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  1.  

    Duane

    You people have your head in the clouds. Most of you are probably too young to remember just how functional those elevated freeways were. Be destroying them all that traffic is now on the streets. Also those elevated freeways connected to traffic arteries…Oak, Fell, Gough, Broadway. SF still has those arteries but they don’t connect to anything so you have gridlock especially along Market. And you guys are doing the best you can to destroy the few remaining arteries by stuffing more bike lanes onto streets that were designed as expressways. In the end your good intentions are kind of making a mess of everything.

  2.  

    hp2ena

    Private vehicles does not necessarily include delivery vehicles. In other words, delivery vehicles would continue to be allowed on Stockton, so long as they are not blocking the street.

    As for the Portsmouth Square Garage, I’m sure it can be easily reconfigured so it can be approached from the north. Actually, reconfiguring the garage would be beneficial, as this would emphasize any remaining traffic to come from the north side (either via the Broadway Tunnel or through the Financial District), alleviating congestion from the south. Then again, if this TDM is implemented, I’m sure there will be fewer people driving into Chinatown unless they really have to.

  3.  

    Duane

    For the most part I hate your blog….this however is a great idea. Powell is such a mess might as well go all the way with it and get rid of the cars. However….where you get a major F in your platform is you propose ideas but fail to suggest improvements for auto traffic flow. You live with this fixation on improved bus and bike flow and totally ignore the fact that there are still cars. SF needs a few more expressways….we have them….Fell, Oak, Pine, Bush to name a few….but you guys want it all. You want mess with the auto express ways and slow them down too. PS…..for all you who rejoice over the destruction of the elevated freeways…..did it ever once occur to you just how much auto traffic those freeways (which also connected to the expressways) held? For example…..look at the huge mess that happens every day in Hays Gulch. In the days pre-earthquake, that daily jam never happened and Hays Gulch had far far far fewer cars than it does now.

  4.  

    Duane

    Last time I checked there is a multi-use path up on the hill. PS….there is no point in changing lanes….lights are set for 35MPH.

  5.  

    Duane

    What are you talking about? It is a parking lot for people to access the beach. If you don’t like it….you could always move to Hawaii or Miami Beach or San Diego. We will not mind one bit. (PS….I wonder how you feel about the fake turf debate?)

  6.  

    Duane

    I just want to know how many minutes does it take for the SPUR designers to access the freeways in their neighborhoods? Next, how far away do they live from the area they hope to “improve”. Do any of them actually live in SF? Do any of them actually live in the Sunset District? Do us all a favor and take your “experience of the ocean” and go back to LA. Create your “experience” in Venice Beach or Santa Monica and leave our beach alone. It has been fine for hundreds of years and does not need you or your stupid plan. The most recent “improvement” plan destroyed the Cliff House. The plan before that destroyed Lands Ends. You guys can never make up your minds. You want eliminate parking downtown where it is needed and you want to build parking lots where plenty of parking already exists out along Ocean Beach. And all this talk about Access to Ocean Beach…..last I checked….there is always access and the beach is never full. This is not Miami or LA or San Diego…..and we

  7.  

    Duane

    THIS PLAN SUCKS. God help us there should be another disaster in SF. The streets now are such a mess from all this so called “calming” people would be hard pressed to get out of here in a disaster. All this calming is complete BS and it is actually make SF a far more dangerous place to drive as drivers now are either confused or fed up so they are ignoring tons of rules of the road. The “calming” will be getting people killed before too long.

  8.  

    Duane

    SF DPW needs to stop painting road strips while drunk and high. If I were to drive down a street and make the same movements as what is currently being painted on the streets but the strips were NOT there, I would be pulled over for either reckless driving.

  9.  

    murphstahoe

    Can we assume by your apologist nature here that the pedestrian killed by Chris Bucchere has nobody to blame but himself?

  10.  

    Andy Chow

    I don’t think the merchants would go along with that since many of them have daily deliveries. Making Kearny two ways create several issues: Unless 3rd Street is made two ways, traffic would have to divert to Sutter, Geary, or Market to get back to Stockton. With the current configuration of the parking garage at Portsmouth Square, northbound traffic from Kearny would have to cross the opposite traffic to access the garage. Making it less safe, and even less likely to get support from Chinatown.

    There should be a study of traffic impact and impact on pedestrian safety if the Stockton Tunnel is closed to automobiles. Other streets have more intersections and therefore more interactions between autos and pedestrians. Stockton avoids crossing major streets like California, Pine, and Bush. Fewer intersections, better safety.

  11.  

    MrEricSir

    Let’s send Willie Brown a bill for his share of this debacle.

  12.  

    hp2ena

    A closure of Stockton to private vehicles could be achieved. First, Chinatown stakeholders must work with the transit agency to develop a TDM plan to reduce automobile traffic. Some ideas: seeing many residents come to Chinatown from neighborhoods like the Sunset, and even the East Bay, Peninsula, and South Bays, transit access from these neighborhoods to Chinatown must be improved (direct routes or better-coordinated transfers, etc). Then, make Kearny two-way so it becomes the primary vehicle conduit to and from Chinatown. Both of these would reduce traffic into Chinatown significantly.

  13.  

    hp2ena

    The Stockton Tunnel was built originally for Muni streetcars.

  14.  

    roymeo

  15.  

    roymeo

    When does this open up for Public use, not just the Public Relations use? @andy_thornley:disqus ?

  16.  

    Michael Mathews

    While I’m happy to work with cyclists so that I can cross and they can keep going, I don’t really want even minor injuries when I’m out running errands, thank you.

  17.  

    jd_x

    “Sharing” implies that we all have something to share. Look down any road of your choice and tell me what percent of it is dominated by cars and what is left for pedestrians, and even worse, cyclists (who, if they are lucky, get a lane squeezed between fast-moving and parked cars). This whole “share the road” thing is BS: you can’t share what you don’t have. The sharing needs to be done by motorists, especially since their chosen form of transit causes the most death and injury, the most pollution, the most wear and tear on the road, and contributes to the obesity epidemic. It’s nuts to take that status quo which was entirely designed around the car and then try to appropriate the idea of sharing to defend this anachronistic mentality as people start to question the status quo. Cars are simply not the same as pedestrians and cyclists and it’s high time we stop pretending like they are somehow all equal in the way they are treated in our current urban design.

  18.  

    M.

  19.  

    Andy Chow

    Stockton is the main route for southbound traffic leaving Chinatown. Kearny and Grant are one way northbound only. Powell is not an alternative considering it is up a steep hill and has cable cars. Because of the tunnel, it might be safer than having cars to detour 3 blocks east to Montgomery and back. The same drive from Chinatown (Clay/Stockton) to Union Square (Post/Stockton) has only 2 intersections while has 11 intersections if it is detoured to Montgomery. 2 interactions with pedestrians vs 11. I think it is obvious which is a safer route.

  20.  

    M.

    Flood might be interested to know that in probably all of the European cities she visited, the initial proposals for no-vehicle zones were met with varying degrees of resistance that were listened to thence over-ridden. Now, those zones are thriving more than ever; loading gets done sans issues; tourism booms (hello, SF?); high-end retailers, cheek-by-jowl with more modest establishments, still ‘manage’ to turn robust profits; and guess what? People love the promenades, have forgotten any reservations they may have had, and all is forgiven. Done and dusted.

  21.  

    the_greasybear

    And the local Republican Party. And a techie billionaire or two. Strange bedfellows, to be sure–is there any way to appeal to the union to change its position?

  22.  

    NoeValleyJim

    The video clearly shows Amelie proceeding down the street and then a truck entering the video frame later. He obviously overtook her and struck her with the side of his truck. There is no other possible explanation for the sequence of events. Anyone who saw that video and the physical evidence would conclude the same thing.

  23.  

    murphstahoe

    Good point. The MUNI buses can stay.

  24.  

    murphstahoe

    Read it again. If a car is making a right turn where a bike lane is present an the bike hits the car in the side, the driver has violated CVC 21717 – regardless of who is “at fault” for the collusion.

    And you’ve see the video – the truck was not stopped.

    Forget manslaughter charges – there are numerous CVC violations that are appropriate. How is it the DPT can issue all sorts of specious parking tickets but the violations here don’t merit a traffic citation – which again is not going to a jury…

  25.  

    NoeValleyJim

    You “represent” them? Does that mean you are a lawyer? How often is anyone actually charged in San Francisco for injuring or killing someone with their car? As far as I can tell, you are only charged if drunk or involved in a hit and run.

  26.  

    RoyTT

    So your proposed solution is to ban vehicles from a tunnel whose sole purpose is to convey vehicles?

  27.  

    RoyTT

    murph, it would still be the cyclist’s fault if a moving cyclist hit a non-moving vehicle from the rear, side or front because, by definition, if you hit a vehicle that has stopped, it is your fault.

    I’m not saying this was the case here, only that such an example would refute your claim that there is no counter-example.

    Your argument seems to be that if there is an accident involving a bike that is in a bike lane, then that cyclist must be 100% blameless and the other vehicle must be 100% at fault.

    You may find comfort in such axioms but our legal system doesn’t work that way. We require actual credible evidence of wrongdoing and not just a over-reaching generalization that something “must be” the driver’s fault. If you made such a statement during “voir dire” you would be thrown off the jury pool for bias.

    Your original point was that the video provides such evidence. Having seen the same video, this potential juror would disagree with you. That driver may be guilty but the case has not been made.

    Whether this driver is more provably guilty remains to be seen. But again, the fact that a person is hit on a crosswalk does not, ipso fact, make the driver guilty any more than if a cyclist who is hit was in a bike lane (to also answer 94103′s query about relevance).

  28.  

    Gezellig

    Oh yeah, that definitely makes sense! And to be clear I don’t have any problem with any individual person deciding to wear a helmet; my problem is with how problematic Helmet Culture is. I think we cannot overlook the importance of cognitive framing. Interested But Concerneds in SF constantly see Mr. Mushroom Head:

    http://greentickle.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/bike-lane-biker-stencil.jpg

    Messages conveyed?

    –> biking is for Brave Athletic People with Special Gear, not Normal People Like Me.

    –> biking is dangerous, not something Normal People Like Me who value their safety do.

    –> biking is for road-warrior dudes hunched down over their handlebars, not Normal People Like Me.

    –> oh, and Mr. Mushroom Head *is* almost definitely a dude. Goodbye other 50% of population.

    This one’s definitely a dude, too:

    http://bostonbiker.org/files/2012/10/A5AobPWCcAAtk7T.jpg-large.jpg

    :p

    “NO EXCUSES. BIKING IS CRAAAAZY DANGEROUS, GUYS….but the city would reaaaaally like you to try it, so pretty please give it a shot?”

    Compare to this more serene, neutral depiction:

    http://www.americantrails.org/photoGalleries/cool/11images/17.jpg

    Which would you rather do?

    This may sound overly picky but this cognitive-framing stuff absolutely matters! (ask George Lakoff about how many people successfully Don’t Think of an Elephant when told).

    Anyway, as I write this I’m looking out onto Market and Polk. Of the constant flow of people on bikes here I’d say more than half are helmetless. With more normalization of the activity, it’ll probably become more.

    And more people biking more places (agnostic to their helmet status) is something that will *actually* make us all safer. :)

  29.  

    SF Guest

    If you read my blogs correctly I never stated or implied the victim came out of nowhere. Nice try! To characterize my posts as placing the blame on the victim is also a mischaracterization. I offered a very simple solution to make this intersection safer. If this blog site caters to a certain way of thinking for a select majority and my views don’t coincide does that make my views wrong or politically disfavorable? Based on the replies i would say that’s the case.

    If this blog site’s intent is to persecute those who operate motor vehicles it succeeds in that regard so if this blog is close-minded towards minority reviews I will more than gladly bow out.

  30.  

    94103er

    Oh and to answer the question about the buttons on Market–they do nothing during hours most of us are awake and traveling about, but maybe in the middle of the night the signals become actuated. Not sure.

  31.  

    94103er

    And what a high bar indeed–pedestrians need ‘clairvoyance,’ or at the very least ‘eyes that have grown on the back on the head,’ as so many pedestrian & cyclist deaths recently were the result of right hooks or run over by left-turners. And don’t forget the other three recent cases in which victims were too short (two adults, one child). So let’s add ‘needing to grow taller’ to the list too!

  32.  

    murphstahoe

    the way to make that intersection safer is to restrict motor vehicles from Stockton. QED.

  33.  

    murphstahoe

    My problem with this is that we have concluded that since drivers are incapable of practicing common sense when driving, an undue burden is placed upon pedestrians to mitigate this lack of common sense.

  34.  

    94103er

    “rural cities” — right, whatever. This guy has clearly never traveled anywhere bc beg buttons are standard in pretty much every city except SF and NYC.

  35.  

    murphstahoe

    Those are all legitimate situations but they all require that when moving across the bike lane – that the bike lane isn’t occupied! Le Moullac was in the bike lane, the truck enters the bike lane, collision – truck at fault.

    If the collision happened in the intersection – then unless Le Moullac rear ended the truck, then the truck violated CVC 21717, it would be impossible for Le Moullac to pass the truck on the right and get hit in the intersection if the truck was properly merged into the bike lane.

    Your example of a cyclist colliding with a truck stopped mid-turn could be valid – if and only if the cyclist hit the vehicle in the rear end, otherwise the vehicle has violated CVC 21717 – in this case the cyclist is guilty of a rear end collision. We do know that the impact between Le Moullac and the truck was not Le Moullac hitting the rear end of the truck – she went *under* the truck.

  36.  

    94103er

    You’re derailing the topic at hand while making false conclusions (with completely incorrect facts btw) via false assumptions about something that happened over a year ago in a totally different part of town.

    Think it’s ’bout time we started a ‘time-out’ corner for commenters like this….

  37.  

    94103er

    If you’d read the supplemental CBS article, it says a witness saw this driver impatiently hit the gas while waiting for the woman to cross the street. Not even close to ‘came out of nowhere’–actually watching her cross and then gunning his oversized motor thinking he’d sneak in just behind her.

    But please, continue victim-blaming for your own entertainment (elsewhere, preferably).

  38.  

    94103er

    It most certainly is right because the SFPD pretty much never does this, which tells you there was a whole heap of damning evidence against this guy. The most important two-fold bit of evidence being that this is (a) a crowded intersection and (b) someone is dead. This means without a doubt this guy was going at an unsafe speed.

    Really, why do you have a problem with someone being jailed when someone dies? He still has a right to an attorney, a fair trial, a normal life if he’s exonerated. It’s never made sense that you can get thrown in the can immediately for shooting someone (or not shooting someone, but being accused of it at least) but not for killing someone with your car.

    Please, don’t make me trot out the Chris Bucchere example to illustrate to you how silly it is we’re even having this discussion.

  39.  

    RoyTT

    There are a number of legitimate situations where a vehicle may enter a bike lane, such as when entering or leaving a driveway or parking space and, pertinently, when making a right turn. In fact, the latter is required.

    Moreover if the impact happened in an intersection, there is no bike lane there.

    Another counter-example would be where the vehicle was stopped mid-turn and a moving cyclist collided.

    So a jury would not convict without real evidence of a crime. A mere inference such as you make is inadequate. In fact there was a case yesterday where a moving cyclist hit a stopped vehicle.

  40.  

    coolbabybookworm

    Thanks for the well written and thought out post. I hope to one day live in a California where helmets are not necessary for most riders because bike riding is so common and safe, the way it is in many parts of Europe. For the present I wear a helmet while riding in SF in case I am involved in a collision, I feel like I’ll receive better treatment from the police/media/insurance/judge/jury than if I didn’t have a helmet.

  41.  

    NoeValleyJim

    Claire Zvanski seems hellbent on weakening and isolating her union, I can’t imagine why. The thought that a Union would line up with the Libertarian Party really stretches belief.

  42.  

    Gezellig

    The jury is still out on how helpful helmets really are. There’s a pretty interesting TED Talk on this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07o-TASvIxY

    The English-speaking world’s almost singularly obsessive fixation with helmet culture–either by mandatory laws or by social pressure–does seem to cognitively frame bicycling as a far more dangerous activity than it really is…and is more than a tad victim-shamey (as are many pedestrian-safety campaigns which also don’t question the dangerous-driving status quo).

    According to the National Safety Council, an American’s lifetime odds of dying from the following causes, for some perspective:

    -> 1 in 7 Americans will die of heart disease/cancer
    -> 1 in 29 will die of respiratory disease
    -> 1 in 152 will die from a fall
    -> 1 in 492 will die in a car
    -> 1 in 723 will die as a pedestrian
    -> 1 in 3,648 will die choking
    -> 1 in 4,974 will die on a bicycle

    (source: http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/injury_and_death_statistics/Documents/2014-Injury-Facts-43.pdf)

    Of course, you might add, surely that’s because so few Americans bicycle. That’s undeniable, but if you adjust and compare the activity of bicycling per capita per hour vs. the activity of driving per capita per hour, their rates actually seem to be about the same:

    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/

    Still definitely room for improvement, for sure, yet how many people who drive often, rarely eat their vegetables or exercise and smoke a few cigs here and there still chastise their friends for biking because they sincerely believe “it’s really dangerous”…? That’s a cultural belief not really backed up by actual data.

    The unfortunate thing about helmet culture is that it tends put the onus on the most vulnerable instead of questioning the status quo where drivers get to drive with impunity.

    Helmet culture inadvertently brands biking as much more dangerous than it really is, which discourages ridership, which makes it actually less safe than it could be. Meanwhile it can lead to a sense of false security on the part of the helmet-wearer and drivers, who’ve been shown to drive more recklessly around helmet-clad people than otherwise.

    There seem to be a lot of unintended macro consequences of helmet-centric culture that ultimately hurt the bigger picture of bicycling.

    Anyway, as for Market, I find cars tend to go so slow and stop so often I personally am barely concerned about them (though obviously I prefer the protected sections and definitely wish they continued the whole way). I’m more concerned with all the grates, streetcar tracks, potholes/cracks, etc. I have to navigate.

    Indeed, last week I fell for the first time in years due to a big unexpected pothole around dusk on an unfamiliar stretch kind of similar to Market St. in Seattle (which I was visiting). I would’ve benefited far more from elbow and knee pads than the helmet I was wearing (Seattle has an all-ages helmet law so despite my distaste for them I didn’t wanna be harassed by the popo). Or, ya know, also benefited from a city that maintained its roads better.

  43.  

    jd_x

    “there has to be reasonable doubt when someone’s liberty is at stake.”

    And what about somebody’s (Amelie’s) life, as well as the pain for her family and friends? Don’t you think that, especially in light of the fact that there is simply no way overtaking a cyclist in a bike lane and right-hooking then is legal, is worth more than this guy’s “liberty” to drive?

    Of course, we’re getting off topic, but it is this same bias towards the motorist that we saw with Amelie and now with Pei Fong Yim that prevents us from making our cities safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

  44.  

    murphstahoe

    Traffic citations aren’t liberty. Driving is a privilege, not a right.

    If there is a bike lane, there is no way a right turning vehicle can make a proper, legal right hand turn and hit a cyclist. Period. There is no counter example.

  45.  

    RoyTT

    murph, if that video is the same one that was shown on TV at the time then it’s inconclusive as to what really happened, for at least three reasons.

    First, the footage at the point of impact was redacted so as not to upset the family. Fair enough but it makes it hard to assess what really happened as that requires inference rather than observation.

    I assume that the DA has seen the un-redacted footage, however.

    Second, the vantage point of the camera is kitty corner, meaning that as the truck made its right turn, it hid the cyclist from view and, again, requires inference rather than perception.

    Third, the footage was grainy and indistinct.

    My guess is that the DA would go with it if it was a slam dunk case for a jury but, absent that, there has to be reasonable doubt when someone’s liberty is at stake.

  46.  

    SF Guest

    You are correct I am not one of the 100s hit by a car, and it’s due to practicing common sense which is to look both ways and be aware of my surroundings while crossing and not to assume cars see me.

    I believe if every pedestrian adopted my practice AND the SFMTA did its job it formerly did when they were known as the Department of Parking & Traffic by having PCO’s direct traffic at major intersections the fatality rate would be greatly reduced.

  47.  

    NoeValleyJim

    You must not be one of the 21 pedestrians killed by a car last year. Or one of the hundreds badly injured. The DA refused to prosecute unless there was a hit and run or the driver was drunk or otherwise impaired.

  48.  

    SF Guest

    As I pointed out the Sacramento/Stockton intersection can be made much safer simply by changing the signals to feature pedestrian-only lights just like the neighboring intersections along Stockton Street. For reasons unknown they never changed Sacramento & Stockton to match Clay, Washington, Jackson and Pacific at Stockton.

    When you cross the other Stockton intersections all cars are halted so pedestrians don’t worry about cars. This isn’t the case at Stockton and Sacramento, so to assume cars see you coming up a blind hill is a poor assumption.

  49.  

    David Salaverry

    “… a de facto tax on implied but unrealized wealth. Just because the properties may have doubled in value… does not mean that the cash is lying around to pay twice the taxes. And do we really want the developer cutting corners …Would that signal the end of the mooted rooftop park? Safety compromises? Quality of finish?”

    Straw man arguments. RAISE THE RENT! San Francisco is the premier location for office space. In the libertarian market fundamentalist economy of RoyTT’s dream, the market makes the necessary adjustments. If the corporate renters don’t want to pay, don’t build.

    The developers ploy to lower their costs is pure crony capitalism. You can be sure crony capitalism is at work when Natty Prince Willie is in the house.

  50.  

    Nicasio Nakamine

    After Leslie Griffith’s mysterious disappearance and Dennis Richmond’s retirement, I just don’t care anymore. I’ll still turn it on for background noise in the morning sometimes – but I wouldn’t say I’m actually watching.