Today’s Headlines

  • Another Pedestrian Hit by Driver at Sunset and Yorba: Woman, 21, Injured (KTVUCBS, ABC, SFGate)
  • Light-Running Driver Jamie Linares, Who Killed Johny Alonzo-Castillo on C. Chavez, Turns Self in (CBS)
  • Coverage of Bike to Work Day (Examiner); Bikes Remain 76 Percent of Vehicle Traffic on Market (SFBC)
  • U.S. Census: SF’s Bike-to-Work Ratio Remains at 3.5 Percent (SFGate, SacBee)
  • SF Yellow Bike Project Going Strong in Offering Volunteer Services, Giving Bikes to Needy Kids (Exam)
  • KTVU‘s Latest Hard-Hitting Piece: SFPD Says Too Many Green Bike Lanes Confuse Drivers. Seriously.
  • Stanley Roberts Catches Cyclists Misusing Oak Bike Lane, Running Bike Signal; Drivers Parking in It
  • SPUR‘s Ocean Beach Master Plan Calls for Early Bike/Ped Path, Road Diet; Open House Tomorrow
  • Highway 1 in the Presidio to Be Closed Northbound Overnight Sunday for Presidio Parkway Work (MIJ)
  • BART Considers Cutting Service Hours to Accommodate New Worker Safety Rules (SFGate)
  • Long Rails Arrive in Novato for SMART Construction (Marin IJ)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Amanda Clark

    BART is killing itself in the court of public opinion.

  • Actually, SFPD is right that designated bike lanes such as the ones on Folsom and 8th are confusing to drivers. They are nothing more than a series of overly complicated paint markings that no one understands, either intuitively or even intellectually. What the hell are bikes lanes doing right in the middle of traffic?

    Bike lanes need to go at the curb. Parked cars next lane out to form a barrier.

    Motorists are then free to congest the remaining lanes, honk angrily, cut each other off, text and talk until they rear-end the car in front of them, and generally rage their machines at the monster we’ve built.

  • JJ94117

    In looking at the KTVU “Too many bike lanes” article, I did not find that phrase. Rather, as I read it, it is a legitimate concern that drivers do not know how to manage a turn across a bike lane. Furthermore, I see it several times a week at Fell and Broderick. Drivers and cyclists alike do not know how to navigate. Likewise, I see cyclists try to shoot by cars that are clearly turning left, even the few that indicate and merge properly. All the more reason for real, physical separation between auto and bike traffic.

  • gneiss

    While pedestrians continue to get hit by cars, Park Street Station rolls along with its bicycle enforcement on the wiggle. Yesterday afternoon during the commute hour, two motorcycle policemen were handing out tickets to people riding bikes on Waller between Steiner and Pierce.

    These low volume neighborhood streets in lower Haight are *not* the place where they should be focusing their energy. Enforcing compliance at empty intersections isn’t going to positively effect safety. Instead, they should be on Oak and Fell, where conflicts between motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians have resulted in actual death and major injury.

    There are plenty of cyclists who jump the light at Scott and Fell that pose a far greater danger than the empty intersection at Piece and Waller. If you want to give cyclists tickets, that’s the place to be – a far more dangerous conflict point then the quiet block of Waller.

  • Caleb

    Shame on you, Park Station.

    Theory: this is a cultural attack. Wait for Bike to Work day… Ruin the day of potential new cyclists by ticketing them for minor roll-through-stop infractions to discourage them from cycling regularly.

    If you’re going to ticket cyclists, please ticket red light runners, cyclists who antagonize pedestrians and the like, not people slow rolling through sleepy intersections in a quiet neighborhood.

  • murphstahoe

    Rather, as I read it, it is a legitimate concern that drivers do not know how to manage a turn across a bike lane.

    How do we get the DMV to put that on the tests?

  • Bruce Halperin

    I have a more positive outlook on the KTVU piece. It had “Invading Their Space” in the lower third and referred to “careless drivers”, and they got Mikail Ali on camera explaining the proper way to avoid right hooks.

  • Guest

    It’s already on the test. I failed on that very thing when I took mine maybe 15 years ago.

  • A note about US census data–while the American Community Survey is valuable on the whole, it should be used for evaluating long term trends, not year to year fine-grained differences in individual cities. This is because on a yearly basis its sample size is quite small, with a large margin for error. For example the 2012 ACS only got 219,484 households in California to fill out surveys.That is just 0.5% of California’s 38 million population. This creates a fairly large margin of error when drilling down to a much smaller statistical unit like San Francisco. Also, due to the nature of surveys mailed to households, the households answering them are likely to skew to older, stable housholders, not transient young people living with roommates. (Although the ACS does allow responses to the survey to be made on line, that is not how initial contact is made.) In addition, when people don’t fill out the surveys, the ACS makes calls to the household to ask them to do so–but only if they can come up with a phone number associated with the household address. Younger people are much more likely than older ones not to have a landline at all. So overall, the ACS will tell you something about California as a whole but not so much about individual cities, and not so much about trends that involve younger populations.

    The infographic that SFgate refers to is based on 2008-2012 ACS data, which has combined data for five years. Each year when the new five year ACS data comes out, they add on the newest year of data and drop off the oldest. So by design, this is very much a lagging indicator of any kind of change. It will certainly tell you the differences between, say 2003-2008 and 2008-2012, so it will pick up major ongoing long term cultural trends. But it will tell you very, very little about how much bike riding increased in a single city in a single year as the newest year’s change will be damped down by five year old numbers.

  • Chris J.

    The Stanley Roberts piece is a great summary of a lot of the chaos and rule-breaking that happens day-to-day. The scooter entering the bike lane at the light to go around a car is a personal pet peeve of mine.

  • EastBayer

    I think it is…at least the idea that you need to move into the rightmost traffic lane to turn right, even if it’s a bike lane. But how often do people actually take that test? I took it once to get my California driver’s license and have been able to renew by mail ever since.

    The PD’s notion that being sure to use the broken white lines will magically fix everything is absurd. Most intersections are striped like that but cars still turn across the lane.

  • jd_x

    Even worse: when full-fledged motorcyclists with huge bikes do this. Would love to see the cops actually give bicyclists a little respect and dignity and enforce the laws that motorists continually violate at the expense of cyclist safety.

  • 94110

    76%… According to the Market Street Bike Counter, Bike to Work Day was the third highest bike counts this month:

    I wonder what accounts for these somewhat conflicting numbers.

  • If you go east on Market and turn left on Polk, you don’t go over the bike counter. Surprisingly our ride from the Castro with Supervisor Wiener didn’t even go down Market. We took a somewhat convoluted route that gave us quite a tour of various pieces of bike infrastructure. (17th to Sanchez, Sanchez to 14th, 14th to Harrison, Harrison to Division, Division to roundabout to 7th, up 7th to Market, left on Market to Polk, right on Polk.) It highlighted the really awful intersection at 14th and Market (so awful I don’t know why even cars take it), various stretches of both smooth and rough pavement, and the unpleasantness that is 7th squeezing between poorly parked cars, lots of traffic and cars turning right. But no trip over the bike counter like last year.

  • jonobate

    “We have too many people riding the trains, so instead of trying to solve the problem by increasing service as much as we can within the constraints of our finances and infrastructure, we’re going to cut service and hope that they just go away.” That’s genius logic, right there.

    Any surprise that this comes from Director Joel Keller of Brentwood? He probably gets annoyed when his yellow line train from leafy suburbia gets to MacArthur and one of the great unwashed from the urban East Bay gets on the train and sits down next to him. The horrors!

  • SFnative74

    The fuller the bike lane gets, the more people there will be that ride in the car lane and never run over counters. There were tons of people on bikes yesterday and I’m sure it was the highest for the month, if not the year, if not the century!! : ) 1200 cyclists/hr in one direction is pretty impressive.

  • murphstahoe

    Keller rides BART?

  • Jamison Wieser

    SFMTA provides endless examples of how not to provide customers with information. The core design principal appears to be to never tell customers what you want them to do when you can put a legend explaining it somewhere else. Often in the least obvious place or just leave it up to customers to infer for themselves entirely.

    Others cities (Seattle and Portland) put stencil some version of “Cars Wait Here” on the street after right bike box (following the stop advance bar where we’ve been trained to expect instructions like “stop” “yield” “left turn only”) while SFMTA instead puts instructions on a nearby utility pole with a diagram and callouts in 48pt type (that’s .66 inches) and I know 48pt type because I downloaded the flier from the link on the sign. How is a driver expected to read that?

    This should be unacceptable. What is absolutely crazy to me, is with examples in the wild of it done simply, somebody chose not to just stencil “wait here” and spent time, effort, and money to purposefully make it more complicated.

  • twinpeaks_sf

    I failed my first behind-the-wheel driving test here in SF for not merging into the bike lane when turning right. The “lane violation” was an automatic failure.

    Been merging in ever since!

  • tungwaiyip

    FYI the margin of error for San Francisco’s 3.4% estimate is +/-0.2% as shown in table 2, page 9 in the report.

    Of course any statistics have their limitation. Still ACS is one the most reliable and useful data source. This is one of the great thing the government has done.

  • That margin of error reported in that table is not for the 2012 ACS. It is for 2008-2012, five years of data. That’s why they like to use the five year data set–because it contains a lot more data which reduces the margin for error. However, as I pointed out, it does not give the bicycling rate for 2012, but rather, it combines all the data for a five year period and gives an aggregate number for that period. It doesn’t tell us very much at all how things might have changed from 2011 to 2012. Plus there’s the issue that the data collection likely skews away from younger people because the current survey methodology–snail mail and landlines–have a propensity to miss the under 30 crowd. Even polls in the last presidential election were struggling with this.

    I agree that the ACS is useful, especially for highlighting long term trends. It is, however, important to understand what it is telling us and what it is not.

  • Bayview/Dogpatch riders missed the counter on the way to the rally as well.

  • tungwaiyip

    Yes the report is for 2008-2012. These mode shift happens gradually anyway. The key take away is the the number has raised 60% from 2% to 3.4% over 10 years.

  • 94103er

    Exactly. So many gadflies like Rob Anderson fail to understand this–and more importantly, clueless public officials. Taking surveys like these as gospel is beyond absurd when they use blatantly flawed methodology like calling people on land lines. I mean, are they freaking kidding us?