Skip to content

Recent Comments



    You need to define “folks on this site” a little more carefully. The editorial line of this blog places roughly equal importance on cycling improvements and Muni improvements. There are some commenters on this blog who are more focused on cycling improvements than Muni improvements, but I’m not one of them and I have no obligation to defend what they say.

    Personally, I think that Muni improvements are more important than cycling improvements, because a) Muni is accessible to 100% of people in the city, whereas there is a small percent of people for whom cycling is genuinely infeasible due to age or disability; and b) in my opinion, SF is lagging further behind other major international cities in public transportation than it is lagging in cycling facilities. But generally speaking, the two modes are not in conflict and you can support one without detracting from the other.



    I’ve often thought that the name of this blog should be changed to the San Francisco BikeBlog.



    Who needs a baseball bat?

    Motion detector, bear trap.



    Keep Sunday Meters running to provide $12M in annual funding for MUNI, support Wiener’s amendment to provide additional MUNI funding, red transit only lanes on Church, 3rd, etc…, more aggressive plans for BRT on Van Ness and Geary, bus only lanes on Potrero, etc… etc… etc…



    According to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety fatal car accidents involving older drivers have actually declined markedly, so stop trying to take away Grandpa’s license on the basis of anecdotal data, mmmkay?


    Andy Chow

    Link to “West Costa Contra County” article is not working.



    I’ve seen mainly the opposite of fighting for Muni from the folks on this site (e.g., move the 19 bus so it’s better for bikes on Polk, move the buses to only the number 1 lane on Market)


    Jeffrey Baker

    That surveillance video and a baseball bat will get you a lot farther than the video alone. Not that I advocate violence against bike thieves. I just think they should all be hurled into volcanoes.



    This is complete crap. If you CAN bike and you do NOT bike, then YOU lack empathy for people who cannot, by taking up the resources that those people need. We spend a lot of money producing roads and parking and garages that we could avoid having to build, and by doing so save money that could be used to offer point to point driver service for those who have mobility issues – especially those without the physical skills to drive a car.

    Your argument is akin to someone telling an anti-war protestor that they “Don’t support the troops”. The best support for a solider is to get them out of a war zone.



    Sure, but that isn’t what has been happening. Amelia LeMoullac, the two incidents last week with MUNI and trucks, etc have all been truck drivers not only effing up, but doing something illegal. Your special case of “freak downdrafts” is a non-issue. I’m not worried about that, but the rampant poor driving skills that professional drivers continually exhibit. This will never change until punishment is severe, and at the least involves losing your license.

    The more powerful your vehicle, the more training you need and the more responsibility you must exhibit. Trucks drivers are at the extreme end of the spectrum in this regard yet are not regulated anymore than car drivers (which are already regulated poorly) and don’t get adequate training for driving safely in a dense city. This must be rectified and has nothing to do with extremely rare “freak downdraft”-type events.



    Kids to get around? Disabled? Old?

    Muni is your friend in all of those cases, particularly the last two. That’s why we fight for better Muni as well as better cycling facilities.



    You won’t find many folks on this board that can or will empathize for anyone other a person who can bike in SF. Kids to get around? Move. Disabled? Don’t leave the house. Old? Force you to live in a old folks home. The only policies that matter are those that prioritize the tiny biking community over all others.



    Y’know, cycling is the only way I know to get around. There will come a point in my life when I’m physically and mentally incapable of doing that, and I’ll need to figure out the consequences of that life change. (I’m hella gonna use my senior Muni pass.)

    Old age happens to all of us, and denial is not a helpful strategy for dealing with it.



    You should try to develop some empathy for people dining at a sidewalk cafe who are run over by someone who is already mentally and physically deteriorated to the point of being unable to differentiate the accellerator and the brake.



    This does not imply that events that we have control over do happen. They do, and in the case of commercial drivers, we are not reacting appropriately to proven incompetence.



    You really should try to develop some empathy for people who aren’t just like you. Seniors came of age when the Automobile Age was in its ascendancy. Driving is the only way they know how to get around and at their age change does not come easy. Plus studies show that mental and physical deterioration accelerates once seniors give up driving.



    That would depend on the condition that caused the crash. A freak downdraft could cause even the most experienced pilot to crash. Sometimes random events over which we have no control just happen.



    I’m curious to see if they’ll move the bike share station when they close the station. If they don’t it would be the first bike share station whose location primarily serves as a park & bike station.

    I would much rather it be moved somewhere near high-density housing and a high-traffic grocery store. For example, by the Safeway on Shoreline which also happens to be a 7 minute walk from my home.



    Randy Shaw is a poverty pimp who lives in a big house in the Berkeley Hills. You are his mouthpiece and Beyond Chron is beyond belief.



    In the 90′s, with the old Boeing LRVs, Muni ran 4 car mixed trains in the subway. They would (de)couple individual lines at West Portal.



    Though it’s far less than ideal for bicycle movement inside cities, the Embarcadero clearly needs a two-way path as most of the destinations are on that side.

    But in the visualization at top it’s too narrow! This is very clear, isn’t it? There has to be more room both for people to ride side-by-side, for cargo bikes, and to avoid head-on collisions.

    Get rid of all the street parking, insert some taxi/delivery parking and ADA-parking into various nooks & crannies, widen what’s in the visual by at least 50%, slow down the street to 25mph, enjoy the waterfront.

    A nearly carfree Embarcadero would really put SF on the map, ahead of every other dense U.S. city.



    Get you facts right. He never bashed the VLF. He’s the one who first proposed it! Once he saw it go down in flames in the polls, he shifted his energy to the bond measure (his alternative).


    Andy B from Jersey

    Wow! That really sucks. I’ve had a few too many close and potentially deadly calls in my time riding and walking and wonder if anybody would write about me in a blog if something happened.

    I don’t know Zachary but I really hope you pull through! We need you back on the team!


    Andy B from Jersey

    No! Not in the my name! Why should our government stoop as low and become as base as the murderers we prosecute? I’d much rather have him sit in jail the rest of his life (or at least a long time) to contemplate what he has done. Hopefully, he might come around to understand what he has done and ask for forgiveness.



    “The office of the mayor in SF has little power- this city has been run by the Board of Supervisors for many years, who have run in terribly.”

    ??????????????? This is an utterly absurd statement. The mayor of SF has tremendous power. Far more than the board of Supes. You clearly have no clue what you are talking about.

    The mayor appoints the leadership to, and runs every City department. He makes a disproportionate number of appointments to every City commission. The mayor of SF is the only mayor in the country who makes appointments to vacant seats in the legislative branch (in this case the Board of Supes).

    Again, you clearly have no clue what you are talking about. None. Zero. Reality is the exact opposite of what you say it is.



    Not coming fast enough. During rush hour, when battery street is backed up, both the 10 and 12 can do nothing but sit in traffic resulting in 10-20 mins for traveling a 3 block stretch.



    I would be satisfied with having their commercial drivers licenses revoked. If an airline pilot has an crash that caused injury, would you want him to be the pilot of your plane? The fact that we think there’s a difference shows how screwed up our priorities are.


    Andy Chow

    Just more broadly speaking, seniors living alone in the house could get themselves hurt due to falling and other accidents. The perfect is to put them in senior housing (like how Homer put Abe Simpson in a home), or the good, such as having technology to detect trouble or something that allows the senior to get immediate assistance at home.

    Specialized outreach is needed to educate seniors about how to become a safer driver (a lot of them no longer remember traffic signs, laws, etc), when to give up their keys, and what options they have without a car. I can say that a lot of seniors are very much interested to alternatives so they either don’t have to drive at all, or don’t have to drive at situations where they don’t think it is safe.

    I don’t agree with the notion that senior drivers, or any driver, be treated like a parolee.



    Don’t want to put them in jail. Want them fired if they are incapable of performing their jobs, just like any other job



    If bright red lanes on Market Street aren’t enough (see People Behaving Badly), I don’t know what is. No amount of signage can make up for lack of enforcement.



    You couldn’t pass a City ordinance requiring truck drivers to have special training. In order to impose added training requirements on commercial truck drivers, the Vehicle Code would need to be amended. Good luck getting that past the trucking lobby in Sacramento.

    There are some businesses like Safeway that need large trucks to supply them. It would place a burden on them to use smaller trucks and it would be an added cost–a cost that would be passed on to consumers, making San Francisco even more unaffordable. And don’t forget that streets such as Van Ness, 19th Ave. and Sloat are state highways, so you can’t ban trucks. from there. And criminalizing motorists for accidents will only add to our burgeoning prison population.



    If he tried to flee on the 38 in the first place, Mr. Watson would not be in critical condition.



    humm, this might be worth exploring when considering video games such as grand theft auto..



    So are you saying there is a causal relationship between driving and violent crime?



    Muni will never get any better with the sort of “logic” that Randy and Ed Lee are coming up with. It’s high time we stop having mayors (and supervisors!) that promise reform but materially do nothing. Whether or not you agree with Wiener’s proposal, he’s actively taking action to improve Muni. That’s more than virtually any other supervisor or mayor in the last couple decades can honestly say.

    Justifying Ed Lee’s actions based on politics instead of leadership is exactly how nothing changes.



    “As long as they are not a threat to others” is being ignored – perhaps more accurately deliberately evaded.

    “I cannot drive safely anymore but what else can I do?”


    Mario Tanev

    People can deeply believe and rationalize anything depending on influences, such as “job depending on it”, group think, propaganda (see Russia), etc. A sign of such influences is when your position is full of inconsistencies.



    Even in a bastion of “liberalism” like SF, there is probably a goodly number of citizens would wouldn’t mind seeing the perpetrator in this case taken out and shot. (even though one has to remember, that like Osama Bin Laden, you can kill him, but you can’t eat him..)



    I think what Andy is saying is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If technological inventions like pedal distinguishers and driverless cars make seniors safe drivers, then require their use. Yes, the perfect is for seniors to rationally evaluate their dependence on cars and communities that no longer suit their needs on a number of issues, including climate change impacts. But the good is to let them age in their familiar places, as long as they are not a threat to themselves or others.



    Looking forward to this as an occasional 12 rider and this is my north of market commute bike route. The main problem I see is abuse of the lane by private autos, like most other transit lanes. Since they often turn at California or Pine, it can back up the bus flow for the entire light cycle. Since the ban on cars is only during certain times, many drivers fail to see the signs. I didn’t see the signs (as a bike rider) for the first year I biked on the street. If they could implement better signage or at least have occasional enforcement this would be much more effective, but still a great step in the right direction.



    It’s not about lifestyle choices, it’s about rights and responsibilities. A senior’s right to continue to drive is less important than my right not to get hit by a vehicle whose driver is incapable of controlling it.

    If you’re not safe to drive, you’re not safe to drive. End of story. The consequences of that life change are for you to figure out.



    This is a long-overdue no-brainer. I don’t understand why this wasn’t done when the rest of the contraflow lane was constructed (in the late 90s, IIRC).



    At least this guy will definitely get rung up by Gascon



    I mostly agree, but again, violent criminal behavior would diminish if less people were driving. And designing roads so it’s hard to get up to high speeds can also prevent lunatics like this from getting so much speed. Finally, I’m fairly confident in saying this guy didn’t mean to hit the cab; he was expecting to do what so many motorists do (though to a less extreme degree) all the time: drive reckless and get away with it. Plenty of non-criminal motorist blow through lights, cut to close to cyclists, etc. and they never get punished for it, *even* when they hit them (as long as they aren’t drunk and don’t flee). So we’ve created this culture where a thoughtless thug like this guy feels like he has a good chance of getting away with behavior that he might otherwise second-guess in a society that was much more strict in punishing drivers and where roads were designed to prioritize the safety of people and not the speed of cars.



    Not to detract from anything you said but I think there is a fairly meaningful distinction between the more “normal” type of accident and cases like this where a car is stolen and driven in an evasive and extreme manner without any regard, concern or consideration for the safety of others.

    This incident seems to me to less to do with road safety and more to do with violent criminal behavior, like getting caught in the cross-fire of a gang war.



    Entirely unacceptable. This incident really bothers me since he was a friend of a friend and was just doing his own thing; this could have been me, my wife, my parents, anybody. I’m so tired of this unnecessary carnage and a culture that perpetuates car usage so that this sort of thing happens with alarming frequency. There are so many things that can be done to minimize the odds of this every happening: 1) creating better bicycle, walking, and public transit infrastructure so more people get out of cars which reduces the likelihood of incidents like this, 2) designing our streets so cars simply cannot get going at high speeds in the first place (making them narrow, using roundabouts much more frequently, adding speed bumps, adding bulb outs and greenery, etc), 3) severely punishing motorists who risk the safety of others, even if they get lucky and don’t actually injury anybody; far too many motorists have learned they can get away with dangerous behavior with only a slap on the wrist and have completely lost touch with how much risk the safety of others.

    I’m really rooting for Zach’s recovery …



    Here’s hoping, what a bummer



    2 bad MUNI accidents today:

    Both due to trucks. I don’t know who is at fault, but trucks are to cars/MUNI (and of course pedestrians and cyclists) as cars are to pedestrians and cyclists. Such large discrepancies in size, power, and speed should never be mixing on our streets. It’s unacceptable that such enormous vehicles prowl are streets and are involved in a disproportionate amount of accidents.

    SF needs to do 3 things:

    1) In order to operate in SF, all truck drivers needs special training regarding the nuances of driving in a dense urban environment (this includes learning how to operate around pedestrians, cyclists, and trains).
    2) With exceptions for large construction projects which then still need special permits to operate, all trucks must be the smaller type like those used in most European countries. Large trucks are entirely inappropriate in a city like SF, and the carnage just continues. We can deliver all the goods with more smaller trucks (and there some businesses that can even use cargo bikes.
    3) Severe punishment for drivers/companies that violate these rules (a great example being the truck driver who made an illegal turn and killed Amelia LeMoullac last year and wasn’t charged with anything even with video evidence showing him being at fault).



    If you look at the issue more broadly, it’s offensive to everybody else to accelerate climate change, kill and maim pedestrians and cyclists, and pollute our air because some people didn’t think through carefully enough their dependence on cars. It is a true sign of addiction if you want to justify people driving even as they literally kill and maim millions.



    I’m a lot more offended by you saying that other citizens should have “accidents” where 90 year olds run over people on the sidewalk because you think they should be able to live somewhere it’s not feasible for them to live.

    The 90 year old who put 5 people in the hospital didn’t think he posed an immediate danger. He was wrong. His judgement has failed him – and failed society.