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    Rogue Cyclist

    Expect the unexpected. Don’t take for granted that other people will see you.



    This shouldn’t be dreaming. This is an assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Its exactly the same as if he’d pulled out a gun and started shooting. The fact this probably won’t be treated as attempted murder should be unacceptable in our society, yet somehow, we don’t care. Utterly ridiculous, if you shoot someone, you’re doing it wrong, run them over instead, and might not even get a ticket. Its the legal way to murder people.


    Mario Tanev

    It’s a treacherous intersection with Muni tracks, and having to merge through a car lane from the bike lane. The city should create a two phase turn.


    Dexter Wong

    Yes they do build low-floor buses, but of the low entry variety. When you go past the rear door there are steps that lead to a raised-height rear section that houses the engine compartment. New Flyer builds similar buses. Van Hool and a few European manufacturers use flat engines to allow a totally flat floor (which is not that common in this country). I’ve ridden Gilligs and New Flyers, but no Van Hools.


    Jym Dyer

    Gillig builds low-floor buses in nearby Hayward. Their promo material shows local AC Transit buses, albeit with the old 2-bike Sportsracks.


    Jym Dyer

    I actually have a top-of-the-line folding bike, totally light, rides great, folds up very small. Even so, when Caltrain went through that particular summer of gas price hikes, I and others with folding bikes were denied boarding because space for folded bikes was full.

    They just push it out of habit, it seems.


    Jym Dyer

    Last I looked, Muni’s rules for folding bikes pretty much excluded every model ever made. They have to be collapsed and fit under a seat.


    StrixNoctis .

    To get a clear video of the license plate in the situation that happened in the video would require a camera facing the rear of the bike.

    I have one camera I mount at the front of my bike, but I’m thinking of instead mounting it facing the back or to get a second camera (although I hate having so many accessories on my bike).


    StrixNoctis .

    For me, it’s the opposite. The time a driver in a white mini van or small SUV deliberately attempted to side swipe me (after honking at me from behind), I was heading North on Mission Street toward Caesar Chavez blvd, and there wasn’t a bike lane there. Then the second time a driver got aggressive toward me was when I was on Mission Street downtown at night. A driver in a white pickup kept tailgating me & revving his engine behind me at every red traffic light stop for several blocks. At some point he also honked at me (and I reactively flipped him the finger. Shouldn’t have, but it’s become a reactive habit due to aggressive drivers). I eventually rode aside into the bus-only lane to let him pass.

    Only one time have I had an incident with an aggressive driver when I was in a bike lane, and it was just a driver merging into the bike lane at the last minute to make a right turn. I didn’t realize he was planning to merge because he didn’t use his blinkers. He aggressively drove into the lane and I was forced to lift my bike to the curb to avoid getting pushed by his car. He had his eyes on me & a scowl on his face as he did that, and his passenger, maybe his gf or wife, looked embarrassed.

    However, I have been nearly right hooked by numerous drivers who failed to merge into the bike lane prior to making their right turn and failed to use their blinkers, but after I learned to always turn my head like an owl to look behind me & to the left when approaching every intersection and to never approach an intersection with a motor vehicle directly on the left side of me, I haven’t had near right hooks in a long time.



    The boom and bust isn’t reaganomics or supply side, it’s caused by central bank interference.



    This story made the local news (NBC 3). Besides the repeated use of “bicyclist”, I think it’s a pretty fair and informed report. The video tells no lie as to what happened. Lot’s of rage out there – people need to take a chill pill.



    I didn’t realize the “parks” in “Parks & Recreations” refered to parking a vehicle. I say “follow the money.” Somebody at P&R must have a vested interest in acting conter to the department’s mission. Blocking views, killing pedestrians, and wasting a half a million bucks is more important than damaging the egos of a few entitled yacht millionaires?


    Bob Gunderson



    Violent unreasonable drivers need to be executed by firing squad. But 20-to-life in prison might be a reasonable compromise with the anti-death-penalty crowd. ;-)



    Lee is happy now because the city is flush with cash.

    When hard times come again, Weiner will be vilified for cutting other vital services due to electorate budgeting which is rarely ever a good idea.



    You are saying the parking is not needed is a fact for all businesses. That is not a fact. I am sure you are pointing to studies that say removing parking for a bike lane improved businesses in other cities. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges. Just because it works in one area doesn’t mean it works in other areas. Polk Street is different because it’s not near a subway and there are fewer (if any) parking garages on the northern end.

    Again, it all comes down to balancing the needs of the area. If safety was truly the only criteria to look at, we would ban all cars, transit and bikes. All can harm people. However, this is a city with many different needs and balancing them means not everyone will get everything.



    No, I am more open-minded to knowing what different type of business needs – including parking. Merchants can tell you what you want to hear to move you along, but they will tell the decision makers what they really feel. That is what David Chiu (the most bicycle-friendly person on the BOS who doesn’t own a car) heard and decided to find a consensus.


    Elias Zamaria

    The SFMTA approved reopening the crosswalk at Fell and Gough in 2013 and they will do it late this year. They considered reopening the crosswalk at Oak and Franklin but decided not to do it.



    “I sometimes think doing all the legal things (helmet, lights, hi vis,
    controlling lane, stopping at lights) makes you more of a target,” Ryan
    wrote in a tweet today.

    Not sure about the other items but every case of assault or harassment I’ve experienced over the last decade has occurred while taking the lane. That’s why I avoid routes requiring controlling the lane whenever possible. Taking the lane is safe and legal and though the majority of motorists are tolerant you will eventually encounter a hothead who feels that you’re doing it wrong and need to be taught a lesson. My most recent experience was four days ago and I regret not getting the license plate and driver description to the police.

    This is why vehicular cycling cannot be the only answer. Not everyone is willing to be a target for violent unreasonable drivers.



    Did the police end up arresting this guy? Were any charges filed? Perhaps we should all email the Captain of the Ingleside station and ask him what is going on here.



    Uber issued a statement detailing its new policy of paying drivers $5 for every bicyclist they run over, because their butts should be in ubers, not on bikes.



    Extra passengers slow the bus. Slower bus, requires more runs because the bus can’t turn the run as fast, requires more drivers, requires more equipment, etc…

    This becomes even more acute when you consider that if someone buys a monthly pass – the number of rides add nothing to the bottom line.

    On the margin this is hard to quantify, but if you look at it this way, it would be a heck of a lot simpler to run an efficient bus system with zero passengers.



    Does one extra passenger mean the subsidy goes up? Surely it means the number of rides is higher and therefore the subsidy per ride is lower.



    This isn’t the only way to combat this. The others are: protected bicycle lanes and creating a police force that isn’t biased against bicyclists so that these criminals are severly punished for their violent behavior.





    I used to bike through there myself. That intersection is nuts. I’ve almost been run off the road multiple times – come to think of it, I think the same SUV was trying to do that every week – just by trying to navigate the mess of an intersection to get to a class there. But I approach the intersection from the gas station pocket, whereas the SUV was making a right from Ocean onto Phelan. However, trying to cut through that intersection from the gas station pocket is even more dangerous, especially since when traffic from that pocket is expected to yield to traffic coming from Phelan onto Ocean or Geneva, and by the time the traffic ceases, the lights turn red again.



    Good idea, if a bit wordy–“diet” has overtones of “deprivation”, “cutting back”, “nobody’s idea of fun”, and even “punishment”–not good marketing ideas.


    Ziggy Tomcich

    The only way to combat this is with video. Helmet cameras are inexpensive, and they make a huge difference when vehicular assaults happen. As we all know drivers routinely get away with killing cyclists if they stick around after the killing and claim it was the cyclist’s fault. Buy a camera, mount it to your helmet, and record every ride all the time. Video if the only way drivers ever get convicted in these types of crimes. I hope they find this guy and I hope this attack was documented by the police.


    Mesozoic Polk

    As you know, SFPD is Very Busy doing other things, such as: not collecting readily available video evidence at crash sites, conducting bicycle stings at the Wiggle and citing jaywalking pedestrians that are a real menace to polite automobile-driving society. With such a full schedule, there is no time leftover to do things like protect human health and safety.



    Both had initially opposed the plan to reduce lanes on California Avenue, predicting that it would lead to traffic tie-ups.

    What traffic? California Ave has been pretty much dead ever since Printers Inc. went under.



    If only San Francisco had some sort of organization that would patrol the streets and go after the very worst road users when they attempt to murder bicyclists and pedestrians…some group that could maybe “police” the streets and make them safer…



    Stuff like this should carry a attempted murder charge. But boy am I dreaming that’ll ever happen in this city.


    Thomas Rogers

    This kind of predictive failure is a broader problem for humans, described entertainingly by Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert in “Stumbling on Happiness”:

    Basically, we’re all pretty terrible at forecasting how happy/unhappy different things will make us in the future. I think there are lessons in there for those of us in the planning/transportation fields, but I haven’t fully formed them yet.


    Upright Biker

    So maybe we stop calling them “Road Diets” and start calling them “Merchant Corridor Revitalization Initiatives.”

    That should whet their appetites…



    A similar phenomenon is occurring during San Jose’s Lincoln Ave. road diet. At first many Willow Glen merchants were reflexively opposed to the change. But then after reviewing actual results from other road diets many changed their opinions. And now that the experimental configuration is in place even more merchants and local residents are on-board with the road diet.

    There are still some hold outs though who just cannot fathom the idea that reducing auto lanes is an improvement. They’re almost dogmatic in their beliefs even to the point of tearing apart the observed objective results and claiming that the city has a conspiracy to obscure the “truth”.

    Fortunately most people are keeping open minds and are waiting for the final experimental results to guide their opinions. Here’s the preliminary report, it looks quite positive towards the road diet:

    BTW – The road diet StreetFilm has circulated widely to help residents and merchants understand what a road diet is and how the community can benefit.



    The bicycle route on Page Street is dangerous primarily during the morning commute hours. At other times, the traffic is light enough on those last three blocks so there is plenty of room to share the street with cars.

    The easiest, safest, and least expensive option would have been to restrict parking on those blocks in the east bound direction from 7 to 10 AM Monday through Friday and make it a tow away zone with a shoulder. Putting a bike lane in the middle of the street on the last block is a recipe for disaster considering both the fact that the backups are often 3 blocks long, and that traffic does still travel west during the morning up the hill.

    This is one of those cases where the city’s fetish for free on street parking of vehicles that mostly don’t move at all for multiple days comes right up against safety for active users of the streets. They should forcefully explain to residents that their parked cars means people will be injured and possibly killed on the streets.


    Luke Stewart

    There was a horrific looking injury on Townsend at 4th this morning around 10AM. Don’t know details, but there was a man on a stretcher, too much blood, a big “Storer” corporate shuttle bus stopped in the middle of the street with its doors open, and police blocking/re-routing traffic around the scene. Anyone know what happened?



    I’ve heard of a potential plan to build a CalTrain/HSR tunnel, but this is the first I’ve heard of financing it by selling the land on top for housing. Could you provide more info on that?



    Many merchants were also against the original Valencia road diet project to add bike lanes back in 1998/1999. When it went in as a trial though, almost every naysayer or doubter came on board. Looking at Valencia now, it seems to be doing pretty well! What merchants eventually got, is that you don’t want thousands of cars driving past your businesses at high speed or trying to get somewhere else. You want people to see your business, and they won’t do that if they’re going 30mph or using your street as a commute route. And since all your business is eventually by pedestrians, you want them to feel safe and comfortable so they stroll down the street and pop into your business.



    This is the same argument that the Peninsula folks in towns like Menlo Park and Palo Alto use to argue for building a Caltrain tunnel. There is simply no way the revenue generated would cover the cost of constructing the tunnel itself. Tunnels (especially in a city as dense as SF) are REALLY expensive.


    Upright Biker

    From the Palo Alto/California Ave story — Merchants Take Note! :

    “Among the merchants who attended the ceremony were Jessica Roth of European Cobblery and Terry Shuchat of Keeble and Shuchat Photography. Both had initially opposed the plan to reduce lanes on California Avenue, predicting that it would lead to traffic tie-ups. Roth marked the occasion by thanking the area’s neighbors, clients and customers for continuing to patronize the businesses throughout the construction period, which has taken just over a year.

    Shuchat, who at one point participated in a lawsuit aimed at stopping the project, acknowledged that the merchants’ fears didn’t come to pass and that when it comes to traffic, “it’s all working out fine.”

    “I was one of the many many merchants who was 200 percent opposed to this project,” Shuchat said. “Now that it’s been completed though, I really like it.””



    I love Steve Dombek’s idea–I remember someone talking about that recently at one of the SFTRU events.

    SF is–to put it very mildly–cautious about radical street changes yet it could be piloted if a block or two here and there were found where car ownership is already relatively low and nearby transit options are relatively or very good.

    Also, just as a pragmatic thing to garner more local support, maybe some further policies would help sweeten the deal for potential NIMBYs:

    –> including a kickback to current owners on the street (and/or renters if feasible?) from the resulting developer profits

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of the new space would be small but vibrant public spaces (as in the width of Patricia’s Green but typically shorter in length, adjacent to new buildings).

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of the new units would be, say, rent-controlled

    –> Guaranteeing that a certain % of developer profits would go towards local infrastructure improvements in transit/biking/walking.

    –> Allotting space for new carshare stations to minimize the temptation for new owners to bring cars.

    –> As a last resort (if the parking-removal wars are raging), replace the former on-street parking spaces with equivalent underground spots in or near the new development. (I’m torn about this).

    Maybe those wouldn’t all work but, hey, as long as we’re “thinking outside the stroad” might as well consider other innovative strategies like those, as well, as a pragmatic ways to kill the typical anti-change arguments.

    After all, SF sits on a lot of very, very valuable land with its wide ROWs so there could be a lot of money in this that could go towards mitigating the anti-change complaints.



    Good idea. Geary seems like a good example – you can probably lose the median and two lanes if you replace the buses with a subway and get 20% of the drivers to use a fast subway instead. There are other wide streets that are under-used, like Sloat, Junipero Serra, 12th Street between Van Ness and Harrison, some of the streets in the area between 7th Street, De Haro, and 16th Street. The city can be smart about selling off some of this real estate and bank the funds for a key transportation project or two (like a well-designed/located subway that will be needed when we cram another 150,000 people into this city and everything above ground grinds to a halt).



    Ridership report by Mad Libs? :D

    “Weekend ridership shows a riders on Saturdays but a in riders on Sundays.”



    From the 2015 Caltrain ridership report: “Weekend ridership shows a (sic) increase on Saturdays but an (sic) decrease on Sundays”.

    Looks like their bad grammar might be a copy and paste issue from their 2014 report: “Weekend ridership shows a decrease in riders on Saturdays but an increase in riders on Sundays”.

    Looks like sampling one weekend doesn’t give useful information.



    Food for thought: if the city sold some of the wider streets like Van Ness, Geary, etc. to housing developers, they might be able to generate enough revenue to build a cut & cover subways under the new buildings.


    SF Guest

    [Survey needed] How many drivers who read this blog have run people over? I haven’t run anyone over.


    Thomas Rogers

    Wonder what that rail testing lab is like… maybe Streetfilms should do a “CSI: BART” piece :)


    Michael Smith

    Some great improvements. But they should really also be looking at adding pedestrian crossings at Oak & Franklin (especially since they are trying to calm Oak) and at Fell & Gough. Those would be great pedestrian safety improvements for the area and those intersections do not need the absurd vehicle turning capacity that they currently have.

    Plus if they put in angle parking on Oak to calm traffic then they should compensate by daylighting intersections nearby by removing parking right next to busy intersections. This would be another great safety improvement for pedestrians without reducing the net amount of parking.


    Bob Gunderson

    Yes adding more car storage is exactly what we need to make car traffic smoother and safer. Let’s have more of these ‘safety’ packages on our streets! When can we start bitching about construction on this btw?