Today’s Headlines

  • Couple Arrested in NYE Ped Hit-and-Run in Tenderloin; Second Driver Still Sought (KTVU, SF Weekly)
  • More SFFD Opposition to Bulb-Outs: SFMTA Approves Safety Plan at Portola School (SF Examiner)
  • Firm Proposes New Design for Planted Bulb-Outs in SF (Fast Co.)
  • SF Examiner: Finger-Pointing Won’t Curb Pedestrian Injuries
  • Environment Commission to Discuss SFMTA Plan to Charge Shuttle Use of Muni Stops (SF Examiner)
  • City Controller Report: Muni On-Time Performance Dropped Over Last Year (SFGate)
  • 1941 Proposed Bernal Heights Car Tunnel Would’ve Destroyed Homes, Livability (Bernalwood)
  • City CarShare Adds Electric Cars at Kezar Stadium, Making it Its Largest Pod (SF Examiner)
  • “Cyclodeo” Website Lets Users Map Videos of Bicycle Rides to Preview Routes (SF Weekly)
  • East Bay Bike Coalition Pushes for Protected Bike Lanes on Telegraph Ave. (Oakland North)
  • San Jose Pedestrian Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver While Walking on Ramp Shoulder (SFGate)
  • Mercury Roadshow Readers Attack Idea of Bicycle Licensing Fee

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Mark Dreger

    City Controller Report article: “Police officers even crashed their cars less than anticipated: The city had a fiscal year target of 75 collisions where the officer was at fault. It turns out there were only 72 – the same as the previous year.”

    Interesting expectation.

  • Prinzrob

    Re. the “SFFD Opposition to Bulb-Outs” article: Can the SF Fire Department PLEASE explain how driving over a sidewalk bulb-out is more difficult than a car in a parking spot that it replaces.

    I appreciate the fact the they are concerned about maintaining or improving their response times, but in all of the articles I have read their statements show that they are clearly out of their element with regard to talking about traffic engineering and complete streets planning. If they have concerns they should just take them directly to the city’s planning department. These constant, misinformed public statements they keep offering make them appear foolish and divisive.

    I would love to hear some constructive suggestions from the SFFD as to how they think pedestrian safety enhancements can work in conjunction with their emergency response vehicles (such as rolled curbs, painted bulb-outs with flexible bollards, etc), while also encouraging the SFPD to crack down on things like double parked cars which cause them a much more significant delay. If they are upset about being “vilified for voicing concerns” then they should try rethinking their statements, not just getting upset about people reacting strongly to them.

  • MadlyBranning

    I think the recent statements by both the SFPD and the SFFD are probably due to the fact that the members of both departments are likely very “auto-centric” themselves. That may be a huge generalization, but let’s just say I doubt many police officers and firefighters commute by bicycle, foot, or public transit. People that spend most of their transit time in cars have a very difficult time getting their heads around the idea that other forms of transit shouldn’t always give way to the car. So the SFFD takes the prospect of double-parked cars blocking them as just the facts of life, while bulbouts which might save pedestrian lives are some sort of radical change. Given that some buses are now equiped with cameras to photograph cars in bus stops, it seems kind of nuts not to have video cameras in the front of firetrucks. If the penalty for double-parking a car and impeding an emergency vehicle were high enough, that problem could be drastically reduced.

  • Upright Biker

    As we learned from the SFO Asiana incident, the rigs _do_ have cameras on the front.

    So, the question now becomes, what keeps them from using them to enforce existing double-parking and yielding laws to make their response times faster?

    Maybe it just never occurred to them?

  • Upright Biker

    Our neighbor is a firefighter, and she noted that the challenge with bulb-outs is that people inevitably stand right at the curb edge, making them a potential hazard for the trucks as they round the corner.

    While I can see that point, it seems as though removing the last parked car on each block to put the bulb out in place should provide enough daylighting so that both the firefighters on the rig and the pedestrian on the street should be able to avoid each other.

  • thielges

    You’d think that pedestrians standing on the bulb-out would simply step back when a fire truck with lights flashing, sirens and horns blaring bear down on them. Pedestrians obstructing emergency vehicles seems like a non-issue.

  • murphstahoe

    So what you’re saying, is that they can’t say “Look, I need those parking spots for when I come to work” so they gin up an unrelated safety issue in order to preserve their commuter parking?

  • mikesonn
  • MadlyBranning

    You really thought that’s what I was saying?

    Let’s try this:

    “I doubt many police officers and firefighters commute by bicycle, foot, or public transit. People that spend most of their transit time in cars have a very difficult time getting their heads around the idea that other forms of transit shouldn’t always give way to the car.”

    That’s what I actually said. I actually doubt that police officers and firefighters are parking on the street and feeding meters. I suspect they have places to park that come with their job. I don’t think that they are against bulbouts because they want those parking spaces for themselves. I think they are largely people that use cars as their primary or only form of transportation, and as a result are a bit blind to the needs of those that use other forms of transportation.

    I hope you understand what I’m saying, but if you don’t, I give up.

  • Bulb-outs can affect parking spaces, but are mainly about extending into the crosswalk, where parking isn’t permitted anyway. But I completely agree with your core point about the primary usable roadway width being the same regardless of what’s happening at the corner. I think SFFD’s core concern is mainly about turning radiuses- since bulbouts go into the crosswalk, turns could be affected.

    Regardless, I don’t think fact that a turning fire truck might have to stray partly into the oncoming traffic lane is a reason to not install a bulbout. That kind of truck movement would happen infrequently, and with emergency lights/sirens giving oncoming traffic plenty of warning, while the bulbout would have recurring benefits to so many pedestrians, in particular children for this case.

  • Prinzrob

    Good points, and made better than the SFFD has been able to so far.

  • jd_x

    Agreed. And if the road really is too narrow for the truck to turn even using the other lane, then I don’t think going up and over the bulb-out curb is a big deal (of course, presuming they make sure pedestrians are out of the way, which they always have to do anyway), certainly not big enough to completely prohibit one effective way of reducing pedestrian injuries and hence calls they need to respond to.

  • baklazhan

    I think there may be a significant phenomenon of firefighters parking illegally on the street near their station, with some sort of marker which tells the meter maids not to ticket them.

  • p_chazz

    Never underestimate Murphstahoe’s ability to willfully twist something you said to make an entirely unrelated point. He is a master at it.

  • yiqi