Honda vs. Honda: Driver Flips Her Civic Next to a Shadow Motorcycle on Oak Near Divisadero – November 27th, 2011

[UPDATE: Andrea Koskey has more deets on this collision, as does RedditSF – it has a shot from just afterwards. ]

The driver of this car was taking Oak to get back to the Peninsula this afternoon but she ended up flipping her Honda Civic just before Divisadero.


Click to expand

So as traffic backed up for miles along Oak, the SFPD began its investigation:

The Honda Shadow:

San Francisco’s “Comeback Neighborhood of the Year” is the host of this scene, betwixt abandoned sidewalk sofas and the LaunderLand:

Now I’ll tell you, we were supposed to get a freeway to link up the terminuseses of 101 and 280 with the Golden Gate Bridge, but what we got instead was Fell and Oak with three or four one-way lanes each way timed for 35 MPH. But these days, for various reasons, the Fell/Oak twins don’t play the substitute freeway role as well.

Recently, this intersection at Divis. has become a bottleneck owing to the inefficient* left arrow phase for southbound traffic on Divisadero to allow drivers to get on eastbound Oak. I’m not sure, but this configuration might have confused or upset the Civic driver, who was driving “all squirrelly” near Broderick shortly before this accident.


*Hey, how about a big fat “NO LEFT TURN” sign for southbound drivers on Divisadero? This intersection wasn’t made “for the neighbors,” so there’s no reason for the people who live in this area to have more of a say than those poor, wretched souls who live way out there in the West Bay, you know, the Sunset and the Richmond. This new left turn phase, like the one at Octavia for inbound Market Street drivers, appears to be a sop for DivCo / NoPA / EaPA locals… 

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8 Responses to “Honda vs. Honda: Driver Flips Her Civic Next to a Shadow Motorcycle on Oak Near Divisadero – November 27th, 2011”

  1. Camarografo says:

    I want to love your rant, but for me, who has to negotiate yet another intersection, such as Divisadero & Oak, created by transit designers with a wicked sense of humor, let’s look at possible solutions – OK?
    See those parked cars along the south wall of the new Chase Bank? They shouldn’t be there – EVER. The entire lane, from Broderick (yeah – yeah, I know there’s some kind of “school” behind Filetti’s) to Divisadero should be a LEFT TURN ONLY lane; no parking – EVER, perhaps with a left turn arrow – that would allow cars traveling north on Divisadero to clear the intersection (assholes waiting to enter ARCO and blocking the right lane of Divisadero north notwithstanding).

    “*Hey, how about a big fat “NO LEFT TURN” sign for southbound drivers on Divisadero?” —– HUH?
    If anything, the timing for the left turn arrow should be increased, that will take some of the gridlock (yes, it happens daily) off of Hayes Street), and lumbering along behind Muni’s #24 – the African Queen, won’t (perhaps) be as frustrating because cars currently stuck behind vehicles trying to turn left on to Oak, and now jockeying in to the right lane on Divisadero south – slowing the #24, which is now backing up vehicles past Fell (see the domino effect?) won’t turn this intersection to shit.

    Of course, in a thinking city, the pedestrian light on the south side of Oak & Divisadero would be sync’d so that vehicles and pedestrians (the ones who are only looking at the screens of their phones) wouldn’t collide.

    There’s no getting around it; Oak is going to remain the conduit for peninsula people returning home after showing off their new whip to their envious relatives in the Sunset, so working with what we got and not pining for the past is the only way to solve this mess.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    I’m thinking that doctrine prefers parked cars on Fell and Oak because that means that there will less room for cars to drive AND because the NIMBY neighborhood groups and area merchants are biased towards parking as opposed to safety and flow.

    Traffic on Divis southbound won’t be jockeying if nobody can turn left.

    I don’t know what caused this driver to literally flip out but it seems to me having a signif. change in the light timing when traffic reaches Divis is bad design.

    I don’t know why people live way out there in the Sunset (unless they’re surfers or something). They are Godforsaken. Gaia bless them.

  3. C says:

    If a driver isn’t looking at whether a light is red, yellow, or green, no amount of traffic engineering or urban planning can save them or the drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians around them. Time 90% of the lights on Oak and Fell, and people get mad that the remaining 10% aren’t timed instead of being grateful that the entire traffic flow of all the neighborhoods those streets pass through are contorted to make things as smooth as possible for Oak and Fell drivers.

    Guess what? Some people have to drive North-South sometimes. Divisadero is a major thoroughfare as well. Divis drivers have it hard enough with only 2 lanes in either direction, little to no light timing, and that lumbering beast the 24. Let’s not screw them even further because Oak and Fell drivers can’t stand their lights not being timed all the way to Octavia.

    How about we ban street parking on Divisadero instead, and make that six lanes? Time those lights for Northbound drivers in the morning and Southbound drivers in the evening, at let all the East-West drivers on Oak, Fell, Golden Gate, Turk, Geary, Bush, Pine, and California deal? There are so many options for East-West travel in the North half of the city and yet those drivers still complain that not everything is exactly the way they want it. Next time you are stuck for all of 30 seconds waiting for the light at Divisadero, take the time to count your blessings and give thanks to all the neighborhoods that were carved up so you could have your pseudo-highways.

  4. sfcitizen says:

    Well we had a UCSF doctor die just a few months ago because a driver got confused at the next bottleneck on Oak, the one down the road at Octavia. Why would a professional driver, somebody experienced with driving about San Francisco just happen to run a red light there? Poor design? A bias for north-south traffic over east-west? Obviously, drivers should drive better but why do they tend to crash at certain places?

    Yes, contort whatever necessary to make things as smooth as possible for Oak and Fell drivers – i support that. The needs of the many, etc.

    For whatever reason, SF is biased towards north-south as opposed to east-west. How is traffic supposed to cross the juggernauts of VN/Franklin/Gough and horrible Octavia? Peds on outbound Market have just five seconds to cross Octavia each 95-second cycle. Why is that?

    Maybe drivers will get off of Divis if they can’t turn left at Oak?

    We had three lanes of traffic each way on Divis. during rush hour. Now we have bulb outs and just two lanes all the time. Talk to the SFMTA, talk to the NIMBY groups, talk to biz owners about why things changed a few years back.

    Traffic on all those streets you mention get hung up by north south drivers all the time. I don’t know why the lights are timed in this fashion.

    Of course, these are all highways we’re talking about here. If you’re talking pseudo-freeways, well that’s what they’ve been. In some ways, people living in the East Bay are closer to downtown SF than a lot of those poor souls living in the Funset…

  5. Mike says:

    People are saying the driver had a seizure. Not everything is related to bad design.

    Granted, the design of Fell and Oak is horrible, but that’s because the city has prioritized moving traffic quickly from the avenues through my neighborhood. They should just make them two-way and slow them the fuck down. Perhaps my building wouldn’t be covered with soot any more and I wouldn’t wake up to a chorus of horns as angry, impatient, oh-so-important drivers jostle for position to get on a clogged freeway.

  6. sfcitizen says:

    Fair enough, I took out the word “bad” from “bad driver.”

    As stated, Fell and Oak are what we got instead of freeways. Maybe you’d prefer freeways?

    Probably not, but car registration in this county has gone way, way up since SF enacted “transit first.”

    Getting rid of Fell and Oak would lower housing values in the western part of the West Bay. Those westerners would be up in arms.

    I live on Fell, no biggee. I don’t view the drivers on Fell as any more angry, etc. than the nearby peds or cyclists. They are inattentive at their task however, generally speaking…

  7. Camarografo says:

    “Traffic on Divis southbound won’t be jockeying if nobody can turn left.” — Then, where DO they turn left; Haight? Duboce? Where does that route lead them? 14th Street is out of the question, plus it can’t possibly handle the volume.
    I’m going to stick with the easier fix of extending the left turn arrow on southbound Divisadero and speed the wretches back to San Bruno and Daly City.

    You have to work hard to flip a Honda Civic at that light. I’m surprised it wasn’t the bane of drivers everywhere; the dreaded Prius.

  8. sfcitizen says:

    If people aren’t serious about heading north-south, maybe they should stay off of Divis?

    Heading northbound on Divis, a left on Haight is the alternative way to getting to Fell when northbound traffic on Divis backs up due to people wanting to get to Fell. Then, either Baker or Broderick can get you across Oak, past the DMV and onto Fell.

    Theories presented include the Civic driver having a seizure and/or, in the vernacular of the NHTSA and the plaintiffs’ bar, “pedal misapplication.”

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