody to wear helmets when they ride a bicycle. This
    mandate sends the wrong message about bicycling and will produce the wrong
    result: it will discourage bicycling, making our streets less safe and
    Californians less healthy.

    The California Bicycle Coalition’s mission is to enable more people to
    bicycle for the health, safety, and prosperity of all Californians. Sign our
    petition today to oppose this bill.

  5.  

    Fran Taylor

    Wow, they’re up to four bike lane tickets a day! For the whole city? On an average day, I see that many on Harrison between Cesar Chavez and 14th Street, often outside Local Mission Market, where the owners ooze entitlement when I’ve complained.

  6.  

    Nathan

    Samii did acknowledge that being asked to move “is not a
    disincentive,” though even when commercial drivers receive citations,
    they accept it as “the cost of doing business.”

    Has Samii discovered a limitless mechanism for funding government? If commercial drivers accept fines for violations without changing their behavior, SFMTA may raise them infinitely and enforce them universally. Everybody wins!

    Or. Perhaps costs of doing business are not fixed but variable, and a business that lowers is costs may increase its profit margin and/or offer lower prices? If so, a creative business that finds a way to better comply with traffic laws, even marginally so, has an advantage over its competition. Higher fines and more rigorous enforcement would translate to greater (but never universal) compliance in a straightforward way.

    But that’s crazy, pie in the sky thinking. In the real world, real american business capitalist heroes accept costs unthinkingly, amirite?

  7.  

    Golden Gate Shark

    I like how Samii blamed the lack of enforcement on staffing attrition. If they hired 1 traffic control agent to only enforce double parking. How many tickets an hour would it cost to cover him/her, the interceptor (or bicycle), and all of the officers expenses?? I am pretty sure the city would not only break even but probably create a surplus. Not to mention the fact that they would be increasing the safety of our residents, and increasing the flow of their precious traffic.

    The logic is so backwards at the sfmta. This is like how they stopped cleaning streets as often because it was too expensive and they had a budget shortfall. Only to realize that they were now loosing the revenue created by those who would rather not be bothered to move their car instead of having a clean street. Thus increasing their budgets shortfall.

  8.  

    Alicia

    who I assume are evil to you.
    Straw man arguments. Never said they’re “evil.”

    But you ignored exactly what I said.
    Nonsense. I didn’t ignore. I pointed out that you’re wrongheaded in saying we can’t fix these problems. There are ways to dramatically reduce collisions.

    What about the idiot pedestrian,

    What about them?

    You may have the right of way and be all smug about but it won’t matter much if you get hit by a truck
    I’m not sure what your point is. Is this an attempt at arguing “might makes right”?

  9.  

    donsf2003

    And everything you suggested puts it back on drivers, who I assume are evil to you. Hey I don’t own a car. But you ignored exactly what I said. What about the idiot pedestrian, When is someone going to dare tell them they have a responsibility in all this to. Same as bike riders. You may have the right of way and be all smug about but it won’t matter much if you get hit by a truck. There is a bridge over Geary and everyday people run across the road. All you are targeting is the evil drivers. I don’t like to drive in SF because of idiot ped and bikers.I have never been hit by a car, but have been hit by a bike three times, while on the sidewalk.

  10.  

    Alicia

    Sure you can fix lots of these things (partially or wholly). You can put in signalized crosswalks on troublesome intersections. You can build pedestrian bridges over freeways. You can improve drivers’ ed so that more of the idiot drivers are filtered out and don’t get behind the wheel in the first place. You can eliminate automatic drivers’ license renewal and make drivers retake a driving test and get a physical (or at least a vision test) when they want to renew their license. (That last one is probably politically difficult, but I still think it should be done.) You can offer incentives to buy cars that have modern safety features such as rear cameras and obstacle detection. And so on.

  11.  

    Alicia

    Why should he.

    Because he should be putting peoples’ lives and safety over parking.

  12.  

    Alicia

    Of course, all it would do is aggravate people who are generally in agreement with you,

    So who do you have in mind that is “generally in agreement” with improving bike access and promoting traffic safety, that would change their mind because of a peaceful street protest?

  13.  

    pablo_skils

    Can San Francisco cyclists afford another term in office for Ed Lee? Let’s start a fund now to depose him.

  14.  

    pablo_skils

    Tiqui, you are right: there are more dangers in life than cars, but cars represent at a guess about 80% of the perceived danger in my life. So far I have seen three people killed by cars while riding bikes, and personally I have been put in hospital three times because of unsafe car driving. I have not seen dead people in the streets for reasons other than cars. What personal experience informs your opinion? As a cyclist I have also been hit by jaywalking pedestrians.

  15.  

    pablo_skils

    Tiqui, pedestians on Upper Polk north of Broadway jaywalk all the time. They are a menace to themselves and others. Please will you do something about this if pedestrians are, as you say, your priority?

  16.  

    misterfranklin

    The closest thing in the vehicle code is CVC 22502(b), which permits commercial vehicles to park more than 18 inches from the curb.
    http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d11/c9/22502

    Note that 22502(b) does NOT exempt commercial vehicles from CVC 22500(h), the section that prohibits double-parking.
    http://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/vctop/vc/d11/c9/22500

  17.  

    Jym Dyer

    Education is even better when applied to real-life situations. Give it a spin!

  18.  

    StrixNoctis .

    His loyalty lies where there’s money. To a person like him, money is more valuable than (strangers’ ) lives.

  19.  

    StrixNoctis .

    I didn’t say he hasn’t. Yes, he has done a lot to promote cycling here in SF, which is great, but his choice to consider parking for businesses over safety to save lives is just one of the things that is making it obvious that he values money over the lives of people whom he doesn’t know personally. However, I’m sure if a loved one of his ever gets killed by a motorist, he’d place life above money.

  20.  

    Prinzrob

    Truck drivers parking in a bike lane is just a bad idea either way, though, because they end up blocking both the bike lane and half the next lane over. If loading vehicles just took to blocking the travel lane instead of the bike lane (especially on multi lane streets) they would be inconveniencing fewer people, overall.

    I also see plenty of truck drivers parking in red zones ahead of crosswalks, creating zero visibility between car/bike traffic in the street and pedestrians about to step into the roadway.

  21.  

    Prinzrob

    “an exemption in state law allows commercial drivers to double park while loading under those conditions”

    I’ve heard this referenced before but have never actually found the code in question. Can anybody cite it specifically, or is just another of those myths that just won’t die because it’s too convenient?

  22.  

    roymeo

    What, when I can block the turn lane, bike lane, and traffic lane all at the same time?

  23.  

    danbrotherston

    I know all about that story, I’m not talking about the incident. It still does not justify writing “hot coffee is hot” on every cup of coffee sold in America. The coffee was an example, not the point. The point is, how many people have to die before people get the point that traffic is killing people, ISIS is not.

  24.  

    peternatural

    If your goal is to be an antisocial jerk, do it right. Just park in the car lane. When the cars line up behind you screaming and honking, just answer, “Do I look like someone who gives a shiitake mushroom?” It’ll be awesome! Worst case, you get asked to move.

  25.  

    clementgarnier

    I agree with most of the points you’re making. Of course there are certainly a bunch of factors that led to this accident, I am not denying that. Now, we should be able to discuss it without diminishing the driver’s responsibility, which I think is what the wording “the city-designed placement of the bike in the road killed him” implies.

    Just like with any other crime – because yes, it absolutely is a crime – we can discuss the context and look for explanations, but they should not be presented as excuses.

    Also, as others have pointed out, there are indeed bike lanes at this location. And this is actually a good proof that bike lanes are helpless as long as drivers are careless.

    A bike lane doesn’t prevent someone to door you.
    A bike lane doesn’t prevent a pedestrian to appear between two parked cars while jaywalking.
    A bike lane doesn’t prevent a car to struck you at an intersection.

    The only way to prevent all of the above: people – drivers, cyclists, pedestrians – conscious about those dangers, paying close attention to other people and vehicles surrounding them. And it all boils down to having a reasonable speed.

  26.  

    EastBayer

    Can’t let this pass – the “hot coffee” coverage was shameful. She wasn’t driving, she suffered third degree burns, it required extensive surgery, and she was elderly! McDonalds served coffee at 180-190 degrees, above industry standards, a temperature that can cause third degree burns in as little as two seconds.

    And corporations have spent millions spreading FUD about tort reform to produce precisely that coverage.

  27.  

    donsf2003

    Why should he. Unattainable goal.

  28.  

    donsf2003

    As for the letter and Lee, the Bike Coalition tried to push their luck and embarass the Mayor, got slapped., Bravo.

  29.  

    donsf2003

    Vision Zero won’t happen because you can’t fix stupid. There are enough dumb drivers and idiotic pedestrians that run (or try to) across four lanes of Van Ness to catch a bus. They get hit. No way to fix that.

  30.  

    Ralph

    A fairly simple temporary fix would be tu open up the bike path from Octavia through the island. That would make it a sweeping left. Then pain the whole lane green down Octavia and across Market to the other side and add the bike box for left turners.

  31.  

    roymeo

    Need a bunch of signs that individually say “Vision” and “Zero” on both sides so we can present “Vision Zero” to the Mayor, but the PR shots taken from behind say “Zero Vision”.

  32.  

    Black n Pink Fixed Gear

    Bikers are big, hairy, mean guys dressed up in leather that ride Harley Davidsons in huge packs.

    I believe cyclist is the term you are looking for.

    You’re welcome.

  33.  

    voltairesmistress

    Pchazz, if anyone waited for you to approve of their ideas or actions, they would fall asleep before anything ever happened.

  34.  

    murphstahoe

    Ed Lee is generally in agreement with me?

  35.  

    danbrotherston

    So I’m a data oriented guy, I’d like to know exactly how many lives a parking space is worth. Or maybe we should measure in…number of lives worth taking to park x meters closer. You know, I’m the first to say that we shouldn’t be obsessive about liability, things like “hot coffee” bug me, and the obsessive rhetoric about ISIS and boogeyman terrorists is a crime, possibly one of terrorism. But traffic deaths aren’t a hypothetical, for most people, its the most likely of cause of sudden/violent/unexpected death or serious injury they face, how can we be so stupid about this.

  36.  

    p_chazz

    Oh yeah, blocking streets worked soooo well for ACT UP, Occupy and Black Lives Matter! Let’s stop BART trains while we’re at it! Of course, all it would do is aggravate people who are generally in agreement with you and get you written off as a radical with an extremist agenda.

  37.  

    sfwom1

    Turn our backs to him when he starts to dribble his rhetoric.

  38.  

    sparky403

    Really?? Save for Polk street – ed lee has done more for cyclist’s then all other mayor’s combined – by orders of magnitude.
    The fact that the Bike Coalition didn’t get it’s way and a compromised was reached is the way life works. The bike coalition, correct me if I am wrong, has gotten everything else it asked for during Ed Lee’s administration.
    What I am reading in the comment section, that all the sudden the optometrist has bad reviews etc really reinforces the point that cyclist need to grow up. SF is a very congested place and nobody is going to get a 100% of what they ask for period.
    The merchants along Polk know their business and their customers far better than street bloggers or SF Bike Coalition – and you should respect that fact.

  39.  

    roymeo

    And since we can’t stop every Zodiac killer or terrorist bombing or apple-picking, we should do nothing at all to increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists?

  40.  

    murphstahoe

    Simpler. Show up to Bike to Work Day and when Lee takes the podium, everyone gives him the raspberry.

  41.  

    murphstahoe

    What does this have to do with making Polk safer for cyclists?

    We know that cyclists have been hit on Polk Street. That means that those cyclists were actually on the street – not the sidewalk.

    We should absolutely do what we can to get cyclists off the sidewalk, but that has nothing to do with the safety of the street itself. Wait – I take that back. Have you ever stopped to consider *why* cyclists might be on the sidewalk? Do you think it might perhaps be because the street is known to be an unsafe place to ride?

    The context in which you place your comment would be like saying that because some motor vehicle drove onto the sidewalk and killed a pedestrian, we should not replace Doyle Drive.

  42.  

    MrEricSir

    # of times I’ve been shot at: 0
    # of times someone has nearly run me over in their car because they weren’t paying attention: Lost count a long time ago

  43.  

    tiqui

    So you are saying that in those streets in Copehagen you will be able to leave your house without having your life threatened multiple times. I am sure there are more dangers in life than just cars. You can get shot, just to mention one kind of possibility. There are plenty of more…

  44.  

    Alicia

    Your very first comment was “I have experienced the same dangerous moments by bikers, who are wearing headphones, riding on the sidewalk as we both turn in opposite direction and he slams into my son’s stroller…”

    However, that’s nonsense. You may have been nervous at those times, but to call those incidents “the same dangerous moments” as runn3r85 talks about is a pretty clear indication that you aren’t thinking about the physics of the matter and the real danger involved in the situations you describe vs. the situations (s)he is talking about.

    If you are truly trying to improve pedestrian safety, it makes zero sense to claim that near misses with bicycles are “the same dangerous moments” as near misses with cars.

    You can have your opinions, of course, but unless you care about the facts about traffic safety, you’ll never have a chance of making the streets safer for pedestrians. It’s your choice whether you want to rely on your gut feelings or objective data about injuries and fatalities, but I hope you decide to go with the latter.

  45.  

    voltairesmistress

    I am beginning to think we need a mass action, like many hundreds of people organizing a single day of die-ins. We could shut down every street and intersection for an hour where a pedestrian or bike rider has died in a collision with a car/truck over the past ten years.

  46.  

    Morgan Fitzgibbons

    Ed Lee doesn’t care about Vision Zero in San Francisco any more than he knows how to use that crosswalk striper. In both cases somebody just told him he would look better if he stood next to it.

  47.  

    MrEricSir

    No, that’s a false equivalence if I’ve ever heard one. Have you ever seen the pedestrian-only streets of Copenhagen? Have you seen the streets throughout Europe where only local cars (and delivery vehicles) are permitted?

    Maybe you’ll still have a dangerous encounter now and then, but it doesn’t have to be nearly as dangerous as SF is today.

  48.  

    tiqui

    And please stop telling me what I should do.
    “you should still be much more concerned about incompetent or careless car drivers than bikers for the reasons I stated above”.
    “Keep a sense of perspective.”
    I just wanted to post my very own experience and opinion.

  49.  

    tiqui

    Alicia,
    Thanks for the physics lesson, but I am educated too. (entitled much?) I am aware of how dangerous cars are, I was in a very traumatic car accident at age 14.
    Regardless, since you keep a very important point out of your reply, let me repeat myself: “And let me be clear, I am not defending the cars or pedestrian over bikers. no. I am saying we all need to be safe. A bike is still a vehicle. A pedestrian is my priority.”

  50.  

    94110

    FYI, construction on Bartlett has finally started. So far it’s the west half of the road and sidewalk demolished.