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    Nicholas Littlejohn

    Fair enough. I was a it concerned and skeptical. Thank you.


    Nicholas Littlejohn

    Fair enough, I was just concerned.


    Nicholas Littlejohn



    Aaron Bialick

    The main function of the headlines is to keep readers updated on the most pertinent local stories about transportation. It’s mostly a reflection of what’s out there, found through scouring 40-some-odd local media sources daily, as well as Google Alerts and social media. We’re not omitting any pertinent local non-crash stories in favor of crash reports. If you have relevant stories we missed, feel free to share them.

    Unfortunately, we can’t produce more good news, and sometimes fluctuations in the news cycles and events mean there are more crashes and fewer stories about “policy, development, and studies.” It does happen that City Hall is currently on legislative recess, which may contribute to the lack of articles about policy developments.

    If you mean for us to find and include more non-local articles about transportation and planning, that would partly defeat the purpose of the city blogs’ headlines, as it would often mean omitting pertinent local stories, and it would require an expansion of the workload required to do them. These types of articles are also somewhat covered in the Streetsblog USA headlines, which is why we link to them.

    By the way, if you think this is bad, we generally don’t even include stories on most non-fatal crashes outside of SF (though we did happen to have some today due to the slow news cycle). The sheer volume of stories on traffic violence, traffic jams, and transit problems that we do omit may surprise you.



    Wow, Coco, you’re just going on a rampage here on old stories. You should read this blog (and ones like it) a little more rather than just mindlessly spouting the same old points which have been repeatedly addressed. It’s not even worth the time to try and rehash points when you clearly don’t care and are just trolling.


    Jacob Lynn


    Jacob Lynn

    SFPD is reporting that the driver in the Mi’yana case had the green light:



    The TED Talk above addresses these points.



    Wow, this is delusional. 1. How could you possibly be upset about the recommendation to wear a helmet while biking? Bicycle safety should be a primary concern for people like you who are advocating the acceptance of bicyclists. Depicting a person without a helmet would be stupid and also insane (just like people who bike in cities without one). Advocating against helmet use has to be the most counterproductive argument I’ve ever seen. Lets get rid of seatbelts in cars, too!

    2. The cyclist in the first sign is not hunched over – his back is completely straight. Do you not know what you look like when you bike? Have you never watched pro cyclists? Hint: you are not sitting straight up unless you are not holding onto the handle bars.

    Anyway, your basic point seems to be that bicycles are only safe when they have no rider, and that seems a little silly.





    It would be great to have some kind of bike tax to pay for stuff like that. Otherwise, it’s probably never going to happen.



    Pedestrians/bicyclists aren’t paying the taxes that pay for stuff like street signs. Volunteer some of your money for signs, if it’s too hard for you to turn your head to look behind you when you pass a street sign. Put up or shut up.



    Yeah, totally! Cyclists shouldn’t have to stop at lights or stop signs like they’re cars or something! Bikes should act like pedestrians when it’s to their benefit, and cars when its to their benefit, because they are superior to both.

    (This is sarcasm, in case that was not obvious. I frequently see cyclists blow right through lights/stop signs which is dangerous to themselves, cars, and pedestrians. Follow the rules of the road, you idiots. If you’re not fast enough to keep up with car traffic, then get out of the way. “Share the road” goes both ways.)



    GGB Patrol usually hang out in the parking lots, and CHP usually hang out next to Vista Point for speed stings. There is rarely ever any proactive traffic management and enforcement of the infrastructure surrounding the GGB. Simply look at how much Doyle Dr/Lombard and Veterans Blvd/Park Presidio are backed up on the weekends.


    Nicasio Nakamine

    Are stories being left out? These headline roundups seem like all the transportation news articles from the previous day related to the Bay Area.

    If policy/development articles are being edged out for more accident reports, I agree. However, if these are just strings of news links, without a limited length, I don’t see the harm of including all the stories. I only click through to the articles I’m interested in.



    Now police are reporting that the street crossing occurred while the driver had a green light… not that I believe them, but that’s their story.



    This stretch of Park is unlike Polk in that it is too small to be a self-sufficient commercial zone and too far from the nearest larger commercial zones to attract customers on foot. It does however have plenty of off-street parking though that parking is tied to a few of the post-WWII buildings. If some sort of parking sharing arrangement could be worked out then it would make everyone happy.

    As for politicians driving change, that would be great. Fortunately San Jose has a couple of council members who get it. Unfortunately they face reelection and might be reluctant to make “unpopular” decisions. Of course anyone who cares about the future growth of San Jose will support these brave council members. But we’re in the minority. SJ still has a drive everywhere mentality and significant resistance to the infill development which would make it easier to go about life without relying on a car.



    Child endangerment because she left a 2yo kid in a crosswalk during the crossing phase to get another 2yo kid from the sidewalk?



    Yeah, that whole stretch really is ripe for a redo beyond just the rain gardens, as mentioned in the link.

    For me it’s important as a N/S bike route–I’ll go out of my way from 19th (20th is marked as a bike route) due to the hills because Sunset is a lot flatter and more pleasant.

    And obviously this remains one of the most dangerous stretches for those on foot, as well.



    That’s a really good point. Do you think there’d be sufficient support for a PAC or more organized lobbying efforts?



    Mike, I am not suggesting waiting for a generation to die off or accepting piecemeal wins. Rather, I am suggesting that we demand change from those who can deliver it — our elected and appointed officials. Pressure them, and forget the merchants. You won’t convince anyone whose eyes are primarily directed at his or her own cash register till. Blandishments aside, the merchants don’t give a damn about safety, if they fear it will reduce sales a jot.



    That is the job of government, and is not bike riders’ responsibility. The mayor, the city council members, and the top administrators and policy directors at the local transportation agencies should do their jobs at educating and persuading the recalcitrant merchants. Studies exist supporting the commercial viability of the new streetscape proposed. A study could be done on whether remaining parking would be sufficient for current demand at the San Jose street in question. We need government leadership and spine, not more injured bicyclists pleading with merchants to please love them. Having witnessed the Polk Street fiasco firsthand, I no longer believe in the hearts and mind approach by activists. No. We need our officials, elected and professional, to do their jobs as leaders.



    Stanley Roberts Sideshows. Complete failure of cops and those “in charge”. Hands tied by political correctness. Some innocent ones will get seriously hurt one day all because they didn’t clamp down fast and hard.



    I’m familiar with the Polk Street example, the most frustrating part of which is the distrust of SFMTA’s studies. You’re right about the need to change perceptions, which I suspect are largely generational and involve many unstated assumptions about the “like us-ness” of drivers versus bicyclists in particular. The cynical baseline question is: is it worth it to invest in the long game of changing perceptions or to simply be content with piecemeal wins until the previous generation loses its grip on the popular imagination (i.e., what constitutes “common sense”)?





    Could Streetsblog revamp the Headlines section to include fewer car collision/transit delay stories and more stories about policy, development, studies, innovations, etc.? The latter category are things that might actually change our lives, and we should be aware of their existence, even if there is not space for a journalistic full article. The former category of stories are, of course, true & grim, but cataloging collisions has a time limited shock/fascination value. Maybe you could have a Friday round-up of all the collisions, injuries, deaths, delays, mishaps, and absurdities connected to all local transport? Otherwise, the daily SFstreetsblog Headlines section is beginning to resemble a traffic report — all shock and awe, and no vision or contemplation.


    Upright Biker

    Merchants tend to equate parking with sales, when the opposite is often true. On Polk St in SF, merchants were shown studies that attributed 85% of their business to people who took transit, walked or biked, and who spent more on average than motorists. But rather than increase the number of high value customers by removing parking, they insisted the studies must be wrong and that parking should take precedent over all else.

    No idea how to change that perception apart from a strong campaign by non-motorists to educate the merchants. And that takes someone to lead, an undertaking few of us have the time to do.



    There are all sorts of things about this that scream incompetent parenting – going to a movie downtown with a 2 year old that ends at 10 PM, crossing against the light – in the dark! – , not having both children locked down in your hands, not taking the 2 year old back to the corner to get the older boy.

    Do we consider that incompetence gross negligence, compared to parents who do some of the horrific and clearly negligent actions when we see a parent plop their toddler in front of a TV with a bag of cheetos and go out to the bar or dose themselves up with narcotics? Or something like this –

    The most typical event I correlate with this is parents who put their child in a car seat, then go to work and forget to drop the child off at day care, resulting in the child dying of heat exposure. This is an event that is far more common than one would believe – and a cursory google search shows a lot of sympathy for the parent from prosecutors and a lack of charges in many instances. It feels like the DA’s empathize with the forgetful driver but not the inattentive jaywalker. To open another can of worms my searches showed a clear bias regarding charges related to income and race – the aunt is African-American, no idea about her income level.



    Not the best possible result, but still an improvement. The streets in the western neighborhoods are so wide there’s almost always room for even minor improvements like unprotected bike lanes.

    I’ve been seeing tons of happy families and kids biking to school this week, as well as walking, and taking MUNI. It disproves the idea that you have to have a car to raise kids or that you have to use a car for every trip.



    Turns out the 2-year old’s aunt has been arrested for felony child endangerment for allegedly stranding Mi’yana in the middle of Mission Street against the light while she went back to collect Mi’yana’s brother Michael. This puts a rather different spin on the event, considering police saying that the driver of the white sedan may not even have been aware they hit something.



    Ok, so how do we help them (or the most vocal leader among the group – will do the legwork) to understand? This is unfortunately largely a communications problem… they’re not hearing what’s in it for them.

    They’re concerned first and foremost about their bottom line. They are certain, because of the “conventional” (read: untested over many years) prevailing assumption that everyone drives, that everyone now must drive, or that anything other than driving isn’t something their most profitable customers do regularly.

    Help them understand with clear, convincing reasoning and/or forecasts that their bottom line will not be affected by the changes, or may actually result in increased business (!), and they should drop or at the very least loosen up their opposition (if they have some sort of unrelated aversion to bikes or bike riders). Heck, maybe some of them that were on the fence to begin with might feel freer to actively support it.

    Edit: Delaware DOT is on the right track with their “Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business” pamphlet.



    Regardless of the parking situation outcome, even mini business districts like this should have 15-20mph max limits, raised cross-walks, and tuned speed humps. Just because you have a bikelane does not mean you don’t need traffic calming also. For business districts you need to be able to easily access both sides of the street, not just the side you are traveling on.



    “The business community’s overriding concern along the Park Avenue
    corridor is the safety of our neighbors, visitors, and employees, no
    matter the mode of transport — pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicle,” stated
    the letter. ”The removal of substantial amounts of parking puts our area
    at a competitive disadvantage and it will make our daily business
    operations more difficult. We support a bikeway that does not remove any
    parking on Park Avenue between Montgomery Street and Race Street.”

    Internally contradicting. If the overriding concern was safety – then parking would not take precedence.


    Aaron Bialick


    Michael has gone to quite some lengths here to show you the numbers, and cited exactly where they came from.

    Are you saying that you expected his analysis to come in the format of a published report? Apparently your argument at this point is that it’s not, and therefore the numbers and analysis are bunk.



    That may be the perception, but I’ve personally noticed a big change in terms of policy and capital investment priorities (for the better, in my opinion) since some of the more recent directors were elected. Directors Raburn and Saltzman in particular have been super responsive to my concerns.



    Sunset Blvd indeed could be a really nice N/S connection. The SFPUC’s Sunset Boulevard Greenway project is looking at the street, but it doesn’t appear any real improvements for walking or bicycling are coming. You might recall this article:



    M Rhodes has difficulty showing his analysis to the readers.
    Good job A Bialick, advertising a report that does not exist.



    As with other paint “buffered” lanes it’s better than nothing but I don’t understand why with all the space they couldn’t just do parking-protected cycletracks on these things.

    Speaking of that area, has anyone ever heard of any plans to improve/upgrade the multiuse path on the west side of Sunset? If there’s anywhere in the city with ample right of way for a wide cycletrack + sidewalk, it’s there.

    Plus the current pavement is often bumpy with tree roots and intersections don’t have bike signals. I’m surprised how rarely this route is mentioned but it’s a totally useful north-south route connecting the protected bikeways of Lake Merced and GG Park and beyond.



    That median island is weird (and you know someone is going to park in the red zone). Should have put the bikeway along the curb and the parking inside. Oh, but the children…

    Otherwise good stuff. The Sunset’s extra wide streets could use some love.



    In RPP areas, residents pay zero percent of the cost. The money collected for RPP’s are used to administer the program, not maintain the roadway.



    I haven’t read through it, but here’s a fact sheet from the US dep of transportation:



    Do you have a source for pedestrian deaths as opposed to all traffic-related deaths?



    The only time there are ever $7/hr meter rates are right around AT&T park during games – and clearly that’s the right price for those times…but that’s not going to stop anyone from pretending that it is common throughout SF.



    Fewer people driving or riding inside cars are dying, but the rate of death and injury for people hit by cars while walking or biking has not. That’s because safety improvements we’ve made are all about protecting occupants with crumple zones, seat belts and airbags, and not slowing down traffic to protect everyone.



    Why are taxpayers subsidizing cheap or free parking all across the city? Why can’t drivers pay for their own lifestyle without a generous helping hand from taxpayers? (While complaining about how unfair it is.)

    Each on-street spot costs taxpayers $400/year to maintain, yet most street parking remains free. In RPP areas, residents pay a quarter of the cost. Taxpayers pick up the rest.



    Jeffrey Baker

    Are you claiming that BART is an emergent phenomenon?



    I think the common perception is the BART board elections are meaningless, that BART is going to do what it does independent of who sits on the board.



    You keep ignoring the valid logic, so why not try throwing up some FUD on the wall to see if it might stick.



    Where in SF are there $7/hr meter rates? How many hours per month does the typical resident pay that rate? There is no proposal on the ballot for a VLF increase, and even if that proposal does land on the ballot, it might not pass. All this adds up to a pittance.

    A $500M transportation bond does not make it more expensive to OWN a car. A transportation bond is not paid back by people who own cars, it is paid back by *everyone*, through property and sales taxes. If anything it makes it LESS expensive to own a car by fixing potholes and reducing wear and tear on cars.

    Meanwhile rents and purchase prices for housing – which represent a much larger percentage of the cost of living – in the city have doubled in the past decade.

    Let’s put it this way – if any given resident of SF could have a choice between paying more at meters, Sunday meters, residential meters, an increased in VLF – or having their rent cut in half, which would they pick?


    Jeffrey Baker

    The BART election is hilarious. One of the challengers in District 4 is a local crank who ran for mayor and got negligible votes. In District 8, one of the challengers goes by the name “Flash Gordon”. Brilliant.