Friday, May 25, 2012

Bike "improvements" annoy even cyclists


When I started this blog back in 2004 and complained about the boorish behavior of many cyclists on city streets, I was accused by cyclists of making that up. Years of that behavior have confirmed my early observtion, with the latest confirmation coming on the Haighteration blog, which is based in the lower Haight neighborhood, home of the Wiggle, the city-sanctioned speedway for cyclists.

Seems that people who live on or near the Wiggle are not keen on the latest "improvement" installed by the city with no neighborhood input: large, green sharrows in the middle of the street that give cyclists a green light, so to speak, to ride even faster through that residential neighborhood, scattering pedestrians, children, and dogs in their wake. The comments to the post on the new sharrows, a number by cyclists, are almost unanimously negative:

When I first moved to this neighborhood, I was thrilled to live on the Wiggle. My husband and I are both cyclists and support anything to make the city (and all cities) more cycling friendly. We ar members of the SFBC and several other organizations that engage in bicycle advocacy. As a cyclist, I recall getting angry at cars for their dangerous and entitled behavior on the road. Well, that's now how I feel about cyclists around the Wiggle. I'm more aware of the issue because I now have a child so we go to the park (on foot) frequently and are almost run over several times a week by cyclists wh blow through stop signs while they speed around the corners on Waller and Waller and Pierce. Last week there were no bicycles or cars so I started to cross Pierce @ Waller with my toddler and suddenly bicycles came whipping around the corner, trapping us in the middle of the road. I counted eight bicycles and not a single one stopped or slowed down or in any way acknowledged that we were stuck in the middle of the road and could be hit by a bicycle or car coming from behind. I'm starting to feel that the Wiggle around Duboce park is one of the scariest pedestrian areas in the city and I'm angry about it.

And another:

I live on Waller and it frankly pisses me off that we were not consulted before the city came in and put these ugly, confusing things down. Car drivers don't understand what they mean and bikers seem to interpret them as a free pass to not stop---in other words they make the neighborhood even unsafer for pedestrians by creating confusion among car and bikes. A man was killed by a bicyclist in a Castro crosswalk earlier this year and THIS is how the city responds? Exceptionally stupid. Enforce the existing traffic laws please.

Speaking of the pedestrian killed at Castro and Market in April, when is D.A. Gascon going to file charges? Hard to understand why that's taking so long, but recall that he waited four months to file charges against another cyclist that killed a pedestrian last year. Gascon probably delayed that case because he wanted to wait until after the election last November. What's his excuse this time? I'll ask the D.A.'s office that question via email, but reporters for the Chronicle, the Examiner, Bay Citizen, the Guardian, and the SF Weekly are more likely to get a response---if they were interested in the story, that is.

Of course Streetsblog loves the new sharrows on the Wiggle.

The Bicycle Coalition explains how the new signs happened.

The MTA has a Facebook page for its Livable Streets program.

The MTA is planning to put in special bike lanes between Baker and Scott Streets next year so that cyclists can speed toward the Wiggle even faster. Taking away scarce street parking in this neighborhood and helping cyclists is a two-fer for the anti-car bike movement.

Guardian bike guy Steve Jones thinks the new bike lanes in Golden Gate Park are bad for everyone.

Labels: , , , ,