Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Safe routes to school?

  
The Bicycle Coalition and City Hall encourage the city's children to ride bikes to school, which is irresponsible given the obvious dangers illustrated by the story below. 

Boy on bike hit, killed by SUV outside Byron school
Henry K. Lee
SF Chronicle
September 23, 2013


A 12-year-old boy riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle Monday in front of his Byron middle school, authorities said.

Burgess Hu of Discovery Bay died at the scene of the crash outside Excelsior Middle School on Byron Highway.

A woman who had just dropped off her children at the school was making a turn in her GMC Yukon onto Byron Highway when she hit the boy at about 7:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

The woman was apparently traveling no faster than 10 mph at the time, authorities said. She remained at the scene of the crash.

The SUV is registered to a Discovery Bay woman, who did not immediately return a call for comment.

Burgess was wearing a helmet that had a Contra Costa County sheriff's badge sticker on it, the CHP said.
Henry K. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: hlee@sfchronicle.com

See also Children and the Bike Cult.

Graphic from the SFBC
 

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24 Comments:

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a good point, Rob. Also don't forget the insane advocacy of children walking to school, or indeed, walking anywhere. It's far too dangerous with cars zipping around everywhere. I strongly suggest that neither children nor adults attempt to walk outside their immediate residence. In spite of that warning, should you attempt walking and get killed by a car, it's your own fault, because you were warned.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was this one of those "solo accidents" you talk about?

No. It was a parent driving too fast while talking on her cellphone. You are blaming the victim.

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The talking-on-a-cellphone claim isn't mentioned in the story. My point is that this is the sort of thing that can happen when riding a bike. A driver--whether talking on a cellphone or not--doesn't see a cyclist, or a cyclist makes a mistake, and the outcome is injury or death for the cyclist.

Cycling is being oversold by City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition as if it's nothing but a win-win deal for everyone: cheap transportation for cyclists, fewer cars on the streets, better health and fitness for cyclists, less air pollution, etc.

But the real dangers involved---for adults and children---get short shrift. If this 12-year-old hadn't been riding his bike to school, he would still be alive.

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

All these people advocating for kids walking to school, biking to school, taking Muni, they're all recent arrivals San Francisco and think it should be just like whatever middle-American suburb they came from, only hipper. They don't know that kids walked to school here in SF up until February 10, 1984. They don't know what it was like for parents when Kevin Collins disappeared from a Masonic/Oak bus stop and became another San Francisco First: first to get his picture on a milk carton.

The problem wasn't cars then, it was people and no amount of bulb outs and bike lanes and speed zones is going to get rid of the kind of people that abducted Kevin Collins. And no sane parent is going to allow their kid to walk or ride off alone here in hip, urban San Francisco.

 
At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another problem with this "Safe Routes to School" social engineering nonsense is it encourages kids to further clog our streets by crossing streets, slowing down traffic and thus causing more pollution. If you see kids obstructing traffic like this during school hours, do what I do: lay on the horn and yell at them to get out of the way! They'll get the hint and get a ride from Mom next time. They'll thank you someday because you've potentially saved their lives!

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger alai said...

I'm sure there are plenty of parents who would love to have you volunteer to drive their kids to school every day, Rob.

 
At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the real dangers involved---for adults and children---get short shrift. If this 12-year-old hadn't been riding his bike to school, he would still be alive.

The driver killed the boy as he was crossing in the "crosswalk" at walking speed. The same place and speed that children walk across to get from where the boy was, to the front door of the school. The bike was incidental, a walking child would be just as dead.

Regardless of this incident, inattentive drivers like this have murdered dozens of schoolchildren *walking* to school every year for the past few decades. Are you advocating that children solely be driven to school?

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Where do you get that info on this incident? It's not in the news story I linked.

"Murder" by definition is intentional, not as here a tragic accident. But if you're a crybaby adherent of BikeThink, you think cyclists are an oppressed class because of their chosen "mode" of transportation. (See SF Streetsblog for a daily narrative of Jason Henderson's "Street Fight," as cyclists struggle against attacking motor vehicles, aka Death Monsters.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

As if on cue, Streetsblog provides an international account of the war waged by Death Monsters on the world's population.

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is 10,000 times more likely that a child will be run over by one of his classmates parents than for him to be abducted.

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was in the article Rob.

The boy was riding on the sidewalk. When a sidewalk crosses a driveway - this is known as a "crosswalk"

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger alai said...

And no sane parent is going to allow their kid to walk or ride off alone here in hip, urban San Francisco.

Uh-huh. So the annoying packs of tweens that flood Muni every afternoon are, what, a mirage?

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comments on the article from parents at the school said the driver was NOT on a cell phone and police said the driver was driving LESS than 10mph. Why do some continue to post lies about what happened?

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob - this 17 year old boy on his way to school would be alive today if his parents were not driving him to school.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Speeding-car-rams-minivan-in-S-F-one-dead-4849070.php

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The driver was going less than 10 MPH?

The speed limit when approaching a crosswalk with someone crossing it is... ZERO

 
At 5:37 PM, Anonymous James said...

A kid biking that gets hurt, it's from biking and they shouldn't do it. A kid getting struck while walking... shouldn't be walking?

What's the common denominator here?

Explain this, asshole.

 
At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Rob is too chickenshit to explain why he justifies driving kids to school when a child was killed at Pine/Gough this week precisely BECAUSE he was being driven to school.

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A kid biking that gets hurt, it's from biking and they shouldn't do it. A kid getting struck while walking... shouldn't be walking?"

Yep. Don't walk, don't bike, DRIVE. Drive everywhere. It's the American Way (TM).

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, the issue really is how deep in denial cyclists and City Hall are about the real dangers of riding a bike, whether to school or anywhere else---dangers that can't really be eliminated by creating more bike lanes.

 
At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More children have been killed riding in a car to school in San Francisco THIS WEEK than riding a bike to school in all of history.

We need to take a deep look at how the PC factions in SF have encouraged driving kids to work.

 
At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, do you have any ideas for how to reduce traffic congestion in San Francisco?

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

First of all City Hall should borrow a concept from the medical profession: First do no harm. It should not take away more than 50 traffic lanes and more than 2,000 parking spaces on busy city streets to make bike lanes for 3.4% of the population that ride bikes.

Next: Muni is the only realistic alternative to driving for most people in SF. Stop underfunding our Muni system to make that alternative even more realistic.

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet no comment - this teenager is only dead because he was being driven to school....

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger alai said...

2,000 parking spaces on busy city streets to make bike lanes for 3.4% of the population that ride bikes.

Indeed. At most, 3.4% of the parking spaces should be used to make bike lanes.

Which is... a lot more than 2,000.

 

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