Posts Tagged ‘cvc’

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.

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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: 

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I know it when I see it.

Why is This Lady CHP Officer Standing on the Central Freeway? The Better to Stop and/or Tase You

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

I have no idea how anyone could think that it was a good idea to end America’s primary east-west interstate freeway at Market and Octavia, but that’s what we have with the two-lane Central Freeway off-ramp these days.

Anyway right at the end of the off-ramp, the shoulder turns into a right-turn-only lane. And that’s right where this California Highway Patrol officer was standing the other day, with her prowler blocking your path.

Thusly.

“The current standard issue firearm for CHP officers is the Smith & Wesson Model 4006 TSW in .40 S&W. Each CHP patrol car is equipped with a Remington 870 Police 12‑gauge shotgun and a Colt AR‑15A2 in .223. Additionally, some officers are authorized to carry a taser.” If she has a Taser, she would be carrying it like this.

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So I guess she was looking for CVC 21755 Pass on Right Safely violators?

Due to the perpetually congested traffic conditions there’s no place for you to hide after seeing the black and white Crown Vic.

It’s a living.

Anyway, I’ve never seen this kind of law enforcement technique of standing about on a freeway and waiting for the perps…

If You Drive a Toyota Prius Hybrid, the Laws of California Don’t Apply to You, Apparently

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Thusly.

Market Street inbound, turning right down 4th Street:

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Reverse Dooring Narrowly Averted on Busy Market Street – Drivers Need to Pull Over to Let Passengers Out

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Generally speaking, people inside cars are held at fault when they open up doors without checking and harm results

The DMV calls this rule “Opening and Closing Doors”

“22517.  No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic…”

Which is fine, but moving traffic can come by both sides of a parked car. See?

Another Market Street dooring narrowly averted – the cyclist in front almost collided with the right rear passenger door when it flew open expectantly:

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So I don’t know, I think I’d tell my passengers to look out before I dropped them off for them to drop their money at our shopping malls.

And I’d pull all the way over to minimize this concern in the first place.

Anyway, the next time this law gets rewritten, let’s write it more better…

Video of What It Looks Like to Ride Strava.Com’s “Castro Street Bomb” – Was Chris Bucchere Racing Down Castro Street?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Here’s the latest regarding the Castro District’s international news:

Expect Strava to get subpoenaed if this tragic story of reckless cycling and a pedestrian death goes to court.”

And here’s the Strava.Com segment what used to be called the Castro Street Bomb (and then the Castro Street Descent). It’s not too exciting. Rather sedate, actually. But I’m sure if you’re hauling butt to become the latest Strava.Com “KOM” (King of the Mountain) and you may or may not be “Idaho Rolling” through red lights, then it could be very exciting / addicting:

Strava still has lots of downhill “bomb” segments listed about town of course. How about the Hyde Street Bomb or the 20th Street Bomb?

What if I started a Market Street Drag Race website for car drivers? They could make a segment like “Second Street to Sixth Street Drag” or something and people could keep track of their times using the GPS. Would you say that I was encouraging recklessness? Or not?

And here’s part of the Strava Kills” topic at the MTBR.Com forums:

Unfortunately, there is no simple way for the biking community to pass on the message of “we are really sorry for your loss, please don’t judge all bikers. this particular individual is an a-hole, please stick it to him in every way possible”.

Sad thing is, even as this story makes it’s way around the cycling community, there are people that pull the same **** — running reds/stop signs/etc. from SF down to SCruz — that won’t connect this situation with possibilities around their own actions.”

And I’d link you to what they’re saying at the SF Fixed.Com boards but I don’t know how to do that. (It’s a bit contentious over there these days, I understand.)

And this just in:

…nothing is worse than red lights.

CVC 21456: Did Pedestrian Sutchi Hui Have the Right-of-Way When He Walked Onto Castro Street? Possibly Not

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Let’s review:

“The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions.

So it looks as if cyclist Chris Bucchere didn’t run a red light.

Now, what about the law?

“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….”

What this is saying is that pedestrians in California need to let traffic clear an intersection before walking when the WALK turns on for them.

(Most pedestrians in San Francisco don’t seem to know this….)

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?” Uh, Shouldn’t the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Have Consulted a Lawyer Here?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Are these 2012 “Rules of the Road” posted anywhere? I don’t know. [UPDATE: Here we go.]

Anyway, leave us begin:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way.”

UH, NOPE. THIS IS EXACTLY WRONG IN CALIFORNIA* AND THIS IS THE KIND OF BAD ATTITUDE THAT GETS PEOPLE KILLED. (I DON’T KNOW IF DRIVERS IN SAN FRANCISCO ARE ANY WORSE THAN THE U.S.  AVERAGE, BUT PEDESTRIANS IN THE 415 ARE _MUCH_ WORSE THAN AVERAGE. RIVALING BERKELEY’S. IF I WERE GIVING THEM ADVICE IN A PUBLIC FORUM, I’D TELL THEM TO STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT. I WOULDN’T TELL THEM A FALSEHOOD ABOUT CA LAW TO MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR.)

In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. (CVC 21954 (b))”

UH, NOPE.** IF YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT DRIVERS SHOULD USE DUE CARE FOR THE SAFETY OF EVEN THE CRAZIEST PEDESTRIAN, THEN YOU’D BE ACCURATELY BE PARAPHRASING THE CITED CODE. BUT CALIFORNIA LAW IS SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN* TO STATE THAT PEDESTRIANS DO NOT “ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.” TO REVIEW, IF YOU ARE A PED IN A CROSSWALK, MARKED OR UNMARKED, OR NEAR ENOUGH (SOMETIMES CLOSE IS CLOSE ENOUGH), AND YOU DIDN’T START TOO EARLY (THAT MEANS THAT YOU WAITED FOR TRAFFIC TO CLEAR THE INTERSECTION AFTER YOUR “WALK” LIGHT LIT UP) AND YOU DIDN’T START TOO LATE (LIKE WHEN THE WAIT LIGHT STARTS FLASHING), THEN, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. IF NOT, THEN YOU DON’T. SORRY. THAT’S WHY WHEN YOU GET KILLED BY A MUNI BUS ON HAYES STREET BY JAYWALKING LIKE WHAT JUST HAPPENED, THE DRIVER INVOLVED DOESN’T GET PUNISHED. THE REASON IS THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. DOES THAT MEAN THAT DRIVERS HAVE A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO RUN YOU OVER ON PURPOSE WHEN YOU’RE JAYWALKING? NO IT DOES NOT.

Stop Behind the Crosswalk. Leave crosswalks free and clear for pedestrians. Always stop behind the line. (CVC 21950, 21455)

UH, HOW ABOUT IN FRONT OF OR AHEAD OF OR BEFORE THE CROSSWALK INSTEAD?

Stay on the Streets. It is illegal and unsafe to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13. (SF Transportation Code Sec. 7.2.12)

UH, ON SOME SIDEWALKS IT’S OK FOR ADULTS TO RIDE A BIKE, IT JUST DEPENDS. AND WHY IS IT “UNSAFE” FOR A 14-YEAR-OLD TO RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK BUT NOT A 13-YEAR-OLD?

Go With the Flow. Ride the same direction as traffic. Walk your bike on the sidewalk if you find yourself on the wrong block of a one-way street. (CVC 21650)

IRL, THIS IS MERELY ADVISORY IN SAN FRANCISCO. YOU COULD RIDE YOUR BIKE IN THIS FASHION ON A DAILY BASIS FOR DECADES AND NOT GET CITED FOR THIS.

Mind the Signs and Lights. Stop at stop signs and obey red lights, just like all other vehicles. (CVC 21200)

IRL, THIS IS MERELY ADVISORY IN SAN FRANCISCO. YOU COULD RIDE YOUR BIKE IN THIS FASHION ON A DAILY BASIS FOR DECADES AND NOT GET CITED FOR THIS.

Light up the Night! Reflectors and a front white light are required by law. We recommend you use a rear light as well. (CVC 21201)

WELL, _NOW_ YOU’RE TALKING. AGREE.

Take the Lane. Whether you’re next to parked cars, or there are hazards in the bike lane, if you feel safer, take the lane and ride outside the door zone. (CVC 21202)

THIS IS A SUBJECTIVE STANDARD UNSUPPORTED BY CALIFORNIA LAW. OH WELL.

It’s OK to Leave the Bike Lane. If you feel safer outside the bike lane, you can ride in other vehicle travel lanes. (CVC 21208)

MEH. SO WHY HAVE BIKE LANES THEN? I’LL TELL YOU, THE CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE DOESN’T REALLY DEAL WITH “FEELINGS” AT ALL, IRL.

Be a Friend to Disabled Neighbors. Sometimes people with disabilities need access to the curb. Paratransit carriers (including taxis) may have to enter the bikeway to drop them off. Be a good neighbor and give them room. (SFMTA Policy)

REALLY? I NEED TO CHECK TO SEE IF THE PERSON COMING OUT OF A CAB IS MY “DISABLED NEIGHBOR” BEFORE I DECIDE TO “GIVE THEM ROOM” OR NOT? THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE CRAY-CRAY, DOESN’T IT? MAYBE I’LL JUST GO AROUND PARKED TAXIS AS ANY SENSIBLE PERSON WOULD DO?

So there you have it.

Maybe they’ll get it right next year…

*”Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

**”The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”

Here’s What the Current SFPD Crackdown on Market Street Cyclists Looks Like – No Tickets Yet, But the Cops Will Yell at You

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

For some reason, Market Street has crosswalks in the middle of blocks, complete with traffic lights. So cyclists tend to look around for peds and then blow on through, multiple times a day, you know, for decades no problem.

But these days the SFPD is trying to change things by actually enforcing California Vehicle Code CVC 21453 on bike riders just as if they were car drivers!

But, I wouldn’t call this a sting* or nothing, I mean, it’s just the cops slowing you down to yell at you at bit.

This boring video of three minutes of yesterday’s inbound commute here shows what it’s like – the motorcycle cop had just yelled at the cyclist you can see on the right at the red light:

(The yelling occurred at :40 or so.)

One supposes the next step in this operation will be to have the SFPD actually start handing out citations.

(Actually, cops don’t really like citing cyclists, for various reasons. One supposes that this is an enforcement action specifically directed at bike riders. This kind of thing occurs from time to time of course.)

On It Goes…

*”A typical sting will have a law-enforcement officer or cooperative member of the public play a role as criminal partner or potential victim and go along with a suspect’s actions to gather evidence of the suspect’s wrongdoing.”