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  1.  

    spencerfleury

    I don’t think any cyclist is going to disagree with that. The devil is in defining what makes a “bad cyclist.”

  2.  

    NoeValleyJim

    The percentages are different for all commuters vs. San Francisco commuters. If you are just looking at the number of bikes on the road, the percentages are more in line with what you are saying.

  3.  

    Dave Moore

    Sorry, I misread the chart above. That 7% refers to fatal injuries not pedestrian injuries. There’s another figure quoted that is about pedestrian injuries that says that 4% involved bicycles.

    According to the SFMTA’s 2011-2012 Collision Report [PDF] (the latest available), in 2011, “There were 31 bicycle-pedestrian collisions, which constitute about 4 percent of injury pedestrian collisions.”

    I drive my scooter down Folsom most days and I don’t see anything like what you’re describing.

    I would estimate it at about 20:1 car to bike. Maybe it’s a time of day thing.

  4.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out. It seems like a different slide then the one I read recently about total trips in SF, another SFMTA report.

  5.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    Thanks, NoeValleyJim! Appreciate it.

  6.  

    NoeValleyJim

    I am sorry you got hit.

  7.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    Agree with most of your second paragraph, I do. But the stats show that an individual cyclist is now as likely to cause a pedestrian injury, or a collision, as a motor vehicle driver, even if the result may be less lethal. They are far fewer cyclists, so their danger is not as obvious in the totals. But dangerous cyclists shouldn’t get a pass, either.

  8.  

    NoeValleyJim

    You are incorrect.

    https://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/2013%20Bike%20Count%20Report.pdf

    “Increase Bicycle Mode Share from 3.5% in 2012″

    From 2012-2014 there was a 13% increase in cycling since then. 3.5 * 1.12 – 3.995 which is as close to 4 as you are going to get.

  9.  

    NoeValleyJim

    Where do you get the idea that 7% of pedestrian injuries are caused by cyclists? If that were true, it would definitely justify all sorts of crackdowns on cyclists. I think you might have misinterpreted some other data.

    It is funny that your perception is that less than 4% of road traffic is cyclists, because I see much much more on my route. I travel Valencia -> 17th Street – > Folsom to work and there are always more cyclists than cars on that route. There was a massive increase in cyclists after the LeMoullac lane went in on Folsom and now there are more cyclists than cars at every red light. There are also more cyclists than cars on Market and through the Wiggle. The MTA estimates that 10-15% of all trips in The Mission are by bicycle, so if you want to see some, swing by there.

    Cyclists tend to have shorter trips than cars but move more slowly, so without hard data it is hard to know which way that would push things as far as total road time. It really doesn’t make any difference. If cyclists tended to make shorter, safer trips, this would be a good thing right?

    The ACS data is the best that we have, and it is actually pretty strong. Some of the newer GPS technology, like the Strada data or the Waze data would be nice to look at, but I am sure that costs money, if it is available at all.

  10.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    Both the bad cyclists and the bad drivers should be cited.

  11.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    Now you’re lumping near-deaths in with your near-misses, Bob!

  12.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    SFMTA’s 4% trip figure is for the entire other category, including bikes, motorcycles, scooters, taxis, and rideshare. I would not be surprised if the commute trip % is slightly higher overall, since a lot of cycling in the city seems to be to get into the downtown core. My point stays the same even if the percentage is plus or minus a little bit.

  13.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    It doesn’t bother me, but it is too bad that SFPD won’t concentrate on ticketing egregious behaviour instead of conducting stings. Cops seem to love stings because it is easier and gets the citation numbers up quickly. The chances of anyone getting a citation outside a sting operation is way too low, and contributes to the danger and chaos every user experiences on the streets.

  14.  

    Bob Gunderson

    Get that asshole who knocked you down into an SUV and we wouldn’t be talking about this problem.

  15.  

    Bob Gunderson

    So true! Why can’t people understand this? It’s practically staring them in the face.

  16.  

    Jamison Wieser

    Car and Bikes need to share the road…

    I completely agree. The widespread, antagonistic behavior of many motorists is completely unacceptable. I wish more motorists would obey the traffic laws, and be respectful of fellow road users by not using the bike lanes as parking.

    I don’t find it surprising in the least that so many cyclists flee to the sidewalk when drivers won’t share the road. Sidewalk riding on Oak fell to almost nothing when the protected bike lane was installed.

  17.  

    Mountain Viewer

    Hmm, even in Idaho, red lights are treated as stop signs (not yield signs).

  18.  

    Dave Moore

    I’ve never been able to find an accurate metric that estimates road usage. The one you quote is about commute mode share. It doesn’t tell us how long people are on the road or what it’s like at any other time of day. The approach is also a bit questionable, as it uses a very small number of samples. Also it counts pedestrian trips in the denominator so if you’re really looking at the split of cars vs bikes the bike share would be higher.

    For this kind of thing I think we’d like something that tells us how much time people using each spend on the streets, because it would help estimate the risk and where time should be spent on deterrence. But as far as I can tell that data doesn’t exist. My eyeballs say it’s lower than that 3.8%. I look around at I see fewer than 4 bikes for every hundred cars. But of course that’s close to meaningless, as it’s dependent on where I travel (walking, driving, scooter). I do it on high cycling routes though like Oak / Fell or Folsom and I still think the numbers are relatively low.

    Also, these numbers are very course grained. We would really want to know about road-minutes for each share in areas and times that there are a lot of pedestrians. If it’s true that 7% of pedestrian injuries are caused by bicycles I think it argues that spending some (not all, some) time on cyclist education & deterrence is reasonable. I can’t say if what the police are specifically doing is effective though. In general I think the best form of deterrence comes from people being afraid they’ll be caught doing something wrong. And I think that comes from them hearing about friends getting caught. So maybe that’s what they’re doing. Or maybe they’re just grandstanding to make it look like they’re doing something.

  19.  

    BBnet3000

    the cyclists are the ones militant about blowing stops and cutting right in front of me in crosswalks

    How does it make you feel that SFPD isn’t going after those people and are instead ticketing considerate people who yield to pedestrians but roll through red lights when it is clear to do so?

  20.  

    BBnet3000

    Cars and bikes are not the same thing no matter how many times you repeat this nonsense.

  21.  

    Richard Rothman

    Car and Bikes need to share the road all need to be license and enforcement has to been the same for everyone. All street traffic need to yield to ped crossing the street.

  22.  

    Justin

    Got to say this is one of the BEST civil obedience protest here in San Francisco I’ve seen. The people on their bikes complied with the laws, so motorists shouldn’t be complaining at all about it but they do regardless, and they have some great reasonable rational points to make. The turnout sure looks fabulous.

  23.  

    NoeValleyJim

    Yer’ not from around here, are you?

  24.  

    NoeValleyJim

    If they did cite the driver, the DA would refuse to press charges. Because cars.

  25.  

    jd_x

    I feel like there needs to be a lawsuit here. SFPD wants to act like it’s the 17th century and make up whatever bullshit excuse they can twist around to justify their bias against bicyclists who they see as annoying punks who think they are above the law. They seem stuck in the early 1990s when bicycling was much more cult-like and aggressive and seem to be unable to understand times have changed and it’s just normal people choosing to get where they need to go in a cheap, healthy, pollution-free, and quiet way … all while being mostly neglected by urban planners and almost entirely neglected by the legal, executive, and judicial system. SFPD literally cannot wrap their head around *evidence-based* policing instead of a version that has more in common with the methods used in the 17th-century to persecute people with whom the authorities disagree.

    So again, I say we need a lawsuit to force SFPD to provide evidence for their decisions in terms of how it aligns with making our city safer. Or maybe a ballot measure that forces them to issue tickets in a way representative to the damage/injury different modes of travel cause. As far as I’m concerned, anything less is no different than baselessly accusing somebody of witchcraft.

    And we also need desparetly to get cops on bikes. Would love to see some progress on this front, because those cops would learn really fast how silly their crackdowns on bicyclists are.

  26.  

    NoeValleyJim

    I am not quite sure where you get your information from, but according to the ACS, 3.8% of San Franciscans commute by bicycle. The SFMTA estimates 4%. You might want to revisit your numbers.

  27.  

    darelldd

    >> I want to be able to walk down the sidewalk and cross the crosswalk without dodging bicyclists illegally riding on the sidewalk and riding through crosswalks.

    Awesome! Then join in the chorus of voices demanding reasonable infrastructure, laws and enforcement that accommodates safe and efficient cycling! Cars have theirs. Pedestrians have theirs. Cyclists have… crap, basically.

    I dare you to ride any distance in SF without breaking the law (it would be good to also LEARN what the laws are… the subtle ones beyond “stop at stop signs.”). Driving too, for that matter. The law isn’t what matters here. Safety and concern for other users is what matters. Push THAT, instead of letter of the law, and you might get somewhere.

  28.  

    darelldd

    Can I vote for this as the best comment in the thread, please?

  29.  

    darelldd

    No, it is not illegal to pass slower cars with a bicycle. Apparently there is a short section of double-yellow that both cars and cyclists cross over to get around the long line of turning cars. THAT is illegal to cross. Cars and cyclists do it regularly here. The article is about a crack-down on cyclists doing it.

  30.  

    gneiss

    Where in your conclusion do you believe that cyclists are “militant about blowing stops and cutting in front of you in crosswalks”? By no means does the adoption of an Idaho stop law mean this. Everyone who writes on this blog, the Wigg Party, and the Bicycle coalition advocate for yielding to pedestrians. There are certainly people who ride bicycles who violate the pedestrian right of way. But, as the statistics indicate, there are many more injuries that come from bad driving. Also, let’s point out that the police are playing with their statistics on how many tickets they have been issuing. As the previous article that Aaron links to points out, while SFPD has been issuing more tickets to drivers, they have correspondingly increased by 7X the number of tickets issued to people riding bikes, and by an astonishing 350% the number of tickets to people walking.

    What advocates are arguing for is something entirely different. The first is to create safe infrastructure to provide people riding bicycles with places to wait at intersections, so they don’t need to be in crosswalks, and protected lanes, so they don’t need to ride on sidewalks or in the street with fast moving traffic. The second, is to normalize yielding at intersections instead of the requirement to come to a full and complete stop. That will help the police to focus on the truly dangerous behaviors by people riding bicycles, i.e. not yielding to pedestrians instead of creating the unreasonable requirement that you must put a foot down at every single stop sign or get a ticket.

  31.  

    gneiss

    Sure, but if you had been hit by a car instead, you’d likely be much worse injured or killed. The point again is – what posed the greatest risk? And while there are injuries that come from cyclists not yielding right of way to pedestrians, and certainly that behavior should be ticketed, it isn’t the same level of risk as comes from a car driver doing the same thing.

  32.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    I’m not sure these stats help the cyclists’ argument. If 4% of pedestrian injury collisions were caused by bicyclists, then it seems that cyclists are keeping pace with and perhaps exceeding motor vehicles. Only 2-3% of trips are on bicycle. Cyclists responsible for half of motor vehicle / bike collisions. And cyclists responsible for 7% of fatal collisions. (Which, sadly, probably includes a lot of the cyclists themselves.) All these seem to show that urban cycling is not a safe or risk-free endeavor, both for the cyclists and the pedestrians around them. And the chief seems right that at 1% of citations to cyclists, SFPD is proportionally under-enforcing against cyclists. But oh my, is SFPD ever bad at PR!

  33.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    When I got hit by a cyclist before, he knocked me down, broke my nose, and probably gave me a concussion. But the cyclist I observed today was also putting his own life in danger. Bad drivers and cyclists deserve the tickets they get.

  34.  

    gneiss

    This morning as I was crossing Market Street on 14th, going east a driver blew the red light going southwest (instead of turning on 14th she went straight) and missed me by mere inches, almost caused a collision with a car following, and forced another cyclist to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting their car. And while the woman driving that car could have killed me and the other cyclist or injured a motorist ask yourself – what damage would the cyclist have done to one of the car drivers who patiently waited for the cyclist in your story to pass through the intersection?

  35.  

    boter op mijn hoofd

    The cyclist I saw texting on his iPhone as he blew the stop sign at Waller and Cole, whilst turning left, surely deserved a ticket. The two drivers who waited for this idiot to pass through should be commended, also.

  36.  

    folderpete

    That would be a definite improvement on Market St, 8th – 3rd. Ped behavior there is getting quite risky for quiet cyclists, cuz the peds just don’t look (thinking Silence = Safety).

  37.  

    the_greasybear

    Well, of course the SFPD is right in interpeting the data showing the five violations that cause the greatest harm to the most road users should be used to justify expanding a crackdown on bicycles to include reigning in the pedestrian menace.

    I mean, who among us has not been menaced by pedestrians exceeding the posted speed limit? Or pedestrians cravenly violating the pedestrian right-of-way? And don’t even get me started on how those speed demon pedestrians fail to put a foot down at stop signs, and fail to stop rolling their wheels when they roar up to red lights. It is an outrage, and outrage! And I’m so grateful our brave police department has finally found the courage to go after the real menace on our streets!

  38.  

    gneiss

    It’s clear that Mayor Lee and his appointed leaders of the SFPD and the SFFD believe there is no political downside to continuing to disparage the concerns of people who ride bicycles and walk in this city, so long as he says the right things about “safety” and shows up for bike to work day. He obviously believes that WalkSF and the SF Bicycle coalition will not be able to make anything out of his failed leadership in the area of reducing the numbers of people who are killed and injured on our streets. The fact that we don’t have reliable data on collision statistics since 2012 is telling, because we aren’t able to evaluate the efficacy of the mayors ‘Vision Zero’ efforts during his term in office.

    As all of the major political players in the city are staying away from the election this year, I fear that we have another four years of ineffective leadership on this issue with a corresponding depressing lack of change of the underlying injury and death statistics. And no major changes will come on the mode share front, as we are seeing very slow changes in the streetscape redesign efforts from the SFMTA and DPW.

  39.  

    Rayn

    Man that whole Safeway corner is hell and needs to be shot. It’s probably the only time I feel sorry for cyclists except for that area around Masonic and Fell because of how much BS is going on there at any given time. I used to be much more pro-cyclist but the past 5 years my perceptions have soured because of their flippant attitude of “car laws don’t mean anything to me, fuck pedestrians, yolo, what, not like I’m going to kill you.”

    Being partially disabled, most of my complaints are about cyclists doing things like what you described, riding behind me on the sidewalk dinging their bell for me to move out of their way and yelling at me if I don’t, or coming up onto the sidewalks at traffic speed to avoid a light/traffic jam. I’m really happy police are finally making an effort on this finally

    Just because cars do more damage if they hit you even at low speed, it’s the cyclists who casually roll through or into crosswalks, sneak up behind me and bump me as they pass or up onto the sidewalks at speed making me move out of the way quickly that ruin me for days. Just because I don’t end up in an ER, doesn’t mean I haven’t had to take days off work because of an inconsiderate cyclist riding up onto a sidewalk at speed making me have to move out of their way quickly.

    Complaints against cyclists probably come from people like me (although I haven’t complained because how do you report a cyclist without an identification to point at them or Twitter shaming with video which I also refuse to do, for now), which don’t end up in accident reports or statistics because there was no accident to report. Then every time I dare yell at a cyclist riding against a red light, stop sign, through a busy crosswalk I get laughed at, spit at, swore at, a combination of the above or a snide “Yes Mr. Officer, I’ll do just that *the bird*” It doesn’t help that my disability doesn’t show. They probably see someone who looks semi-physically fit and think I’m just being a jerk.

  40.  

    alberto rossi

    When is WalkSF going to weigh in?

  41.  

    MrEricSir

    Of course they have to cite people walking down the street, I mean have you ever been walking and accidentally bumped into another person? It’s carnage! There’s blood everywhere, someone has to call 911, everyone gets rushed to the ER, and some of them wind up dead or with mangled spines.

    Walking: not even once.

  42.  

    Golden Gate Shark

    Captain Sanford just called me and said:

    “We can’t do anything about these kids on dirtbikes, so we go after cyclists and pedestrians to make it look like we are doing something. If we go after motorists, well they are the majority and we don’t want to upset them. I call it the low hanging fruit approach to traffic safety”

  43.  

    Bob Gunderson

    Now when has the SFPD ever marginalized and bullied vulnerable groups? This is for safety, or whatever.

  44.  

    SF_Abe

    I’m sure I’m just confused, but I always though “focus on the five” meant the five deadliest intersections. Isn’t there a statistic that just a few intersections are responsible for something like 60% of all collisions or injuries?

    Why doesn’t the SFPD focus on those locations? They could bust anyone and everyone they see breaking the law, and still prevent a ton of trauma. Win win.

  45.  

    roymeo

    With letters that matched the main line path you don’t need to S-Stutter the L-Line names A-Anymore.

  46.  

    Lego

    JAYWALKING IS LEGAL in California in many circumstances. Here’s the law: 21955 CVC – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections – Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.

  47.  

    Reginald_Bigsby

    Have you noticed how this ‘public’ place is seemingly bereft of the undesirables that inhabit every other public place in the area? Semi-Public Privately Policed Places is a more accurate term.

  48.  

    Andy Chow

    If we used todays standard to give letters to line it would be J-Judah, C-Church, and so forth.

  49.  

    Donovan Lacy

    Another fun fact. Guess which city has 3 times the population density as San Francisco. Give up? It’s Paris!

    6633 people/km² – San Francisco
    vs
    20700 people/km² – Paris

  50.  

    caryl

    But couldn’t the same thing be said about left turns or a host of other maneuvers that require personal judgment about what is safe? Most drivers can make left turns without increasing safety risks to others or themselves, but the fact that plenty of people are killed by unsafe left turns suggests that there are a significant number who do pose a safety hazard. Yet, we haven’t outlawed left turns. How would it be any different to allow people on bikes to make similar judgments about whether they need to stop at an intersection? The consequences of a mistake are far less deadly than a poorly judged left turn.

    I also agree with allowing pedestrians to use their own judgment about when certain behaviors are safe. They have a lot to lose if they make a mistake, so I think most make reasonably good judgments, even when those judgments aren’t technically legal. For example, I routinely “jaywalk” across Mission at Van Ness because there is only a nano-second of a walk signal and then a 32-second countdown (and a ridiculously long wait for the next nano-second of a walk signal). How much time I have on the countdown determines how quickly I walk, but I’m always on the other side before the countdown ends. It’s against the law, but I fail to see how that poses a safety hazard to anyone, even me. Sure, some people will (and do) make poor decisions, but again, that’s true for left turns too, so I’m not sure I buy the argument that it’s all about safety. Seems to me that many of our pedestrians laws simply make it less convenient for law-abiding people to walk in this city – they don’t seem to have much to do with safety at all.