Friday, May 25, 2012

Bike "improvements" annoy even cyclists

When I started this blog back in 2004 and complained about the boorish behavior of many cyclists on city streets, I was accused by cyclists of making that up. Years of that behavior have confirmed my early observtion, with the latest confirmation coming on the Haighteration blog, which is based in the lower Haight neighborhood, home of the Wiggle, the city-sanctioned speedway for cyclists.

Seems that people who live on or near the Wiggle are not keen on the latest "improvement" installed by the city with no neighborhood input: large, green sharrows in the middle of the street that give cyclists a green light, so to speak, to ride even faster through that residential neighborhood, scattering pedestrians, children, and dogs in their wake. The comments to the post on the new sharrows, a number by cyclists, are almost unanimously negative:

When I first moved to this neighborhood, I was thrilled to live on the Wiggle. My husband and I are both cyclists and support anything to make the city (and all cities) more cycling friendly. We ar members of the SFBC and several other organizations that engage in bicycle advocacy. As a cyclist, I recall getting angry at cars for their dangerous and entitled behavior on the road. Well, that's now how I feel about cyclists around the Wiggle. I'm more aware of the issue because I now have a child so we go to the park (on foot) frequently and are almost run over several times a week by cyclists wh blow through stop signs while they speed around the corners on Waller and Waller and Pierce. Last week there were no bicycles or cars so I started to cross Pierce @ Waller with my toddler and suddenly bicycles came whipping around the corner, trapping us in the middle of the road. I counted eight bicycles and not a single one stopped or slowed down or in any way acknowledged that we were stuck in the middle of the road and could be hit by a bicycle or car coming from behind. I'm starting to feel that the Wiggle around Duboce park is one of the scariest pedestrian areas in the city and I'm angry about it.

And another:

I live on Waller and it frankly pisses me off that we were not consulted before the city came in and put these ugly, confusing things down. Car drivers don't understand what they mean and bikers seem to interpret them as a free pass to not stop---in other words they make the neighborhood even unsafer for pedestrians by creating confusion among car and bikes. A man was killed by a bicyclist in a Castro crosswalk earlier this year and THIS is how the city responds? Exceptionally stupid. Enforce the existing traffic laws please.

Speaking of the pedestrian killed at Castro and Market in April by a cyclist, when is D.A. Gascon going to file charges? Hard to understand why that's taking so long, but recall that he waited four months to file charges against another cyclist that killed a pedestrian last year. Gascon probably delayed that case because he wanted to wait until after the election last November. What's his excuse this time? I'll ask the D.A.'s office that question via email, but reporters for the Chronicle, the Examiner, Bay Citizen, the Guardian, and the SF Weekly are more likely to get a response---if they were interested in the story, that is.

Of course Streetsblog loves the new sharrows on the Wiggle.

The Bicycle Coalition explains how the new signs happened.

The MTA has a Facebook page for its Livable Streets program.

The MTA is planning to put in special bike lanes between Baker and Scott Streets next year so that cyclists can speed toward the Wiggle even faster. Taking away scarce street parking in this neighborhood and helping cyclists is a two-fer for the anti-car bike movement.

Guardian bike guy Steve Jones thinks the new bike lanes in Golden Gate Park are bad for everyone.

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At 1:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Just sent this inquiry to the DA's office:

"What's the status of the Chris Bucchere case, the cyclist who killed the pedestrian last April? Has the city filed any charges yet?"

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bucchere has not been charged because it turns out they don't have a case

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Evidence for that claim? If that's true, the D.A. will make that announcement.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The DA said themselves that he did not enter the intersection on red.

If not, then they need to prove some other infraction, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Excessive speed from his GPS logs? The margin of error is too high to convict.

The witness account that he was running stop signs and stop lights with another cyclist? Witness is not credible, Bucchere was riding alone at the point of the incident and there were dozens of other cyclists in the area at the time.

In the Ang case, there was no PR from the DA, they just stalled and then filed charges. In this case, Gascon got on stage and said that charges would be filed within the next couple of days. That was 6 weeks ago. Oops. They don't have a case. The only other plausible explanation is they are working out a plea deal.

Not to say Bucchere isn't a douche, and wasn't riding defensively. But under the current vehicle code, he's not guilty of anything - which might be an indictment of the CVC but doesn't mean Bucchere gets charged.

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Not to say too that you're not just another bike jerk who's indulging in wishful thinking. No sources cited or linked, just unverified blather. Why not wait until the DA makes a call on the issue? Nice touch with the casual gender slur ("douche"). The "margin of error" on your pronouncements is pretty high.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You want links? You link to no evidence showing he should be charged. So I'll do your homework for you you lazy old bastard (how's that for a casual ageist slur)

Investigators have debunked original eyewitness reports that Bucchere entered the intersection on a red light, saying it was yellow. However, police said, he showed recklessness by speeding and failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Speeding will be impossible to prove - his GPS log will not suffice for the standard of the law, at least without substantial appeal because there is no precedence. He did not have a requirement to yield to the pedestrian because he lawfully entered the intersection on yellow, the pedestrian was the person who failed to yield until the intersection was clear.

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of the those ugly green monster boxes, why didn't they just put the regular bike lane signs at more white, not green.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Of course Bucchere did face charges and copped a plea.


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