Today’s Headlines

  • Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver Who Seriously Injured Man in North Beach (SF WeeklyKTVUSFGate)
  • More on SFMTA’s Completion of 15 MPH School Zones (SFGateSF ExaminerWalkSF)
  • Bartlett Street Plaza Design Workshop Tomorrow (Uptown Almanac)
  • New Facebook Page Dedicated to Documenting Bad Tour Bus Driver Behavior (Haighteration)
  • SFist Provides a Refresher on Public Transit Etiquette
  • Sierra Club Director: Recent Bicycling Boom Only “Scratching the Surface” of Potential (City Brights)
  • Roadshow: Appeasing Drivers Venting Over “Wasteful” Green Bike Lanes (Mercury News)
  • CA Senate Passes Bill Increasing Fines for Drivers, Cyclists on Cell Phones (Press DemocratSac Bee)
  • CHP Cited 5,900 Bay Area Motorists Last Month for Distracted Driving (Palo Alto Online)
  • Schools in Copenhagen Have Scooter Parking Racks (Copenhagenize)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • In principle I have no issue with citing cyclists on cell phones — rarely do I see someone doing it with enough balance that they can maintain their direction without swerving this way and that. That said, the SFPD doesn’t seem to cite motorists for doing this and I fear that it will be used to continue to disproportionally crackdown on cyclists. 

  • mikesonn

    Cyclists are visible, drivers aren’t. Though, I have a great view from the bike lane right into the driver’s lap, which is where most drivers hold their phone while texting.

  •  The problem that I see with cyclists riding with phones is that if one of their hands is holding the phone, then one of their hands isn’t in the position to use the brake. That would compromise their braking ability. 

  • Davistrain

    Not being a cyclist at this time, I can’t really testify, but it would seem that it would be easier to stop and attend to the call when bicycling than in a car–no need to find a car sized parking or stopping spot to avoid driving and texting (or talking) at the same time.

  • Another factor is whether you ride an upright bike or not. The Dutch are famous for chatting on the phone when riding their bikes and they have no problem at all single-handing it.

  • Anonymous

    @facebook-616986286:disqus If you have brakes on both handlebars (which is most bikes), you only need one hand to stop.

    @b9079a2928b221307247ecba46d1ed0f:disqus Agreed. It’s definitely easier to stop on a bike, but that’s all the more reason why we need to give bicyclists credit in the first place: they aren’t putting themselves in a situation, unlike a motorist, where they can’t easily handle a call and where, if they do take the call, the consequences are much less severe since they weigh much less, are traveling much slower, and are more mobile. For that reason, it’s important that the law recognize that the consequences of talking on a phone on a bicycle are much less severe than doing the same in a car, and the punishment should be appropriately less severe. It drives me nuts when people try to pretend like bicycles are cars and the consequence of using each is exactly the same.

  • @facebook-616986286:disqus and @twinpeaks_sf:disqus frankly I think texting/talking on the phone is stupid regardless of your vehicle of choice. Even on a bicycle you can still hurt yourself and somebody else if you mess up. It *is* easier to pull over, even moreso on a bicycle if you have to use your phone.
    My only point is that this will just be used as an excuse for more disproportionate crackdowns, because as @mikesonn:disqus on a bicycle it more evident that you’re on the phone than it is in the car.

  • Dutch bikes are upright and usually have coaster brakes, which makes it easier to ride with one hand.  I’m sure it’s a factor in why so many of them ride while while chatting on their mobile phones. It also helps them with holding umbrellas in the rain.