Rob Anderson's commentary on San Francisco politics from District 5
Labels: Cycling and Safety
posted by Rob Anderson @ 10:28 AM
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Why is our police department "educating" adult cyclists on the rules of the road when it is likely that every single one of them is already a licenced motorist who had to pass a DMV road-rules test?Possible answers:a) It's an effective acknowledgment that the DMV fails in its mission to license only drivers who are well-schooled in the rules of the road.b) The SFPD is terrified of being unpopular with the cyclepaths at the SFBC and their lap dogs at City Hall and therefore came up with this lame use of its manpower in the hope that it will assuage the neighborhood residents who complain to the cops that their shoes are being run over by cyclists refusing to yield at crosswalks.
This is supposedly a period of warnings before issuing tickets. We'll see how long it lasts or whether it has any effect at all. But it's interesting that it's happening at all. My suspicion is that cyclists are not a popular special interest group. Maybe even City Hall is coming to the same conclusion.
My prediction would be that the warnings in and of themselves will have no educational effect. Very few adult cyclists are ignorant of the rules of the road and they won't be any smarter afer receiving an SFPD pamphlet.But vigilant awareness of a "crackdown", as reported in local media, will likely have an effect. I see anecdotal evidence of this in my own bike trips through the Wiggle during the past week. Saw more hand signals from cyclists on one recent trip than I've seen in the past two months of trips.I would wager that all Park Station needs to do is just 3-6 hours per month (randomly selected commute hours) of team ticket-writing in the Wiggle to PERMANENTLY incent better intersection behavior by cyclists. Many of the turns in the Wiggle are blind; the only way to avoid a surprise ticket from the motorcycle cop on the next block is to honor the stop sign at end of the current block. Even self-important cyclists know that their imagined privileges, conferred by their eco-royalty status, won't save them from a $300+ fine in traffic court.It does indeed appear that urban cyclists are among the most-despised species of San Franciscans, in part because they are so colossally self-interested at everyone else's expense. The only civic measures that will work against cyclists' dangerous and inconsiderate behavior will be those that threaten damage to what scofflaw cyclists value most: their own wealth, time and convenience. It's pointless to try to "educate" people in the rules of civilization when said students hold even the Golden Rule in disregard.
The first guy says, "but I looked...." He doesnt get it and has an attitude too. If he was smart he would have thanked the officer for the handout and said he will be better.
Here in Boston we have lots of illegal immigrants driving around without driving licenses, hence not knowing the rules of the road. A large number bicycle because they don't have licences. Educational materials in English don't serve them.
We're doing it better here in California, where your immigration status doesn't prevent you from getting a driving license.
Mark Kaepplein wrote, "Here in Boston we have lots of illegal immigrants driving around without driving licenses, hence not knowing the rules of the road."Here is San Francisco we also have lots of illegal immigrants driving around without licenses. Some years back the SFPD did these pedestrian crosswalk stings, using a shill to set up drivers as they approached a crosswalk, eight or ten motorcycle cops would be waiting on a side street, pull the car over a few blocks away, ticket the drivers and send them on their way. No problem when the police did it around San Jose Ave/28th St to catch the Silicon Valley crowd, it looked like downtown Bagdad, all the motorcycle cops. Weiner's aide wrote, "Thank you SFPD!"But when they did it in the Excelsior they got drivers with no license, no insurance and the cops couldn't just let them drive off since they were driving illegally. So there were maybe a half dozen cars along outer Mission St. pulled over, each with the driver and the motorcycle cop waiting for a tow. Word got back to Avalos and Campos that the police were arresting Mexicans for no reason, those two went apoplectic -- This Is Racial Profiling! Some cops offered to take those two on a ride-along to witness that you could only tell that the car was driving in an illegal, unsafe manner, not who the driver was. Neither progressive supervisor took up that offer, they already had their minds made up.
Wow, glad to see Stanley focus the attention on these bikers. I was talking to a friend of mine and he said it's a waste of time because bikers don't cause a lot of deaths and injuries due to reckless driving. I told him based on the sheer amount of bikers I see skirt the laws, it must be incredibly high. Do you happen to know how many people bikers have killed or injured this year?
Occasionally a cyclist will kill a pedestrian, but it's more likely they will cause their own death and injury. All three of the cyclists killed in SF last year were responsible for their accidents by riding recklessly.
But that wasn't the question. How many bikers have killed or injured this year? No one seems to know. If bikers are behaving so terrible, the stats must be incredibly high. All of the comments I'm seeing here show a disdain for the bikers, and not anything to do with the bikers safety. What gives?
You asked how many "bikers were killed or injured." The bad behavior by city cyclists doesn't cause a lot of fatalities, but it does cause accidents. See the widely-ignored UC study on how cycling accidents have been under-counted on city streets, especially solo falls that don't involve another vehicle. Deaths aren't the problem, but serious injuries to cyclists are. On average three or four cyclists die every year in San Francisco. See the last---and apparently, final---Collisions Report from the MTA.
Looks like you have a reading comprehension problem. I asked "how many bikers have killed or injured this year". Don't you think those statistics are important to know?
So you and all your bike despising cohorts are upset at all these self entitled bicyclists mainly hurting themselves? You guys are weird.
" How many bikers have killed or injured this year? No one seems to know. If bikers are behaving so terrible, the stats must be incredibly high."It would indeed be wonderful to have accurate counts, not only of the tangible physical mayhem involving cyclists, but also of all the terrifying near-misses they cause. Here's my personal count as a pedestrian: 8 collisions in 7 years with sidewalk bikers resulting in scratches and bruises; an average of 3 close-call encounters with sidewalk cyclists every day in SOMA over a 3.5 mile walk. None of this stuff gets tabulated unless police or ambulances are involved, which they weren't in my cases.Cyclists in SF get action from City Hall with complaints of "discomfort" and "danger". Nothing wrong with that. As a cyclist myself I experience close calls every day and I believe other cyclists' claims of the same without needing statistics (as nice as they would be to have).Guess what? Pedestrians are complaining to Park Station about their discomfort and terror caused by cyclists' aversion to their brakes. For once THEY're getting action and rightly so. From my own experiences as a pedestrian and cyclist I consider their complaints completely plausible, even sans statistics.One of the most frustrating features of the "vision zero" mindset is its myopic obsession with death alone as a benchmark metric. Talk about aiming low. Can we please consider the possibility that our city's order and civility require more from our drivers, pedestrians and cyclists than simply not killing each other?
"Looks like you have a reading comprehension problem. I asked 'how many bikers have killed or injured this year.' Don't you think those statistics are important to know?"Looks like the comprehension problem is yours, since you don't quote your original question accurately. This is it: "Do you happen to know how many people bikers have killed or injured this year?"In response I linked the last MTA Collision Report, the annual report that used to provide that kind of information. The MTA has apparently stopped issuing those reports. Instead, it provides injury numbers only when it's trying to sell one of its unpopular bike projects, like the lie about Polk Street and Masonic Avenue being dangerous when it was pushing those projects on those reluctant neighborhoods.
I never asked the following below. You can't even keep a story straight that's in your own comment section. Blogger Rob Anderson said...You asked how many "bikers were killed or injured." The bad behavior by city cyclists doesn't cause a lot of fatalities, but it does cause accidents. See the widely-ignored UC study on how cycling accidents have been under-counted on city streets, especially solo falls that don't involve another vehicle. Deaths aren't the problem, but serious injuries to cyclists are. On average three or four cyclists die every year in San Francisco. See the last---and apparently, final---Collisions Report from the MTA.9:16 PM
and Gregski spare me your crocodile tears here for pedestrians. If cycling "near misses" and other grazes are under reported, what makes you think any other kind of transit crashes would be under reported? You know what maims and kills the most and any less focus on the the highest causes of death and injury on our streets. You're perfectly fine then with having more people die or get hurt from vehicle accidents because you're ticked off at bicyclists and want more focus on them. Why dont you just admit that? If spending police time on people with bikes or cars has any affect on either behavior. People get hurt on bikes far more than they do walking, from bikes. If you really cared about the general safety of the city you would see how dumb this is.
"People get hurt on bikes far more than they do walking, from bikes. If you really cared about the general safety of the city you would see how dumb this is."And if you weren't suffering from a reading comprehension problem you'd see that I was making a plea to look beyond incidents of physical harm as reported and consider all the unreported minor damage as well as all the close calls, caused by impatient motorists and bicyclists for no good reason, that make life on the streets so anxious, infuriating and sometimes harmful. I wasn't urging that we DISREGARD all the actual, reported mayhem. Nor was I urging a concentration of police resources on only one set of street users. Sheesh.As long as we're on the subject of your illiteracy I wonder what the meaning is of a sentence like, "If spending police time on people with bikes or cars has any affect [SP] on either behavior."An occasional typo is to be expected of all of us commenters from time to time but, Ma'am, you're in need of some heavy-duty editing. If you're as impatient a cyclist as you are a writer I can see why you'd object to any additional police scrutiny.
But vigilant awareness of a "crackdown", as reported in local media, will likely have an effect.Bullshit. we have crackdown on DUI's, it never changes anything.
"Here's my personal count as a pedestrian: 8 collisions in 7 years with sidewalk bikers resulting in scratches and bruises"Given this - Gregski should be equally pissed that the SFPD is wasting their time with cyclists slow rolling stop signs in the Wiggle and instead focusing on sidewalk riding cyclists, a behavior nobody can get behind because it is actually problematic, except Sanford doesn't seem to give a shit. Probably because he's so fat he never walks.
"we have crackdown on DUI's, it never changes anything"That statement is factually suspect. According to NHSTA, traffic fatalities involving impaired driving have declined from 15,626 in 1994 to 11,896 in 2013, a period in which vehicle miles travelled increased from 2.38 trillion miles to 2.99.During this interval the criminal, civil and insurance-rate consequences of drunk driving increased considerably across the country. Admittedly, other factors (seat belt laws, safety technology, vehicle weight) also improved so there's no way to tell exactly what caused all the reduction in drunk fatalities. But the NHSTA statistics also show that impairment fatalities' portion of total fatalities has been declining significantly over this time, evidence that the "crackdown" has indeed had a mayhem-reducing effect on driver behavior.http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsAlcohol.aspxhttp://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsGeneral.aspx
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