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    Thomas Rogers

    Window signs and buttons are now available- contact Peter Lauterborn through the Facebook page to get them. I got a sign delivered yesterday, and it’s up in my window now! Also consider a donation if you haven’t given already.



    Get rid of the parking and put in bike lanes, deprecate the bike lanes on 17th. I like 18th better to start with. Of course it was better on the AM commute when the parking was prohibited during rush.



    (Second try at including the map)


    Jamison Wieser

    I created a rough map showing the commercial/retail in the Castro (blue) and the block where all three of the garage conversions mentioned (red, the commecial/retail is almost all on the south side) are taking place.

    To njudah’s comment on NIMBYs, there aren’t many on the block to complain. There are only 2-3 residential garages left and a lot of the homes have businesses on the first or second floor above as well. The house Beso is moving into is a clean and sober gathering space.

    Like Tom Radulovich said in the quote, 18th is becoming more walkable, livable corridor, and growing into a continuous mostly-retail corridor from Dolores Park to a few blocks west of Castro like it is from Dolores Park east into the Mission.


    Tom Radulovich

    It’s a huge space, at the intersection of Ocean, Phelan, and Geneva, that ought to be something much better. The Planning Department’s Ocean Avenue plan is looking at reclaiming that space as a public place. And imagine if some of those garage doors became storefronts.



    That’s great! Imagine a similar treatment here:

    Now, even better, imagine that asphalt space converted Hayes Valley-style to a neighborhood square.



    What’s interesting is how many of these already exist. On Clement St., or Sacramento St., there are quite a number of houses which have commercial establishments added to them on the ground floor. And I feel comfortable saying that it’s pretty popular: Sacramento especially is a cute, upscale little shopping street. Clement is bustling. Yet, today, it would never be allowed, even as lots of Victorians have had boxy garages placed in front of them.

    I’m glad it’s starting to change.






    interesting idea…the fact these are around and somehow avoided the gauntlet of NIMBY screamers and crazies is an accomplishment of its own. Looks nice!


    Andy Chow

    I think the lane configuration on Oak should be reviewed. Because of the volume of traffic that turn right at Octavia, the right turn lane often back up, and some other drivers often use the straight lane and change onto the right turning lane closer to the intersection (as another right turn lane opens 1/2 a block). It might be better to have two right turning lane a block long so the line waiting for the freeway won’t be so long. The volume for traffic going straight isn’t as high.


    Tom Radulovich

    Thanks for letting folks know about this, Aaron – hopefully it will let more folks know that their garages can have a new life as storefronts or apartments. A bit of clarification: there is a pending ordinance to allow parking conversions like these in the Residential-Commercial zoning districts of the city, which are located along Van Ness Avenue and Lower Nob Hill, and a separate proposal to allow ground-floor commercial and parking conversions on Ocean Avenue opposite City College, which is currently zoned exclusively residential.




    SF Guest

    Your solution to have a yield sign would not have guaranteed stopping this tragedy. As a pedestrian in SF what I notice on a daily basis — motorists lose their patience waiting for jaywalkers crossing on a stale countdown signal following legal pedestrians crossing a street. I can see the frustration of drivers waiting to make a right turn whereby only one or two cars are able to make the right turn on a green light as a result of jaywalkers. What the City needs is more PCOs acting as traffic cops. The PCO stationed at Beale/Mkt for example habitually has to blow the whistle to halt jaywalkers.

    Your suggestion implies that all streets should be designed to reduce the speed of moving cars which is not a practical idea. It would be equivalent to installing speed bumps on every street.

    The reason why traffic signals are installed is to facilitate and coordinate moving vehicles and pedestrians. If a motor vehicle or pedestrian disobeys a traffic law and an accident occurs that’s no reason to redesign the street.



    Give them a little credit– they were presumably ferreting out video because it was a hit-and-run case. That, at least, is one situation in which charges sometimes do result (although it looks unlikely in this case).



    Perhaps you have data that show that significant numbers of motorists are injured in collisions caused by avoiding pedestrians?



    cars have to react to avoid them

    Cars are an inanimate object. Unless you are talking about self driving cars, which we are assured will be able to react to them.



    The question was relevant to the topic and was not inappropriate given the topic. You ducked it.



    You were there and saw the accident? Have you spoke to the police yet to give your first hand account?



    Naive/sheltered view.



    Peds and bikers ignoring traffic rules don’t just put themselves at risk, they put others at risk as well – cars have to react to avoid them, respond to them, etc. which reaction could cause an accident and someone else to be hurt. I drive in SF differently now to deal with the crazy bikers on the road – some of these differences are not good overall (e.g., focusing too much on bikers sneaking up on your right despite car being nearly on the curb with blinker on, etc. at the expense of focusing on people running into the crosswalk in front of me as the countdown light hits 2, 1…). Your actions are not in a vacuum.


    Andy Chow

    It is also important to remind that this happened late at night so lack of visibility is a factor.



    Replace the stop light with a stop sign?

    Crazier than adding $100 in hardware to every vehicle sold in the US to prevent negligently leaving a 2 year old in a vehicle?


    SF Guest

    What roadway changes should be made in a case where a 2-year old is negligently left in a crosswalk with a red light for the pedestrian?



    Not to mention, the parents aren’t being charged here, the aunt is. Almost everyone has at least been around children even if they aren’t raising them, so a parent’s expertise or whether or not a commenter is a parent is not really relevant.



    Roy, let me answer you this way re having children. That is personal information about themselves that I believe commenters should be at liberty to reveal or not on a public forum. I did not duck your question. I consciously chose to remain silent on that. I believe it was an inappropriate question that implied people who have no son or daughter could not know how to care for children. Analogously, if we apply this to other topics, it would mean that only persons from an in-group could talk knowledgeably about a variety of topics from the mundane to the arcane.



    I love bike lanes they make the streets safer for everyone



    I agree with you on all points except the race issue (and you can throw class in as well). If Marissa Meyer had done this, there is no chance she would be facing felony charges.





    The voir dire process is designed to remove any intrinsic bias of prospective jurors. A potential juror who lost a child in a car accident would probably be challenged and removed from the pool. A juror with jaywalking convictions might also be excluded. And, in this case, a person who has themselves endangered a child.

    But realistically we cannot exclude from the pool people who belong to very broad and populous classes, like parents, pedestrians or drivers. And isn’t the point of the jury system to have a verdict based on the judgement of your peers?

    Laws are written by those whom a majority elect, and they are enforced by that same majority as represented by a typical jury. Juries can sometimes be rigged if one side has enough resources, as we saw with OJ. But most of the time it works well.

    The one thing that troubles me here is the missing driver. That could imply he was aware of what happened and ran away rather than face the consequences. Or he genuinely may not have realized what had happened. We don’t know yet.

    So I am reserving judgement until he is found and the full facts are discovered. But any which way, the guardian of this child is fairly seriously responsible as well.



    I’m sorry but that’s just not true. It is most certainly possible to keep control of a two year old in a public place. You ducked my question of whether you have kids but I can honestly contend to have always done that with mine.

    You can certainly let go of them for brief periods and keep them close in various safer places but NOT anywhere near traffic, not even for a second because that is all it takes.

    Any guardian who fails that duty of care is going to get into trouble. It’s got nothing to do with race and I didn’t even know the race of this woman until you played that card.

    And re your point (2), it is not reasonably possible to drive in such a way that you can stop or avoid any and every obstacle that might possibly get in your way. By that standard we’d have a 5mph speed limit everywhere. That would definitely save a lot of lives but the cost would simply be externalized elsewhere.



    OK, let’s try one. Man is headed to work, has to drop off the child at daycare. Gets a cellphone call from a client, takes the call – using his hands free – and forgets to drop the child off at daycare. Arrives at work, goes into the office, returns to his car 9 hours later and his son is dead. No charges. Discuss. Oh yes, three times during the day his car alarm went off and he remotely deactivated it. True story.

    The primary reaction to these cases is that there needs to be technology added to cars to prevent this sort of thing from happening. But there is ZERO drive to make roadway changes to prevent this sort of pedestrian death from happening. The pedestrian should behave better we say, and punish their mistakes – but we empathize with the driver and instead of admonishing them we sympathize and try to figure out how to mitigate their mistakes, not punish them.



    The driver in the first story crossed against a red light through a high speed road. If there was a child in one of the cars, would said driver be charged by George Gascon with felony child endangerment? Given recent events, I consider it a perfectly accurate parallel.



    That’s exactly right. Despite all the new pedestrian oriented development along Mission Street, the streetscape essentially remains the same as it was in the 1930′s after the streetcar tracks were ripped up in the neighborhood. The irony of the crossing at mid-block on this street is that the light was not installed for safety, but to facilitate faster movement of cars. If the crosswalk wasn’t signalized, car drivers would be responsible for yielding to pedestrians which would have lead to slower speeds on the street. A properly designed street with slower moving cars next to pedestrians would have avoided this tragedy.


    Luce Morales

    Without knowing those specific cases, I wouldn’t know what circumstances mitigated in favor of the negligent parent(s). In this case, I believe the person who led a child to her death in a crosswalk, against the light, in oncoming traffic, should be prosecuted and punished.



    Cut the truck driver a break. He will have to live his whole life with that guilt!



    Sure we do. Hundreds of parents have left their child to die in a car seat on a hot day after forgetting that the child was in the car. And the majority are not charged. A recurring theme in all the cases I researched exactly matched Mario’s themes.

    I believe this is because the DA/Police empathize with drivers and not pedestrians. And there was a clear racial and class divide between those who were charged and those who were not.


    Luce Morales

    I believe the person who led a two-year old into oncoming traffic and left her there should be punished. I hope the DA agrees.


    Mario Tanev

    Exemptions are an example of judgment. If you’ve followed the course of road-related deaths in SF you will know that San Francisco prosecutors use their prosecutorial judgment a lot. And it tends to favor drivers who kill people because they think a jury won’t convict (and because they empathize with drivers). What is a jury? It’s a representation of society since US society is automobile-bound, they also tend to empathize with drivers. Certainly, from the windshield perspective it may seem that a death of a relative is not punishment enough (it’s not just guilt, it’s a great loss to that person!). But if the jury consisted of people who lost a relative, that jury would not find the person guilty.

    In essence, we empathize more with a mundane act (driving a car) than with the pain and loss inflicted by a loss of a relative. That is, who are you to make a mistake on the road as a vulnerable user, if that disturbs my right to the road in my tin can, where my mistakes carry no guilt?


    Tim Bracken

    Without a trial, we’ll never know beyond a reasonable doubt whether his claim was true or false, but I draw your attention to this sentence in the article you cited: “Surveillance footage from cameras mounted near the intersection was
    inconclusive, but a prosecution witness testified at Bucchere’s
    preliminary hearing that the bicyclist had raced through three red
    lights before striking Hui.”

    Also, there’s this from the Examiner: “Three witnesses have testified that Bucchere ran a red light while
    riding southbound on Castro Street and did not slow down when he struck


    Nicholas Littlejohn

    Only one thousand area parking spots will remain? I’m incensed!


    Luce Morales

    We don’t give people exemptions from the rule of law because their guilt is ‘punishment enough.’ Perhaps you’re watching too many soap operas.


    Mario Tanev

    If you think prison time is a better lesson than the death of a niece, you’re delusional. Think again.


    Luce Morales

    > There is no such thing as punishment for its own sake.

    I disagree. I believe punishment teaches the perpetrator a lesson, as you say yourself, and that’s one of the principal purposes of the criminal justice system. That’s it. I don’t think we’re going to get any closer than that. Good night.


    Mario Tanev

    There is no such thing as punishment for its own sake. It is used to provide peace of mind to the victims or relatives, to teach the perpetrator a lesson and so on. In this case it serves no purpose. Nobody benefits.


    Luce Morales

    You almost got there with “prevention of recidivism (avoiding a repeat offense) and re-education” but you left out PUNISHMENT for the wrongdoer. This is also one of the principal purposes of the justice system.
    PS: No need to dumb anything down as you patronizingly put it. I can read and comprehend, and I believe I am sharing opinions with you in an articulate and respectful manner, though we disagree. But thanks.


    Mario Tanev

    Ok, again, but dumbed down.

    The justice system serves several purposes: deterrence (discouraging people from committing a crime), prevention of recidivism (avoiding a repeat offense), re-education (preparing for a better return to society), societal calm (where society doesn’t resort to vigilanteism) and yes… retribution (or piece of mind for the victim).

    This serves none of those purposes. It’s like capital punishment for people who want to commit suicide. Pointless and cruel.


    Luce Morales

    > The greater society?

    Ah, yes. So the next irresponsible/stupid/lazy adult may think better of it and wait for the light rather than lead children into traffic. Thinking like yours – in which a person responsible for the death of a loved one has/will ‘suffer enough’ – is what’s wrong with society, not so-called “disproportionate justice.” What’s disproportionate about it? The aunt is equally responsible for the death as the driver – if not more. But for her actions, the child would be alive.


    Fran Taylor

    Quite a difference in the pronto police work ferreting out video to exonerate a driver, in contrast to their lack of interest in video evidence against the truck driver who killed Amelie Le Moullac at 6th and Folsom.


    Mario Tanev

    And who benefits from the charge? The other relatives? The greater society? Nobody does.

    But society would benefit if the driver is arrested. Thinking like yours is what’s wrong with our society. It’s disproportionate justice with rules for the sake of them, rather than for actual safety.



    If she had only run over the toddler with an automobile, she would have gotten off scott free, with no charges filed.