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  1.  

    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.

  2.  

    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.

  3.  

    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.

  4.  

    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….

  5.  

    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).

  6.  

    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.

  7.  

    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.

  8.  

    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.

  9.  

    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.

  10.  

    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.

  11.  

    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.

  12.  

    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.

  13.  

    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.

  14.  

    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.

  15.  

    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.

  16.  

    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.

  17.  

    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.

  18.  

    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.

  19.  

    jd_x

    You may be correct, but it doesn’t mean their “punishment” for this behavior is death or serious injury. Such a place is cold, unforgiving, and inhumane. It’s nonsense to think that such severe “punishment” is appropriate for pedestrians trying to navigate through cities which have been completely designed at their expense for their dangerous automobile.

  20.  

    GetHubNub

    He may be guilty, but as someone who is all over the city on an electric bicycle, I observe many elderly Chinese enter the cross walk when it’s far too late to do so, not using common sense and holding up traffic. They are often caught in the middle of the crosswalk when the light turns green. They are either senile or demanding all traffic yield to their poor decisions.

  21.  

    murphstahoe

    Gascon has repeatedly refrained from prosecuting incidents where pedestrians have been hit by cars – including with damning video evidence.

    But when the rubber hits the road, he’s more anti-cyclist than anti-pedestrian.

  22.  

    Jym Dyer

    “Feelings” can deceive. Cars are by far the biggest threat to pedestrians in the city, hospitalizing 2-3 a day.

  23.  

    SF Guest

    I understand what “anti-bicyclist” denotes, but what is “anti-pedestrian”? I’m an SF pedestrian but don’t feel infringed by cars.

  24.  

    Mario Tanev

    Transit advocates usually stay away from union fights, even though sometimes very legitimate arguments can be presented for siding with transit management in a zero-sum game (riders vs. workers). But the inverse doesn’t appear to be true (case in point SEIU), and I think the disconnect will lead to an increased hostility to unions, even from otherwise friendly places.

  25.  

    ladyfleur

    That also depends on where within the roadway she was walking. If she was hit near the middle of the road, it would be hard to claim she came out of nowhere.

  26.  

    NoeValleyJim

    A dead body is physical evidence. The plain fact is that we have a DA who is anti-pedestrian and anti-bicyclist. The sooner we can run him out of office, the better.

  27.  

    baklazhan

    Perhaps a way to stem the controversy would be to require the carshare companies to identify local residents who are willing to donate their ‘fair’ share of street parking space to be used as carshare spots. This shouldn’t be much of a challenge– they can just ask their members– and I think it would really take the wind out of the sails of those who’d argue that the carshare companies are somehow stealing the spaces that belong to residents, when it’s the residents themselves who are volunteering.

  28.  

    hp2ena

    Reportedly another car (Toyota Prius) struck another pedestrian at the same intersection today (Tuesday morning), also while the driver was making a left. Pedestrian taken to hospital. KTVU aired footage from the scene on their 5PM news, but it seems like it’s not yet available online.

  29.  

    Lee Ross

    What do you expect from nonsensical lame boring trite and worthless KTVU? Get over it because this station is useless and cannot even be considered popcorn for the masses. It is pure trash.

  30.  

    Crusselsprouts

    It’s interesting and sad to watch this Temescal bike lane saga unfold. I’ll say it again, I’m surprised Oakland isn’t embracing this as I thought we/they were all about the progressiveness. Unless removing on-street parking is an affront to everything.

  31.  

    Andy Thornley

    I’m the project manager for the SFMTA’s on-street car share pilot program, let me pipe up with a few basic resources. So far 12 parking spaces in the Richmond District have been approved for pilot on-street car share permits, after five public hearings and three SFMTA board meetings. This Clement Street pod will have a City CarShare vehicle in it soon, and the SFMTA will be gathering data on how it’s used, how often, how far it goes, unique users, etc.

    You may have seen (and maybe you’ve used) the City CarShare car that is stationed on 4th Avenue just off Clement Street. Dozens of people already use this car every month, which helps keep the local car population a bit lower as it helps neighbors save money and do the things they need to do with a car, without having to own a car.

    See this map for car share locations approved and still in planning across the city:

    http://sfmta.com/sites/default/files/projects/CSO_Space_Requests_citywide_20140829.pdf

    The SFMTA On-Street Car Share Pilot Project web page has much more information, including links to car share studies, regulatory basis of the permit, and other resources:

    http://sfmta.com/projects-planning/projects/car-sharing-policy-and-pilot-project#details

    If you’d like to get on the car share pilot project mailing list, or you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line: Andy.Thornley@sfmta.com

  32.  

    IHeartPandas

    Aaron — is there someone at KTVU who I can email to complain about their uninformed reporting?

  33.  

    David Marcus

    I blame the terrible coverage from the Richmond’s local blog (http://richmondsfblog.com/2014/07/10/city-plans-to-remove-20-residential-parking-spaces-for-car-share-program/ ) for promoting this narrow perspective that every parking spot is sacred and nobody would ever give up their car.

  34.  

    helloandyhihi

    From fighting more livable neighborhoods that require smaller fire trucks to blaming bulb outs, this is more evidence that our fire chief is out of step with San Francisco values.

  35.  

    Jym Dyer

  36.  

    p_chazz

    Fresno.

  37.  

    Brian Smith

    KTVU plays to a very car-dependent Contra Costa County. Sharing is communism. Especially sharing “my” public parking space.

  38.  

    murphstahoe

    Interesting.

    If nobody is going to be interested in going things for cyclists until they obey traffic laws, but we ARE getting a lot of new bike lanes/etc….

    Does not compute.

  39.  

    jd_x

    “That is why many people, given the chance, reflexively vote against transit – because they perceive it not as being a new alternative, an option, but something people want to force down their throats in “get you out of your car” style. And nobody wants to be treated that way (and many vote accordingly).”

    Flawed logic. Reverse what you said: imagine you are somebody who doesn’t drive (or not much) and gets car-centricness shoved down their throat. This is of course exactly the status quo, and so what you are saying is that it’s okay for those who don’t drive to get driving shoved down their throat but it’s not okay for those who do drive to get anything else shoved down their throat. Do you see the crazy bias in this situation? There is no equality in transit right now: cars utterly dominate our cities at the expense of all other forms of transit. This would be problematic even if all forms of transit were more or less different but equal, but that is not the case since cars disproportionately injure other transit users and are one of the largest causes of GHG emissions, not to mention they take up more physical space than all other forms of transit. This situation is highly asymmetric and hence biased.

    Therefore, the only way to move forward is to reclaim some “space” (literal and figurative) from cars and return it to other forms of transit. And in that case, motorists feel their (negatively externalized) way of life is threatened? Too bad: welcome to how everybody who doesn’t drive feels all the time. Time for equality. That’s like saying slave holders are going to be pissed when the job market gets flooded if they free all slaves. Yeah, it sucks when you’ve lived off of negative externalities imposed on others and then people want to correct that.

    By the way, I do have a problem with public transit going fast as well. However, there is one huge advantage of public transit: since it carries many more passengers, there are much less “operators” and hence much less chances for things to go wrong. Further, they can be only on a small percentage of roads and leave all others free whereas cars are one *every* single road. For those roads were transit exists, if you give it priority and consolidate stops, it can zip you across a city like SF in no time even at slow speeds of 20-30 mph. But I agree, if you want public transit to go any faster, it needs to be grade-separated, which means underground (above ground is unacceptable … utterly decimates quality of life). If we stopped blowing many on accommodating so much auto traffic, we could focus resources on safe and effective public transit.

  40.  

    andrelot

    The problem is that your plan would leave us with just two option to avoid a complete slowdown of everyone’s mobility, neither of them particularly attractive:

    - plenty of urban highway construction, so that cars can move around without interacting with other objects except other cars (and trucks etc)

    - plenty of grade-separated transit (elevated or underground or with completely isolated ground level-ROWs), so that trains, monorails etc. can travel fast without interfering with other passengers, cyclists and else.

    The first alternative is usually loathed for some of its effects, the second is extremely expensive and only a few metros in the World managed to achieve ample transit coverage with full reliance on grade-separated transit, and even so (Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo) only for just part of their core areas.

    I’m assuming you are coherent in that you don’t want trams, streetcars or buses going over that speed. It makes no sense to have cars at 20mph but buses at 45mph…

    In any case, I sense a sort of “I hate cars” attitude by your comment. That is why many people, given the chance, reflexively vote against transit – because they perceive it not as being a new alternative, an option, but something people want to force down their throats in “get you out of your car” style. And nobody wants to be treated that way (and many vote accordingly).

  41.  

    SF Guest

    You make a sound point, but the law doesn’t work in that vein. The DA will not indict without physical evidence.

  42.  

    the_greasybear

    Everybody–surely even SFPD–knows 78-year old women don’t just ‘come out of nowhere.’

  43.  

    Diane Feinstein

    Nut case screed. Vested interested, much?

    Actually Powell as pedestrians only during certain hours isn’t a bad idea as long as businesses there have access to the street for deliveries.

    Just understand nobody is going to be much interested in doing things for the cyclists until they begin obeying traffic laws. How hard is that?

    Did I mention the rude cyclists with death wishes unable to come to a stop for red lights or stop signs or give pedestrians the right of way?

    Best wishes!

  44.  

    Dark Soul

    Safer Riders in muni by having disable seat program.

  45.  

    murphstahoe

    Yes

  46.  

    SF Guest

    Is this video footage available on-line?

  47.  

    murphstahoe

    The District Attorney has nothing to do with traffic citations. Traffic citations are typically not dealt with in a jury trial.

    I might or might not think that he should be tried for vehicular manslaughter, but the SFPD should be citing him for improper lane usage or failure to yield, which carries a trivial fine… and puts a point onto your drivers license.

    More important than getting a big judgement from his company would be this guy no longer driving giant commercial vehicles for a living. Nothing personal, he’s just not a very good driver – we have proof.

  48.  

    Jamison Wieser

    Regarding the car sharing spaces,

    Perhaps what we need here is a registry of the businesses that only want customers arriving by privately owned cars.

    If small businesses – like 25th & Clement produce featured in the new KTVU puff-piece – are going to be so hurt and potentially driven out of businesses by customers who arriving on foot, bike, bus, train or car-share, then something should really be done to make sure those types of customers aren’t bogging them down from helping car-owning customers.

  49.  

    SF Guest

    DA Gascón didn’t prosecute the driver who hit and killed Amelie Le Moullac citing the evidence was not enough to convince a jury.

    “If the driver was the one at fault and there is a death, then we have a prosecutable case and we look at the evidence and whether we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” Gascón said.

    The Le Moullac family did file a wrongful death suit against the driver and his company which probably has a good chance of winning.

    @murphstahoe: I never claimed the law is always right.

  50.  

    Jamison Wieser

    @sebraleaves:disqus hasn’t answered the question,

    But speaking as someone who sometimes works in Potrero Hill, I know I’m going to benefit from the planned improvements and rerouting of the 22 and 33.