Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pedestrian killed by cyclist

Dionette Cherney

The pedestrian hit by a cyclist recently died the other day, apparently from head injuries. (To their credit, the anti-car, pro-bike folks at Streetsblog immediately posted a story on the death.) Cyclists on city sidewalks is not a new hazard for pedestrians, since several city pedestrians have been killed by cyclists since 2000. 

The City of San Francisco 2010 Bicycle Count report mentioned it as an ongoing problem:

As San Francisco continues to move forward with planning and constructing a continuous network of bicycle facilities, the bicycle counts reinforce the need to pay close attention to both sidewalk and wrong-way riding. At almost every count location sidewalk and/or wrong-way riding was observed (page 11).

Elizabeth Stampe of Walk San Francisco provides Streetsblog with a statement on the accident that sounds like it came from the Bicycle Coalition:

“In some ways it’s really great that so many people out there are riding bikes and that people complain about them all the time and people perceive them as a big, powerful thing,” said Stampe. “I feel like we’re at a tipping point and that we have reached Critical Mass with bikes, and with power comes responsibility.”

Stampe is quick to make hyperbolic statements whenever a pedestrian or a cyclist is hit by a motor vehicle, but you won't find anything about the bikes-as-a-hazard-to-pedestrians issue on the Walk San Francisco website.

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At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Raiche said...

Rob - there's not a single person in this city who isn't outraged by the death of that woman.

Bikes should absolutely be more responsible and the cops should ticket anyone riding recklessly. There is outrage everywhere about this incident.

But that's also because it's incredibly rare. It's still a joke to compare bike accidents like this to the daily risks of cars. Heck, think about the nutter who almost killed that young boy from Philly. In the bike incident, the biker realized she was in the wrong, stopped, and tried to help. She should still be charged with a crime, but good lord, there's no comparison.

You should be praising streetsblog for helping to make this incident even more rare.

Hating bike is like hating yourself Rob. Seek help.

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read some of the insane, childish comments over at Streetsblog, the center of the universe for all things bikes and wonderfulness:

One cyclist ticketed for running a red light, and getting caught actually said " I thought I didn't have to stop if there was not traffic coming the other way.."

Stupid, as usual. I hope the police crack down even more on all the cyclists who refuse to obey the traffic laws.

So tragic that a pedestrian had to DIE because of a selfish, lazy cyclist.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...


I did praise Streetsblog for posting that article, and I also provided a link to it. Since pedestrians are on the bottom of the traffic food chain and the most vulnerable users of city streets, they suffered 17 of the 34 traffic fatalities as per the last report put out by the city. (Fatalities to cyclists are rare in SF, with an average of 1.8 a year.)

Overall, however, city streets are getting safer for everyone over the years, thanks to good work by the MTA to modify intersections and/or streets where the most accidents happen. If you check out the report I linked above, you'll see that most of it is dedicated to discussions of specific intersections where the most accidents happen.

Like a lot of cyclists who comment on this blog, you seem to equate criticism with hate. I'm the only one who provides any consistent counterpoint to the drumbeat of anti-car, pro-bike propaganda by the mainstream media in SF, which, in the minds of those addled by BikeThink. is some kind of hate crime!

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous bike-nut said...

This crash didn't happen on the sidewalk.

At 10:25 AM, Anonymous bike-nut said...

"Since several city pedestrians have been killed by cyclists since 2000."

No, that is not the case at all. Where is your evidence of such a lie?

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

Over the years of being almost exclusively using pedestrian "transit" I've become more and more aware of how vulnerable I am. Now I look both ways even when crossing a one-way-street, I've all but completely given up jay walking which I used to do with aplomb and I wait at a red even when there are obviously no cars coming from any direction.

A lot of the walking is 6 or more miles per week on Valencia St, where the Muni line was removed for bike lanes and bike parking and bike-hipster parklets. Thus now the greatest danger is from the many cyclists who seem to feel that bike lanes are merely rough guide only to be used when convenient. Pedestrian crosswalks belong to cyclist, the pedestrian sidewalk is for racing along when the going is too slow in the bike lanes, a red light means speed up, a one way street designation is for autos only.

Most likely I would be crippled right now if it hadn't been for all the times I've moved aside while on the sidewalk so a cyclist could get by.

Get California Driver Handbook at any DMV or online, the list on p.61-62 is very specific about the regulations pertaining to bicycles.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Rocky's Pop said...

I walk all over this city and rarely see a cyclist on the sidewalk. If I do, WHICH IS VERY RARE, it is someone who appears to be homeless. They are also traveling at a very slow pace.

I'd really love to see someone like Anon capture this on film (or at least a picture) since it "happens so often".

Anon, your "hipster-parklet" comment gives away your prejudice. You are making a comment, not based on reality, but based on some anti-bike hysteria. You and Rob feed your own fires. The things you speak of rarely, if ever (usually never), actually happen.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...


On cyclists causing pedestrian fatalities: I cited a 2007 Chronicle story by Rachel Gordon that I posted at the time. The money qote:

"Since 2000, three pedestrians have been killed by bicycles and more than 20 others have sustained injuries requiring hospitalizations, according to Michael Radetsky, injury-prevention coordinator for the San Francisco Department of Public Health."

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

By the way, why hasn't the name of the cyclist who hit this woman been released? The name of the motorist who hit and killed Nils Linke last year on Masonic Ave. was made public almost immediately. Double standard anyone?

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cyclist stopped, Joshua Calder did not.

The cyclist was sober, Joshua Calder was not.

And double standard by whom? Why don't you get the name? I'm sure you can go on down to the police station and dig it up if you want it that bad.

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bike nuts always want us to "prove" something, like a vid of a cyclist on the sidewalk or running a stop sign or red light. Guess what? we don't need to prove anything to you.

These events happen a lot. I see cyclists quite a bit on Valencia or other major streets.

I agree completely with anon@ 12:12. It is not as safe as it was a few years ago before cyclists began taking over the streets, running lights and riding the sidewalk. I have come very close myself to being RUN OVER BY A CYCLIST riding thru a red light when I am legally in the crosswalk.

It is simply more dangerous for pedestrians now, thanks to more renegade, self-entitled cyclists.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I look both ways even when crossing a one-way-street, I've all but completely given up jay walking which I used to do with aplomb and I wait at a red even when there are obviously no cars coming from any direction.

Let me get this straight - the pedestrian who admits to jay-walking and crossing against the red all the time, thinks he is now in peril because of cyclists? And in fact he is angry that because of cyclists he has had to give up his lawless ways?


At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@bikenut...typical have perfect knowledge in all things, are quick to shoot down other opinions or proposed solutions...the mantra of speaking truth to power BS. Change comes when people want change. I ride a bike usually on weekends for exercise and enjoyment but I don't make that fact a religion that I then shove down on others. In some ways you are just like a teabagger..

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous bike-nut said...

Anon @ 6:31 is the same person as Anon @ 12:12, of course you agree with yourself.

And you feel less safe now with more cyclists on the road? You, like Rob, have a vendetta against cyclists. Your fear is unfounded, especially if you ignore the real danger that is reckless drivers.

And yes, you should provide some proof since I am also on the roads every day, walking and cycling, and I don't see what you claim to see. If it happens all the time, take a picture or a video - everyone has fancy phones these days so it should be so difficult. Maybe it is a problem because you don't actually see it.

At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Anon - we can throw the cyclist in the pokey - we have to throw this guy in prison as well. Backing over someone - patently illegal.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Bike Nut:

It's not a matter of "a vendetta" against cyclists; it's about the behavior of a lot of cyclists on city streets, about which you seem to be in denial.

Cyclists can be a hazard for pedestrians, not only because they tend to run stop signs but because, unlike motor vehicles, we pedestrians can't hear them coming. Since they're on smaller vehicles, they're also harder to pick up at intersections with our peripheral vision.

As a bike guy, clearly your perceptions are influenced by your mindset. I don't own a car, don't ride a bike, and use Muni and walk to get around the city. I'm careful to look first for motor vehicles when I cross the street, but I also look for cyclists, many of whom come whipping through intersections after motor vehicles have come to a stop.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous bike-nut said...

Your fear is cyclists? But drivers in 2-ton vehicles don't phase you?

Yes, you are delusional.

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm careful to look first for motor vehicles when I cross the street, but I also look for cyclists, many of whom come whipping through intersections after motor vehicles have come to a stop.

Well then, we don't need to "stop" the cyclists (much as we don't need to screw things up for motorists), we need to educate the pedestrians to be careful.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Herbert Weiner said...

No bicyclist has ever been run over by a pedestrian.

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg to differ...

Pedestrian takes out cyclist

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still trying to teach my truck to understand "bike". But it is a Japanese make. What is bike in Japanese? Maybe it was made in the southern states. It does seem to lean to the right and it is prejudiced. And it is not very bright.

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Mark Andeer said...

Some comments here are insane. If you kill someone on a bike you aren't a better person than someone who killed someone in a car. Bottom line, you killed someone.


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