Today’s Headlines

  • Back to School: SFPD Boosts Traffic Enforcement (SFBay), Muni Runs “Extra” Service (SFMTA)
  • SFPD Continues to Ticket Drivers Who Block Intersections in SoMa (People Behaving Badly)
  • SFBC: Hold SFMTA, DPW Accountable for Delays on Masonic Avenue Redesign
  • Cabbies Say SFMTA Shooed Them Away From Outside Lands (SF Examiner)
  • Transbay Transit Center Architects Unveil First Panel of Building’s “Skin” (SF Chronicle)
  • Examiner “On Guard”: Christensen Got Stockton Tunnel Funds From Mayor, Hasn’t Challenged Him
  • Inner Sunset’s Snowbird Cafe Considers Parklet (Hl), Bean Bag Cafe Owner Discusses Proposal (HL)
  • Driver, 62, Found Unconscious After Crashing Into Parked Car in Lower Pacific Heights (SF Appeal)
  • Victim on Alemany Maze Highway Ramp ID’d as Woman Pushing Handcart Hit By Two Drivers (Appeal)
  • Many Bay Area Streets Are Caltrans-Owned, Unsigned “Zombie Highways” (GJEL)
  • 11 South Bay Cities Ask VTA to Balance Transit Investment With San Jose in 2016 Tax Measure (PAO)
  • Proposals to Boost Transit Funds With Cap-and-Trade and Diesel Tax, By the Numbers (Green Caltrain)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Jimbo

    the case of Nils should also cause a strong push for helmet laws, as he would most likely be alive, like so many others, if he were wearing a helmet. this is why it became mandatory for motorcycles, and has been very effetive in decreasing deaths

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    I see bus stops at 25th and Fulton but no “taxi stand,” unless OSL had set up something temporary for this purpose. If the SFMTA was shooing taxis from the bus stops, I’m not going to shed any tears for them.

  • Flatlander

    That 62-year-old driver would almost certainly also be better off it he had been wearing a helmet. Clearly we should push for mandatory helmets while driving.

  • jd_x

    Helmet-wearing was not the cause of the accident so to focus on this is distracting from the real solution — changing our street infrastructure to better protect vulnerable road users and having more severe and hence meaningful punishment for motorists who screw up and hurt let alone kill someone — which if course is non-trivial. So it’s a complete abdication of responsibly for us to have people like you bringing helmet-wearing into this incident, especially when you don’t even mentiom the real solutions of infrastructure and enforcement which are at the root of the incident.

  • Look at all those resources wasted guarding children with the hordes of cars that blast through SF. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just get all those parent’s SUV’s and drive their kids to work like normal people?

  • murphstahoe

    jd_x… stop!

  • thielges
  • Gezellig

    Think bigger picture, Bobby G! I can imagine an even better world…can you? Wouldn’t it be even cheaper and safer to give every student their own SUV to drive to school/work in?

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/psa-targets-distracted-teen-drivers.jpg

    Imagine there’s no schoolbus. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to walk or bike for. And no public transportation too. Imagine all the parking. Driving life in peace…

    You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope SF schools’ll join us. All the lots will be as one:

  • Jimbo

    i was adding helmet wearing on top of streetscape changing, not instead of.
    im in favor of the masonic project for this very reason, but had a very close friend die who was not wearing a helmet. So we need street improvements to make accidents fewer and far between , and we need a helmet law to lower the chance of death when a person is hit. Motorcycle laws were changed years ago to force helmets, and the results have been spectacualr as the death rate per accident is now much lower.

    So we need to push for fewer accidents and for less severe injuries when they do happen.

  • NoeValleyJim

    Mandatory helmets for automobile drivers would save many more lives than mandatory helmets for cyclists. I demand that automobile drivers wear race car style helmets and use 5 point suspension harness seats. For their own safety, of course.

  • gneiss

    While you might think that making people wear helmets would provide a social good, In the real world, the enforcement of bicycle helmet violations by the police is arbitrary and capricious, and usually used as a tool for harassment and intimidation. https://youtu.be/hT3zToHrmZA

  • Jimbo

    its done wonders for decreasing deaths from motorcycle accidents. you think it should be optional there too?

  • gneiss

    The data on death and injury reduction from wearing bicycle helmets is not as clear cut. Here’s an article which talks about it:

    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/19036/feds-will-stop-hyping-effectiveness-of-bike-helmets/

    And it certainly has been shown to reduce overall rates of cycling, not to mention increased harassment of primarily disadvantaged communities. In other words, from a heath and safety standpoint, it’s not as good a bet as making helmets mandatory for motorcycle riders.

  • Jimbo

    thanks. even if you dont use the 85% reduction in head injuries from the one case control study, even a 40% reduction in head injuries is well worth a law to require it, similar to helmets for motorcycles and seat belts for cars. its hard to believe bicycle advocates would be against this. helmets save lives.

  • the_greasybear

    Mandatory helmet laws reduced bicycling in Australia by 30-40% when introduced in the early 1990s. Bike advocates don’t generally advocate for laws that will drastically reduce bicycling like that.

  • jd_x

    How about for car drivers then? And also for the elderly? Oh, and maybe just for the average person walking since that is one of the leading causes of head injuries?
    http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/BlueBook_factsheet-a.pdf

    Each time somebody dies from a head injury when driving or walking, I’m sure the first thing you point out — like you do with bicyclists — is how wearing a helmet might have saved them, right? Or are you victim of a bias due to a car-centric society?

  • murphstahoe

    what – you don’t care that helmet laws will be used to discriminate against people of color? racist!

  • gneiss

    Then ask yourself – why in countries with the highest rates of cycling are very few adults wearing helmets? Where is the massive head injury health crisis in the Netherlands where virtually no one over the age of 12 wears a helmet?

  • Jimbo

    its not the 1st thing i would say. it jsut seems like a logical next step, after fixing the streetscape, to make sure people are wearing helmets, which decreases head injuries and death from accidents.

  • Jimbo

    motorcycle advocates were also against helmet laws, but eventually the data outweighed their righteous fight against them. Same for seatbelts

  • the_greasybear

    Motorcycle, automobile, bicycle–one of these things is not like the other. Hint: it’s the one that doesn’t have a motor and thus cannot reach freeway speeds.

  • gneiss

    Then advocate for public safety campaigns similar to those that reduced smoking to promote health. There’s no reason to make it mandatory, though as the health benefits are marginal and in dispute. Any time we create a law against something, there are many unintended consequences which go far beyond the original intention of the authors. We have shown you how mandatory helmet laws reduce cycling rates and lead to police harassment. Why use sticks when carrots will do?

  • Jimbo

    Murph I am “people of color” as you put it. Not exactly a PC term, but white priviledge generally keeps people from thinking or caring about what they say. We are discriminated against and are stopped for every violation, much more than caucasians. I dont see why creating a law that would save cyclists lives should be stopped because of this. Otherwise we would have to cancel every type of law.

  • Prinzrob

    A Vallejo couple biking on the sidewalk was intentionally run over by a hit-run driver in a rental car who was later caught and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder:
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28660564/couple-riding-bikes-intentionally-hit-by-car-vallejo

  • Rain__or__Shine

    You are confused. “Person of color” is a modern and PC term. Perhaps you are thinking of “colored people” or “coloreds.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_of_color

    http://n.pr/1K4M7c5

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    People should probably just wear helmets at all times. When is it ever safer to not wear a helmet? HELMETS!

  • NoeValleyJim

    Why aren’t you in favor of mandatory helmet laws for motorists?

  • murphstahoe

    Not confused. Just trolling. The author could be pretty much anyone, the more messed up the sentence structure or argument, the better to get a response.

    Note how I played back to one of “Jimbo’s” tropes above, and he just went to the next troll without blinking. Responding is like responding to Eliza.

  • Andy Chow

    Taxis pay taxes to the city and the city grants them permit to operate, so the city should accommodate them just as them accommodate themselves (Muni transit). The TNC cars, the main competitor to taxis, are more problematic. They double park and block lanes wherever they want waiting for their pick up.

  • SF Guest

    From the League of American Bicyclists: “The use of helmets is perhaps the most common recommendation for safer bicycling. The League has encouraged bicyclists to wear helmets for more than 25 years, and our affiliated clubs and advocacy groups typically require their use on organized rides. However, the League does not support mandatory helmet laws because of the many potential unintended consequences.”

  • SF Guest

    Seat belt laws are sufficient for the majority of motor vehicle accidents.

  • jd_x

    Except they’re not since the second leading cause of head injuries is car accidents:
    http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/BlueBook_factsheet-a.pdf

    It’s funny how when motorists get the whole helmet thing thrown at them they get as defense as bicyclists as to why they shouldn’t wear them and come up with all sorts of excuses.

    At the end of the day, as proven by northern European countries like Denmark and Copenhagen which have the highest percentage of bicyclists and the lowest head injuries from bicycling, bicycling is not a dangerous activity that warrants a helmet anymore than walking. What is dangerous, however, is forcing bicyclists to share the same space as 2-ton, 200 hp powered vehicles and expecting bicyclists to act cars even though they have nothing to do with them except that they both have wheels. Thus, if we really care about protecting bicyclists, we would be passionately arguing for separated infrastructure and laws and enforcement that acknowledges that a bicycle is not a car. Doing otherwise, as Jimbo has done, is a distraction and a cop-out from any real solution.

  • Nicasio Nakamine

    I don’t disagree, but the bus-stop is not the right place for it to happen. The city could stand to have many more loading zones for taxis and commercial deliveries so they don’t have to all double-park.

    Also, a huge festival like that should create a space for taxis and TNC cars to pick up/drop off.

  • SF Guest

    Car accidents being the second leading cause of head injuries doesn’t necessarily mean the majority of car collisions result in head injuries or airbag deployment.

    Are you in favor of mandatory helmets for drivers? If so, why?

  • jd_x

    And do we know the majority of bicycle crashes result in head injuries let alone ones that could have been prevented by a helmet (since a helmet doesn’t help you when a car runs over your head)?

    The point here is the bias against bicyclists where too many people reference the helmet issue without applying the same logic to driving or any other cause of head injures (which first and foremost includes walking). And that’s because they aren’t actually trying to be logical but are unconsciously or consciously avoiding the deeper issue that bicyclists and their unique needs as well as their safety are usually neglected by urban design, motorists, and the law. The helmet issue is nothing but a distraction and the inconsistency in which it is applied (only to bicyclists but to no other modes of transit) verifies a tremendous bias.

    But no, I’m not advocating for motorists to wear helmets, though I would do so before I would do so for bicyclists given that there are much more head injuries from car usage since it is an inherently much more dangerous activity given the mass, speed, and power invovled.

  • Andy Chow

    SFMTA should clear parking on Fulton and Lincoln (facing the park) for large events. Give a few blocks as taxi stand, another few blocks for other charter/party buses/limos, and another few blocks for TNC and other pickup/drop offs (but no car allowed to wait, just like airports). This is a better use of space than all day free parking for some concert goers who arrive extra early.

  • murphstahoe

    The most common recommendation for safer bicycling is “don’t crash”