Man on Bike Killed by Muni Bus Driver at Bryant and Division

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A man riding a bike was killed by a Muni bus driver this morning at the intersection of Bryant, Division and 11th Streets on the southwest end of SoMa, according to media reports.

From the SF Chronicle:

The crash involving a bus on the 27-Bryant line was reported at 8:44 a.m., said Mindy Talmadge, a spokeswoman for the Fire Department. She said the bicyclist, identified only as a man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police and Muni officials said the bus was traveling southeast on 11th Street, and collided with the bicyclist while turning right onto Bryant Street.

The intersection is under Highway 101 and is controlled by traffic lights. However, Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said, “Its unknown at this point the dynamics of the collision.”

None of the roughly three dozen passengers on the bus were injured, Esparza said.

Paul Rose, a Muni spokesman, said the male bus driver, who has about 10 years of experience, was cooperative after the crash, and will be given a toxicology test under agency protocol. The driver was not immediately identified.

At the scene, KTVU reported that the bicycle had a black garbage bag tied to the rear rack and plastic bottles scattered across the street. KTVU also noted that the Muni bus had a camera on board which may have footage of the crash.

In a blog post, the SF Bicycle Coalition noted the poor design and high speeds at the intersection where the crash occurred, which lies underneath the Central Freeway.

“Division is easily one of the most dangerous streets in SF. Poor sight lines, lanes merging and separating with little transition, and streets meeting at unusual angles with unpredictable signalization,” said Bert Hill, a bicycle safety instructor. “Being under an elevated freeway doesn’t help, either.”

Hill was consulted by the SFMTA in the production of a training video showing Muni operators how to safely navigate the streets with bicycle riders, which noted the extra care needed to watch for blind spots while driving a bus.

“Today’s victim was the fourth person this year to lose their life while biking on SoMa’s fast moving and deadly streets,” the SFBC wrote. “In each of these deadly crashes, the rider was hit by a large vehicle.”

SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin issued a statement this morning expressing condolences “to all concerned” in “the tragic accident.”

The SFBC also noted in its post that there have been reports of a separate “serious crash on Folsom at 10th Street today, where a person biking was hit by a large van.” Though few details are available on that, accounts on Twitter indicate no one was killed.

“These deadly and serious crashes on SoMa streets are not one off ‘accidents,'” the SFBC wrote. “These deaths are preventable and within the power of the city to change immediately.”

The crash at 10th and Folsom Streets today. Photo tweeted by ## Feldman##
  • bourbon

    As long as the city continues to pander to the entitled and obtuse mindset of those who want to have their cake and eat it too, these “accidents” will continue to happen. The “parking above all” demographic wishes to live in a culturally rich urban area, but demands to maintain the comforts and privileges of 1950s suburbia. An increasingly dense space like SF can not accommodate that lifestyle for everyone. In the meantime those of us who can’t afford cars (but who also pay taxes to maintain the roads) contend with daily harrasment from drivers and the constant threat of injury or death.

  • Anonymous

    That intersection needs, at the very least, a bike box at every street that feeds into it. It’s scary trying to fight the traffic going onto Bryant when bicyclists want to turn left into Division. Going from Division to 11th is even scarier, since the bike lane ends when mixed with a right turn lane that goes onto Bryant and there’s a blind curve at the Costco corner, all while cars blowing thru the intersection at 30mph share the same lane you’re trying to turn on.

  • Chris

    Why the accusatory headline and opening sentence? The story says nothing about whether either the bus driver or the bicyclist was being negligent or reckless at the time of the crash.

  • Anonymous

    Just glad I did not have to witness another biker killed by garbage truck driver collision today. On Post, waiting in a car in traffic due to a double-parked garbage truck on Post near Powell. (Nearly the entire block’s curb was open, but the driver did not want to bother pulling in and pulling out — better to block commute traffic.) A woman on a bike slid between my car (in the transit lane, the only available lane due to double parking) and the parked garbage truck.. Except that the garbage truck started forward 1/2 second after the woman passed. She never even knew how close she came to death. When I’m old and gray maybe I’ll get to have a heart attack watching that kind of maneuver . . .

  • tommyjohn

    First off, what a tragic and avoidable incident.

    Second, I have to admit story after story about cyclist deaths has put me off on riding for the time being, until we have safer streets. Really unfortunate.

  • NoeValleyJim

    I am really tired of George Gascon. He keeps letting these drivers get away with murder. Time for a new and better DA.

  • Richard Mlynarik

    “Killed by Muni Bus Driver” out-Streetsblog-headlines “Killed by Lack of Separated Raised Parking Lane Protected Cycle Tracks Suitable for Eight to Eighty.”

    Just awful, per the report in the Reddit thread linked to by Roy Chrisman below.

  • susan

    don’t worry, MTA will do a study on it and possibly paint a few sharrows or something in the next 3-5 years, longer if they have to go back to the drawing board after someone yells at them during one of the two dozen community meetings they’ll hold before hand.

  • I walk through that intersection now and then, and it’s always terrifying. The pillars holding up the freeway make it difficult to see pedestrians and bicyclists, there’s traffic moving along three axis, and not to mention the fact that it’s dark under there.

    The safety could be improved significantly if we could finally commit to tearing down that stretch of freeway.

  • Jury Member

    Hah. I recently served a jury duty case in a hit and run. It was the defendant v. the City of San Francisco. (i.e. correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the D.A.). I have never been in a jury before, but the D.A. was so incompetent that I and the rest of my jury did not have enough evidence to find the guy guilty. I couldn’t believe we had such crappy lawyers working for the city.

  • Box boxes can be improvement, but they make cyclists rush to be at the front. Complicated intersections like this should probably have a short bike & ped scramble cycle. It may slow things down for some people but as long as all motor vehicle users respect the light it should be fine.

  • Anonymous

    So depressing to hear of yet another cyclist killed while the city government does absolutely nothing in response.

    As for the absolute traffic sewer that is Division, this is easy:

    – Get rid of all the (free) parking on Division and turn the resulting lane into a buffered bike lane in both directions all the way from Brannan to Folsom. There is no need for parking under there and no need for so many car lanes.
    – Fix the clusterf**ck of an intersection that is Brannan, 10th, Potrero, and Division. This should be a roundabout. Right now, there is *way* too much concrete in every which direction. Narrow it up and have all the roads come to small roundabout. Turn the remaining space into (native) greenery. Every time I ride through this intersection I can’t get over how dangerous it is and how much of a waste of space it is.
    – Get the cops over here (and off the damn Wiggle) and start ticketing the maniac car drivers that fly down Division. I have never *once* seen a cop on this street. It is so frustrating to see how poorly our finite police resources are allocated. While cyclists and pedestrians DIE in Soma, somewhere a cop is wasting his time giving a cyclist a ticket for rolling through a stop sign with nobody around.
    – Oh, and ideally, we tear that elevated freeway down. Elevated freeways through cities might just be the *worst* idea ever conceived in transportation.

  • Dallas


Bicyclist Killed by Muni Bus on 6th Avenue in Inner Richmond

UPDATED Friday, 9:05 a.m. A 22-year-old bicyclist named Derek Allen was killed by the driver of a 44-O’Shaughnessy on 6th Avenue between Geary Boulevard and Clement Street late Thursday afternoon in the city’s second bicyclist fatality of the year. (The raw video above is from CBS5). A spokesperson for the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office […]

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