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    While I fail to see how responding to an ad hominem attack is going to provide any solace or change your position, here what I do:

    When I ride with my daughter, I stop at every sign and stop light. When I ride by myself, I stop at most stop signs, yield to all pedestrians, and stop at all stop lights.

    For point of reference, I assume that you never roll stop signs, never go 1 mile over the speed limit, or wait until a pedestrian fully clears a pedestrian crossing before moving your wheels forward.



    The law says you cannot drive in a bike lane.

    The law says you can cycle on a multi-use path, such as the northern Panhandle path, and including the crosswalk over Masonic.

    How hard is that to understand?



    It may or may not be safe to use

    Sometimes as a driver it is “safe to use” a bike lane. OK with you? Because my judgement of safety trumps yours?



    Exactly. There is a gross hypocrisy from the cyclist lobby here. They claim the absolute right to break the law about stopping at stop signs and lights.

    Yet when the law favors them they want absolute immunity from any considerations of reasonableness and safety.

    Perception matters and arrogance detracts.



    It’s a designated Multi-use path, which means that both people riding bikes that those walking share it. It is safe for both to use.



    I get that part. But even so if pedestrians do not expect that, like that, or feel safe with that, should cyclists just do it anyway?



    Since you are so precise about the law, should we all assume that on a bike you stop at EVERY stop sign and light?



    It seems that the point RichLL is trying to make is about people’s perceptions of pedestrian safety around bicyclists, regardless of the law, despite the fact that the People Behaving Badly piece was specifically about technical violations showing bicyclists “breaking the law” in situations where no pedestrian’s safety was impacted negatively.



    Dude, my whole point is that you are hiding behind technicalities in the CVC to justify your selfishness

    So that argument is never going to work

    If we are going t adhere to the letter of the law, then as a cyclist stop at every stop sign!!



    If you can do either why would you make a point of riding along the only place that is safe for lpdestrians



    Not at all, cyclists can ride in the crosswalk around pedestrians. How is this so hard for you?



    Quite. A lot of cyclists on the Embarcadero *are* toddlers, and by definition need to have their mom with them.



    That’s because the CVC treats them differently. Here’s the text of that statute:

    21650. Upon all highways, a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

    and now the part of 21650 that applies to cyclists:

    (g) This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles on any shoulder of a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.



    Hey, I am scared to ride a bike in some places. So I don’t. Nothing wrong with that.

    And better than instead riding on crosswalks and sidewalks where you place others in danger



    So you agree that you can ride around the crosswalk?




    Treating adults like toddlers for expressing legitimate safety fears is offensive:

    “If the road scares you so much then either bring your mom or take a bus or walk.”



    I feel sure you also care about pedestrian safety. But when given the choice you elect to emphasize cyclist safety even in the fact of people telling you that pedestrians don’t want to see cyclists on their walkways

    Whereupon you hide behind the technical semantics of the law rather than acknowledge the complaints. Given the choice you’d screw over pedestrians if you though it benefits the cause of cyclists



    Resorting to ad hominem attacks doesn’t make your argument any more compelling. Please stick to the facts, and stop putting words in other peoples’ mouths.

    For the record, I spend a lot of time working on pedestrian advocacy issues. I guess I just don’t see bike and pedestrian safety solutions as mutually exclusive.



    Interesting that you emphasize the difference between bikes and cars but NEVER the difference between bikes and pedestrians

    And therein lies your entire misunderstanding.



    Unlike a motor vehicle, it is easy for a person on a bike to share a multi-use path with people walking. You simply ride around them.



    And you can’t cross an inch to the north or south if there are pedestrians crossing?



    RichLL the Embarcadero sidewalk is legally defined as a multi-user path and bikes are allowed by law. It is different from other sidewalks in SF.



    Offensive how? Because I don’t agree with you?

    My whole point is your intolerance!



    The signs on Embarcadero say “Shared Path – Faster Cyclists Use Roadway Bike Lane”. So faster cyclists – the ones who might “terrorize” pedestrians, to use your hyperbole – should be on the road. Slower cyclists, such as families with children, are free to use the safer path shared with pedestrians.

    I would rather there was a protected bike lane, separate from both the road and the sidewalk, that all cyclists could use. But until that happens, this is a perfectly good compromise.



    No where did I say that I could ride “with impunity” on the sidewalks. I specified the Embarcadero sidewalk where it is legal to do so. The crosswalks are not explicitly called out in sec 1007 of SF vehicle code, which means that CVC 21650(g) applies. Read the statute, please.



    Because that happens to be part of the multi-use path in the panhandle.



    Now you are getting offensive. Downvoting.



    They are vehicles, but are given specific rights to spaces shared by pedestrians and others as designated in CVC 21650(g). The only reason why bicycle riders are restricted to sidewalks in San Francisco, is that there is an explicit local law that does so. However, this law does not apply to crosswalks, nor to shared space such as the Embarcadero sidewalk and others. You are being unreasonably obtuse if you can’t understand that bicycles are fundamentally different from motor vehicles in both the CVC and in their physical nature.



    If the road scares you so much then either bring your mom or take a bus or walk.

    What you are really saying is that you’d rather terrorize pedestrians than be terrorized by cars. Well fine, but don’t expect to get away with that without some pushback from pedestrians.

    Same thing with the Panhandle where we see that once cyclists are freed from car drivers, they behave exactly like drivers

    Everything about liveable streets starts with those who walk. Don’t forget that. And don;t become the enemy.



    Once we have a physically protected bikeway along Embarcadero you might have a point. Until then I completely understand why some people, especially parents with kids or tourists who have never biked in urban traffic before, might prefer to avoid riding in the street. I consider myself a fairly confident bike rider, and do bike in the street there, but still find it frequently terrifying.



    Sorry but you cannot chirp away about how you can ride with impunity on sidewalks and crosswalks without getting called out on your arrogance.

    You know, cycling is in general a cuddly, fuzzy and wonderful thing that everyone can get behind. But you make it a nasty entitled thing that nobody wants to support.

    Think about that and lose the attitude.



    Bikes are not motorized but they are vehicles, and so belong on the roads.

    You cannot have it both ways. Make your mind up.

    I only respond in a hostile manner to a cyclist if that cyclist first acts in a hostile manner to me, i.e, self defence. I’ve only needed to do that once but totally got away with it. No more details than that.



    The mixed-use path in the Panhandle is a very different situation.

    I see bikes there all the time. They should give way. sometimes they even do. Other times I have to make them.

    The Embarcadero is different because there is a regular road adjacent. It is not clear to me why my quiet enjoyment of the walkway there should ever be disrupted by a vehicle too lazy to traverse the road.



    Why would you need to cross Masonic only at the crosswalk?



    You’re still missing the point. Regardless of the law (and God knows, cyclist feels little need to follow it when it doesn’t suit them) it is clear that those who walk in that area neither expect nor desire to see cyclists there.

    So why would you seek to ignore that? Especially when you demand our sympathy when vehicles do that to your bike lanes?

    What makes you so precious that you deserve the best of both worlds? To be a pedestrian when it suits you and to be a vehicle when it suits you?



    What the law does and does not say is only half the story. What Roberts sees is what I see and, I suspect, most pedestrians see – that bikes should be on roads and not on the safe spaces that walkers cherish.

    The Embarcadero is very wide. Why would you as a cyclist need even more space than that, unless you are disembarking?



    Bikes are vehicles and they are traffic. There are in fact still relatively few streets in SF that designate separate space for cars and bikes. But every single street designates between walkers and traffic.

    Can you see why?



    If so?

    It is very well known that the Emnarcadero is a mixed use path. It has been discussed on numerous threads on this blog that you clearly follow very closely.

    How is it that you are so willing to pontificate on conditions as though you have detailed knowledge when you clearly have very little knowledge, and act surprised when you are corrected?

    Answer: you do know that it is a mixed use path, but make statements predicated on the presumption that it is not, in order to garner a response correcting you.

    Even p_chazzz might agree that is trolling, pure and simple



    Snort. Nothing I’ve said is self righteous or aggressive. Nor are you correct here given that there are places where both bicyclist and pedestrians are permitted to exist. Nor did I say that pedestrians shouldn’t be given “priority”. Please – if you can’t get your facts straight, find some other place to troll.



    Bicycles are not motor vehicles. There are numerous places in the city where they are allowed to share the same right of way as pedestrians. The Embarcadero sidewalk happens to be one of them. They are not restricted from crosswalks. If you responded in a “hostile manner” to a person on a bike in one of those places, you could be arrested for assault.



    So by your logic, cyclists on the panhandle multi use path must dismount to cross Masonic in the crosswalk?


    Jeffrey Baker

    You wouldn’t expect to see a bicyclists anywhere near you because you post these comments from an alternate universe.



    I see a difference in concerning oneself with something that is illegal (driving or parking in bike lanes) as opposed to something which is not (biking on the Embarcadero path or in crosswalks), especially when it comes to commenting on a Stanley “Letter of the Law” Roberts piece.

    Gneiss never said it is okay for bicyclists to ride on sidewalks. He (and I) only referred to the Embarcadero bike/ped pathway.



    What I’m pointing out is that Stanley Roberts gets the law wrong, which leads to needless harassment of people who ride bikes and erroneous interpretations (and you are so aptly pointing out) of the places where people riding bikes are allowed to go.

    I am not saying that bicycles “may treat it as their entitled domain” or any other nonsense you would like to make up. Nor am I saying that people on bikes aren’t required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, yielding does not require a person to dismount. You are simply required to give them priority. Drivers of vehicles are similarly required to yield to pedestrians in mid-block crosswalks or unmarked crosswalks.



    If so, then you are correct that the signage there sucks. I certainly would not expect to see a cyclist anywhere near me there and would no doubt respond in a hostile manner if I felt my safety was thereby threatened by vehicular traffic on a walkway.

    There are several traffic lanes there. Traffic should stick to them.



    Well, er, drivers have to drive on crosswalks to cross them. As do cyclists. But no reasonable person interprets that as gneiss does – that bikes and cars can just regard crosswalks and sidewalks as part of their entitled domain.

    The irony is that the article that gneiss is referring to here focuses on abuse of bike lanes. And yet somehow he only sees the complaints that cyclists sometimes also abuse areas designated for the safety of others



    The east side of Embarcadero is literally a bike/ped path, as designated by the city. If the city doesn’t want bicyclists to ride there then they can revoke that designation, but as of yet they have not done so. However, I admit that there should be much better signage and markings to indicate its usage, so that people can better expect mixed traffic along that corridor.



    Heck, there isn’t even a law that restricts people from DRIVING in crosswalks, let along biking in them. If such a law existed then nobody would ever be able to make turns, as this requires always driving or biking over a crosswalk. Pedestrians do have the right of way in crosswalks, so drivers and bicyclists must yield, but that’s about it.



    I’m not sure it is productive to endlessly parse statutory phrasing. It makes a lot more sense to adopt a common sense approach to who can go where.

    Bikes have priority in bike lanes. They have a right to use other parts of the road. They have no real valid claim to treat areas with pedestrian priority as their own.

    You cannot have it both way i.e. seek to banish cars from bike lanes while treating walkways with total entitled disdain.

    And regardless of any interpretation of the phrasing of the law, why would you be so eager to encroach on the space reserved for walkers? How does that aid the “liveability” of our streets? And can you not see how you harm your cause with such self-righteous aggressive posturing?



    RichLL, it would have been easy for the city to include “crosswalks” in section 1007 if they considering it a danger to pedestrians. However, they did not. Therefore CVC 21650(g) applies.

    As to the question about “separating pedestrian and bicycle traffic” there are numerous places in the city where bike lane end on crosswalks or where multi-use paths use crosswalks. Given the fact that the Embarcadero sidewalk is legal for cyclist to ride on and that there is a designated bike lane on the other side of this road, to say that you must dismount and walk from the designated path to the bike lane is patently ridiculous.