Today’s Headlines

  • SFMTA Purchase of New Parking Meters Delayed as Drivers Protest Loss of Free Parking (SF Exam)
  • SFBG Praises NYT Op-Ed on Accountability for Drivers Killing Cyclists; Bike Snob Blasts it
  • Former Mayor Art Agnos, Warriors President Debate Arena Traffic Issues (CBS)
  • Rincon Hill SF Films Regular Scene of Car Congestion, Drivers Blocking Crosswalks
  • Stanley Roberts Catches Drivers Distracting Themselves in Line at Trader Joe’s on Masonic
  • SFMTA Mysteriously Removes Speed Hump on Clement Street at 36th Avenue (Richmond SF)
  • Also Mysterious: Muni Train Interior Seen Painted With Bright Colors (Muni Diaries)
  • Bay Bridge Demolition Set to Begin Today After Postponement (SF Examiner)
  • Marin IJ Profiles Mill Valley’s Judah Schiller, Who Recently Biked Across the Bay for the First Time
  • With New Caldecott Tunnel Set to Open, Residents Remember Its Predecessors (CoCo Times)
  • Geoffrey Mapplebeck, 25, of Danville Killed in Head-On Car Crash in Castro Valley (CoCo Times)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • aslevin

    The NYT piece was a great example of concern trolling and stereotype-promoting. Think about his argument about any other group. There are people in group X that exemplify stereotype Y. Therefore, some think it is justified to deprive all members of group X of rights, and mistreat individuals because they belong to group X. In defending rights for group X, it is important to remind members of group X to refrain from reinforcing the stereotype. How well does this logic work for black people, gay people, women, etc?

  • Simplified SF Bike Map piece in The Atlantic that missed the list is worth a look: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/11/wonderfully-simplified-map-san-franciscos-bicycle-infrastructure/7554/

  • murphstahoe

    Oh no you didn’t go there! 🙂

    The analogy to racism, sexism, anti-gay, etc… is really spot on but you will be crucified for saying it, for two reasons.

    1) The tide has turned such that we have created a societal taboo against racism. Even though we still have innumerable racists, they operate under this taboo. Witness Richie Incognito, who operated in a sphere were racist terms were “post-racial” but he’s in deep water anyway. Cyclists have not made it this far. It’s “acceptable” to demonize cyclists in public.

    2) Get a car hippie. Unlike blacks or women, you can stop being a cyclist at any time. It’s a bogus argument, we’ve encapsulated rights for cyclists into law, so it doesn’t matter being “a cyclist” is not an inherent condition, they get protection under law. This argument is going to take a long time to overcome, witness the discrimination against gays by people who say that it’s not similar to racism because you “can stop being gay”

  • The Bike Snob rebuttal is really good. I agree the NYT piece was concern trolling. Plus, anyone who is “too freaked out” to ride a bicycle in San Francisco has no business lecturing bicyclists on how best to ride a bike in San Francisco because he basically has no idea what he’s talking about. It would be like me, because I’ve sailed across a lake, lecturing someone how to sail across the Pacific. This is true even if he is sympathetic to the point of view that motorists, in general, shouldn’t kill bicyclists. (And what does it say about the status of bicyclists that someone expressing this viewpoint is somehow progressive and newsworthy?)

  • jd_x

    Yes, Bike Snob’s response was brilliant. I read the NY Times article the other day when it came out and had the same reaction as Bike Snob, but he articulated my feelings way better than I could have. I wish *his* article was in the NY Times.

  • voltairesmistress

    My thoughts, exactly.

  • aslevin

    And the consequence of the stereotyping of cyclists is we can get killed or seriously injured with no justice, because police and the DA and jurors and the public believe and reinforce stereotypes. Members of other groups have figured out strategies to blunt the stereotyping. It shouldn’t be acceptable to demonize cyclists. Not sure how to get there but it’s only life and death.

    Also that’s why I abstracted the analogy, to avoid getting stuck in debates about spurious details. And to try to get people who think they’re being sympathetic to think twice.

  • Regarding yesterday’s PBB (since comments are off in Monday’s Today’s Headlines) :

    I thought about this segment twice while riding my bike in SF:

    – Last night, I stopped on 7th St at 16th St and then moved up a bit at least 1/2 way into the crosswalk to make room for the driver trying to turn to the right behind me.

    – This morning at 20th St and 3rd St, I considered how entertaining it would be to stop at one of the many light controlled intersections and hold my ground before the crosswalk while sitting on an induction loop that was too weak to pick up my non-carbon bike, and not move so a vehicle with more metal could set off the detector. 7th at 16th would be an even more entertaining spot to do this as the light cycle there has 3 phases and I’ve often been missed by the inductive loops crossing 16th when alone, etc.

  • shamelessly

    The NYT piece resonated with me. I’ve been cycling in SF for almost 2 decades, and fear for my life more these days than I have in the past. I support the writer’s advice as a both/and solution: yes, drivers need to take responsibility for the damage they can inflict, even unintentionally; and yes, we cyclists can drive more predictably. It’s not like one negates the other.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Cyclists don’t drive bikes.

    The problem with the article’s conclusion is it suggests that if cyclists “behave” then drivers will also drive more safely, police will fully investigate crashes, and the DA will prosecute. That’s being deceptive and will not happen because these are structural problems, not behavioral ones.

  • shamelessly

    I took the author’s point as recognizing that as long as enough cyclists don’t always stop at stop signs and stoplights, it means that auto drivers cannot reliably predict the behavior of any cyclist they encounter while driving. This does not excuse auto drivers driving carelessly. But I saw it as a call to recognize that we cyclists can ride more predictably, which can only improve the experience of everyone on the street. Of course auto drivers still need to step back from their rage against cyclists and take responsibility for the impact that their carelessness or road rage can and does have on cyclists and pedestrians. And maybe the author’s call for changes to cyclist behavior tilted the article too much toward the “both sides do it” fallacy. But it doesn’t mean there’s not some wisdom to be gleaned from the author’s suggestion.

  • coolbabybookworm

    That’s still a fallacy though that laws not made for bikes can even be followed by bikes 100% of the time. Again, a behavior change is not only *impossible* but it does nothing to address structural inequality, whether it’s laws, police treatment, or infrastructure. Didn’t he even say bike should follow the laws 100% of the time? Like, no more room for mistakes everybody, unless you’re driving and you HAVE to do an illegal U-turn, then it’s ok. Let’s see, if drivers will yield to pedestrians with the right of way 100% of the time I’ll come to a full, foot down stop at every stop sign rather than safely slowly and checking to yield to other traffic/pedestrians.

    No matter my mode of transit I’ve always had trouble determining driver intent at a cross walk or 4 way stop.

  • aslevin

    Of course cyclists should wear lights in the dark and strive to ride predictably. But I’m feeling increasingly strongly that it’s important to decouple calls for cyclists to be treated with justice, and calls for cyclists to behave better. I am a prudent cyclist. Coupling tells me that I will not get justice if I get run over, because some other person rides the wrong way without lights down a street in the dark. Coupling tells an African-American person that he will not have rights until some other person stops breaking into houses. Stereotyping like this promotes injustice.

  • shamelessly

    I agree that that would be a rhetorically stronger way to make both arguments.

  • voltairesmistress

    The CBS Phil Matier interview of Agnos and Warriors’ CEO (above) was excellent. It succeeded it making me agnostic about the proposed arena. Will just have to see how its plans shape up and whether it appears the right size for development on the waterfront.

  • coolbabybookworm

    Yeah, I know we can engineer some amazing projects, but it seems like building an indoor arena over water is gratuitous and possibly a modern titanic sized disaster waiting to happen.

    I think both speakers were rather silver tongued, but the Warriors’ CEO’s comments about transit were probably the worst. I was impressed by the interviewers questions, he did a good job.