Today’s Headlines

  • Bay Area Bike Share Roll Out (SFGate)
  • More on Failure to Override Veto of Increased Transportation Sustainability Fee (CBSLocal)
  • Upper Haight Improvements Could Cost Some Trees (Hoodline)
  • Development has Bike and Pedestrian Alley (Socketsite)
  • BART to Pay Bonuses Despite System Breakdown (SFGate, BizJournal)
  • BART Gets on Board with Student Discounts (SFExaminer)
  • Housing Crisis Jacks Up Oakland Starter Homes (InsideBayArea)
  • Feds Rate Bay Area Overcrossings Structurally Deficient (InsideBayArea)
  • Pedestrian Struck by Motorist in Santa Rosa Dies (SFGate)
  • No More Train Horns at Atherton Fair Oaks Lane Crossing? (AlmanacNews)
  • Mr. Roadshow Talks Palo Alto Parking and BART Way Finding (MercNews)

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

  • murphstahoe

    Heads up, 6 cops, 3 motorcycles targeting bikes in a 3-way stop sting. – 5th/Townsend

  • gneiss

    I saw a guy who had been riding an electric long board pulled over at the train station by the police. Honestly, aren’t more dangerous behaviors that they could be targeting than a guy going through a 3-way stop on a motorized skateboard?

  • murphstahoe

    ISIS could be at SFO and Suhr would have people chasing down cyclists.

  • 94110

    Regarding Bike Share, I attended the meeting for Weiner’s district. Our table split pretty evenly between Mission and Castro, and focussed on what we knew. Generally presenting why certain stations were good or bad ideas, and voting as a block.

    The proposed site map we were given had several stations on Guerrero. Looks like we effectively communicated that was a bad place for bikes.

    We also focussed on Valencia. Deciding that a station about every two blocks was appropriate. Looks like Valencia is getting eight stations for it’s (approximately) 15 block stretch.

    We were neutral about sites on Mission–voting neither for nor against them–with the exception of 24th and 16th.

    I felt it important to communicate that having a station actually at BART was no reason not to have one just one block away at Valenica.

    Our map cut off at Capp Street (East of Capp was handled at a separate meeting which I was not able to attend), and on the northern border, somewhere along the wiggle. Just short of McCoppin, I think.

    I’m pretty happy with site placement in this area. Less so I think in the other areas, but given I wasn’t part of that process I can’t really complain. Plus, there will be a station near my house.

    YIMBY!

  • RichLL

    A law that is never enforced is the same as no law at all. So while terrorism, murder and rape might be the most serious crimes, it does not follow that that is all the cops should do.

    If a law is so worthless that it should never be enforced, then work to have it removed from the statutes. Absent that, expect at least occasional enforcement of any and every law.

    There may be good reasons to go easy on cyclists, but the fact that you like to ride a bike isn’t one of them.

  • gneiss

    Meanwhile in another part of the city, illegal parking in a bike lane goes unpunished. “There may be reasons to go easy on car drivers, but the fact that you personally like to drive isn’t one of them.”

  • jonobate

    We are working to have it removed from the statutes; that’s what the whole bike yield law debacle is about.

    If enforcement was occasional, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. The problem is that enforcement is disproportionally higher for cyclists rolling stop signs than it is for drivers rolling stop signs, even though the latter is far more dangerous than the former.

  • RichLL

    You misunderstand. I think illegal parking should be enforced as well. Nobody gets a pass, OK?

  • murphstahoe

    This is not about going easy on cyclists, it’s about going hard on “something else”.

    What this really is – is going easy on the SFPD – because chasing cyclists around is a lot easier than pretty much anything more valuable.

  • murphstahoe

    Sure they do. Double parking gets a pass.

  • als

    Have not heard of a double parking sting being run – or having multiple officers enforcing the double parking law. Matter of fact I have never seen a enforcement of the double parking law – n.e.v.e.r.

  • gneiss

    Well it looks like the city is giving a rather explicit pass to this behavior, despite the fact that it represents a danger to any person riding a bike on this street. And yet, if you roll a stop sign on a bike or motorized skate board through an empty intersection, you get a ticket.

    What we’re showing here is that there is an anti-bike sentiment that’s not based on a reasonable assessment of the risks that they represent but rather cultural norms that prioritize automobile traffic over any others on our streets. That’s what needs to change.

  • gneiss

    Looks like SFPD should get out there and ticket some more cyclists until this stops: http://www.sfexaminer.com/mother-carrying-6-month-old-baby-struck-pickup-truck-sf/

  • Dave Moore

    According to http://sanfranciscopolice.org/sites/default/files/Documents/PoliceDocuments/Statistics/SFPD-February-2016-Traffic-Stats.pdf there were 69 bike offenses in Feb ’16

    They don’t break out double parking stats but from this article: http://sf.streetsblog.org/2013/10/02/the-sorry-state-of-double-parking-enforcement-on-sf-streets/ in 2013 it was 22K, with 62% going to delivery drivers, leaving 38% or around 700 a month for personal drivers.

    It would be great to have data for both from the same source. I assume there’s a way to access the compstat data. Perhaps someone here knows how.

    And to beat a dead horse: it’s not a sting. There has to be deception for it to be a sting. This is targeted enforcement.

  • murphstahoe

    “According to http://sanfranciscopolice.org/… there were 69 bike offenses in Feb ’16”

    A “bike offense” is a ticket that is specific to bikes. For example, riding on the sidewalk.

    If a cyclist runs a stop sign, it’s a violation of CVC 22450a and is lumped in with the people who do so in a motor vehicle.

    Please tell me you knew that.

  • Dave Moore

    I had no idea. Is there any way to tell how many cyclist offenses were charged?

  • RichLL

    You are arguing for there to be MORE enforcement of drivers than enforcement of cyclists. And there is – far more.

    It does not follow from that there should therefore be ZERO enforcement of cyclists.

    Applying your argument to regular crimes, it’s like suggesting that the cops do not investigate muggers ir house-breakers because rapists and murderers are worse.

  • murphstahoe

    I don’t know Dave. Pretty sad you didn’t nominally evaluate the data you were citing before trying to get me in a gotcha, the need for confirmation bias is a very strong force I know.

    I’ll cede your syntax on the “sting” word however, but that’s pretty trivial in comparison.

  • gneiss

    That’s not at all what I’m arguing. What I’m saying is that enforcement based on a car-centric paradigm isn’t going to positively affect safety. And using limited police resources on ticketing cyclists at the 3-way stop on Townsend because they didn’t put their foot down isn’t helpful, especially when in other parts of town, people are getting hit and injured by cars.

    Do I think there should be enforcement of laws on cyclists who fail to yield to people walking and cross traffic? Absolutely. Do I think someone should get a ticket for not putting their foot down at an empty intersection? No. But the police ticket mostly for the later and hardly ever for the former.

  • RichLL

    Like I said before, if something is illegal then it should be enforced, even if there are some who think it should not be illegal, and even if there are worse transgressions.

    I can understand your viewpoint that the danger of bikes not stopping is low, most of the time. For that matter, so is the danger from jaywalking and with cars doing rolling stops, most of the time.

    I’d like to see some numbers for the percentage of total citations that are for drivers compared with for cyclists. I suspect that the number for cyclists is less than one percent. And anything less than that would send a message that the law can be ignored.

    If the facts are on your side, get the law changed. 98% of States have this law on the books.

  • 94110
  • 94110
  • murphstahoe

    Dude – they had SIX cops and three motorcycles stationed for a couple hours at a nothing intersection. There is no way that has a worthwhile ROI

  • the_greasybear

    A motorcycle cop had pulled over a bicyclist this morning at Market and 6th just as I was passing by this morning. No doubt it is easier than going after all the speeding motorists…

  • RichLL

    If SFPD operated on a ROI basis then you are right. They would only give out tickets for parking in bus stops and disabled spots – at $400 a pop or whatever they are.

    But one cyclist sting in – what is it? – months? If you deem that to be unreasonable then you must effectively be arguing for zero enforcement of cyclist offenses.

    Again, if you can prove the law is wrong, invalid or inappropriate then get it changed. But don’t ask for de facto immunity from the existing law and expect sympathy.

  • RichLL

    Cop cars are highly tuned performance cars and can catch pretty much any vehicle they want.

    Either the cyclist you saw had broke the law or he had not. Which was it? You somehow missed out that important detail.

  • gneiss

    Actually, the police will frequently call off pursuit of drivers if they deem it too dangerous to continue. Last week I watched as 8-10 motorcyclists without license plates did wheelies on Market Street while the police just watched, and in one case, turned around and drove very fast the other direction. Meanwhile, bicycle riders get handcuffs and a beat down for activities that aren’t even illegal: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/01/13/bicyclist-says-sfpd-officer-beat-him-during-traffic-stop/

  • the_greasybear

    I have no idea what she did or did not do. I do know she looked scared and confused.

    “Cop cars are highly tuned performance cars and can catch pretty much any vehicle they want.”

    Yeah–“want” being the critical word there. It appears SFPD doesn’t “want” to catch speeding motorists.

  • gneiss

    The police simply don’t have the bandwidth or the man power to enforce every illegal traffic traffic act in the city. So, they are forced to pick and choose which ones they focus on. In fact, the “Focus on the Five” http://visionzerosf.org/vision-zero-in-action/enforcing-traffic-laws/ campaign is all about this, where they focus on the top five violations by motorists that result in injury to pedestrians. When they go after people for things that aren’t in those top five categories, they are wasting time that could otherwise be put to use stopping behaviors that actually injure and kill people.

  • RichLL

    See, that is where we disagree. Just because the cops have a “top five” list of offenses to go after does not imply that nothing else gets enforced. It just means those outside the top five get enforced less.

    Otherwise that’s like saying terrorism, murder, rape, child abuse and assault are the “top five” so the cops won’t go after muggers, house-breakers, domestic violence and so on.

    Now, you may be correct that the top five should get the most attention. And maybe they currently do not. But that doesn’t mean that the rest get zero enforcement.

    Also, SFPD are responsive to public complaints. If the citizens are complaining a lot about, say, cyclists not yielding in a particular location, then SFPD have an affirmative duty to follow up.

  • gneiss

    Good grief. Trying to compare muggings, house-breakers, domestic violence and so on to rolling through a stop sign by a cyclists is a ridiculous comparison. And your argument is what’s referred to as a “Straw Man”. I’m not in the least making the argument you claim I am.

    Focus. I am saying that ticketing cyclist for rolling through a low priority stop sign should be at the bottom of the enforcement priority for our police department. There is no need to have 6 officers and 3 motorcycles ticketing them when people are getting injured and killed all over the city by car drivers. As for “citizen complaints” regarding traffic problems it’s been proven over and over again that they are one of the least reliable sources of information, particularly with regards to out-groups like cyclists.

    As for “me” being correct, it’s not me – it’s the Supervisors, Mayor of San Francisco and the Police Department who started the focus on the five. http://sanfranciscopolice.org/sites/default/files/2015.pdf They are not following their own guidlines when they spend time on this kind of enforcement.

  • RichLL

    I never said that a cyclist dong a rolling stop was like DV. What I said was that just because you identify a “top five” of offenses does not imply that all other offenses get a pass.

    And I am not saying that 6 cops doing this, that or the other is good or bad. But it has been months since the last SFPD “sting” on cyclists, on the Wiggle, so this is hardly a purge on cyclists. More like an occasional operation to remind cyclists that a focus on the five doesn’t mean immunity for cyclists.

    Also, you may even be correct that citizen complaints do not have a 100% correlation with actual harm. But those citizens do vote, and pay taxes to fund the cops. If the voters do not decide enforcement priorities, then whom.

    Yes or No. Should SFPD give cyclists immunity from the stop laws given that the law exists and given that voters do complain about it

  • Als

    Dude, mr rickll,

    Would you agree with me that having six uniformed officers and three additional sfpd motorcycle vechicles doing stop sign enforcement of people on bicycles is not the best use of total sfpd resources?

    See how this looks?

    One fat cop chasing bikes – ok.

    But how about we agree the other sfpd resources be used for focus on the five?

    there’s a whole world of differing perceptions out there. If sfpd really gave a sh.t there would be one cop always doing safety enforsement on the wiggle and many many cops all over town doing focus on the five. But no, we get silly stings …why? What does it serve?

  • RichLL

    If I had to guess, they needed six cops because of the sheer number of cyclists blowing through stops, who had to be cited simultaneously. It’s not like six cops are needed to detain one cyclist.

    But the fundamental issue here remains. A “focus” on those five does not imply that other transgressions get a pass. It just means that, in practice, you’ll get away with them more.

    But not always.

  • SF Guest

    What If a cop is stationed at an intersection and in a one-hour slot witnesses 20 cyclists and 2 motorists running stop signs. Should the cop ignore the 20 cyclists and only pullover the 2 motorists? If your answer is yes, why should the cop ignore all 20 cyclists if the numbers show they are the majority running the stop sign? This appears to be the point @RichLL is trying to make.

    Cops shouldn’t ignore traffic violations regardless of the mode of transit committing the violation if they are not preoccupied.

    If my example were the other way around where there are 2 cyclists vs. 20 motorists running a stop sign I would agree with your stance the cop should ignore the 2 cyclists.

  • Dave Moore

    Can we at least agree that it’s worthwhile to occasionally have targeted enforcement of these behaviors, even though they aren’t the “five”?
    – Cars running stop signs
    – Cars running red lights
    – Cars double parking
    – Bikes running red lights
    – Bikes running stop signs when pedestrians or other vehicles (including bikes) are present at the intersection

    I understand that isn’t what they were doing. I’m not arguing that they should ticket any cyclist who rolls through a stop sign safely. But I see pedestrians have to dodge bikes frequently both at lights and stop signs. I see cars roll stop signs too and as you say they have worse visibility and are more dangerous, so zero tolerance is justified. And when I approach a stop sign in a car I shouldn’t have to guess whether a cyclist is going to stop or not. I should of course be prepared to stop if he rolls it but right now it’s just a game of chicken and that’s not right. I think that some amount of targeted enforcement is worth doing.

  • murphstahoe

    Worthwhile? That word is different than “good”. “Worthwhile” implies a tradeoff.

    Does the SFPD have enough resources such that doing these enforcements gives us the optimal return on our investment in the police force? My current viewpoint is that the list of items that have higher ROI but are being neglected is so long, that we’d have to have a huge increase in the police force before it would make sense to be running some of these bizarre targeted enforcements.

    It’s not just vehicle (bike/car) violations, there are so many quality of life violations that go ignored. There are open air chop shops where bike thieves operate unfettered. Is that more or less important to deal with than cyclists at 5th and Townsend or the wiggle. How about open air crack dealing in the tenderloin. Homeless people. Car breakins, which happen repeatedly in the same areas.

    Your viewpoint may be different.

  • Dave Moore

    My viewpoint is different.

    This has been mentioned before, but by this logic the police would do nothing other than focus on murders and rape. I don’t think the existence of something higher priority is enough to exclude all activity on lower priority things. If you accept that (which I think you have to if you think that the police should work on bike chop shops when there is crack dealing in the tenderloin) then it’s a question of relative priority. You appear to think that the police should spend 0 time on any targeted enforcement of any cycling related offenses. I disagree.

    As far as I know you don’t live in SF. How exactly do you contribute to “our” police investment? Sales tax? Cycling tickets?