Skip to content

Recent Comments



    What are you talking about? They are doing a ton:

    They have actually been very outspoken about this.



    Is there anybody out there who got a ticket and can just tell us what it was for?






    It is true that we should be working to change the law since that has to be where the ultimate change occurs. But that process is much too slow for all the people already bicycling (at a minimum it would take years), so there is no reason the cops can’t exercise a little judgement like they do *all* the time in ignoring all kinds of minor infractions by motorists. The cops just need to remind themselves that the letter of the law isn’t as important as the spirit of the law. They need to bust bicyclists who are performing the most egregious spirit of the law violations just like they do for motorists, but there is no reason for these ridiculous crackdowns which do nothing towards making our streets safer and in fact make them more dangerous by pushing people away from wanting to ride a bicycle.



    Support it how? On an internet comment board? Not relevant.



    I would agree with that comment, but it wasn’t used here nor by most of the regulars on these comments (which you know). But it’s high-time we acknowledge that bicycling/walking is much better for everyone than driving and let the natural consequences that fall out of that acknowledgement take place rather than pretending that people driving cars is no different than people walking or bicycling and all should be punished equally for the same infraction, e.g. rolling a stop sign.



    This is true. Bicyclists who wear street clothes and/or ride street bikes seem to be friendlier than the ones who ride expensive bikes and wear lots of specialized gear.



    I don’t think it’s helpful to label cars as “death machines”. Calling names is no way to begin a discussion, it’s just puerile.



    @GarySFBCN Please google False Attribution Error. Many cyclists are motivated to just getting out of the way – separating themselves from lethal threats as much as possible. This benefits motorists. I’m anxious on the streets on a bicycle, and for good reason – I’m running for my life. I take no joy in having to break any law to reduce the threat, yet faced with the alternative…



    It takes more “balance” to stop and not put your foot down at that stop sign.



    Paris is a city you might have heard of, and yes there are lots of people around Paris. They sensibly legalized this bike action this month.



    What other infrastructure should we stop building or maintaining or remove from use until the users start “following the rules”?



    Please don’t get too excited about 21200 (a) just yet. It is amusing that both pro and anti-cycling folks use this section to make their point. Pro cyclists use it to point out that we have a right to be on the road, and need not cower at the edges. Anti-cycling folks use it to point out that a person on a bike should adhere to every rule that applies to a person driving a car – as if the vehicles are somehow similar in operation, speed, vulnerability, visibility, weight, etc. Of course this view is generally done punitively.

    The CVC is contradictory and often far too vague in its treatment of cycling. It is a never-ending battle to clear up just what is required of a bicycle driver.

    Let’s touch on just a few of the *many* ways that bicycles are treated differently than cars under the CVC. And then I’ll ask you to make the call about how much stock you’d like to put into 21200 (a) making every road user the same.

    Local jurisdictions set the rules for riding bicycles on the sidewalk. In my town, there are only four square blocks where riding on the sidewalk is prohibited. It is both legal and even encouraged by city signage to ride on the sidewalks elsewhere in town. Cars, on the other hand, cannot be driven on the sidewalk. Bicyclists are required to ride in a bike lane if it exists (and when the exceptions are not in play). Cars may not be driven in the bike lane except in preparation for a right turn. Cyclists are required to say as far right as practicable (with exceptions) in the lane. Cars have no such requirement, and typically automobile drivers control the entire lane, and can operate anywhere they wish in it. There are some freeways upon which bicycles are prohibited. Cars, on the other hand, may be driven on all highways and freeways.

    Clearly, a person riding a bicycle on a highway does NOT have all the rights, nor is she subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle. There are countless more examples of the differences.

    So yes, you are correct of course. The CVC does say that cars and bikes are equal on the road. And then goes on to give countless examples of the significant differences that contradict that statement.

    Thank you for taking the time to read up on this. Genuinely!



    Any enforcement by SFPD is done selectively. They will target very specific behaviors and ‘vehicle’ types when staking out intersections.



    Not form what I understand it. It needs to be done at the state level.



    Is idaho a state? does anyone know where it is? of course you dont need to stop at stop signs. there are no people around



    I think it’s important to realize that while there may be groups of people who like to ride bikes and who share similar moral attitudes about their mode choice, they don’t necessarily represent all people who choose to ride bikes. For instance, the kids I see in Berkeley riding to school with their parents, or the occasional bike-to-BART commuter (me!) don’t deserve to be lumped into the same category — even though, from afar, we are all technically “bicyclists.”



    “Bicyclist do honestly get annoying”

    Bicyclists are “annoying”, so what does that make motorists who actually kill people? Is that annoying, too?


    J Blu

    This is a case of demonizing law enforcement where they are not the issue. If we want to change the law, let’s act in our capacity as people of a democratic nation to change said law; until that time, this is neither harassment nor a “egregious waste of SFPD resources,” but people of San Francisco doing their job – don’t shoot the messenger.



    “My survey data is the comments on Streetsblog.”

    Hey, maybe that’s where SFPD also gets their data! I think most statisticians will be completely blown away to know that one can get all the objective data they need from Streetsblog comments. This is ground-breaking news.



    Wait, it’s illegal to pass slow moving traffic (cars making a right) with a bicycle, as you point out above, but it’s legal for a car to pass a bicycle on neighborhood streets? Am I reading this correctly?

    BTW, I don’t live in SF, so I don’t really know the local ordinance of bicycling in SF.



    “subject of much criticism because of their lawless behavior”

    Citation needed that shows bicyclists are more lawless than those using any other transit method.

    You can do better, pchazz.



    “Bicyclists think they are virtuous because they are reducing green house gases and improving their health”

    “to vilify cars by calling them “death machines” “

    And yet, objectively, these things are in fact true since riding a bicycle (and walking) versus driving reduces your emissions, improves your health, and definitely reduces the number of deaths on the roads (which are mostly caused by cars). It’s funny how bicyclists aren’t allowed to take credit for the good things they do, like that’s somehow morally wrong. That would be like you outperforming all your co-workers and not only not getting rewarded/recognized for that but having your boss say, “Do you think you’re superior just because you were more productive and did better work?” Of course you don’t think you’re superior in some greater human sense, but you do think you deserve a little respect and probably a raise/bonus/promotion. When it comes to transportation, it’s utterly nuts that we not only refuse to acknowledge that good that comes from more people bicycling (and walking) but refuse to acknowledge the bad that comes with driving. And it’s not that your method of transportation makes you a bad or good person in some greater sense, but it does say that your transit decision is making our society better or worse. And in all other places in our lives, that is a not only reasonable expectation, but one that is expected.

    A huge part of the problem here is that people like you think it’s wrong to “villify” people (motorists) who drive dangerous vehicles, pollute the environment, and degrade their own health (not to mention create most of the “noise pollution” and take up a disproportional amount of limited real estate). Again, it’s not that motorists are lesser people in some greater sense, but in fact it is *objectively* true that by deciding to drive they are taking a greater toll on society. If we all actually acknowledged the burden driving imposes on society, we would make much better transit decisions resulting in a healthier, less-polluted, quieter, and more safe city. That doesn’t mean nobody can ever drive, but as a society, we will only do it when the calculus says the benefit is worth it. And for the vast majority of people, that would mean not driving most of the time (assuming we put in place the infrastructure to let them use other methods).



    So is the concept of speeding faster for conditions. But it’s the most basic law in the CVC.



    In Paris this month cyclists have been legal permission to ‘jump lights’ ironically coinciding with SF’s ‘crackdown’


    SF Guest

    I retract all references from CVC and SHC I previously made. This is the official language of CVC Section 21200 from the DMV site which states cyclists are subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

    I withdraw any references I previously made with respect to riding in crosswalks or sidewalks.

    “CVC 21200. (a) A person riding a bicycle or operating a pedicab upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, . . .”



    And pedestrians regularly violate the walk down timer and jaywalk to shave a few minutes off their trips. Your point?


    SF Guest

    I just acknowledged and I do apologize for the confusion I’ve caused for using an unofficial interpretation of vehicle codes and Streets and Highway Codes which holds no weight:

    “As such, bicycles are generally prohibited from riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks.”

    I did not verify the accuracy of California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages an online resource for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety in California.



    Certainly many, if not most bicyclists see themselves as a distinct group. This is reinforced by their attire, helmets, lycra shorts, gloves, etc. In this way they are not unlike members of the leather community who similarly wear leather attire to affirm themselves as members of their community of choice. This leads them to think and act as a group.



    Standing there on my bike in the bike lane, I had almost no view around the truck. Having just approached and stopped there, I saw the restricted sight-lines as I approached.
    But heck, you’re right, she might have been like Daredevil and just ‘aware’ beyond that of a normal human being. In which case, I wish she’d drive a car so at least there’s one person driving who won’t say “I didn’t see you”.



    Yet bicyclists are frequently the subject of much criticism because of their lawless behavior. It is not inconsistent to see bicycling as a social good, and yet be enraged with its practitioners for their blatant disregard of traffic laws.



    “A witness saw the driver of a Honda Civic “blow through a red light and
    strike the bicyclist as the bicyclist waited for the light to turn
    green.” *
    This killed Charles Vinson, a Mission resident, in March ’15. There’s a ghost bike there if you want to add flowers. While you are there, go stand in the crosswalk facing east on a red and let cars/motorcycles stack up behind you. Don’t peek! Repeat a dozen times a day. It’s a sonic (and real) threat that bike riders are legally required to ‘face’. Cars are required to have all these safety features (airbags, bumpers, much-more) to protect them and they are mixed on the streets with bicycles. It’s complete absurdity when you step back and see it this way. Bikes only safety advantage is behavioral – staying out of the way, as best they can. And by staying out of the way it also benefits motorists.




    Yeah, I could never see the unassailable Mayor Lee bending to “interests who disregard safety”. Nope. Never. Except for his optometrist, that is.



    Everything that you do is a political act. But that is a discussion for another time. :)



    But you present state law as “As such, bicycles are generally prohibited from riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks.” which isn’t true regarding sidewalks, thus some are beginning to question the integrity of your entire argument.



    Regardless of specific mode, the debate always seems to come down to convenience versus safety.



    C’mon, you’re better at trolling than that. We’re not going to escalate if we can see you’re being lazy.


    Sean Rea

    If we cracked down on everything that was annoying we’d all be in trouble.


    SF Guest

    @Jym Dyer — my response was a direct answer to @gneiss’ question: ” Please, find for me the vehicle code that makes crosswalk riding illegal.”


    Sean Rea

    I think there’s harm in mixing up what Sanford is doing with the Idaho stop. Even if the vehicle code were changed, he could find something else to crack down on. To me the real problem is that he is proactively making San Francisco less safe by channeling scarce enforcement resources into a vendetta. Although cyclists are the ones being vocal, his choices are making all road users less safe.

    Now, that isn’t to say I think the vehicle code shouldn’t be changed — it should, but this is the wrong way to force that debate.


    SF Guest

    You are correct. I did not verify that my source: California
    Active Transportation Safety Information Pages an online resource for improving
    pedestrian and bicycle safety in California, is not the official language of the law from either CVC or S&HC and it appears the language with respect to riding on sidewalks and crosswalks quoted earlier is an unofficial interpretation of those laws.

    Your understanding that there is no vehicle code which makes crosswalk riding illegal is technically correct. But if you were to consider the three-foot rule bicyclists demand from motorists that rule should also apply to pedestrians in crosswalks given that bicyclists are subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.



    Qualifiers can be useful. Certainly, “some” bicyclists may feel that way. And “some” motorists and pedestrians may respond negatively. There are a lot of cultural expectations and misinterpreted intentions at play in this particular debate, so generalization doesn’t really help here. The issue is way, way more nuanced than that. Unfortunately, most of the conversations thus far have consisted of generalizations versus generalizations, which leads to retrenchment and ultimately no change in the status quo.


    Dave Moore

    Your perception of pedestrians sounds an awful like many motorists’ perception of cyclists.





    Replace “mototists and pedestrians” with p_chazz and you would have a true statement.

    Here in realityland 75% of San Franciscans think that cycling is good for San Francisco.

    2/3rds think that The City should do more to encourage cycling including adding more protected bike lanes.

    How many of your friends did you poll p_chazz? All of Save Polk Street perhaps?



    My survey data is the comments on Streetsblog. I guess it must be right because it seems to have hit a nerve.



    Actually in the case of Page they enforce what’s not even in the law. Really they just make it up as they go along. You give them way too much credit.



    Yes, that all powerful ‘bike lobby’. Who are they anyway? Little did I know that when I decided to try and get around town using 2 wheels instead of 4 that I was engaging in a political act.

    Motorists kill 10’s of people each year and injury hundreds and yet it’s people who are riding around on 30 lb. bicycles that need remedial PR work. Got it.



    Roundabouts (not the “traffic circles” which are roundabouts with stop signs) are a much better solution than stop signs for most low-traffic intersections. But they have to be done right, i.e. no stop signs but also sharp enough turns so that cars have to slow way down. If you just use a tiny 6-ft diameter circle, cars will just blow right through.



    I think SFBike understands this, which is which is why the focus is on data-based enforcement. No opinions — show us the data. It’s also why they’ve not endorsed the Idaho stop, since that support would be perceived as self-serving and entitled, despite the incredibly strong rational basis. If anything, SFBike has gone too far to avoid this biased view.