Eyes on the Street: Trucker Blocks Crosswalk at New “CityTarget”

As if Geary and Masonic wasn’t already hostile enough to pedestrians, here’s an example of street dysfunction exacerbated by freight traffic at the newly-opened CityTarget. Winston Parsons happened upon a delivery truck driver setting up shop in a crosswalk and, he said, impeding buses on the 43-Masonic.

In the video he submitted, Parsons confronts the driver, who says he just didn’t know where to park and load. Blocking the crosswalk is “illegal, and it’s unsafe for everybody else that has to walk out here, like these people, who are going to have to walk into traffic to get around your parked truck,” says Parsons, who told us he phoned the violation in to SFPD. The store has loading docks that can be accessed via the shopping center’s 650-space parking lot.

This sort of blatant disregard for pedestrians and bus riders is certainly nothing new or exceptional on San Francisco streets, but it’s troubling to see that the management at Target, which wooed customers with free parking in its marketing mailers, has failed to communicate how to park and load safely to drivers making deliveries.

  • mikesonn

    Did SFPD do something? I won’t hold my breath.

  • mikesonn

    Loading docks:


  • Anonymous

    I don’t get why Streetblogs has an axe to grind with this Target store. It’s a brand new location and drivers don’t know where the loading docks are. I’m sure there’s no deliberate intention to make things unsafe for pedestrians. This stuff will be ironed out in a matter of weeks.

    Think about all the bike shops is town. If I sat outside and watched all deliveries to a bike shop, I’m certain I could catch the exact same scenario on video. I’m sure deliveries to bike shops often block bike lanes, too. Why don’t I see footage of that on Streetsblog?

  • This is a regular occurrence throughout the city during delivery hours. Not sure why this particular instance is noteworthy.

  • Anonymous

    From the seat of my bicycle, I’ve often wished that delivery trucks were simply banned from city limits. To be fair, I’m not sure that’s practical. But I wonder if there are other places that have come up with smaller-scale ways of getting goods into dense, urban environments, rather than bringing in tractor-trailers or even box trucks?

  • Dan

    The level of indignation was a little over the top. The man could have more politely confronted the situation

  • voltairesmistress

    Whenever delivery truck drivers park so as to create a dangerous situation, always notify the store management receiving that delivery. Management, more quickly than anyone else, can get the driver to re-park his or her vehicle. Having to move the truck will discourage deliverers’ poor safety decisions in the future. If management is ineffectual, call the police.

    I did this on Polk last week, because the Coca Cola delivery driver refused the Walgreen’s manager’s request to him to re-park in an available yellow zone directly in front of the Walgreen’s. The driver appeared dumbfounded and preferred to leave the rear of the truck angled into 3/4 of the only available travel lane for everyone else. I flagged down a PCO who was too whimpy to confront the driver but did tuck a ticket under the windshield wiper. Why the management/PCO deference to or fear of delivery truck drivers? We all need a attitude adjustment — no more looking the other way and saying dangerous parking is necessary for commerce in this city.

  • Anonymous

    Because it shows that Target has yet to prioritize its responsibility to the neighborhood.

  • mikesonn

    Did you see the elderly woman walking up with a cane? Yeah, I think he was too nice to the driver.

  • mikesonn

    If these actions aren’t called out now, they will continue indefinitely. I, for one, am glad that Streetsblog is calling out Target for promoting free parking and showing this driver’s blatant disrespect for every other ROW user, this is the reason I donate to them and will continue to do so.

  • Jesse

    During the construction (and possibly while it was abandoned) phase there wasn’t parking along Geary and Masonic around the building. Now that there is it’s jacking up traffic for cars as well as busses. I don’t understand why 650 parking spaces isn’t enough. It’s dangerous and snarls up traffic, any kind of traffic. If these are heavily used corridors it’s asinine to put street parking on them.

  • Sean Rea

    “who told us he phoned the violation in to SFPD”

    It’s kind of cute and adorable that he thinks SFPD will give a shit.

  • Anonymous

    “Where am I SUPPOSED to park???”

    “Not here?”

  • Anonymous

    If a driver doesn’t know where the loading dock for a store is he should…

    A) Call the store and find out where the loading dock is.
    B) Park in the crosswalk

    To say that the driver had no deliberate intention to make things unsafe for pedestrians is way off base. The driver absolutely did that. “Here is a crosswalk. I will park here”. The only way that isn’t deliberate is if the driver is a complete moron.

  • Anonymous

    because the target has a loading dock?

  • Anonymous

    Barring large-scale construction projects which need big trucks (and for which all truck drivers should need to get a permit which requires some basic training with regards to pedestrian and bicyclist safety), you absolutely can get most deliveries into a city without huge trucks. The Europeans do it all the time with their mini-trucks (more like mini-vans). In fact, many European cities with medieval town centers where the roads are just too narrow for trucks, use even smaller trucks and sometimes even golf cart-like vehicles or cargo bikes. So there’s no reason small trucks can’t work in SF …

    … except if you’re a big-box retailer where your gross profit margin depends on moving massive quantities of goods. To me, that is the real problem: gigantic, big-box stores whose business is based on just massive quantities.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly *because* it happens everyday, everywhere, is never punished, and nobody points out all this out even though it’s a huge barrier to livable streets.

  • Anonymous

    helloandyhihi wrote: ” I’m sure there’s no deliberate intention to make things unsafe for pedestrians.”

    And that’s exactly why it’s so problematic. It’s essentially built into our urban design that bicyclists and pedestrians can go to hell as long as the motor vehicles get everything the want and they companies can get their way.

    “In fact, I’m sure that bike shop deliveries often block bike lanes, too.”

    Hah. I would say it’s much, much less problematic for local bike shops. They move a fraction of the inventory as big-box retailers like Target. It makes sense to target (no pun intended) the biggest culprits.

  • Peter Lauterborn

    Thanks for this post, Aaron. I have contacted Targets representatives about this, as well as it’s transit plan in general. Appreciate it!

    Peter Lauterborn
    Legislative Aide
    Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1

  • Isn’t it an existing building that Target is taking over, which has been receiving deliveries for years? This driver should have known better, either way.

  • It’s part of your job to know. You’re a delivery driver, so when you deliver stuff, you should know where you’re delivering it to.

  • Winston Parsons

    Yeah I spoke with the manager at Starbucks there (I believe that was the driver’s destination) the next day and he literally said “that’s crazy,” when I told him how the driver had parked and said it wouldn’t happen again. We’ll see.

  • Winston Parsons

    Admittedly I wasn’t expecting SFPD to do anything or care, particularly that the driver started leaving after the 43 was honking at him and given my interactions with cops in the past. However, it’s my philosophy that I can’t say SFPD didn’t make an effort if I didn’t at least try to notify them.

  • Winston Parsons

    Dan, I agree I could have been a bit less emotional and more polite. That being said, I grew up in this neighborhood (Presidio by Pine) so I grew up constantly seeing flares, broken glass, and the firemen across the street helping clear wreckage and I’m more than tired of it. My mom also regularly walks around here so it stirred up some emotions in me that were hard to manage.

  • 94103er

    I get pretty angry at anyone who blocks any crosswalk for the sheer indifference to others’ right to move about efficiently and safely. And in addition to the pedestrians and cyclists jammed up by this, a busload of 43-Masonic riders were delayed, which just compounds the indignities that they endure every day (bus waiting for double-parked cars to clear, drivers stopping to chat with their buddies, cars illegally parked in bus stops, cars illegally driving in the transit-only lane, etc etc etc).

  • Charles

    Many MUNI buses now have parking enforcement cameras. Sadly, not many of them are on the 38 or 43 lines yet, but they should be soon. Just a note – violating VC 22500 (L), blocking a wheelchair ramp, carries a fine of $1029.


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