Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Examiner readers support crackdown on scofflaw cyclists

Readers of the SF Examiner approve of Captain Sanford's policy on scofflaw cyclists (Examiner readers react to “Park police target scofflaw cyclists” story). Letters to the editor in today's edition:

It’s good to see SFPD exercising courage to keep us safe from rogue cyclists. I was knocked down and seriously injured by a speeding cyclist who not only ran a red light but was going the wrong way! Yet there is no accountability for such actions.

Instead of attacking Capt. John Sanford Jr. of Park Station, whose goal is to keep everyone safe, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition should work with him to encourage playing by the road rules for all cyclists and publicly criticize those cyclists who endanger the rest of us.

Sherrie Matza
San Francisco

Capt. John Sanford Jr. is to be praised for courageously resisting the constraints of political correctness and taking enforcement action against the lawless, reckless, inconsiderate behavior practiced by most cyclists and endorsed by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. He is doing more to achieve Vision Zero goals than all the cyclist/pedestrian activists who argue that only automobile drivers are the problem.

Anyone who walks about The City knows that scofflaw cycling is the norm, not the exception, and that pedestrians almost universally ignore pedestrian traffic control signals, often while dangerously focused on their cellphone screens and deafened by the buds in their ears.

As long as Vision Zero relies on perfection by drivers and tolerates reckless, careless, inconsiderate, scofflaw behavior by cyclists and pedestrians, it is doomed to failure.

Barrett Giorgis
San Francisco

New Park Station Capt. John Sanford Jr. is right to clamp down on scofflaw bicyclists who endanger not only pedestrians but all of us. The City, in its urban fantasy that bicyclists would one day become 20 percent of all commuters, has allowed bicyclists and the San Francisco

Bicycle Coalition to dictate policy and practice. Presently, bicyclists are only about 3 percent of commuters, despite the millions spent on making San Francisco “comfortable” for scofflaw bicyclists and uncomfortable for the rest of us. Bicyclists — with their scofflaw mentality, refusal to follow traffic laws and provocative behavior — create an atmosphere of chaos and danger. Traffic laws work on the presumption that most people would follow these laws.

Scofflaw bicyclists are the “broken windows” in traffic enforcement. Thanks, Capt. Sanford.

Fiona McGregor
San Francisco

I shouldn’t be appalled by the arrogance of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, but I am. Who do you people think you are? Are you and the cyclists of San Francisco so entitled that you’re above following the traffic laws? There are certainly more cyclists running red lights than drivers. Last I checked, bicycles are moving vehicles too. You all want to be heard and respected, but a large majority of cyclists don’t exercise common sense or courtesies.

City Hall should also insist that cyclists have and use bike horns. The coalition lobbied for bike lanes, but cyclists ride on sidewalks on streets that have bike lanes. Cyclists zoom by on sidewalks weaving in and out of pedestrians without warning. Cyclists want drivers to be more mindful of them, but the vast majority aren’t being mindful of pedestrians. And drivers can’t stop on a dime when cyclists weave through traffic. Instead of blasting the Park Station captain, you should be supporting him by reminding cyclists that they’re susceptible to injuries/death if they’re hit because they ran a red light. They hit a pedestrian, both are injured or killed.

If Vision Zero is going to be a success, then drivers, pedestrians and cyclists need to take responsibility for their safety and stop whining that the Police Department is singling them out.

Debi Gould
San Francisco

It’s about time the police ticketed scofflaw cyclists. They ride wherever they want, whenever they want. They ride on sidewalks (which is generally illegal in The City), run red lights and stop signs, etc.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is showing its true colors. The organization claims to promote safe and law-abiding cycling, but it’s obvious from their petition that they don’t. The City spends millions of dollars to give cyclists a better environment in which to ride, but the cyclists show little, if any, appreciation. The cyclists pay nothing for roadway changes aimed at making things safer, and then complain when they are cited for a violation.

The article states that 1 percent of traffic tickets are given to bicyclists. I think if you open your eyes, you will see that they commit far more than 1 percent of the traffic violations.

As to the complaint about the cost of tickets by bike messenger Santiago Campos: The City doesn’t charge you anything to ride your bicycle if you obey the law. Try it sometime.

I salute Capt. John Sanford Jr. for doing his job and not caving in to a “politically powerful” Bicycle Coalition.

Arthur P. Samuelson
San Francisco

Thank you so much for that article. Finally! I’m a pedestrian who walks all over town. Cyclists and BMW drivers are the most arrogant in The City. They always think they have the right of way. I would never challenge a cyclist, except maybe midtown. They expect rights (bike lanes), but don’t stop at red lights or stop signs and cut off pedestrians in crosswalks. Again, I appreciate your article.

Willa Crowell
San Francisco

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At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed the Examinot would even publish those letters of support of the crackdown. That newspaper has been a mouthpiece for the SFBC for the last two years.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe the Examiner is beginning to understand that for their readers the Bicycle Coalition is not the most popular special interest group in the city. The Examiner pushed the unpopular Polk Street bike project two years ago and "doubled down" on its poor reporting on bikes last year.

At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! I am totally with these Examiner commenters. After all, there's only one traffic law and that's: Don't go through red lights. Well, other than: Don't speed. And also: Make sure to use your turn signal. Oh, and: Stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Ok, fine so there's many traffic laws. But cyclists are definitely breaking the majority of them. Oh wait, I forgot: Don't double park, or make an illegal U turn, or throw cigarettes out the window, or use a cell phone while driving, or drive drunk, or honk your horn just because you're angry. Never mind. Laws aren't important if you're a driver. What is important is that cyclists are breaking them. Because they're dangerous. Super dangerous. Bikes kill nearly 34,000 people a year. Oh, sorry, got my facts switched around. It's cars that are doing that. But anyway, we should definitely focus on bikes. Because if they don't follow the rules, then I get really angry. And that's the most important thing of all.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

All you're doing is changing the subject from cyclists to motorists. Nice try.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Mark Kaepplein said...

A top Boston teaching hospital studied cyclist behavior and found more are putting themselves and others in the Emergency Room. A local TV station got the leading state bike lobby to comment saying they support traffic enforcement. In 2009 that same lobby got through a bill that made fines $20 for cyclists with no penalty if not paid. Its still the law in Massachusetts with expected results.


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