Today’s Headlines

  • Cable Cars Running Again as Storm Eases (NBCBayArea, SFAppeal)
  • AC Transit to Hold Meetings about Transbay Lines (InsideBayArea)
  • Changes in SamTrans Bus Fares (AlmanacNews)
  • New SMART Rail Study of Bike and Ped Path in San Rafael (MarinIJ)
  • Oakland Selecting Team for Block Sized Mixed Use Development (BizJournal)
  • Millbrae City Council Discusses Station Area Development (SMDailyJournal)
  • Dirt Bike Gang Scofflaw Sheriff Fired or Quits Department? (SFist)
  • Teamsters Lose Round in Fight to Unionize Tech Shuttles (SFExaminer)
  • Another View on SFMTA Meter Hike (SFWeekly)
  • Sex Study Center getting Replaced by Luxury Condos and a Restaurant (Socketsite)

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  • As I was biking home around noon, I pulled into Bi-Rite on 18th to buy a few things. I8th street, as usual, was a nightmare going east, cars filling nearly the entire block. A nice driver let me turn left across the congested lane so that I could access the bike parking rack.

    Next to the bike rack, there was a delivery truck and a guy unloading things for Bi-Rite. He wasn’t a Bi-Rite employee. I wasn’t blocking him, but it was tight quarters.

    “Have you heard about the new law for bicyclists?” he asks me as he maneuvers something on the back of his truck.

    “What law would that be?” I say politely without trying to show too much interest.

    “Bicyclists have to pull over if they’re blocking more than five cars.” I raise an eyebrow and continue locking up my bike. “Bicyclists are always blocking the road and they need to get out of the way. Now it’s the law.” I glance over at the street next to us that was completely filled with cars. “Well, maybe not here, but in Santa Cruz they ride down the middle of the lane and make traffic a mess.”

    “Oh dear,” I say and go into the store.

    Now, I don’t expect this law to affect me much personally since however petty SFPD may be about bicycle stops, in a city filled with cars blocking other cars, I can’t imagine they would stoop so low as to blame a five-car back up on a bicyclist. But I want to point out that if this new law made this guy feel sanctioned to lecture and flip me shit for something I’ve never done, just imagine what he’ll do to the next bicyclist in front of him in Santa Cruz.

  • Als

    Next time you shop at bi rite you might just mention how much you appreciate their suppliers attitudes while they block 18th street and the sidewalk.

    Really not a neighborhood friendly business no matter how much they claim to be.

  • AFAIK: It’s not a new law. It’s the existing law which applies to all slow moving vehicles.

  • murphstahoe

    “I also heard there is a law – not a new one mind you – that all driver’s must pass a driver’s test showing they know the law. If you think that the law regarding slow moving vehicles is a new law – given that it’s been on the books for decades – I start to wonder how well you know the vehicle code. And you have a commercial license? Frankly that scares me”

  • KWillets

    I don’t see it anywhere on this list of new CVC laws: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/newsrel15/2015_65

  • “Highway lane use (AB 208, Bigelow) The law requiring
    slow-moving passenger vehicles to pull over safely to let traffic pass has been amended to apply to all vehicles, effective January 1, 2016. Bicycles will now be included in the legal requirement that slow-moving vehicles use the next available turnout or other area to let backed-up
    traffic – five or more vehicles – get by.”

  • Flatlander

    I have never once seen any vehicle obey that law on 120 or 50 heading over the mountains. Actually, it seems that people tend to pull over almost immediately once a car gets behind them or never at all.

    Most of the time, bicyclists can easily find a spot where they can let others pass them without losing speed themselves.

  • Jim

    This applies to two-lane state or federal highways, so unless SR 35 found its way from Sloat over Portola to 18th St, then I don’t see why that truck deliver was being such a d*ck. If I were you, I would send Bi-rite a “kind” note about what vendors it does business with.

  • Yes, I see that the law is unlikely to have any impact on me. I just hope it isn’t used to justify or inflate driver hostility towards bicyclists in general. Perhaps this was just a one-off random dude with a chip on his shoulder, I happened to be a convenient target, and none of it portends a larger trend.

    I did actually complain to one of Bi-Rite’s receiving guys about the incident. After all, one doesn’t expect to catch flak for being a bicyclist at a store that doesn’t even have a parking lot.

  • RichLL

    A new law? No? I remember taking my driving test decades ago and there was a requirement that if five vehicles are following you, then you must pull over.