Posts Tagged ‘cvc’

Here’s Why the SFPD’s “Focus On The Five” Traffic Enforcement Goal is At Least 40% Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Here’s your set-up, from The StreetsBlog:

“…only one of the 10 police stations is actually meeting its goal of issuing at least 50 percent of traffic citations for the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries.”

But, IRL the the five most common violations that cause pedestrian injuries actually  include:

CVC 21456 – Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk 

CVC 21954 – Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk / CVC 21955 – Crossing Between Controlled Intersections*

Under the CVC, jaywalkers can either be in a crosswalk (or close enough – if you’re one or two feet away, that might be close enough to be considered “in the crosswalk”) (and, of course, these can be marked or unmarked crosswalks) but doing something wrong (like starting too early or too late or going too fast (running) or too slow (just standing in the crosswalk, for ex.) OR crossing in the middle of a block.

If you look at the math, there’s no way that these violations can be out of the top five.

That’s just one reason why there’s not even a prayer of a chance that SFGov’s “Vision Zero” 2024 can “succeed.” (Oh what’s that, Sweden experimented with VisionZero and it succeeded? Well, not really. Oh what’s that, it was good to try anyway, even though they didn’t get to actual absolute zero, they had a big reduction in injuries? Well, France, among others, didn’t implement Vision Zero and yet it had greater success over a similar time period, right? Oh what’s that, Vision Zero is just a “framing” phrase, a meaningless platitude that pours old wine into new bottles? Well, finally we agree.)

Of course you’re never going to beat drivers Failing To Yield for the number of pedestrian deaths in San Francisco County. But do you think lying about things like Focus in The Five helps your cause?

And are there reasons why it’s far easier to comply with the demands of non-profit pressure groups in the Richmond District as opposed to other districts of San Francisco? Yes there are. Take the same Captain and put him/her in another district and then watch your compliance numbers fall. Why’s that? Do you suppose that the SFPD has a mission, has a job not 100% congruent with “urbanists” straight outta Park Slope and pricey prep schools like Punahou?

Something to think about.

*These are twins, basically. 

Finally, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Acknowledges that Pedestrians Don’t “ALWAYS” Have the Right of Way

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Well, this is refreshing, this new bit from the SFBC.

You see, they used to go around telling peds that peds “always” have the right of way.*

But, the always is now gone from their new materials.

Do you think the SFBC learned something from this tiny WordPress blog?

I do.

To review, telling peds they always have the right of way is always the wrong thing to do.

*That was all the way back in 2012, except now this old SFBC posting is down the memory hole, lost forever. Also lost forever are the SFBC’s tax forms, which used to be posted but now are hidden away, oh well.

Spot the Cyclist – It’s Hard – Fell Street at Night

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have a rear light to ride your bike around at night. But you do need to have some kind of reflector, which this cyclist doesn’t have, as you can see, if you can see him:

7J7C6027 copy

If this bike had the rear reflectors that most bikes are sold with these days, then I’d have seen them in this situation, oh well.

Anyway, this is what it looks like at night when you have no rear bike light and no reflectors…

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.

The SF Chronicle Asks SFMTA Spokesmodel Paul Rose for Pedestrian Law Advice and He Gets It 100% Wrong: Countdown Timers

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Here we go:

Is a pedestrian supposed to stop as soon as the numbers start to flash? Can the walker proceed throughout the countdown? Or, as one letter writer seemed to think, is the countdown really for the benefit of drivers? We asked Paul Rose, spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, for the answer.

“It’s an awareness tool to let pedestrians know how much time they have to cross the street,” he said. “All pedestrians are strongly encouraged to make responsible decisions on when they should or shouldn’t cross.” But can a pedestrian get ticketed – ha! – for starting to walk when the countdown is near zero? Nope. “They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Now here’s what a countdown timer looks like, in the City and County:

Click to expand

Note that San Francisco peds see an “approved upraised hand symbol” right next to the countdown timer.

Now here’s Da Law:

“Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol: No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.”

Oh, here’s another stab at this subject:

According to California Vehicle Code 21456, pedestrians can’t walk if there’s a “Don’t Walk” sign or an upraised hand symbol. Anyone who has started crossing after one of those flashes should proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone.

And this appears to be a common ticket handed out to peds near the LA County Courthouse.

And here’s another reference.

Of course Paul Rose is paid to lie on behalf of the SFMTA, so it’s not clear what his intent was.

Oh well.

“V C Section 21456 Walk Wait or Don’ t Walk

Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk

21456.  Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, StaEts. 1981. ffective January 1, 1982″

This San Francisco Taxi Cab “Knows” That It’s Raining, So Why Aren’t Its Headlights On Per California Law?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Seems that this would be easy to wire up, you know, wipers on = headlights on.

(My aging Toyota has Daytime Running Lights but they don’t cut the mustard in CA when it’s raining.)

Anyway, just asking, beleaguered SF cab industry…

V C Section 24400 Headlamps on Motor Vehicles

Headlamps on Motor Vehicles

24400.  (a) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be equipped with at least two headlamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the vehicle, and, except as to vehicles registered prior to January 1, 1930, they shall be located directly above or in advance of the front axle of the vehicle. The headlamps and every light source in any headlamp unit shall be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 22 inches.

(b) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be operated during darkness, or inclement weather, or both, with at least two lighted headlamps that comply with subdivision (a).

(c) As used in subdivision (b), “inclement weather” is a weather condition that is either of the following:

(1) A condition that prevents a driver of a motor vehicle from clearly discerning a person or another motor vehicle on the highway from a distance of 1,000 feet.

(2) A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in continuous use due to rain, mist, snow, fog, or other precipitation or atmospheric moisture.

Added Sec. 2, Ch. 415, Stats. 2004. Effectve January 1, 2005. Operative July 1, 2005.

Driver and Writer CW Nevius Goes on a “Rant” Against the “Militant” Pedestrians of SF – Do They Have the Right to Jaywalk?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Here’s the latest effort from CW Nevius, who’s taking a break from being spokesman for San Francisco’s right-side-of-the-aisle  political faction to go on a “bit of a rant” against local pedestrians. But what’s up with this?  

“Even when they are in the right, I worry about them. When the traffic light countdown gets to five or six, they step confidently into the crosswalk — which is their right…”

But pedestrians don’t have “the right” to do so. It’s agin CA law – check out V C Section 21456,* which is dealt with by Rule #3 of the Five Rules for Pedestrians.

Don’t you have an editor, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have an editor, and plus, editors cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a fact checker, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have a fact checker, and plus, fact checkers cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a photographer, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, photographers cost money. So all your observations, we’ll just have to take your word about them. OK fine. BTW, [sarcasmmode ON] nice stock photo you’ve got there, Neve. “Cause a stock photo taken in the People’s Republic of China, you know, from more than a thousand li away, well, that really illustrates how “militant” and “freaking nuts” San Francisco peds are, huh? [sarcasmmode OFF]

And oh, BTW Neve, the peds of SF aren’t militant, not at all. Try to find a different word for what you mean.

Of course you’re new in town, I get that. Sure, welcome to San Francisco, Neve.

But you’re doing a half-assed job doing your half-time gig.

You need to try harder.

*”Walk, Wait, or Don t Walk

21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.”

The Five Rules for Pedestrians and Crosswalks in California – Or, How to Make Sure You Win Your Lawsuit Against That Uber Driver

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

1. YOU NEED TO BE IN THE CROSSWALK WHEN YOU GET HIT. This one’s pretty basic. And actually, it’s pretty flexible IRL. So let’s say you’re over the line a bit, your foot was 18 inches away from the white paint, well that could be OK. This rule becomes important if you’re halfway between blocks and you start jaywalking – a top cause of death of peds in SF. There’ve been many cases of this on the streets of San Francisco lately, like Hayes, Lombard, Masonic, Market, I could go on and on.

2. YOU CAN’T START TOO EARLY. This is called jumping the light. So of course, you’ve got to wait for the green light (or green WALK signal), you already know that. BUT THAT”S NOT ALL. You’ve also got to wait for traffic legally in the intersection to clear the intersection. So, GREEN DOES NOT MEAN “GO.” Green means you need to look for traffic clearing the intersection. And if that traffic isn’t over the speed limit and if that traffic entered the intersection on a yellow (which is totally OK under CA law, generally) and you step off and get hit, then, surprise, you’re the one at fault. So yes, you were in the crosswalk, but the collision is your fault, sorry.

3. YOU CAN’T START TOO LATE. This means that DON’T WALK means don’t walk. Now, in many places about town, you don’t have a ped-only signal telling you what to do. So, you’re allowed to start crossing on a green all the way until a yellow light appears. Effectively, the yellow light is your DON’T WALK signal. Of course this means that you might still be in the crosswalk when the light turns green for cross traffic. But now the law is in your favor, ped. The law says that cross traffic needs to wait for you to clear the intersection.

4. YOU CAN’T GO TOO SLOW. This one’s easy – it means you’re not supposed to stop during your trip across the street as best I can figure. (Leaving aside the law, there are standards for how long peds should have to cross an intersection, but they get thrown out the window when SF deals with 100-foot-plus wide monsters like horrible, horrible Octavia Boulevard, oh well.)

5. YOU CAN’T GO TOO FAST. Ooh, joggers. Your California Vehicle Code was written without concern for joggers, pretty much. So if you’re sprinting into an intersection and get hit by a MUNI, look for the SFPD to put the blame on you, yes, even though you were in the crosswalk.

Click to expand

So that’s reality.

But if you’d prefer a distorted, rose-colored view of reality, feel free to surf on over StreetsBlog SF (Straight Outta Park Slope!), or the SFBC (declining membership these days, despite being sponsored by SFGov SFMTA MUNI DPT) or Walk SF (sponsored by let’s-build-high-near-the-Waterfront real estate interests).

Your choice.

Cold Busted: Do SFMTA Parking Control Officers Even Try to Follow the Law? Take a Look

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Leave us review California Vehicle Code Section 40202(a):

“The notice of parking violation shall also set forth … the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is readable through the windshield...”

Except some DPT meter maids are in the habit of not writing down the last four digits of the VIN. Check it:

Some SFMTA parking citation officers thought they found a loophole by simply entering “cannot read,” “covered,” or “unable to locate” in the VIN field space of a citation. 

03/07/12: Officer NW (Badge #206) wrote 66 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 66 of them!  

02/01/12: Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them.”

So am I saying I believe the factual statements of some random Change.org petition over anything spun out by the SFMTA?

Yes, yes I am.

Now is this VIN requirement kind of a technicality, and is it kind of a pain to be looking for VINs when the PCOs need to make their quotas in order to pay for Ed Reiskin’s generous benefits package? Yes and yes.

But that’s the law. Perhaps the SFMTA should try to change the law if it’s so hard to obey.

Let’s hope that the SFMTA keeps a closer eye on its PCOs in the future…

Now let’s travel back to the past:

Via the excellent Uptown Almanac comes news of this anti-MUNI bumper sticker campaign:

Beej Weir with deets here and here.

“The bottom of the sticker reads: “ASSAULTING A PARKING CONTROL OFFICER IS A CRIME. SO DON’T GET CAUGHT.”- WACKO 1

As previously noted, harsh.

California Penal Code 241 — Assault, punishment. (“(b) When an assault is committed against the person of a parking control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a parking control officer, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

So much for “Good People, Tough Jobs.”

Tailgating on Fell Street: What It Looks Like

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

It looks like this: 

Click to expand

I know it when I see it.