Cyclist Killed at Intersection of Turk and Taylor

A life lost at a dangerous, badly designed intersection of two known high-injury corridors

The aftermath of Tuesday evening's crash at Turk and Taylor.  Photo: alexindeed via Twitter
The aftermath of Tuesday evening's crash at Turk and Taylor. Photo: alexindeed via Twitter

A cyclist was killed Tuesday evening at the intersection of Taylor and Turk, near the start of the newly installed bike lane on Turk.

Streetsblog spoke with a nearby restaurant employee who saw security video of the crash. Apparently, the cyclist was heading north on Taylor when he was struck by a westbound driver on Turk who ran the red light. The driver then fled the scene. The employee, who asked not to be identified, said the video was turned over to police.

SF Weekly is reporting that the crash occurred at 5:44 p.m. and that the victim was 65-year-old San Francisco resident Gregory Blackman. The motorist was apprehended shortly after the crash and charged with hit-and-run, driving under the influence, and vehicular manslaughter.

“The SF Bicycle Coalition stands with our members and the Tenderloin community to mourn the victim of another collision at the intersection of Taylor and Turk Streets, two known Vision Zero high injury corridors,” wrote Brian Wiedenmeier, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

It’s unclear if proper safety infrastructure would have prevented this crash, but it could have at least given Blackman a chance. AlexIndeed, who posted about it on Twitter and took the photo in the lead image, commutes through the corridor and observes that “…the construction barrier jutting into the street on the SE corner of turk and taylor is a big blind spot. Combine that with no bike lane on turk leading up to this intersection (there’s one after), the large amount of foot traffic, and the near daily occurrence of motorists running this light, this was inevitable.”

“The latest public data shows that every single street in the Tenderloin is part of our city’s high-injury network. One-way streets like those found throughout the Tenderloin encourage speeding and put the lives of people walking and biking in danger every day,” wrote Wiedenmeier.

The location of Tuesday's fatal crash. The victim was in approximately the same location as the cyclist in this picture, according to witness who saw video of the crash, the motorist ran the red light. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick
The location of Tuesday’s fatal crash. The victim was in approximately the same location as the cyclist in this picture (upper right corner of the frame), according to a witness who saw video of the crash. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

Adding to the potential danger at this intersection, the Turk bike lane, when it starts west of Taylor, is on the left, so cyclists have to cross two lanes of automobile traffic to get from the right side of the road. There’s also the issue of the long-delayed safety upgrades to Taylor Street. “It was almost exactly a year ago that I checked out the MTA’s great demonstration bike lane for the Safer Taylor Street project,” wrote bike advocate, former S.F. City Hall staffer, and occasional Streetsblog contributor Jeremey Pollack in a post on social media about the crash, “…the fact that it’s planned for construction in 2021 is unacceptable.” SFMTA has also apparently dropped protected bike lanes from the Taylor project. Nor does the plan include protected intersections, which never seem to make the cut.

Streetsblog is still gathering information about this tragedy and will update this post accordingly.

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