Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Idaho Stop and the traffic war

Bicycle Coalition

Turns out that Supervisor Peskin voted against the Idaho Stop proposal after implying the other day that the issue was too trivial for him to consider. The proposal is still short of votes to overturn Mayor Lee's promised veto.

Streetsblog on the vote:

So it doesn’t look like this legislative remedy for poor SFPD enforcement priorities is going to pan out. But the question of how to tailor traffic laws to account for the differences between bikes has newfound prominence, and yesterday’s vote showed there’s significant political support for change. This won’t be the last time that adjusting the current rules comes up for debate.

The "newfound" political reality seems to be the decline of the political influence in the city of the Bicycle Coalition and the anti-car lobby in general. That's surely why Mayor Lee can safely promise to veto the proposal and Peskin can vote against it, even though, as a comment to the story pointed out, the Bicycle Coalition did fundraisers for Peskin during the District 3 campaign!

Maybe if the coalition had given Peskin its sole endorsement, instead of endorsing both candidates, he might have felt obligated to support the measure. 

In other bike news:

Not surprising to see that Roger Rudick will continue using the grotesque Streetsblog assumption that there's a traffic war happening on US streets: it's those devilish motor vehicles against everyone else, especially cyclists and pedestrians: Two Bay Area Cyclists Cut Down By Drivers in One Day

In San Jose, a bicyclist was struck by a pickup truck driver near Martial Cottle Park, as reported by InsideBayArea. “It does not appear that speed was a factor,” said San Jose Police Sergeant Todd Lonac. “It just appears to be a tragic accident.” Ruling out excessive speed alone, however, does not absolve the driver. We still don’t know if texting or some other form of distraction was a factor. It’s too early in the investigation and not enough information is available for the cops to tell the public it was a faultless “accident.”

For the anti-car zealots, there's no such thing as an "accident" on our streets. Motorists simply "cut down" cyclists and pedestrians, language that implies intent and that cyclists and peds are victims in the ongoing traffic war (See Streetsblog's body count in the traffic war). 

Rudick rode his bike to the scene of another fatal cycling accident---or "accident"---and riffed on the condition of the street:

As I rode my bike to Portola, I encountered an environment familiar to all San Francisco cyclists. Cars parked in bike lanes. Potholes and cracks big enough to grab all but the widest bicycle tire and catapult a rider into the pavement. And laughable safety markings, such as sharrows on streets that are way too wide and fast for them. And even these markings aren’t maintained.

Actually, I agree with Rudick on the pothole issue, which I've written about before. San Francisco's streets are famous for being in bad condition in spite of all the bond measures we pass.

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