Posts Tagged ‘bicycles’

Remembering 2012, When the SFPD Picked Up Enforcing Traffic Laws on Market Street, One Bike Rider at a Time

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

It looked like this:

In the 80’s, 90’s, and early aughts, bikes were practically invisible to cops on Market Street, except for the occasional* Commute Clot / Critical Mass event. But these days, the SFPD seems to consider enforcing traffic laws on bike riders a higher priority,** for whatever reason.

Anyway, back in the day, you’d just have to sit and wait for your ticket to get written up, but nowadays you can play Tetris on your iPhone to make the minutes fly by, as you can see.

Cops generally prefer to give tickets to car drivers for various reasons. One of them is that the protest rate is many many times greater from cyclists than drivers. So the theory that this recent push to enforce traffic laws on bike riders came from the top down sounds right to me.

*And especially except that time in ’97, when Mayor Willie Brown decided to “do something” about CM. A hundred-something people got ticketed / detained and had their bikes impounded, most of them getting penned in at Sacramento Montgomery for running a red light.

**Think it was in 2012 or 2013 that I got detained by two Crown-Vic driving SFPD on Market near 6th. Pretty sure it was just after the #5 Fulton line was rerouted to take McAllister almost all the way to Market, and I’d noticed two #5’s jammed up in front of the Hibernia Bank building along with three marked and two unmarked Crown Victorias within a block or so.  I was thinking, well, this certainly is unusual so it looks like the cops are dealing with something around 7th and Market, maybe involving the buses, so I’ll just keep on moving inbound by taking McAllister all the way to Market and then I’ll cross over Market after the SFPD radio car goes off east on Market. Except the car slowed down waiting for me to cross over to the right side of Market. I couldn’t understand how I was getting all this attention from the SFPD. Anyway, flashing lights, a request from a rookie for my “license and registration” (I looked at his partner, who sort of chuckled – I don’t think the rookie had ever pulled over a bike rider before),  a quick warrant check for me, an admonishment to use the correct side of the road, and I then I was off again. And all the while, some photographer guy recognized me and started taking pictures from a traffic island. (He never sent them to me, oh well.) I’ll tell you, I moved to the Tenderloin back in the 1980’s and I’d been California stopping at stop signs and red lights around and on Market for more than two decades before I got any kind of attention from the SFPD. And I thought, oh, things are different now… 

“GREEN WAVE” Bicycle Signs – “SIGNALS SET FOR 13 MPH”

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I guess this is part of San Francisco’s “bikes and transit first policy?”

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There was a time when San Francisco would avoid putting up street signs with the number 13 on them. Those times are over…

Xtracycle Bicycle Cyclist Gets Into the Holidays with a Rolling Christmas Tree Tableau

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Ho ho ho:

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Video: RedBull “SteepCrest 2014″ on De Haro in Potrero Hill – Bike and Skateboard Ramp Jumps – Kind of a Nothingburger

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I’d wondered why I hadn’t heard of any coverage of this one.

It was kind of a nothingburger. See?

I don’t know, if Red Bull wants to start shutting down streets to promote itself, I think it could come up with some better ideas.

Here are just a few. Hey RB, try to be more like this:

Just saying.

“Wi-Ki-Bi-Thi!” – Militant Cyclists Lounge About the Panhandle to Intimidate Clavicle-Breaking Robbers – “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES”

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Perhaps I’m jumping to contusions, but this large crew of aggressively-lounging bike riders certainly appeared to be trying to send a message to a pair of area bike robbers making the news lately.

Strike a pose:

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And what does that T-shirt say? It’s all, “WE KILL BIKE THIEVES.”* How charming!

(I’ve seen lots of bike meetups in the Panhandle, but usually people ride off or start picnicking. Instead, this crew just sat around and glared, for hours, kind of like the guy on my JetBlue flight to DC a couple weeks after 9/11, arms crossed, standing near the cockpit and just staring at everybody just waiting for somebody to try something.)

I’l tell you, I’ve ridden the Panhandle bike path thousands of times in the early morning hours, after zero-dark-thirty, and I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this. Similar attacks occurred on the McAllister bike route in the projects / projecty Friendship Village Apartments near Webster, about ten years back, purportedly with a “lead pipe” (that probably wasn’t made of lead, but anyway).

Who knows, perhaps news of this kind of meet-up will spread, through word-on-the-street, until it reaches ears of these strong-arm robbers.

In any event, this small series of crimes certainly now has the attention of the SFPD – we’ll see how it goes. I’ll tell you, it’d be nice to have a retired/out-on-disability cop monitoring a network of London-style, high-def** crime cameras for the night shift of Park Station, but I don’t see anything like that happening soon. Oh well…

*$35! Take an aggressive stance against rampant bike theft with this bold, reflective graphic statement”

**I suppose we already have a kind of video network, what with local business cameras on 24-7 plus the low-def SFPD cams, but this is nothing like the high-def cams what a town like Stockton***, CA has…

***The cops over in Stockton laugh, just laugh at the SFPD’s low-def crime cam setup. 

A Minor Rebellion Against the SFMTA’s Plans to Slow Down Masonic

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Our SFMTA has certified that there’s no opposition to its plans to slow down Masonic by putting in a median and a bunch of trees.

And yet, ppl in the area are putting up home-made signs, thusly:

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Something doesn’t add up…

What Those “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″ Signs Mean – “The Exception Swallows the Rule?”

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Well, here’s the sign:

I’m reading that as “BICYCLES ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 21202″

Now here’s what that section of the California Vehicle Code actually says:

“V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway

21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations…”

That’s the rule.

There are exceptions of course – see them below.

But you don’t want the exception to swallow the rule, right?

Oh, what’s that, you do? Oh, OK. Well, that would explain all the T-shirts, but you’re celebrating the wrong CVC section. What you’re looking for is CVC 21200, actually.

And actually, what 21202 does is take away your right to use the whole lane.

Now of course, in the opinion of some, all lanes are “substandard width lanes,” so if that’s the case, one of the exceptions listed below will “swallow the rule” and, therefore, 21202 doesn’t mean anything.

But IRL, the rule means something, just saying. 

Oh what’s that, you’ve been told different? Well, people tell you different because of their ideology. Hey, would you prefer to hear from a bicycle advocate who’s not an ideologue? Well, here you go:

“Ride to the Right, But Within Limits – When riding slower than the normal speed of traffic, you are required to ride as far right as “practicable” (meaning safe). You are not required to ride as far right as possible, which may not be safe. You are allowed, but not required, to ride on the shoulder. CVC 21202CVC 21650CVC 21650.1 9″

Hey, how would that look as a T-shirt? Not so hot, really. It would sound like a lecture, you know, like we all need to keep to the right ‘n stuff.

But it’s the Truth, like it or lump it.

“(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.

Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Possibly Legal But Stupid Nevertheless: Riding Bikes Side-By-Side Slowly Uphill on Pine Street

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Now some cops in California will give you a ticket for this, for riding side by side at 5 MPH on a street like Pine.

Legal or not, I don’t recommend this kind of thing: 

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(And actually, the CA code section that was written to limit the right of cyclists to block other traffic is now interpreted by some to give special rights to cyclists. It depends on how you look at things.)

Forget Meals on Wheels, How About Bites from Bikes? New “FastBites” Will Deliver a Single Slice of Pizza to You via Cyclists

Friday, July 11th, 2014

All the deets:

Deliver for FastBite! Flexible Hours! (SOMA / south beach)

Are you looking for a fun and reliable job? Do you love delicious food? We want you on our team!

FastBite is a new startup in San Francisco that is changing the way people order food. Customers can get pizza slices and other popular menu items delivered within minutes straight from their mobile phone. We’re looking for enthusiastic team members to help us deliver happy customers!

Job Details:
Pay: $16 per hour
Location: San Francisco
Hours: Any and all combinations of the hours below. You pick your days!
Weekday Dinner (6pm – 10pm) AND/OR
Weekend Dinner (6pm – 10pm)

Qualified applicants:
– MUST know how to check texts, email, use internet, and use maps on a smart phone
– Be smiley and personable
– Have a bicycle and easy access to the city
– Be excited about food!
– Have a clean appearance…”

The Large Bikes of the Panhandle Bike Path – Wheels Fully One Yard Tall – Presenting the Dirty-Sixer

Monday, July 7th, 2014

See how small regular MTB wheels are in comparison?

It’s the second Dirty Sixer I’ve ever seen…