Today’s Headlines

  • Mis-Shifting Driver Jumps Curb, Critically Injures Elderly Man and Boy, 3, on Grant Avenue (CBS)
  • SFPD Issues Jaywalking Ticket to Man Critically Injured by Motorcyclist on Van Ness Ave (SFGate)
  • City Attorney Issues Cease-and-Desist to Apps That Sell Free Parking (ExamTime, SFBGABC, SFGate)
  • Disabled Parking: DMV Automatically Renews Placards for the Dead (SFGate); KTVU Confronts Abusers
  • SFMTA: Car-Free Lombard Street Trial Saw More Pedestrians, Went “Relatively Smoothly” (Examiner)
  • Video: Former SFBC Policy Director Andy Thornley on Why SF Continues to Love Bicycling (SFBC)
  • Construction Continues on McCoppin Hub, New Street Plaza Next to Central Freeway Ramp (Curbed)
  • Agencies Agree to Further Study Impacts of Highway Widenings, Development in Plan Bay Area (SFGate)
  • Vallejo Drivers Careen Into House (KRON), McDonald’s Drive-Thru Queue (KTVU)
  • It’s True in Cities Around the U.S.: If You Want to Kill Somebody, Do it With a Car (Vice)
  • “Protected Intersection” Design Gets a Demo at Minneapolis Open Streets Event (Bike Portland)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Prinzrob

    Regarding the collision on Van Ness, if the pedestrian was indeed cited for jaywalking then it is an invalid ticket. Since Myrtle is not a signalized intersection it is legal to cross Van Ness midblock anywhere between there and either Geary or O’Farrell. I hope the he fights this bogus ticket, and it’s frightening when even the SFPD doesn’t seem to understand pedestrian laws.

  • Citing people for jaywalking when the crosswalks are so far apart is ridiculous in the first place. It’s the equivalent of a speed trap for pedestrians.

  • MadlyBranning

    I don’t understand this. Why would that make it legal to cross outside of a crosswalk? I don’t think Myrtle goes through Van Ness (i.e., you can’t cross Van Ness from Myrtle in a car). Why would that make it legal to cross anywhere on the block? If that’s the law I’ve never heard of it…and frankly I don’t think it should be the law if it is.

  • Gezellig
  • JB

    Jaywalking is a total bullshit crime to begin with meant to promote car sales and keep people out of the street to speed cars along using safety as a guise.

  • North Beach. They’re just about to repave Columbus Ave, and this could be the treatment for the already-slated “bicycle improvement pilot.”

  • gary

    In quite a few instances, it’s safer to jaywalk or cross in the middle of the block, you can see cars coming from a good distance away. There’s been many instances in a crosswalk, the driver moves forward, especially when they want to turn.

  • Gezellig

    That’d be awesome! So as a (non-urban-planner) layman I’m interested in the practical steps to get there–how might we go about setting up a demo such as this there (and/or any other deserving spot)?

    I’m sure @nickfalbo ( is a very busy guy but again a shoutout to him for working on the adaptation to US streets and setting up the demo in Minneapolis.

    Open question to him/other planners/advocates/the community
    …what can I/we do to demo this in SF?

  • Prinzrob

    Crosswalks (marked and unmarked) exist to show where a pedestrian has the right of way over other traffic. They do not indicate the only locations where a pedestrian can legally cross.

    The median on Van Ness is to keep drivers from making U-turns, not to restrict pedestrians. The city could put up a “no crossing” sign, but they haven’t, so it is legal to cross mid-block.

    Jaywalking only = crossing mid-block when both of the nearest intersections have traffic signals, or where signage prohibits crossing. The fact that most people, and even the SFPD, don’t understand this is deeply troubling, and indicative of an environment where moving cars is prioritized above peoples’ safety.

  • Easy

    Green = OK to cross, Red = Not OK to cross:

  • Filamino

    So far apart? Typical Streetsblog bullsh*t commentators again. The north-south blocks in this area are only 275 feet apart. Most people can easily walk less than 135 feet to a crosswalk from anywhere in the middle of the block. These blocks are very short compared to most blocks in other cities.

  • Filamino

    Alleys don’t count.

  • Prinzrob

    We’ve already covered this. Alleys don’t count as crosswalks, but they do count as intersections. Therefore a pedestrian crossing between an alley and another intersection doesn’t always have the right of way, but it is not an illegal crossing (jaywalking) either. This means fault should be determined by whether the man walked out right in front of traffic (unavoidable collision) or not.

    See Easy’s illustration above for more detail.

  • Prinzrob

    It doesn’t matter what you think is a easily walkable distance. Crossing Van Ness between Myrtle and one of the other closest intersections is not jaywalking, in a legal sense. So the ticket the police wrote him was invalid.

  • Filamino

    That’s really stretching the law.

  • Prinzrob

    No, crossing in a place where crossing is allowed is not stretching the law. Compare that to writing a pedestrian who was involved in a collision with a motorcycle an invalid ticket for behavior that was not illegal. It’s not the pedestrian’s fault that the police (and others on this comment thread) don’t know what constitutes jaywalking.

  • Filamino

    Yes, you are stretching the law. The law even says that a crosswalk does not include crossing a wider street where it intersects at an alley.

  • Prinzrob

    Let me repeat: Crossalks are where pedestrians have the RIGHT OF WAY over other traffic, but they are NOT the only legal places to cross.

    A pedestrian can cross ANYWHERE between ANY two intersections, as long as BOTH are not controlled by stop lights. The pedestrian does not necessarily have the right of way, but that DOES NOT mean that it is an illegal crossing. Yes, alleys do not indicate crosswalks, but they are still intersections, therefore crossing ANYWHERE between an unsignalized alley and another intersection is legal (ie NOT jaywalking).

    If you can not understand this simple explanation, then I give up.

  • Filamino

    I already gave up with you not understanding that alleys do not count as “intersections”. Crossing between an unsignalized alley and another intersection IS “jaywalking”.

  • Prinzrob

    Here are the definitions of “intersection”, “alley”, and “crosswalk” in the California Vehicle Code:

    An alley does constitute an intersection under the law, although it does not imply a crosswalk where a pedestrian has the right of way. However, that does not make it an illegal crossing.

    Further explanation compiled by a lawyer is provided here:

    A graphical representation of legal and illegal mid-block crossings is provided here: