Posts Tagged ‘cvc’

The Horrible Pedestrians of San Francisco, Airbnb Edition, Western Addition

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Here’s an interesting contrast. The local is jaywalking on the far side of the intersection, and he’s made it most of the way across, and plus he’s running.

Compare that with the Airbnb-type tourists, who, in this case, were on the near side of the intersection, and had not made it most of the way across when their light turned red and, of course, were not running:

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Oh well.

Explaining How This Cyclist Got a California Stop Ticket at 6th & Cabrillo While I’ve Gotten Zero Tickets in 25 Years

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

This is the scene from two days back, southbound 6th Ave betwixt Cabrillo and Balboa.

I’m assuming the bike rider got a ticket, ‘specially since he seemed to be ignoring the cop even after siren whooped once, and then again.

And here’s the thing – Bro slowed way down for the stop sign, on a pretty big slope, he showed respect for the stop sign, about as much as the typical car driver would have. Even so, the Richmond Station cop on the dirt bike pulled him over anyway. See?

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I myself, heading north, back to The City, didn’t have a chance to come to a complete stop before I heard the whoop-whoop noise, but I certainly did after.

Anyway, here’s the thing – the cyclist either didn’t see the cop coming west on Cabrillo OR the cyclist ignored the cop ’cause he didn’t think he’d get pulled over.

If I were the cyclist coming downhill, I DEFINITELY would have seen the cop and I certainly would have come to a complete stop once I saw the cop.

Gentle Reader, how many people living today have more time on a bike in SF County the past quarter-century than I? Precious few, I’ll tell you. Junior the Bike Messenger, certainly, and most of your career-level SF messengers, and some of the “founders” of Critical Mass still living in town, certainly. And, due to a couple somewhat-SFMTA/MUNI-related mishaps, this has been a bad year. However, I’m still in the 99th percentile, and I’ll tell you:

You gotta show respect for the po-po, unless you want to spend hundreds and thousands on tickets over your lifetime on a bike in Frisco.

Is this two-faced? I suppose. But what do you want me to do? I California stop on bikes, and in cars. It depends on the circumstances. And one of the big circumstances is if a cop is right there looking at you. Of course one should be looking around all the time anyway, for other bikes, for cars, trucks, peds, everything

Admittedly, bikes were (seemingly) invisible to the SFPD back in the 80’s and 90’s, so I had a bit of an advantage over the riders of today. But my biggest advantage is paying attention – that’s the key.


Anyway, that’s why I have more miles and fewer citations than the average…

Fell Street Blues: Severe Tailgating Edition

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Westbound Fell at Masonic.

This might be OK:

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But this isn’t – this is tailgating, CVC 21703:

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A close-up:

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And off and away on Fell, heading into the sunset:

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Cyclist took the lane until he didn’t – any incident would be on the driver.

This concludes Fell Street Blues.

Barely Legal: Are These Freeway-Legal Vespas in the Slow Lane of the Bay Bridge or are they Merely “Motorized Bicycles?”

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

I’m thinking that these are Vespas, or similar, with engines displacing 150 cc’s, or more, so that would make them legal (barely) on CA freeways:

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Even so, they were struggling going uphill, it looked like.

May all your lives be semi-charmed, at the very least…

SFPD Chief Stars in Brand-New Traffic Safety PSA – Obvious Tension with Bike Coalition – Die Hard Greg Suhr Gives Off a Bruce Willis Vibe

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

I’ll tell you, I saw a photo of Chief Greg in the papah’ the other week, and I thought Worst Bald Cap Ever. But this, this is much improved:

Now, if our SFPD wants to go Hollywood, they gotta realize they’re going to get reviews.

1. NOBODY’S GOING TO WATCH THIS PSA ON YOUTUBE. You got to give people a reason to pass along a link to their buds. We need virility, not virility, YKWIM? Perhaps people will be coerced into watching, IDK. Next time, have your people call my people and we’ll sex things up and your view counter will go from 150 (and yesterday when I saw this for the first time it was, suspiciously, at exactly 100) up into the millions. Oh what’s that, there were other reasons to make this vid, aside from having people watch it online? Oh yes, I can see that.

2. ALL THOSE CODE SECTIONS ARE TMI. I mean, even for me. Oh, those clips were for the benefit of students of Hogwarts SFPD? I could see that. They are well-made, and they show viewers how state laws are applied on the Streets of San Francisco. So that’s great.

3. CHECK OUT THE SECTION ON BIKES STARTING AT 3:15. So the fourth line on the graphic explaining 21202 was spoken by a different narrator? It sure seemed to be tacked on as an afterthought. This is an awkward edit right in touchy, touchy territory.

4. IT’S NICE HAVING TRAFFIC LAWS EXPLAINED BY A NEUTRAL SOURCE, AS OPPOSED TO GETTING MORE OF THE SAME FROM ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS. So we don’t have the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition talking about how pedestrians “always” having the right of way and we don’t have SFMTA spokesmodel Paul Rose spouting off misinformation (the way he does with the Chronicle, which unlike this YT clip, actually has an audience, so you see, I’m sort of saying that the SFMTA can’t claim its “No. 1 Goal Is Safety” if it has Paul Rose talking nonsense about countdown timers and the like).


ASSIGNMENT DESK: Write a bit about the obvious tensions betwixt the SFPD and advocacy groups like the SFBC and Walk SF. I’ll tell you, if this vid had been turned over to the SFBC to make for $100k under a no-bid contract, it would come off quite differently. And leave us remember that most ped and bike rider deaths in SF County last year were the fault of the peds and bike riders themselves, right? Just a skosh over 50%, per … the SFPD.

Looks Legit! – Hey, It’s a New “AMAZON DELIVERY” Van

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Nick Turner, an Editor employed by Bloomberg notes:

Think the green vans are groceries (Fresh) and white ones are contractors they use for Prime deliveries. Not 100% sure, though.”]

I’m a little auspicious of this one:

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Oh, and Amazon, check out CVC 26708, Material Obstructing or Reducing Driver’s View, conveniently located after the jump. (Unless that doesn’t apply to your operation – I can’t tell if it does. But the spirit of this law certainly should apply to your operation, Amazon.)


Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:






So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.


How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:


Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.



“Taking the Lane,” Frisco-Style – Is This Skateboarder Operating Legally? Who Knows

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

IDK. I’d need somebody to spell out all the rules.

Here’s something.

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Anyway, this skateboarder was prolly a tad too aggressive to be in compliance with Frisco’s rules, whatever they are…

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.