Today’s Headlines

  • Man Biking With Chest-Strapped Baby Sues SFPD for Arresting and Choking Him, Taking Baby (SFGate)
  • Jeep Driver Arrested After Running Light, Hitting Cab at Octavia and Fell, Attempting to Run (NBC, CBS)
  • SFMTA Installs Daylighting, Signal Changes at Stockton and Sacramento After Woman Died (SFGate)
  • SF Bay Guardian Shuts Doors After 48 Years of Alternative Coverage (SF Weekly, KQED, SF Examiner)
  • SF Weekly‘s Joe Eskanazi: Prop A Transpo Bond Language “May” Be Too Permissive and Broad
  • Annie Alley in SoMa Under Transformation to Become Pedestrian-Friendly Plaza (SocketSite)
  • Private Parking Lots Charge $100 During Giants Games; Most of SF’s Street Parking Still Free (CBS)
  • SideCar Acquires Permits to Serve at SFO, Uber and Lyft to Follow (KTVU, SF Examiner)
  • BART Unions Won’t Back D4 Director and Bike Advocate Robert Raburn Over Treatment of Strikes (EBX)
  • Alameda County’s Transpo Funding Measure BB Gains More Support This Time Around (SFGate)
  • After Pedestrian Deaths, Mountain View Seeks Public Input to Make Intersections Safer (Peninsula Press)
  • At “Growth Without Gridlock,” Silicon Valley Leaders Talk Traffic Reduction Strategies (PTA)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Re: changes to Stockton/Sacramento intersection, while daylighting is good (and should happen at every intersection with crosswalks in San Francisco) I agree with Chinatown residents that in cases of high pedestrian density (such as this location), a pedestrian scramble in the signal cycle is the way to go.

    In complex urban environments, we ask drivers to process a huge amount of information in a very short time span, far more than they can often do safely. Drivers turning left anxiously focus on oncoming traffic to try to find a small window to dart through. They can’t take their eyes from oncoming traffic, and they may even have someone behind them honking in impatience, adding to pressure. When they finally get a break in traffic, they hit their accelerator to shoot the gap. Then they may or may not see who happens to be in the crosswalk.

    As San Francisco grows more dense, traffic design that might have worked in the comparatively empty San Francisco of the 70’s continually degrades in terms of safety and needs to be rethought and reconfigured. Pedestrians need to be given more space and protection. Speeds in dense pedestrian areas need to be lowered, and when possible through traffic should be routed away from/around dense pedestrian areas. Cars need to be prevented from making turns quickly during periods when pedestrians are crossing (if allowed to turn at all.) Many intersections on Mission and Valencia Street would benefit from a pedestrian scramble in the signal cycle.

  • shamelessly

    Agreed. And all the 6-way intersections along Market!

  • 94103er

    So now we’re choking foreign nationals into unconsciousness and holding babies without contacting the mother?!? Wow, SFPD, keep it classy. Seriously, is there some secret agenda drawn up by our police departments to deter immigration or even tourists from around the world from visiting our cities? Because it is just mind-boggling to me how often I read about completely insane escalations of pretty straightforward infractions.

    Do I think it’s sensible to ride in SOMA with a baby strapped to my chest? No. Does the risk to the infant even compare what befalls them in a car, which probably has its safety-seat incorrectly installed? Yeah, uh, nope.

  • gneiss

    The story about the man with his child strapped into a Baby Bjorn has to be one of the more ridiculous cases of police overreach that I’ve read in recent years. Largely, it comes from the mistaken belief that people who ride bikes should be treated the same as those who drive cars. In cases where drivers fail to have their children in car seats, CPS will indeed get called in (after giving the motorist a chance to call a relative), as there is typically *no other way* for the child to get home except by car.

    In this case, however, the parent could have easily walked on the sidewalk with the bicycle after being given a ticket for failure to have a helmet for his child. It just shows how “same roads, same rules” totally falls flat on it’s face as a way of treating infractions to the traffic code by bicyclists.

  • Same roads, same risks, same rules. The risk of head injury per hour is not much higher on a bike than in a car (and the risk of death from head injury is the same)*, so any parent who drives their kid around without providing a helmet needs to get choked out by the cops immediately (twice) and their kid taken away. Heck, just remove *all* kids in the U.S. from their homes and call it done.

    *Source: http://www.vox.com/2014/5/16/5720762/stop-forcing-people-to-wear-bike-helmets

  • Andy Chow

    The problem with that on Market is that the furthest distance at those intersections are over 150 feet, versus 60-80 feet at intersections in Chinatown. That means those signals would have to be pretty long and that would affect traffic and transit performance on Market.

  • shamelessly

    Glarg. I wish there was a way to avoid having to wait through 2-3 light cycles to cross Market on foot at streets like Sanchez and Noe. But I see what you’re saying about transit performance. *sigh*