Today’s Headlines

  • Melissa Kitson, 44, of San Lorenzo Killed by Two Drivers at 7th and Howard (SFGateMerc)
  • BART Considers Putting Tax Measures on the Ballot to Fund Long-Term Upgrades (SF Examiner)
  • SFGate Columnist: Are Parklets “This San Francisco Generation’s Greatest Invention”?
  • Photo: Upside Down Car on Army Street in 1942, Before It Was Widened Into a Traffic Sewer
  • Stanley Roberts: Cyclists Think Stop Signs Should Be Yields, As Do “Operators of 4k-lb. Motor Vehicles”
  • C.W. Nevius Thinks Bike Riders Need to Chill Out When Unsuspecting Drivers Put Their Lives In Danger
  • San Mateo County Could Boost Transit With New Sales Tax Revenue (Green Caltrain)
  • SamTrans to Buy 25 Hybrid Buses (Almanac)
  • Google Bike Directions Can’t Seem to Navigate America’s First Bike Boulevard in Palo Alto (Cyclelicious)
  • Marin Transpo Authority to Discuss Bike-Share This Thursday (Marin IJ)
  • Facebook to Pay Menlo Park $1.5 Million for Campus Expansion, Including Traffic Mitigation (CBS)
  • Driver Who Fled Country After Killing Ped in Santa Clara Two Years Ago Arrested at SFO (CBS)
  • 57-Year-Old Bicycle Rider Killed by Driver in Fremont (CoCo Times)
  • State Engineers Union Questions High-Speed Rail Construction Standards (KTVU)
  • Ever Wish You Could Save an Illegally-Parked Driver From Getting a Ticket? Now There’s Hope (CNET)

Inauguration Day Headlines and More at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • mikesonn

    Was really hoping you wouldn’t link to CW’s crap. He is just baiting page views.

  • The comments on the CNET article are hilarious. The primary abuse that would result from a “You are parked blocking my driveway” service is that people would not even think twice about blocking people’s driveways, if the threat is a text message instead of a tow.

  • Putting a link in our headlines stack is only going to add a drop in the bucket for SFGate’s pageviews. Meanwhile, we’re keeping our readers aware of what people are reading around livable streets.

  • It’s the principle of the thing…

  • mikesonn

    Aaron, I know. You can’t pick and choose what is posted out there but that CW one has to be his worst yet.

    “A BMW driver told me about this time a cyclist got mad at him for no reason but we didn’t check to see if the police were called or a report taken because the CYCLIST went the wrong way down a one way street!”

    Really, he could of just said the cyclist was wearing headphones and on a fixie with cut off jean shorts and plug earrings while eating an organic vegan quiche. Puke.

  • Also, he brought up an assault with a bike lock that had nothing to do with traffic issues, and didn’t involve a driver:

  • mikesonn

    He should lose whatever laminated mail-order “journalist license” he received. I got the impression from his column that the bike lock incident had to do with road rage which isn’t the case at all.

  • oiseaux

    On (other) cyclists kind of just being as many rules as possible:

    This seems to me to be a very San Francisco thing. Have you seen our drivers? It’s interesting to watch people. Watch pedestrians in your office, or even on the street, sometime. People walk like they drive, and people bike like they used to drive. If you’re a long time cyclist or a never-driven-a-car person, you’ll definitely see these habits right away. Drivers in SF like to cut corners (figuratively and literally) at any chance. A lot of the newer cyclists in SF are like this as well. It’s sort of built into the DNA of SF. So, for people who have heavy experience biking outside of SF, or even driving out of SF, it’s not so much a cars vs bikes sort of thing. We really need to up our education for everyone on the road. It’s not too bad to yield at stop signs (if SF had more traffic circles, this would solve this debate), but still running red lights – whether in a car or on a bike – is dangerous and it just kind of makes you look selfish and a tiny bit vain.

    We need to move the discussion toward what we can do to make travel more equitable, instead of just blaming one another.

    Also, recently Streetsblog recommended Jeff Speck’s new book “Walkable City.” It’s a great read, but there is a paragragh that all SF cyclists should read, and it goes a little something like this: “Of course, we have a long way to go to equal the Netherlands, whose fatality rate is less than a third of ours, despite the lack of helmets. This evidence has prompted some American cyclists to stop wearing helmets, as if the wind blowing through your hair somehow magically turns your city into Amsterdam. This is a bad idea, even though it is bolstered by the recent discovery that passing cars give more elbow room to bikers without helmets….” Then he goes o to name statistics that show the majority of bicyclist fatalities are directly related ot head trauma. Yep, helmets are only tested to withstand certain types of collisions, but they do reduce the risk of brain trauma.

    I bring up that paragraph though, not to harp on people who don’t wear helmets. Obviously they don’t realize that cars hurt (oh god they hurt), and that’s their choice. I bring this up though, because this can sort of be applied to our debate about yeilding vs stopping vs running red lights, etc. People in Amsterdam don’t cut corners like the fine folks of SF. We are different. People in Amsterdam stop at stop lights and at stop signs. I know this from first-hand experience. Cyclists in Amsterdam follow traffic laws. They do this though, because they are taught these rules at an early age. They don’t stop riding bikes at 10 annd resume at 21 like a lot of Americans. The city has also invested heavily in both education for drivers/cyclists, and in infrastructure. We in SF are not like those in Amsterdam. We don’t live in Amsterdam, and SF probably will never ever resemble Amsterdam until we start advocating properly. Saying “Well, they do it too!! Punish them.” is not good enough. Our best way to advocate is just to follow the rules, and to pressure the MTA/SFPD to crack down on anyone breaking traffic laws (drivers and cyclists). We also need to look to the Board of Supes and the MTA to craft legislation that actually works for everyone on the road. Lastly, we all just need to chill. The important thing that most people forget is that we’ll all get to where we are going eventually. Trust me, if you ride enough, you won’t need to run red lights to get somewhere faster. You’ll just be able to propel yourself on your bike at the adequate speed.

    Nevius and KRON attempt to get this point across but seriously suck at it. Basically, if we all just stop being selfish about the road and realize that we are all trying to get somewhere, things will get better. Look at Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. It’s not totally harmonious up there, but it is leaps and bounds better on many fronts.

  • oiseaux

    yay typos!

  • Cyclists in Amsterdam follow traffic laws. Laws against bike theft are optional however.

    Look at Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. It’s not totally harmonious up there, but it is leaps and bounds better on many fronts. –> Do you speak from experience or from watching “Portlandia”. I have read so many stories from those locales that would make San Franciscans blush. Most of the confrontation in San Francisco takes place on the Chron comments board. They do a lot more “RL” stuff up there….

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we could all just start by modifying our own road behaviors?  Individual change is not enough, but surely it’s the easiest place to start.  And it can be personally rewarding to slow down and to practice patience, courtesy, and restraint.  I began doing so a couple of years ago, whatever people out there did. I thought I would be sacrificing a lot to do this, that I’d feel pushed around by others.  But instead I’ve found my daily experience on the roads really good, even friendly.  Hope that helps others give it a try. 🙂

  • Anonymous

     No, no, no. This is a joke.

    Do you know why cyclists don’t blow through stop signs in Amsterdam? The reason is very, very simple.


    Drop into Amsterdam with Google Street View and have a look.

    That is the difference.

  • oiseaux

    @baklazhan I was speaking about red lights. – which they have.

    @murphstahoe I am originally from Seattle and have spent a great great deal of time cycling in all three Cascadian cities. Leaps and bounds, leaps and bounds.

  • oiseaux – this sort of thing – – just doesn’t happen around here, Nevius apocryphal and unverified screed notwithstanding.

  • oiseaux

    I do believe those are definitely bad instances, but really, we don’t live in the golden city that a lot of San Franciscans believe. We aren’t better than other places. We aren’t the number one [insert anything] in the world.

    That’s an example of bad cyclists in Portland (where the mode share is the highest in the country – meaning even more great cyclists & drivers), but I really don’t have to provide a link to Chris Bucchere do I? I mean, just because it’s documented in that article in Portland does not mean plenty of stuff does not go down here. Remember, the Northwest really is the place where everyone stops at a four-way stop followed by “you go, no you go” (It’s even such a stereotype that, yes, Portlandia did a sketch about it) The majority of NW drivers and cyclists are polite to the point where it almost gets annoying.

    Sure, there are bad drivers and bad cyclists everywhere, so I will reiterate: It’s not completely harmonious, but it really is a better experience by leaps and bounds (especially in Vancouver).