Today’s Headlines

  • Pro-BART Group Fights Scorched Earth Opposition (KQED)
  • Overpaid Janitor Story Exploited by BART Opposition (MercNews)
  • There Might Be as Many as 45,000 Uber and Lyft Drivers in San Francisco (SFExaminer)
  • SF Southern Parks Not Well Maintained (SFChron)
  • Big Plans at Pier 70 (SFExaminer)
  • Duboce Triangle Plan to Move Forward (Socketsite)
  • Upper Haight Street Upgrades (Hoodline)
  • Speed Humps of Golden Gate Park (SFBay)
  • Another Pedestrian Killed on Market–Blamed for Walking “Outside the Crosswalk” (SFGate)
  • Scooter Rider Critical after SoMa Hit and Run (Hoodline)
  • Woman Killed in Emeryville Crossing the Street (EastBayTimes)
  • VTA Hires New Paratransit Company (EastBayTimes)
  • Commentary: Traffic Measures Must Pass (MercNews)

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

  • mx

    I also saw the aftermath of a motorcycle accident on Sunday on Mission just past Duboce and the freeway onramp. Not a good weekend for Vision Zero.

  • JB

    “Upper Hate Street Upgrade”

    I think you made a typo

  • An update on my friend, Bob, who was severely injured by a hit and run driver three weeks ago while bicycling. He has still not regained consciousness and his doctors are growing pessimistic that he will do so. The driver was found. He is a 38 year old man who works in finance. He hit Bob at a very high speed on Monterey Boulevard at Foerster, a street Bob has biked down routinely for decades. The driver is possibly going to be charged with a felony and may face up to four years in state prison. Bob’s family may face the awful decision of what to do if Bob doesn’t ever regain consciousness.

    This tragedy is a direct consequence of the city of San Francisco (specifically the SFMTA) prioritizing driving over walking and biking and failing to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from irresponsible drivers.

  • gneiss

    The intersection at Market and Church can be miserable for people walking, particularly the fact that going from Safeway to Church St. involves a dogleg crossing. Either you need to cross Church first

  • gneiss

    So sorry to hear about your friend. This didn’t need to happen.

    In a city that’s 7 miles by 7 miles, there’s no reason to have high speed arterial streets running through dense residential neighborhoods that don’t provide protected accommodations for people riding bikes and intersections with crosswalks that depend on magic paint and signs to keep us safe from harm.

  • jd_x

    So sorry to hear about this, Karen. I find this completely unacceptable. I wonder, what is the feasibility of Bob’s family pursuing a lawsuit against the SFMTA/City for not providing safe bicycle infrastructure? I think this sort of legal action is what it’s going to take to get the SFMTA to get serious about the joke that is their Vision Zero effort.

  • My thoughts are with you, your friend and his family, but please step back for a moment and reconsider who’s really to blame here. The driver is to blame. He chose to ignore the posted speed limit and his actions caused the unfortunate (and preventable) accident. As a result, he should be severely punished.

    We live in a highly-congested city where various modes of transportation have to coexist. I do feel that the city is partly to blame by not providing its residents with a robust transit system that would discourage car dependency.

  • murphstahoe

    In a world where individual humans are proven to make bad choices, a rational society limits their ability to make those choices.

  • jd_x

    Okay, then why add those concrete safety barriers on freeways separating opposing traffic? Or those water-filled barriers on freeways? Why add guardrails on roads that cling to edges of cliffs? And hell, why even have seat belts or air bags then since somebody has to mess up for them to be needed, and per you, people shouldn’t mess up, right?

    A good engineering design allows for mistakes (because humans will *always* make mistakes) and figures out how to design assuming that mistake will occur. And as my examples should make clear, we see this logic applied ALL the time to motorist infrastructure. But then somehow, as epitomized by your statement, this logic crumbles when we talk about bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. This is even more sickening because those who walk and bicycle are even more vulnerable than motorists encased in their steel cages, and even with this added severity, we still can’t seem to think about *designing* our infrastructure for failure via things like protected bike lanes/intersections, narrow roads with bulb outs, etc. etc.

  • Energy-wise, greenhouse-gas-wise, and health-wise walking comes first, bicycling comes second. Transit third. Private cars a distant fourth. Economically, pedestrians and bicyclists are best value. Every trip on foot or by bike cost the taxpayer almost nothing whereas every single transit ride is subsidized by 1/2 to 3/4ths. Private car trips also cost taxpayers every mile driven, because the gasoline tax and annual car taxes cover a fraction of the costs the machines inflict and of the space they require. Every walker and bicyclist you see is gaining health; every transit rider and car passenger you see is losing it, inflating health care costs for all. (Every mile ridden in a car increases the likelihood of obesity in both adults and children.) Transit riders gain some health back because their trips usually involve some walking on both ends.

    Drivers like to talk about coexistence and sharing the road, but this usually means letting drivers do whatever is most convenient to them regardless of the danger to others. Some drivers are indeed responsible and careful. But because so many speed, text/eat/put on makeup while driving, run through stop signs, pass without giving bicyclists clearance, double park in bike lanes, and make turns at high speeds, it is impossible for pedestrians and bicyclists to coexist safely with motorized vehicles as the streets of the city are now designed.

    This is an enormous public health issue. Half of all injuries treated at SF General are due to traffic collisions. Half. Trauma from traffic collisions is the leading cause of death in the first 44 years of life, but we gloss over it because drivers are happy to sacrifice their fellow citizens if they can get somewhere three minutes faster. Private cars have no place in dense cities unless driven slowly and carefully, and even then drivers should pay the full cost of the space and pavement their vehicles require, the pollution they inflict, and the congestion they induce.

    Above ground transit also poses hazards to pedestrians and bicyclists unless each mode is given its own space, and transit drivers are trained to operate their incredibly hazardous machines carefully. Unfortunately, this is not always with Muni drivers. Even then, above ground transit will inevitably operate slowly in congested cities, usually a great deal more slowly than bicycles. (Bicycles are also more reliable and much more pleasant than buses or crowded subways.) Below-ground transit is preferable (and a great deal faster) than above-ground but extremely expensive and takes years to build.

    The SFMTA could make our city much safer immediately and cheaply. That it doesn’t do so, largely due to political considerations, is immoral and irresponsible. That our mayor doesn’t direct them to aggressively redesign our streets to drop death and injuries from traffic collisions is just as immoral and irresponsible. I own a car and drive it occasionally. I know how convenient it is. Convenience does not take precedence over killing people, paralyzing them, or leaving them in a vegetative state.

  • murphstahoe

    Energy-wise, greenhouse-gas-wise, and health-wise walking comes first, bicycling comes second.

    “There’s no machine known that is more efficient than a human on a bicycle,” he said. “Bowl of oatmeal, 30 miles — you can’t come close to that.” – Bill Nye

    I am still riding the same bike I bought in 2001. In that time I’ve gone through many pairs of shoes (granted I’ve replaced plenty of tires, were I to be riding a 32cc hybrid I might be on only the 2nd or 3rd set).

    From a health standpoint it’s a closer debate – cycling is lower impact, but humans can use some impact for bone health, but on bikes humans are willing to take longer trips which are better for health, and exercise at a higher heart rate which has all sorts of benefits. But if you crash….

  • True, bikes are wonderfully efficient and the best way to accomplish longer trips. But for trips of a walkable distance, assuming a sweat-free biking or walking pace, walking takes more time and so produces more exercise which makes it better for health. (It helps to live in a place where there are things to walk to within a mile from home.) Healthcare has a significant carbon footprint, so the less healthcare consumed via good health, the better for the planet. I also find I notice things on a finer level when I walk versus bike, so it’s a different way to experience and appreciate a city. Both walking and biking release endorphins so they both have great mental health benefits, the opposite of transit and driving. Both walking and biking stimulate the immune system, reducing lost work days due to illness, another economic benefit. Most bicyclists I know also walk quite a bit. In fact, when my husband and I did this year’s Peak to Peak walk, a large portion of the attendees were also bicyclists.

  • Corvus Corax

    And the repercussions thereof.