Today’s Headlines

  • Balboa Street in the Outer Richmond Ready to Get Streetscape Upgrades (SF Chronicle)
  • A Look at the Culture That Thrives Without Car Traffic During Sunday Streets (SFGate)
  • SFMTA Confident It Can Manage Waterfront Traffic From the Warriors Arena (CBS)
  • Car Crash at Oak and Gough Ends With Cars on Sidewalk (Hayeswire)
  • Developers Donate Privately-Owned Park to City in Rincon Hill (ABC)
  • A Google Bus Driver on the Mission: “Pedestrians and Cyclists Try to Sabotage Me” (Buzzfeed)
  • SF Weekly Bike Columnist on What to Do if Hit By a Driver
  • Photo: Panel Falls Off on Muni J-Church Train (Muni Diaries)
  • Down to the Wire: BART Unions, Management Finally Negotiating Again (CBS)
  • Palo Alto, Mountain View Request Representation on Caltrain Board (Green Caltrain)
  • Pleasanton Driver, 18, Turns Self in for Killing Dublin Woman Who Was Cycling (CBS)
  • KRON‘s Stanley Roberts Looks Again at AC Transit Drivers Failing to Stop at Railroad Crossing

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    Well, you, as an old time San Franciscan know it as Avenida De Las Pomos, before they paved the damn thing and renamed it, only the n00bs call it Oak.

  • Anonymous

    Is this a joke?

    You think he would post 35 jokes in a row and then a serious question? #facepalm

  • Anonymous

    Sure, every street is different, but excepting major thoroughfares, you can count on averaging about 15 mph.

    “The concept of a safe speed is relative”

    For pedestrians and cyclists, speed is not relative but absolute. A vulnerable road user (pedestrian or cyclist) doesn’t care how high of a speed the road was designed to move cars when they are hit, and in fact this apparently elusive-to-traffic-engineers fact is one of the great flaws of post-WWII urban design where we have totally neglected the safety of non-motorists. Optimal speeds for keeping pedestrians/cyclists safe will still letting cars be useful is about 20 mph — “20 is plenty” (http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/). You can see this clearly on Figure 2 of page 4 of this report:
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/53918280/Correlates-of-injury-severity-of-pedestrians-involved-in-collisions

    In conclusion, evidence is pretty clear that speed limits anywhere where pedestrians or cyclists are present (which means essentially everywhere in a city) should be no higher than 20 mph.

  • Anonymous

    hey, sometimes it’s nice to be an optimist and sometimes calling a serious question a joke can be a useful rhetorical strategy.

  • Neil

    A good answer, coolbaby, and more like what I was seeking here. I think the problem arises mostly when a speed limit is arbitrarily set either too far above, or too far below, what a driver intuitively feels is a safe speed. And any experienced driver knows what is a safe speed.

    And in the end there is no substitution for the judgement of a driver or rider, whether that’s a car or a bike.

  • Anonymous

    Most speeds were only lowered by 5 mph (10 at the most) so it wasn’t arbitrary and, as shown in jdx’s excellent post above, was done in order to make our streets safer for vulnerable road users. about 20 pedestrians a year are killed by car drivers and almost 1000 a year are injured, so I wouldn’t say that the evidence suggests drivers know what safe speeds are. I don’t have any studies on hand, but from personal experience I know that a problem with cars, and one of the reason they have speed gauges is because you actually become desensitized to speed when driving them.

    I daily see dangerous and illegal car driver behavior so I don’t have a lot of confidence in driver judgment or intuition.

  • Anonymous

    Most speeds were only lowered by 5 mph (10 at the most) so it wasn’t arbitrary and, as shown in jdx’s excellent post above, was done in order to make our streets safer for vulnerable road users. about 20 pedestrians a year are killed by car drivers and almost 1000 a year are injured, so I wouldn’t say that the evidence suggests drivers know what safe speeds are. I don’t have any studies on hand, but from personal experience I know that a problem with cars, and one of the reason they have speed gauges is because you actually become desensitized to speed when driving them.

    I daily see dangerous and illegal car driver behavior so I don’t have a lot of confidence in driver judgment or intuition.

  • Anonymous

    “what a driver intuitively feels is a safe speed. And any experienced driver knows what is a safe speed”

    The number one cause of accidents is “unsafe speed”. Perhaps your definition of “experienced” is more nuanced than I expect, but I would consider that anyone who has had a license for more than a couple of years should be considered experienced, but they keep crashing.

    Drivers tune out the distractions from outside the built roadway, and drive to the speed of the roadway, rather than paying attention to external factors that require a slower speed. In the city this is primarily pedestrians. I caused an accident coming back from Tahoe 12 years ago – I wasn’t going very fast but with traffic and snow, the speed I was going was not safe. Close – I only needed about 12 more inches of stopping room in the end – but no cigar.

    This is not a problem solely limited to drivers – Chris Bucchere probably felt he was going at a safe speed, looking at solely the roadway he was not going so fast he would not crash, but he neglected to adjust his speed for factors outside the boundaries of the roadway.

  • Anonymous

    Valencia is 13 mph.14th St is about the same. Fell/Oak, Golden Gate/Turk, Pine/Bush, Gough/Frankling, 19th Ave (parts), Sunset Blvd, Great Highway, are the main streets I know with timed lights and they are all timed for the speed limit (and watch all the ridiculous drivers go faster and just race to wait at a red light).

  • mikesonn

    Neil doesn’t consider pedestrians to be “road users” so your point is lost on him.

  • Greg

    Unless it’s 3am, it’s pretty much impossible to drive fast enough in SF on a time light street to race up and get to the next signal when it’s still red. Roads are just too crowded for that.

  • Anonymous

    Notice that aside from Valencia thos are pairs of one ways. You can’t set a light timing to an arbitrary speed for a two way street and have both ways of the street get that timing…

  • Anonymous

    Neil still calls them the New York Giants

  • Ryan Brady

    I’m pretty sure Oak is 25 at least, since I push it on my bike, it’s downhill, and I hit every green.

    Franklin, Great Highway, and Sunset are all 35, if it hasn’t changed from when I used to drive.

  • Neil

    No joke. I don’t use Oak so there’s no way I’d know. I always thought it odd that Fell had a bike lane and Oak did not, but then I recall seeing lots of cyclists on Page and they seemed much happier than the ones on Fell even though Fell had a bike lane and Page did not.

  • mikesonn

    So you don’t drive on Oak, but you drive on Page where you magically see “lots of cyclists”? You are good at what you do, no denying that.

  • Neil

    Correct, I walk on Page a lot, and see many cyclists. I do not drive on Oak and there is no other reason to be on Oak really, is there?