Today’s Headlines

  • State Bill Would Allow Scooters on Sidewalks (Curbed)
  • Another View on Electric Scooters (NYTimes)
  • Curbside Bumps a Hazard for Pedestrians (EastBayTimes)
  • Temescal’s Awful Pavement (Hoodline)
  • Another Delay to Van Ness BRT (SFExaminer)
  • Ford GoBikes Launches Electric Assist Bikes (SFExaminer)
  • Cyclist Killed by Motorists in Bay Point, Contra Costa County (SFBay)
  • Mayor’s Pointless Encampment Measure (SFWeekly)
  • Third Lane on San Rafael Bridge Opens (EastBayTimes, MarinIJ)
  • Commentary: Real Progressives Support Dense Housing Near Transit (Berkeleyside)
  • Commentary: Scooter Crackdown a Distraction from Real Problems (SFGate)
  • Commentary: Next Mayor Must Clean up the Streets (SFChron)

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

  • mx

    Scooters should be in in bike lanes, not on sidewalks.

    Which is why it’s disturbing that the head of DPW is going around proclaiming that scooters should be ridden in streets and not bike lanes (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/04/23/san-francisco-seize-hundreds-electric-scooters-finalizing-regulations/). As far as I can tell, this is just plain wrong.

    In fact, the DMV says motorized scooters must be ridden in a bike lane if one is present (https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/scooters).

  • Stuart

    At the state level, bikes can be ridden on sidewalks, so the bill would make them consistent with how bicycles are handled at the state level. If it passes, the obvious thing to do in SF would be to ban them on sidewalks locally, so they would be consistent with bicycles locally as well. The bill sounds bad from an SF perspective where we’re used to bikes being illegal on sidewalks, but actually seems pretty reasonable at the state level since I don’t see a lot of argument for treating them differently from bikes (given their speed ranges, mass, etc.)

    It’s unfortunate that DPW is giving out incorrect information, but not surprising. After all, police officers (who unlike DPW are actually responsible for enforcing these laws) don’t even always know the laws for things that aren’t cars.

  • mx

    That’s a fair point. There are a lot of places in the state where scooters on sidewalks (if operated with caution and due care for pedestrians, certainly not a given) would be a net win. If sidewalks are underused by pedestrians due to suburban sprawl, but the roads are too fast and unsafe for bikes and scooters, riding on sidewalks can be an alternative to driving for shorter trips. It’s absurd in SF, but we’re not representative of the entire state. And SF already has banned Segways and such from the sidewalk locally, so we should be covered there.

    Still, my fairly incomplete understanding of the safety data is that bikes on sidewalks is just asking for accidents at intersections. Drivers making right turns aren’t expecting someone to whizz by at 15mph on their right. If you’re lucky (ha!), they check their blind spot for a cyclist, but few are looking out for fast-moving cyclists behind them an adjacent, possibly raised and offset, sidewalk. Decent bike lanes are designed with bike boxes or mixing zones to at least try to prevent this, but more bikes and scooters on sidewalks doesn’t seem like it should be encouraged.

  • murphstahoe

    what’s your position on the majority of streets with no bike lanes.

    And keep in mind that your lede very easily justifies bikes should be in bike lanes, not in the roadway. And if there is no bike lane, they don’t belong on that road.

  • mx

    Bikes and scooters belong on roads without bike lanes. Drivers should not kill me when I ride either of them on roads with or without bike lanes.

    Sorry if that was unclear. I was reacting specifically to Nuru’s claim that it’s illegal to ride scooters in bike lanes and the proposal to legalize riding them on sidewalks (which I begrudgingly came around to agreeing could make more sense in not-SF). I certainly did not mean to suggest that bikes only belong on roads with bike lanes. I am not Bob Gunderson. I am not an optometrist. Etc…