Do San Francisco Cyclists Really “Pray for Safety on Sundays?” Mmmmm

Check out this recent bit from Scott James: “Cyclists Pray for Safety on Sundays.” Or, better yet, the same bit in the New York Times complete with links ‘n stuff:  “Parking Leeway for Churchgoers Poses Danger for Cyclists.”

O.K. then, I have two beefs. (Mmmm….beef)

Beef #1. Now, I’ll tell you, it never occurred to me before that San Francisco’s unconstitutional tolerance of religion-related double-parking presented a net danger to cyclists. The primary reason for that is that the resulting congestion from church parking slows traffic wayyyyy down. (And actually, I would think that pedestrians would have it worse than cyclists.)

Check it. All these cars were parked (or were in the process of parking, like the red Land Cruiser you can see) on Dolores, the Trail of Sorrow, last Sunday. I’m not sure where the increased danger would come from: 

Has anyone sued the City over an accident created by church double parking? Even the laziest, ambulance-chasing 33-percenter/shyster would have no problem spotting this issue and suing the City (in addition to all other possible defendants of course) specifically on this issue, right? Anyway, it’d be nice to have a for-instance from a cyclist who was imjured due to Sunday parking is what I’m saying.

Beef #2. The SFPD actually has an explanation for its informal policy on the record. Here’s the link from Katie Baker (and I’ll show my work right here). Here it is:

SFPD spokesperson Sergeant Lyn Tomioka confirmed that for me, and stressed that the service is for community activities, not strictly religious ones. According to Tomioka, standard parking regulations are also lifted for Boys and Girls club meetings and elementary school open house nights.”

Now, this song and dance from the police doesn’t exactly float my boat, but it’s the right thing for them to say, certainly. They should be entitled to offer up their best defense, non?

(Oh, just noticed that speedy Katie Baker has a fresh update of her own. I’ll tell you, this is a fight that the SFPD wants no part of. Oh well.) 

Anyway, those are my two beefs, or beeves if you will.

Carry on.

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2 Responses to “Do San Francisco Cyclists Really “Pray for Safety on Sundays?” Mmmmm”

  1. I think one obvious example would be a car stopping in the only remaining lame to park illegally to the left. There’s no legal reason for a car to stop in the middle of a traffic lane when between a parking lanes and a congested traffic lane. Yes, it’s smart for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to assume everything on the road is trying to kill you but suddenly allowing cars to park wherever they want certainly presents a danger who a) don’t know there’s a church around b) don’t realize it’s Mass time c) is expected traffic to be moving normally.

  2. zyzzyva says:

    Take a ride down 14th St on a Sunday and you just might change your mind. Here the cars park in the right car lane, but leave the bike lane clear. Sounds great, right? Except for that it forces cyclists into a narrow tunnel of cars with no chance of escaping if someone should suddenly open a door or step out from behind a car. And this is on a downhill where the bikes can easily go as fast as the cars without pedaling.