Wiggle Bike “Stop-In” on Ride to SFPD Park Station

From San Francisco Bike Ride Crew via Facebook:

Let’s again follow the letter of the law and stop at every stop sign, as though we are cars, on our way to the Community Meeting.

We will plan to get moving by 5:30. Address for Park Station:

1899 Waller St
San Francisco, CA 94117

  • That’s very interesting, because, of course, we’re told to yeild to cyclists riding on the right. Typically, when I approach an intersection to turn right, I get as far left as I can on the assumption that I’m being accommodating to cyclists–who, of course, are riding on the right!

    The problem with that graphic above is that it contemplates that at some point, the rider and the driver are going to “cross” paths to allow the car to get on the inside. That’s all good and well when you’re dealing with 1 car and 1 rider, but in SF, it’s 50 cars and 50 riders. Trying to smoothly “cross” like that is sure to end in a shouting match.

    Why do SF cyclists not campaign harder for more dedicated bike lanes? That would seem to be the ultimate solution to so many of these problems–though I guess that, as with everything not related to tech, the City doesn’t have money for that?

  • caryl

    Thanks for the explanation. We’re much more on the same page than I first thought. From what I’ve read here on SB, most cyclists are in favor of ticketing people who steal others’ right-of-way or otherwise endanger people. However, that wasn’t what the ‘crackdown’ seemed to be about. It was about getting people to make complete stops, which just pointed out to me how ridiculous our laws are when it comes to bicycles. We focus on stopping when we should be focusing on proper yielding. So for me, the crackdown didn’t make me want to stop at every stop sign, it just made me want to stop riding entirely. I just didn’t trust that I wouldn’t be pulled over for some nitpicky thing. Just being on a bike had somehow put a target on my back, no matter courteously I was riding. It seemed particularly unfair given how many cyclists (and yes, motorists) truly do deserve a ticket for endangering others. It doesn’t seem like it should be that hard to just focus on them.

  • caryl

    SFBC has been fighting for dedicated bike lanes for years and while significant progress has been made (see Fell, Oak, Market, etc), it is always a battle (see Polk, Masonic, etc). I actually think money is the least of the problem, as bike infrastructure is about as cheap as it gets. The problem is the space, since adding a bike lane often requires removing a travel or parking lane. Also, dedicated bike lanes do not solve the problem of right-hooks because you still have intersections.

  • Donovan Lacy

    I think it is a question of additional education on both sides.

    I routinely call out cyclists when I am cycling and motorist when I am driving for not handling this interaction correctly. It is one of the most dangerous and least understood exchanges on the road. Even with a dedicated bike lane, you still have to make that smooth “cross”.

    Maybe SFPD could help educate cyclists and motorist on this activity. It is consistent with Captain Sanford’s goal of making the streets safer for everyone.

    To reiterate what caryl’s point, SFBC has been fighting for dedicated lanes for years with some success over the last several years, but it is a question of money and of course everyone’s god given right to park my car on the road for free (that is definitely my bias showing).

  • jd_x

    “Why do SF cyclists not campaign harder for more dedicated bike lanes?”

    They do: it’s the number one priority of the SFBC, California Bicycle Coalition, League of American Bicyclists, and almost any other bicycle advocacy organization. And for regular commenters here and other like-minded blogs.

    There is no doubt that how to handle intersections is taught poorly. Like caryl and Donovan Lacy, I too am constantly frustrated by how both motorists and bicyclists don’t know what to do with a non-buffered/protected bike lane at an intersection when the motorist is turning right. And as a bicyclist, when I come up to such an intersection and the car(s) in front making the right turn hasn’t merged into the bike lane, I’m in a crappy position: either sneak by on the right side hoping (praying!) they see me and don’t right hook me, try to get to the motorist’s left but since they are in the lane this forces me way out into the middle of the road and forces me to cut in front of the car behind the motorist turning right, or sit there and wait (while usually other bicyclists go by me making one of the previous two choices) which is completely silly. Our driver’s ed sucks, and we really need to raise the bar especially when it comes to how to operate a vehicle around pedestrians and bicycles. But it must also be complimented by enforcement. As long as the motorist isn’t making a sudden turn or not using their blinker (which even more complicates and makes more dangerous the situation), I think SFPD should give warnings when motorists turn right across the bike lane instead of in it; I don’t think a ticket is warranted because it is admittedly not taught well. SFBC has actually been making some effort recently to educate bicyclists that the car is supposed to be in the bike lane when turning right since some bicyclists get pissed when the car (correctly) takes the bike lane to turn right, but obviously they can only reach so many bicyclists.

    Of course, the real solution is separated/protected bike lanes with Dutch Style intersections (http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/08/11/it-just-works-davis-quietly-debuts-americas-first-protected-intersection/).

  • murphstahoe

    “That’s very interesting, because, of course, we’re told to yeild to
    cyclists riding on the right. Typically, when I approach an
    intersection to turn right, I get as far left as I can on the assumption
    that I’m being accommodating to cyclists–who, of course, are riding on
    the right!”

    That’s very interesting. I’m not sure who tells us that, because it sure as hell wasn’t the DMV, because this diagram is not some fantasy of the SFBC, it’s written into the California Vehicle Code. Goes to show how poor our licensing procedures are – yet another argument against licensing cyclists, why would the state be any more competent at licensing cyclists than it is drivers.

  • caryl

    I do find it pretty shocking that we’re expected to take one driver’s test and then we’re considered good to drive for the rest of our lives. We have no reliable way of ensuring that people know the *current* laws. This also seems to severely limit our ability to innovate better ways of managing our roads – we’re forever stuck with the status quo because that’s what people know. The concept of continuing education for drivers or driving tests every 5 years or so could go a long way toward keeping everyone up to speed (no pun intended) on what the current laws are.

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