Skip to content

Recent Comments



    Nice trolling Jimbo. In 2011 in the US, more than 650 children 12 years and younger died as occupants in cars and more than 148,000 were injured. Why aren’t you telling parents who drive their kids around in cars that they are intentionally endangering their children?


    Andy Chow

    How much is because of the unusually dry and warm weather during the last few months?


    Dave Moore

    Are there stats to support that statement? I’m thinking of risk of death or serious injury per trip, or mile, or minute comparing different choices specifically in San Francisco. I would be surprised to find out that bicycle travel on city streets is safer. But I’ve been surprised before. I’d like to see some data.



    Was always curious why the red, inbound transit only lane starts after the intersection. Anyone have insights?

    Seems starting the red lane right away might be a better cue for unauthorized drivers to head south on 10th (or send more drivers through the green lane gauntlet despite the soft-hit posts).


    Jym Dyer

    @Jimbo – It is far more dangerous to put a child in a car.



    Peñalosa…Name rings a bell. Ah yes, the inspiring woman shunned by her illustrious family who overcame to rise to prominence as a world-famous specialist in Zero Vision complicated by Electile Dysfunction.



    I was thinking….wasn’t this the goal all along? Why hire a physician when sustainable transportation planners and advocates have been striving for this the entire time?
    …..then I realized….April 1st!



    Ha ha! Nice. Sure hope Mayor Lee’s optometrist will be named the new Vision Zero coordinator.



    Bravo to Mayor Ed Lee, who once again demonstrates his powerful leadership skills by quickly helping San Francisco acheive sustainable transit and safer streets!

    Considering that he’s already solved the housing crisis, fixed homelessness, and Muni is now fully-funded and operating 100% on-time, I’m astonished he has the time and energy to also be so incredibly effective at championing Vision Zero, too!

    Woo! Hoo! Where can I get a campaign poster?!?



    Out of everything on the internet THIS was the thing that got me for April Fools. Blargh.


    Mesozoic Polk

    At first I was really excited by the idea of an Ed Lee doctor as transportation administrator. (The optometrist Hiura is fantastic — so visionary! — and really should be swapped in for Ed Reiskin ASAP.) But then things really went off the rails at: “…we can’t have so much space devoted to parking and car traffic.” Drivers and cars are not the enemy. We are just trying to live our lives and get from place to place in a calm, law-abiding fashion (as opposed to cyclists).


    Thomas Rogers

    Ah, if only this post arrived on a day other than 4/1! :)



    Okay, thanks for the clarification. That sounds much more reasonable. We’ll be in touch.



    I heard that they’re about to release an upgrade that will give you a physically protected bike lane. But you have to pay $3.99 for the pro version.


    Kit Hodge

    Hi joechoj,

    Thanks for the feedback. To clarify, our test ride service brings a bike of your choice to your home, on your schedule. The service includes fitting, overview and hands on coaching for you and your children (and other adult riders). It’s not your typical test ride experience.

    We understand that a family bike can be a big investment. For that reason we provide the bikes we sell and lease as full packages (no missing fenders or lights, appropriate brakes and electric assists for SF, etc) at unusually good, discounted prices. We hope that you’ll give our services a try. But in any event, thank you for the feedback, and for your passion for biking!

    Co-Founder, Vie Bikes



    I am for traffic calming measures, more crosswalks, and whatever needed to fix the issues, but if you cross a multi lane street in the middle with traffic in both directions you’re really being stupid. I don’t know how many near accidents I’ve seen with pedestrians running across Divisadero with no attention to the traffic. Yes, that street has an awful design and it needs to be fixed. However, that doesn’t change the fact that running into such a situation is careless and insane.



    The article doesn’t say if it’s texting vs. just hands-free phone use, which makes a very large difference since texting has about a 2300% increase in risk while hands-free phone use has maybe a 30% increase in risk. Also, if you note where the locations for high phone use are, they are near freeway entrances or exits, and this makes some sense. Generally, when I’m entering the city, I’m making a call or sending a voice2text message to let people know where I am or coordinate what I’m doing. Same goes for when I’m leaving somewhere. However, what we really need to know is who the people are that they are monitoring? Clearly they must be fleet drivers of some sort, and perhaps their job has some reason for them to be communicating as they enter or leave the city? We don’t know, and probably won’t know, because this is a blog post and not a peer-reviewed scientific paper.



    Seconded. They give no background on what constituted “distracted” – when I drive I frequently have my phone on GPS mode in a little holster – am I a “distracted driver” compared to someone who was a GPS router or has it built into their vehicle?



    I rather question some of the methodology used in creating this, because it sounds like big data fishiness to me, at least on first glance. (By which I mean, when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, i.e., I have only have data on these two factors, so clearly they must be correlated.) Rather, I look at their maps and think, if there are high-risk areas on Division/Duboce St. for bicyclists, are those risks really due to distracted driving? Or is it more likely that they are due to a combination of high traffic, high merging/lane changing, and narrow roads with no biking infrastructure?

    Furthermore, if you check out the Zendrive blog post on how they created this map (, you’ll notice that the map for cell phone use and the map for biking risk due to cell phone use, are more or less a 1:1 correlation. However, when comparing the biking risk due distraction and the frequency of bike accidents maps, they are not highly correlated. The red dots for biking risk due to cell phone distraction do not overlap with the red dots for top 10 accident spots. This tells me that distraction might not be the key cause of biking crashes, and in fact, distraction is only coded as a factor in about 16 percent of crashes (according to NHTSA), so that leave the field of crash causes quite open.



    April is Illusion of Safety Awareness Month.



    To say that these types of roads encourage cell-phone use sounds like a theory. Maybe cell-phone use is higher on those streets because there are many more drivers on a four lane arterial than a two lane neighborhood street.


    Andy Chow

    I think Amtrak would only be interested in something that is implemented on a nation scale rather than the state.

    Generally a carrier does not provide information about other carriers unless there’s a partnership. Amtrak for example don’t include intercity buses (which is its biggest competitor and feeder) except those designated as a Thruway feeder. Greyhound shows non-Greyhound routes that connect with its system but not those competing with the company. Airlines only show what they operate and what they have partnered with (codeshare routes).

    Private companies (including major travel sites) can combine and integrate different information to provide a more complete picture. At the same time, there are many smaller companies that can provide intercity transportation (including train and airport access) that run on an on-demand basis.



    Strype is awesome. We can all rest easy now, the war has been won by an ap.



    Yes, presumably we need disincentives to ride during peak hours if we want the transit systems in general to be more evenly utilized rather than always planning for a very high peak demand.



    No question – the results are very intriguing!


    Aaron Bialick

    I’m waiting on an inquiry with Zendrive for any info on distinction between passengers. As for traffic volumes, there do seem to be known corridors with heavy car traffic that aren’t highlighted with a commensurate level of phone use. The data does seem to have some meaningful distinction from traffic patterns.



    Amtrak doesn’t really promote travel from SJ-SF so I doubt there is anyone who feels ripped off. Those making that trip are locals who know to take Caltrain, and those who make the connection at Emeryville to San Francisco are generally coming from a much greater distance than San Jose.



    The HQ probably doesn’t know Caltrain exists.



    Well, the actual solution to this problem is for a state agency such as Caltrans or CalSTA to create a ticket purchasing website that combines HSR, Capital Corridor, San Joaquins, Pacific Surfliner, ACE, Caltrain, Metrolink, and Coaster all together under one ticketing system. (Arguably you could include BART as well, though as a metro system it’s something of a different animal.) This agency would also regulate the fares, coordinate schedules, and provide a coherent branding for all California rail services. This sort of arrangement is pretty common in Europe.



    Dropped off gently at a car dealership. Everybody wins!



    Passengers? How many people actually carry passengers?



    The study “FAQ” is here:

    Not entirely clear the exact methodology they used. How do you know a driver is using the phone and not a passenger? Also, some (not all – see Van Ness) of these results closely follow traffic volumes. More driving means more phone use.



    This! Not too far a stretch from the exterior pedestrian air bags Google is talking up for their (supposedly safe) self-driving cars.



    Great, one more expense for your hardworking Uber/Lyft driver.

    Why does SF hate innovation?



    Nowhere does it mention Zendrive’s methodology for distinguishing drivers from passengers.



    Because when a vendor promotes an inferior product (a 3X longer journey) for a greater price customers eventually find out they have been ripped off and lose confidence. I could understand keeping customers on your system if your product was fairly close, maybe +- 50% in quality. But here Amtrak’s product is 600% worse on price/performance.

    Compare this to how Germany’s Die Bahn ( openly and fairly reports routing on competing networks.

    I doubt that Amtrak is concerned about Caltran stealing customers on SJ-SF runs. More likely the HQ is either apathetic or unwilling to make the website changes. I’ll bet if you went up to the Amtrak counter in San Jose and asked for a ticket to SF, they would point you to the Caltrain ticket machine and discourage you from using Amtrak for that journey. In fact I’ll give it a try next time I’m there.



    this would also be great to do with bicycles who are in the wrong place. first we need to get all bicycles registered with a license plate on them so we can report those breaking the law



    Why would the Amtrak website send fare paying customers to another transit agency? They would lose revenue if they did that. It would be like the Safeway website referring customers to Lucky’s because Lucky’s had the same item for a cheaper price.



    Although the Capitol Corridor does sell BART tickets at a discount.


    Marven Norman

    Why limit it to SF? Every transit agency in the state should be encouraging their local legislator(s) to sign on.


    Alex Brideau III

    Bring this to LA!



    Interesting. US-101 is at capacity. Do we need disincentives to drive on US-101?



    I think the best way to give Hiura Optometrists feedback is through a Yelp review. People should know this business puts their interests ahead of pedestrians and cyclists.



    If Caltrain and BART are nearing capacity then presumably some day we will need disincentives to ride public transit.



    Vehicles driving or parking in bus or bike lanes should be plucked off the street by helicopter and dropped in the sea.



    Your comment neglects the fact that the frequency for Caltrain to Santa Clara is 30 minutes peak, 1 hour off peak. And it’s not even “every 30 minutes” – it’s 2 trains an hour that are 20 minutes apart and for the closest origins – Lawrence/Sunnyvale/MV/San Antonio/Cal Ave the frequency is hourly even on peak. Frankly if I am from Redwood City, I’m probably using SFO.

    If it’s going to be an airport connection from Caltrain, it should be an airport connection from Caltrain, and run from Diridon, only from Diridon, only to the airport, and be timed to Caltrain. They can save money by running it hourly midday I guess – modulo if they need to meet the one capitol corridor train.

    As it is, it seems like it’s just sort of a hybrid that gives marginal service to everyone.

    If it’s supposed to serve random areas of Santa Clara and downtown San Jose, why isn’t it a regular route (and not free)?



    Glad they’re not reducing the VTA 10. 15 minutes is a bare minimum for a flyer — half an hour is just painful. The new VTA 11 is good for people flying in to stay in a hotel in downtown, but it’s sad that diridon connection continues to be an afterthought.



    Similarly they put you on that bus if you are coming from Sacramento – instead of the trival connection to BART in Richmond.



    POLK STREET BICYCLE BATTLE…Julie Christensen’s past positions on tenant protections and waterfront development appear to be an obstacle to her convincing D3 voters she is on their side in the November election. But she might get somewhere if she does the right thing for Polk Street.



    While a nice idea because it means I could put a camera on my bike to keep drivers out of the bike lane, it could open up fraudulent tickets via “photoshop.” Additionally as I understand it, you have the right to make an appeal in traffic court where you can meet the person charging you. In this case presumably a normal citizen can’t go around writing tickets and there would be no enforcement offer who could show up to testify against you.