Today’s Headlines

  • Mayor-Funded BeyondChron Editor Campaigns Against Muni-Funding Prop B in SF Examiner Op-Ed
  • Mother, Son Sentenced to Community Service for Disabled Parking Placard Fraud (SFGate, CBS)
  • Woman Jumps in Front of Muni Train at Van Ness Station, Survives (ABCSF Examiner)
  • Commenters Suspicious of New SFMTA Blog (Weekly); Muni Employee Arrested for Stealing Gas (Exam)
  • Mission Bike Shop Owners Report More Competition in Recent Years (Mission Local)
  • CA’s New 3-Foot Bike Passing Law Goes Into Effect Tuesday (NBCStreetsblog LA)
  • Uber Sued for Service Dog Discrimination (Exam); Berkeley Considers Ride-Share Regs (Berkeleyside)
  • More on BART’s Train Rehabs and Crowding (ABCCBS), Labor Negotiations Report (KQEDSFBG)
  • Curb-Jumping San Mateo Driver Slams Into Special Needs Students Walking on Field Trip (ABC, KRON)
  • Parking Permit Zones in the Works in Downtown Palo Alto (PAO), San Mateo Near Caltrain (Daily Journal)
  • South SF to Remove Red-Light Cameras After Technical, Administrative Errors (Daily Journal)
  • SJ Proposes Sidewalk Biking Ban (Cyclelicious); Mill Valley Police Put Bike Speed Monitor on Trail (PBB)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • mcva

    Keeping my fingers crossed that the 3′ law results in a real difference out on the road, and not just in court proceedings after injuries occur.

    Next up should be a law requiring drivers to actually drive the speed limit.

  • Prinzrob

    I wish we had as little sympathy for drivers going 2-8 mph over the limit as is displayed toward bicyclists in the Mill Valley People Behaving Badly segment posted here.

  • EastBayer

    What a ridiculous misuse of police resources…

  • murphstahoe

    Hey. Someone was injured on the Mill Valley Bike Path. Nobody gets injured by speeding drivers.

    There is certainly some sketchy behavior on the bike path, but it has less to do with speeding on the bike path and more to do with riding in formation on a bike path. The guy in front might be going 25 MPH but he can see what’s coming up. The person sitting 10th wheel is trusting 9 people in front of him to have some very good perception and communication skills.

  • mcva

    I have no experience with the MV path, but to be fair I see a lot of cyclists going too fast in the Panhandle and, less often, on the Embarcadero. If bicyclists are riding on a mixed-use path along with pedestrians, they should cut down their speed significantly. We all want to go faster, but the most vulnerable users always need to be respected (just like automobile drivers should always respect bikes/pedestrians on streets).

    Not saying the police wouldn’t be better served by focusing their attention somewhere else, but I don’t think we should downplay the threat that speeding cyclists cause to pedestrians (especially little kids) on these sorts of paths.

  • Erica_JS

    They could cut down instantly on 90% of the disabled parking fraud if it was no longer FREE. Being disabled doesn’t automatically make someone poor; if the city wants to help low-income drivers there are far more effective ways.

  • Prinzrob

    Please keep in mind that my original comment stated that we should be holding drivers to a higher standard, not holding bicyclists to a lower one. I agree that lower speeds are a good idea for multi-use paths that get a lot of foot traffic like Mill Valley, the Embarcadero, the Panhandle, etc. When I ride Mill Valley I always try to take that section easy and don’t starting pushing it until I get into the hills and streets with fewer stops and cross traffic.

    It’s also good to note that none of these paths were designed to handle the amount of traffic they are seeing these days, which contributes to the conflicts. The Embarcadero cycletrack plans are a good way to separate bikes and peds, with only those riding super slowly taking to the sidewalk. I’ve seen some plans for the Mill Valley and Panhandle paths as well, but nothing that looks like it will be happening in the near term, unfortunately.

  • Gezellig

    Anecdotal, yes, but I bike the Mill Valley path every day and find these kinds of conflicts rare, personally. However, it is true that as its popularity has grown it’s at the point it could really benefit from some widening and/or paint demarcation kind of like this:

    http://www.albanystrollroll.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Midtown-Greenway-Three-Lanes-2.jpg
    (Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis)

  • I ride the Mill Valley trail a lot, I trained for three AIDS/LifeCycle rides on it along with being a ride leader training others. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent a lot more time looking at my speedometer and how fast surrounding cyclists are going. I am certain I yell “slow down” more than other cyclists and it’s not even because people are purposefully speeding.

    Speedometers are not required or included with bikes. On a pedestrian trail with bikes and pedestrians all moving at different speeds (pedestrians also don’t come equipped with brake likes and don’t use hand signals when stopping or turning) and without speedometer it’s an entirely subjective guess as to how fast you are really were going.

    Keeping a steady cadence on bike pedals doesn’t equate to keeping a steady pace the way it does on the accelerator like holding a pedal down. A gusts of wind gust of wind can change your speed and being caught in a tailwind means the air around you itself is changing speed. Now we’re talking about an entirely Then it’s entirely a subjective guess in the General Relativity/Observer Effect way.

    None of that justifies breaking the law or that it’s entirely subjective – I really am sorry for the times I’ve accidentally gone a few miles over the speed limit though – what I’m trying to justify is the Mill Vally Police using the radar speed sign even if it’s only for education purposes.

    Basic bike computers are not very expensive either.

  • murphstahoe

    If I am driving a car, and the speed limit is 35 MPH, and I get tagged on radar, I can fight the ticket if a speed survey hasn’t been used to find that the 85%ile speed limit on the roadway and used to set the speed limit.

    Are bike paths just “set the speed limit to whatever I think it should be and that’s the speed limit, and you can get a ticket.”? And the cops can use radar because it’s impossible for a car to pace a cyclist on a path?

    Roadways are subject to the basic speed law – where you can’t go faster than conditions allow. By this metric, if there is nobody around on the bike path, you should be able to go faster, and if there are pedestrians you should go slower. While this is subjective and the current environment screams to me “capricious enforcement”, it’s better in theory to focus on riders who are being imprudent, as opposed to simply “fast”. And all it requires from the rider is good judgement, not a bike computer.

    I agree 100% that putting the sign there (next to a speed limit sign) to point out to riders how fast they are going in a pedestrian heavy area is a useful tactic, in that it might get some riders to THINK. The MV bike path attracts a lot of new-ish riders whose fitness level often exceeds their judgement and skills (aerobars in a paceline on a bike path? Seriously?)

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    The placement of the speed sign is good – it’s the hairiest place on the whole stretch of path as a crossroads with sports fields and some slight changes in sight lines. A bit of speed awareness can’t hurt in this spot.

    Going the speed that conditions allow is absolutely spot on. It’s so easy to slow down for just a few moments to pass and then accelerate again. Especially on a weekend joyride, it’s just not a big deal. A few seconds of courtesy on my multi-hour weekend jam isn’t going to make a lick of difference.

    Likewise, there’s no reason to limit your speed to 15 mph when nobody else is around. When the sun isn’t shining, the path is all but deserted.

  • Yes! In the movie Ghostbusters, there’s that line where they tell the mayor, “You could save the lives of millions of registered voters.” This is similar: one ridiculously easy trick (charge for handicap spots the same as regular spots) would free up thousands of parking spots because of all the scammers dropping out of the game.

    Given how people lose their shit at the prospect of a single spot being taken away, you’d think that would be a big deal.

    Plus: taxpayers win 😉

  • ⦿ Commenters suspicious of new SFMTA blog? Not surprising. Commenters are idiots. (Except, of course, for you, Dear Reader.)

  • voltairesmistress

    One’s pedestrian perspective changes with disability or age. Walking with my 86 year old father helps me see how a speeding bike on a shared path or a car rolling through a stop sign are difficult to react to when your reflexes have slowed or eyesight has worsened. Older folks tend to get startled by close encounters with others in motion, even if there was no actual danger. So, folks, slow it down and move in predictable ways to make others, particularly the frail, comfortable around you.

  • “Breaking news: blog commenter upset. More at 11.”

  • gary

    Many times the disabled have more money with the resources they become entitled to get.

  • Sprague

    Southern Marin’s multi-use paths can almost be described as victims of their own success. They are well used by bicycle commuters, school kids, joggers, walkers, dog walkers, etc. More such paths and protected bike lanes are needed, to meet the demand for safe places to bicycle and walk.

  • Gezellig

    Absolutely.

    Part of the issue, too, is that in a lot of places Southern Marin tends to be pretty all-or-nothing in terms of infrastructure. The Mill Valley path passes by areas that sometimes don’t even have sidewalks, much less bike lanes (and the bike lanes that do exist are almost never 8-to-80). This makes the MUPs even more a draw for recreational activities than would otherwise be the case. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it all adds up.

    What’s really insane is the last-mile (or often just the last few hundred feet) problem. Within spitting distance of the MV path you have streetscapes that function like the one in the first image of Shoreline Hwy near Mill Valley. Notice the bewildered pedestrians in the StreetView. It sucks to walk or bike there.

    In the second image you see Donahue St near Marin City as it goes under 101. It happens to the only road connection between a major (well, for Marin) bus hub and the MV path, and it’s ridiculously hostile to non-cars. Other than a few racer/road-warrior types I don’t see many people on bikes confidently “taking the lane” there. Practically everyone bikes on the separated sidewalk there because that’s just insane. Cars speed like crazy there and there’s little visibility due to the narrow sharp curve of the underpass.

    The third one is at Shoreline and Manzanita transit hub, where a lot of GGT bus lines stop. Despite a few corporate offices and the MV path all in close proximity, the area is totally hostile to bikes and peds. Notice how there’s only a pedestrian crossing on one side–a long light that prioritizes car traffic above all else. Despite being less than a minute bike ride away from the MV path there’s no bike lane connection on the road.