Today’s Headlines

  • Bike Yield Law Moves Forward Without Cohen (SFExaminer, KQED, CBSLocal, SFBay)
  • Will the Superbowl Bring Gridlock? (KQED)
  • Public Opposition to Warrior’s Arena Stiffening (CBSLocal)
  • Speeding SJ Driver Crashes and Dies – City Reports Highest Traffic Fatalities in 20 Years (MercNews)
  • Legislation to Force Landlords to Fix Illegal Units Rather Than Remove Them (Socketsite)
  • Man Killed by Wrong-Way DUI Driver in San Jose (OaklandTrib)
  • BART Rejects Art (SFGate)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA
Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA

  • murphstahoe

    The SFPD gave a statement at the Bike Yield Law hearing. From listening to it, I can conclude one of two things. Greg Suhr is 1) an idiot or 2) very content to intentionally mislead.

    The SFPD spokesman read the following stat – “Cyclists are at fault in 30% of stop sign collisions”. Scott Wiener quickly called him to the carpet – “Is that 30% of collisions at stop signs, or 30% of collisions at stop signs that include a bicycle, because my understanding is that the percentage of overall collisions that include a bicycle is miniscule, so I can’t see how 30% of overall collisions have a cyclist at fault”.

    The response was a muttered “I see what your asking” and “I don’t have those statistics”. This was not the only example, the whole speech was a litany of misleading stats. I would be completely embarrassed, but that is not SFPD’s MO.

    Thanks to Supervisor Wiener for setting it straight. He also had the quote of the day – “I am not a cyclist, I have a neighbor who loans me a bike when I need one – for bike to work day”, then going on to point out why he supports cycling and this legislation.

  • RichLL

    I do not disagree that Wiener is probably correct here. But he is missing another possibility.

    That is that a cyclist (or for that matter any vehicle or pedestrian) can be the cause of an accident without actually being involved in the accident. Most obviously a vehicle swerves to avoid a cyclist or pedestrian and hits another vehicle.

    Not that it probably is anywhere near 30% either. But I did actually witness an accident like that once. Do drivers tell cops in accident situations that the accident was caused by a bike which then left the scene? Do vehicles sometimes cause other vehicles to crash and not even realize it was their fault?

  • murphstahoe

    I won’t dispute that your six-sigma event, but bringing it up in this context is classic concern-trolling – especially when you cover your bases by burying the lede “Not that it probably is anywhere near 30% either”.

    The effect you describe is so negligible that it should have zero impact on discussion of this legislation, and only serves to as an appeal to emotion in order to block it.

  • RichLL

    My comment was not offered either for or against the proposed legislation, but rather as a partial explanation for the two conflicting statistics that were cited..

    That discrepancy might be partly explained by the fact that not every cause of an accident is a party to that accident. Moreover drivers may blame some conveniently departed cyclist for the incident when talking to SFPD, so it goes into the stats that way.

    Personally I would be OK with an Idaho-type rule but feel it should come from the State. I am a little uncomfortable with cities and counties giving themselves de facto immunity from state laws they don’t like, because it undermines the principle that state law trumps local law.

    So any opposition here is more constitutional than fundamental.

  • murphstahoe

    There were no conflicting statistics cited. The SFPD flat out cited the *WRONG* statistic and claimed it was the right statistic. As for “partial explanation” – that “part” is so vanishingly small as to not merit any discussion. I presume you know this.

    There is no requirement for any municipality to prioritize any sort of enforcement, and this is a non-binding policy recommendation. To bring up the spectre of the constitution here is once again a concern troll.

  • the_greasybear

    Wait, bicycling in San Francisco is now a *states’ rights* issue?

  • murphstahoe

    Strategy 101: Throw everything at the wall and make your opponent rebut crap, and see if anything sticks.

  • Prinzrob

    But to wait for the state to take action on a stop-as-yield law is a Catch 22, as they will demand evidence to support the proposal, but evidence won’t exist until such a law is implemented.

    I think the suggestion from the hearing to initiate a pilot program for a specific period of time with data collected throughout is acceptable, even though we can already almost guarantee that there will be no impact on traffic safety as most bicyclists (and most drivers) already roll stop signs slowly. The info collected from that pilot could then be used to support a change to the state code, as opposed to just an enforcement de-prioritization as the SF supes are suggesting.

  • Bruce

    Huge pet peeve of mine: Super Bowl is two words, not one.