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Bicycle Infrastructure

Driver Kills Cyclist on Arguello in Presidio

9:16 AM PDT on April 7, 2023

Not the location of the crash but this car in the bike lane on Presidio Blvd. nearby, captured on Google Streetview, underscores why real protected bike lanes need to be a default safety measure on fast-moving roads

Note: GJEL Accident Attorneys regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog California. Unless noted in the story, GJEL Accident Attorneys is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

Ethan Boyes was riding his bike on Arguello in the Presidio on Tuesday when a motorist reportedly crossed into the oncoming lane and smashed into him. He would later die in the hospital. From a police statement:

On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at approximately 4:00 PM, the United States Park Police responded to Arguello Boulevard south of Washington Boulevard for a motor vehicle crash between a car and a bicyclist. The cyclist, an adult male, was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries and later pronounced deceased. The driver of the vehicle was also transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  The crash remains under investigation by the United States Park Police.

Streetsblog was sent the following Nextdoor post from eyewitness Stephanie Ward. The post is consistent with information provided by the Presidio:

Streetsblog has reached out to Ward and will update this post if she replies.

More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Boyes, from San Francisco, was a 2018 and 2019 USA Cycling Masters Track National Champion and avid racer who USA Cycling lists as the national record holder for the 500 meter “track time trial – flying start,” a record set on Sept. 24, 2018 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The death has stunned the cycling community.

The Chronicle, to its credit, wrote that Boyes was hit by a “driver,” not a “vehicle” or “car,” in its headline.

A random car driving on the painted bike lane on Arguello near where the collision took place. Image: Google Streetsview
Another reckless driver on the painted bike lane on Arguello near where the collision took place. Image: Google Streetview
A random car driving on the painted bike lane on Arguello near where the collision took place. Image: Google Streetsview

The portion of Arguello where Boyes was killed is controlled by the Presidio Trust. Nevertheless, both the Presidio and the city of San Francisco’s portion of Arguello are known danger spots with speeding traffic and no physical protection for cyclists. In 2019 SFMTA completed a repaving project of Arguello and left cyclists unprotected in a door-zone lane. The reason the city wouldn’t provide protected bike lanes was, as usual, to preserve parking and prioritize driver convenience over basic safety.

The Presidio Trust, meanwhile, has done some impressive, Dutch-style intersections and other treatments, and has been ahead of San Francisco generally when it comes to slow streets and other safety features. However, just like the rest of San Francisco, it fails to provide any kind of physical separation on its faster car commuter routes such as Arguello and Presidio Boulevard. Note the two images in this post that illustrate how drivers regularly speed and leave their lanes; a near-constant situation that dictates the need for concrete separation (or fully separated paths).

Nevertheless, it appears there are no plans for concrete-protected bike lanes or a parallel bike path on Arguello, although “there are speed bumps and stop signs in that area,” wrote a Presidio spokesperson. Streetsblog will update this story as more information arrives.

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