Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The "iconic" Wiggle

Photo from Haighteration

Whenever Haighteration posts about the Wiggle, they get a lot of negative comments about how cyclists race through the neighborhood on the city-sanctioned speedway known as the Wiggle (my post from last year). Haighteration's latest post on the Wiggle gets the same kind of response.

But the party line from City Hall is that the Wiggle is now a landmark here in Progressive Land, beloved not only by cyclists but by residents and tourists alike. The PUC will be making  some changes to the drains in the area, and the MTA will join them to make some of their "improvements" to these streets ("green infrastructure and traffic calming").

A typical comment:

The problem of asshole bikers has existed since long before the MTA changes to the Wiggle, but the rate of bike-related misbehavior on the Wiggle skyrocketed with the institution of those changes. I've lived here for 17 years and I've never felt as unsafe crossing the road as I do now, thanks to the Wiggle changes and the resulting misbehavior of confused and misguided cyclists (some of whom no doubt sincerely believe that the green arrows everywhere---including in the middle of the intersections, for Christ's sake---mean they have permanent right-of-way). BTW: I just got back from a 10-mile bike ride, ending on the Wiggle. I'm a cyclist first and foremost. But the anti-car/anti-pedestrian nature of so many bike advocates (including the SFBC) has completely alienated me. I believe in coexistence, not Bikes Uber Alles.

The Public Utilities Commission adheres to the city's party line on the wonderful Wiggle: "this famous San Francisco bike route," "the iconic Wiggle route," "this famous San Francisco bike route," etc:

Help us improve your neighborhood! Learn more about this upcoming project that will improve stormwater management and walking and biking conditions along this famous San Francisco bike route and surrounding neighborhoods. We want to hear from you!

Heigh ho! Off to work we go! Improving the neighborhood along that wonderful Wiggle! Lots of exclams because we're talking to the morons who live in that neighborhood! We even have an online survey so that they can pretend to participate in the process, though we're going to do whatever we want anyhow! We will improve "biking conditions" in the neighborhood to help cyclists speed even faster through the neighborhood, scattering pedestrians in their wake! What fun!

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At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Rick B. said...

Out of curiosity, how many pedestrians have been killed along the wiggle?

Now let's compare that to Masonic, changes to which you strongly oppose.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People on the internet don't like cyclists?!

Stop the presses, Rob is onto something here.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

I used to live in the Lower Haight, the bicyclists that are near terrorists the way they whip through the stop signs with no slowing whatsoever. It's crazy, and they have convinced themself that they have some kind of consensus in the neighborhood, when in reality they just have the most vocal (and likely least employed, since somehow they make all these community meetings).

The "improvements" that have gone in in the Inner Sunset have slowed traffic to a crawl (I can hear the bicyclists cheering) but have encouraged many unsafe actions by cyclist and motorist alike. The pedestrian bulb-outs mean that commerical trucks have to swing way around the corner, sometimes crossing into the left turn lane of the road they are turning into. The new mid-road medians that have trees and signs on them actually LOWER visibility of sidewalks making the pedestrian world more dangerous than ever. I don't know why the MTA/SFBC won't listen or acknowledge anything or anyone that doesn't support their vision. Oh, that's right, they're assholes!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

None yet, but the other day there was a woman hit by a cyclist downtown, inflicting "life-threatening" injuries on her. If she dies, it will be the third bike-on-pedestrian death recently in the city.

There's been only one pedestrian killed on Masonic recently, and he was hit late at night by a drunk driver two years ago.

In fact considering the heavy traffic volume Masonic carries---32,000 vehicles a day---it's not unsafe for pedestrians. According to the city's design study on Masonic, page 13---which you've read, right?---there were only 12 injury accidents to pedestrians on Masonic in a six-year period but no deaths.

I've done a thorough analysis of the lies about Masonic Avenue here.

At 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding cyclists killed in accidents, I would like to know how many of the deaths are caused by cyclists not obeying stop signs, signals, and other traffic laws?

At 1:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I've lived here for 17 years and I've never felt as unsafe crossing the road as I do now, thanks to the Wiggle changes and the resulting misbehavior of confused and misguided cyclists"

I do not believe this statement. The city's own statistics show that only 3.4 percent of trips are taken by bicycle. The traffic throughput of the streets on the wiggle is less than 5000 vehicles per day, meaning that at most 170 cyclists use the wiggle on a daily basis. That is equivalent to eight cyclists per hour. The likelihood of the author encountering a cyclist at any given moment when crossing the street is roughly 1 in 237.5 - hardly a significant amount.

At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

None yet -

By your own definition, the wiggle is safe. Very safe. The numerous fatalities on Masonic still leave that road in the category of safe, so an area with zero fatalities is by definition, safe.

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous James said...

This is hilarious. There's no mention of collisions, or citations, or any evidence to suggest this wiggle is actually a danger. It's anecdotal evidence at best. You would be all over this, like you have with Masonic and how people are complaining they feel like it's dangerous. Which one is it Rob? Oh, it's whatever is pro-car and anti-bike. You seem pretty eager to "Screw-up" the Wiggle with no probable cause.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Eight cyclists an hour? That's ridiculous and only shows you aren't familiar with the Wiggle, which gets quite a bit of bike traffic.

My definition of safety of a street in general is not based on fatalities but injuries.

The people who live on the Wiggle complain about how cyclists speed through their neighborhood, making it risky to even cross the street. I don't know of any actual numbers on how many injuries there are on the Wiggle to either cyclists or pedestrians.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous and only shows you aren't familiar with the Wiggle, which gets quite a bit of bike traffic.

Really? I thought we were screwing up traffic for the minority. Now you are saying there is "quite a bit of bike traffic". Which is it?

The answer is "both". Your repeated claims of only 3.4% of trips are by bike is clearly untrue on the wiggle - as you just admitted by denying by analysis. In order for the overall stats to be 3.4%, there have to be roads with substantially less than 3.4% trips by bike. For example, the Central Freeway, Doyle Drive, 19th Avenue.

What percentage of trips on the Wiggle do you believe are taken by bike? Apparently a lot more than 3.4%. If we are supposed to cater to transport by mode share, the wiggle deserves bike improvements.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Of course bike traffic is not evenly distributed on city streets. Who says otherwise? My 3.4% claim is not my number but from the city's reports.

The city has designated the Wiggle as a major route for cyclists to Market Street and downtown. The bike lane project on Fell and Oak Streets is designed to make it easier and more "comfortable" for cyclists to quickly access the Wiggle, much to the distress of many people who live in that neighborhood.

If you don't believe the 3.4% number, you should check out the city's docs on the issue: The annual Transportation Fact Sheet, the State of Cycling Report, and the Mode Share Survey.

At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While i was riding this exact block last weekend a SFPD black and white was parked and writing tickets to bikers not stopping at the the sign on Haight. Beware!

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Jesse said...

Good grief these bicycles sound like they're wreaking havoc on the wiggle! Can you imagine if these bikes were bigger, weighed 2 tons, and could go in excess of 15 miles per hour?

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So should citizens get to decide what kind of traffic they want in their neighborhoods? Should perceived danger trump whatever vehicle mode dominates a road? If you want legitimacy you might want to stick to one narrative. You're just as credible as the "bike nuts" at this point.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

On the other hand, credibility and anonymity don't go well together.

When exactly did the lower Haight neighborhood approve the Wiggle that allows cyclists to speed through the neighborhood on the way to somewhere else? Seems like they've been drafted into the anti-car movement by City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Deflection.

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Deflection" of what? What's the point you're trying---and failing---to make?

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the point of this factless article?


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