Posts Tagged ‘deaths’

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:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

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:

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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.

 

 

Double Fantasy: Nobody Actually Believes That SF Vision Zero 2024 Has a Chance of Succeeding, and Yet…

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

…the party line from both SFGov and the SF “Vision Zero Coalition*” is that there’s a chance of eliminating all transportation deaths in San Francisco starting from 2024 and then continuing in perpetuity.

The arrangement looks something like this:

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The way to prevent transportation deaths is to get inside the heads of people to find out what went wrong. The Vision Zero Coalition calls that kind of approach “victim-blaming” and then focuses on traffic bulbs and tree-filled medians.

Here is reality, from 2014:

“The Police Department found that in the 17 pedestrian deaths, drivers were responsible for eight and pedestrians were responsible for nine. Bicyclists were responsible in all three instances when they died.”

One area where SFGov could apply an NTSB-style safety culture approach would be with MUNI operators in particular and SFGov employees in general. But there’s no chance of that happening, I don’t think. So SFGov isn’t serious. SFGov likes to host photo ops, but SFGov isn’t serious.

Oh well.

*All these groups:

Alamo Square Neighborhood Association
California Walks
CC Puede
Central City SRO Collaborative
Chinatown Community
Development Center
Chinatown TRIP
College Hill Neighborhood Association
Community Housing Partnership
Council of Community Housing Organizations
Excelsior Action Group
FDR Democratic Club of San Francisco
Folks for Polk
Friends of Monterey Blvd.
Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association
Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco
Lighthouse for the Blind
Livable City
Mission Community Market
Mission Economic Development Association
National Federation of Filipino American Associations
North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association
OWL SF
PODER
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
SF Housing Action Coalition
SF Bay Walks
San Francisco Unified School District
Senior & Disability Action
sf.citi
SOMCAN
South Beach Mission Bay
Merchants Association
SPUR
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
TODCO
United Playaz
Walk San Francisco
Yerba Buena Alliance

Oh My, It’s ARBOR-GEDDON 2015 – The SFMTA Wants to Kill Hundreds of Healthy Street Trees to Slow Down Traffic on Masonic

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

See this giant, healthy tree at Geary and Masonic? The DPW just put a death notice on it:

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Around its waist, with clear packing tape.

And this sidewalk grove is doomed as well, at the western edge of the intersection above the Geary Tunnel:

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Here’s what the notices look like:

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And here are the smaller, run-of-the-mill trees street to south:

7J7C2973 copy

Chop chop, 300+ (300x, in SFGov parlance) trees, all gone.

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Let’s see here, is the SFMTA’s Grand Unified Plan for the 3000 feet of Masonic betwixt Geary and Fell going to:

SPEED UP MUNI BUSES? Nope. In fact, the Plan will slow down MUNI buses, like part of the Plan is already doing that already, at Ewing Terrace, for example. (The nearby City Target had some mad money so it gave a quarter million to the SFMTA to put in a new light at Ewing in order to gain support for The Plan from a woman who lives on The Terrace.) This plan will slow down MUNI. Simply. Yet somehow, it will “increase access” to transit, by giving people the right to sit longer at bus stops?

SPEED UP THE REST OF TRAFFIC ON MASONIC, THE GREAT CONNECTOR WHAT LINKS THE PARKSIDE, THE SUNSET, AND THE RICHMOND WITH THE REST OF SAN FRANCISCO, CONNECTING BUSH PINE WITH LINCOLN, FULTON, OAK, FELL, TURK, BALBOA, AND GEARY? Oh, Hell no. Masonic will turn into a congested parking lot during the morning and evening drives, ala Oak Street, ala Octavia Boulevard. Buses will no longer pull over into stops – they’ll simply stop and block the slow lane, leaving the solitary remaining lane, the “fast” lane, to temporarily serve as the only way for motorized traffic to travel on Masonic.

INCREASE “ACCESS” TO MUNI? We’ll see. The SFMTA is claiming that rebuilt bus stops will be the big benefit to MUNI riders.

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PARKING SPACES IN THE AREA? Oh no. In fact, the Plan will remove 100-something 22-hour-a-day parking spaces from Masonic. (For some this is a feature and not a detriment.)

BENEFIT CYCLISTS? Perhaps. This, see below, is what people do these days, for the most part – they ride their bikes on the wide wide sidewalks, going uphill, for the most part, as I’ve been doing for a couple decades. SFGov is free to make this practice legal on Masonic, but it chooses not to. In fact, SFGov is sometimes reluctant to make piecemeal changes, for safety or whatever, because SFGov shuns so-called “chop-shop” projects – SFGov prefers giant pork-barrel projects paid for by, among others, people living in North Dakota. And then, if residents started to think that Masonic was then “fixed,” through small changes, that would lessen the pressure for a big pork barrel project using money from the Feds and Sacramento.  Anywho, most of the coming changes to Masonic appear to favor bike riders, so yes, we’ll be getting separated lanes up and down Masonic. And then, we’ll have less of this:

7J7C2977 copy

We did lose a bike rider to a severely drunk driver a few years back on Masonic. Such an accident would be less likely to occur after the coming changes. [UPDATE: IMO, that is. If you want to say that accidents can happen anyway even after the changes, I’ll agree, but this particular accident involved two people consuming 14(!) drinks at Kokkari restaurant on Jackson and then using Masonic to get to the Avenues out west, and I’ll tell you, the future Masonic would have been easier for this driver to navigate. I mean he made it all the way from 200 Jackson to the 94117 without hitting anything but his brain didn’t have the processing power to deal with the cyclist being where the cyclist was.]

BENEFIT PEDESTRIANS? Perhaps. The hundreds of healthy trees that the SFMTA is going to chop down will get replaced, one supposes, with new trees, planted in an unnecessary, unnecessarily-wide new median, which effectively widens the street, right? Why are we going to get the big median? For aesthetics. For oxygen, cause, you know, trees produce oxygen – did you know that!? I’ll tell you, this truth just blew me away when I found out about it, when I five freaking years old. But the SFMTA had some lady come to one of the meetings to talk about all the extra oxygen molecules that we’d have floating around, OK fine. Of course, the SFMTA didn’t talk about any of the concomitant downsides of spending all these tens of millions of pork barrel dollars from Uncle Sucker, the SFMTA didn’t mention ARBOR-GEDDEN 2015. Anyway, if peds prefer having new trees in a median over older trees closer to them, well, sure, I suppose that peds will benefit. And speaking of severely drunk drivers, we did lose a ped to a drunk driver within recent memory – I don’t think the recent changes would have affected that crime though. And we lost an architect just north of Geary on Masonic owing to her jaywalking to get to Trader Joe’s #100, a few years back. owing to a poorly planned parking situation courtesy of our Planning Department. But the grand mal Plan for Masonic stops at Geary, so the SFMTA doesn’t appear to even to pretend to care about safety on Masonic north of Geary, not at this time.

Oh what’s that, you have questions? Fire away:

ISN’T IT TRUE THAT “THE COMMUNITY” SUPPORTS THE PLAN?

No, not necessarily. Any public meeting that the SFMTA might refer to was packed with activists/urbanists who don’t live in the neighborhood. So a tally from some meeting made up 70% of activist members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition isn’t an actual survey, right? If you want to say that a vote only made up of people who care enough to show up to all the meetings is what we should follow, then be my guest. But any SFMTA focus group meeting about which SFMTA plan attendees prefer doesn’t mean that The Plan is supported by the people who live, work and pass through Masonic, right?

WON’T ALL THE NEW CONGESTION, THE GREAT SLOWDOWN, INCREASE SAFETY? 

We’ll see. We’ll see what the unexamined effects will be, like, where will traffic go instead of Masonic? Will that new traffic in other areas cause new accidents in other areas? We’ll see.

WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE PROPERTY OWNERS DIRECTLY ON MASONIC, DON’T MOST OF THEM SUPPORT THE PLAN? 

I don’t know, maybe. A lot of them aren’t looking forward to all the construction, so there goes a lot of support right there. I mean, what if there was going to be a pork barrel project that was going to “beautify” the area just outside your property and the govmint was going to spend $50K per parcel in your nabe – would you like that? Maybe. And I’ll tell you, there’s a parochial school what costs $30K per year per student that’s in favor of the Plan. I say parochial because people at the school think that way, they think that the school is so so special that of course everybody should come to a crawl when they pass by. The school is the center of the universe, in their eyes, so people traveling by shouldn’t just rush through. The problem with this attitude is that, for the vast majority, GOLDEN GATE, TURK AND MASONIC, the Great Crossroads is not a destination in itself. So, ideally, we’d balance a whole bunch of factors and concerns, we’d actually consult with the people who actually use Masonic now. Those at this rich kids school, those small individuals with parochial attitudes, just don’t care.

BUT WON’T THE PLAN INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY OVERALL AND HELP GET US TO VISION ZERO 2024?

We’ll see. But by then, it will be too late, and by then, the SFMTA will be more than happy to spend tens of millions of dollars to “tune up” the Big Project. And Vision Zero 2014-2024 is like two Soviet-style Five Year Plans strung together – nobody believes that transportation deaths in San Francisco will “whither away,” but everybody involved acts as if there’s a chance that this fantasy will come true. And you know, there are some countries that have had more success in reducing deaths than so-called Vision Zero countries, right? So what’s so special about that particular name? I don’t get it.

IS IT TRUE THAT SOME PEOPLE ON AND NEAR MASONIC STRONGLY OPPOSE THE PLAN? 

Hell yes. People put homemade signs in their windows. It’s too late though – I can’t think of anything that would stop the SFMTA now.

BUT DIDN’T THE SFMTA SAY THAT THERE WAS NO OPPOSITION TO THE PLAN?  

Yep. The SFMTA lied about that, when its employees filled out some necessary paperwork. I’ll tell you, there’s no way that the SFMTA isn’t going to spend any pork barrel money it can spend. That’s its purpose.

So that’s the update on Masonic.

I live very close by – we’ll have to wait and see if I personally benefit from all this spending. Somebody in the opposition one time asked me if I personally supported the project and I had to think about it. Perhaps it will benefit me, we’ll see. It seems selfish, to me, to dwell on the issue. In any event, the SFMTA gets excused for nothing. This project is a case study of how the SFMTA does what the SFMTA wants to do, which is to spend money and increase the size of … the SFMTA. If you want to get into how the SFMTA is all about safety, well, I disagree with that, but that would be something to debate. IMO, the SFMTA could “increase safety” without it getting any more money than it gets now.

IMO.

Enjoy the coming SFMTA Mass Arborcide – it should be a spectacle.

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. 

Most San Francisco Pedestrians are At Least Partially Responsible for Their Own Deaths – Especially True in Front of TJ’s

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Just look at 2012 – ped crosses in the middle of the block on Hayes, gets hit by a #21, ped crosses in the middle of the block on Lombard, gets hit by a car, “ped” skateboards through a red light and slams into a truck, ped crosses int the middle of the block on Masonic and gets hit by a pickup, etc. etc. etc. The end of 2012 had a string of deaths in which the peds were mostly blameless but the start of 2012 had a string going the other way.

Now take the ongoing situation in front of Trader Joe’s #100 on Masonic. It’s entirely 100% the fault of the current Brown / Newsom / Lee “strong Mayor” administration. But what can we do about it? I’m thinking a traffic light for peds – that would prolly save a life or two in the coming years. Or allowing for a proper parking situation for TJ’s by letting it build a garage? Or by banning parking on the east side of Masonic on this long block?

Just a few ideas.

Still they come, back and forth, hundreds of jaywalking shoppers,  each and every day

Click to expand

San Francisco Pedestrians are the Worst – Here’s Why

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

It’s the sense of entitlement.

It’s the sense that anytime a pedestrian gets hit, it’s not the pedestrian’s fault.

Do peds have the right to cross Market Street whenever they want?

Apparently:

Click to expand

Hey SFPD, how about issuing 100 or so jaywalking tickets each day on Market?

You know, for their own good?

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Talks About Chris Bucchere Without Talking About Chris Bucchere – Amazing

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

OFF WE GO:

What About Scofflaw? – Perception, Reality and What We’re Doing About It – SF Bicycle Coalition, July 9th, 2012

SO THIS IS WHY SFGOV HANDS MONEY TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BIKE COALITION, SO IT CAN CREATE MAGNUM OPI SUCH AS THIS? OK FINE, LET’S HAVE A LOOK-SEE.

Scofflaw cyclists—the phrase is rolling off the pens of bloggers, journalists and commentators across the Bay Area.

DENY. DO A SEARCH YOURSELF AND YOU’LL FIND RECENT REFERENCES ONLY TO THIS VERY ARTICLE. OTOH, A SEARCH FOR CHRIS BUCCHERE TURNS UP LOTS OF ARTICLES AND COMMENTS. HEY, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT CHRIS BUCCHERE BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO SAY, “CHRIS BUCCHERE?” SEEMS THAT WAY. WHY IS THAT?

And while they’re focusing on this singular aspect, here at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we’re helping direct the conversation to a broader, more comprehensive view of San Francisco’s diverse bicycling community and the responsibilities that all of us have on the road – when biking or driving.

OH, WAIT, ARE YOU DONE SETTING UP YOUR STRAW MEN ALREADY, SFBC? THAT WAS FAST!

We are busy talking about the significant San Francisco victories toward better biking—such as the dramatic 71% increase in the number of people biking in our city in the last five years. Thanks to the support of our 12,000 members, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is helping to Connect the City with streets that are inviting for people ages 8-to-80. And thanks to the success of Sunday Streets, parklets and bike corrals — projects we’ve had a strong hand in launching—our streets are more people-friendly and welcoming than ever before.

WELL, LET’S SEE. IS THE FIXIE CRAZE TOPPING OUT RIGHT ABOUT NOW? I THINK SO. HEY, HOW ABOUT MEMBERSHIP? I THINK SO, AGAIN. OH, AND THEN YOU HAVE YOUR SALES PITCH. HURRAY FOR US! HURRAY FOR THE SFBC!

These are big successes, and they should be bigger stories in the media and in conversations with City, community and business leaders.

DISAGREE ABOUT YOUR SUCCESSES / FAILURES, SFBC.

Yet, lately, much of our energy has gone to answer one persistent question: What are you doing about those scofflaw cyclists?

SO, THIS QUESTION COMES FROM WHOM? FROM SFGOV, YOUR PATRON, YOUR SOURCE OF MONEY?

…lately, we’ve also noticed an increase in the amount of rude, and sometimes unsafe, behavior by some people on bikes, especially problematic along streets with lots of pedestrian use.

REALLY? HOW DOES THIS FIT IN WITH THE WHOLE 15-YEARS-AGO-ONLY-YOUTHFUL-MALES-RODE-BIKES-IN-SF MYTH, YOU KNOW THE ONE THAT GETS PROMOTED BY ELEMENTS OF THE SFBC? MMMM…

Other people are noticing too. We’ve been hearing from an increasing number of our own members, as well as political and community leaders, about this issue.

HEY, REMEMBER THE BICYCLE-PEDESTRIAN DEATHS? ARE YOU GOING TO GET TO THAT PART. CAUSE, YOU KNOW, THAT’S THE REASON FOR THIS WHOLE DEAL, RIGHT? SRSLY, I HAVEN’T CHECKED YET, BUT ARE YOU GOING TO DANCE AROUND THE ENTIRE PED DEATH ISSUE? WE’LL SEE.

The thoughtless actions of a few are not only causing real safety problems, but also creating a negative image of San Francisco bike riders overall.

I GUESS THIS IS THE TOUGH-LOVE PART. IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK, THIS HECTORING, SFBC.

This is making it even more difficult for us to garner the support we need to get new, better bikeways on the ground.

UH, IS JFK DRIVE IN GOLDEN GATE PARK, FOR INSTANCE, A “BETTER BIKEWAY?” HEY, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE? “New JFK bike lanes are bad for everyone.” WHY WOULDN’T STEVEN T JONES BE ABOARD WITH YOU ALL ON THIS ONE? MMMMM…

When we ride a bike, we are ambassadors for biking. It can sometimes feel like we are held to a higher level of scrutiny than other road users. Whether that’s true or not, all eyes are on us when we ride—particularly when we ride recklessly or rudely.

DOES THIS KIND OF HECTORING WORK? DO YOU THINK? I’M NOT SURE. OR ARE YOU DOING THIS EXERCISE MERELY SO YOU CAN SAY YOU DID IT? SO YOU CAN TELL SFGOV THAT YOU DID IT?

What can you do? First, make sure you’re clear on the Rules of the Road. We know that sometimes people break the law because they don’t know what the law is. Let’s be clear: pedestrians always have the right of way on our roads.

LET’S BE CLEAR, THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY FALSE STATEMENT. IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE WE ALL LIVE. PEDESTRIANS DON’T ALWAYS HAVE  THE RIGHT OF WAY. THAT’S WHY IT’S THEIR FAULT, FOR THE MOST PART, WHEN THEY DIE ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO.

The SF Bicycle Coalition is educating tens of thousands of San Franciscans about how to share the streets safely. We teach free Urban Bicycle Education classes for adults, Safe Routes to School programs for children, and reach tens of thousands more people each year with our printed and online safety materials that are available in three languages.

WHAT, ARE YOU AN SFGOV AGENCY NOW, JUSTIFYING YOUR BUDGET? ALMOST SOUNDS THAT WAY.

We are also spearheading efforts to educate drivers about how to safely share the road with people on bikes. This year, we expanded our education programs to include a course for all new San Francisco taxi drivers.

I’M SURE CABBIES-IN-TRAINING ALL LOVE IT! HEY, HOW ABOUT GETTING EVERY LAST SFMTA WORKER TO TAKE YOUR COURSE? YOU KNOW, A MANDATORY THING. YOU KNOW, SO MUNI DRIVERS WON’T EVER KILL ANYBODY AGAIN.

So far in 2012, the SF Bicycle Coalition has taught more than 2,000 people in our free adult and youth bicycle education classes, and reached more than 25,000 people with our Rules of the Road sheet.

TO WHAT END?

Of course, it’s not just about education. Our City needs to prioritize safety through purposeful enforcement of all road users and this should be done with priority toward those causing the most harm. The SF Bicycle Coalition is urging the SF Police Department (SFPD) to focus their efforts on the most dangerous behavior by road users at the known, most dangerous intersections. We know that drivers are responsible for the huge majority of injuries and fatalities to pedestrians on our streets, so this problem should receive the huge majority of enforcement attention.

UH, AREN’T PEDESTRIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INJURIES TO PEDESTRIANS. I THINK SO.

We’ve heard troubling accounts of the SFPD setting up stings to catch people on bicycles rolling through stop signs on quiet streets where no one else is around.

QUIET STREETS? REALLY, THEY’RE “QUIET?” WELL, IF YOU SAY SO. BUT WHAT YOU CALL “STINGS” ARE NOT REALLY STINGS, ARE THEY? THEY’RE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS IS WHAT THEY ARE WITH NOT A DROP OF DECEPTION.

This isn’t focusing on dangerous behaviors at dangerous intersections, and these tickets are not prioritizing the actual goal of making our streets safer for everyone.

I’M SORRY, WHY SHOULD THE SFPD LISTEN TO THIS? DO YOU CONTROL THEM? DO YOU CONTROL THEIR BUDGET? THEIR PENSIONS? SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY LISTEN TO YOU OVER EVERYBODY ELSE?

We agree with your phone calls, e-mails, tweets, Facebook posts, etc, complaining that these tickets should not be prioritized at a time that limited enforcement resources should be aimed at actual dangerous behavior.

UH, DIDN’T CHRIS BUCCHERE ENGAGE IN “ACTUAL DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR?” I THINK SO. AND WHAT ARE YOU SAYING HERE, YOU WANT RED LIGHT AND STOP SIGN RUNNING DECRIMINALIZED? SOUNDS THAT WAY.

We urge the SFPD and other City leadership to stop focusing on perceived problems as a reaction to media attention and, instead, to respond with appropriate enforcement where the real problems exist.

WOW: “…stop focusing on perceived problems as a reaction to media attention…” I SEE. SORT OF I GUESS. YOU’RE SAYING THE MEDIA’S TO BLAME FOR YOUR PROBLEMS, IS THAT IT, SFBC?

For years, we have urged the Police and other City partners to regularly and systematically review their own data on street crashes to identify hot spots and test approaches to reducing crashes in these locations. But this has not happened — yet. It’s true that this will require a shift of thinking and action by the SF Police Department. However, we feel encouraged that, thanks to enlightened leadership and new technology, the SFPD is ready to step up to this important opportunity.

THE OLD POLICE CHIEF(S) SUCKED, APPARENTLY, AND THERE’S SOME NEW “TECHNOLOGY” OUT THERE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT BUT YOU WON’T TELL US ABOUT IT. OK FINE.

We all bear the responsibility of moving on our streets with courtesy and respect for others. Of course, this applies when driving, particularly given than the vast majority of people injured and killed on our streets because of dangerous or irresponsible behavior are people behind the wheel. In fact, between 10 and 20 pedestrians and between 1 and 2 bike riders are killed by people driving during an average year in San Francisco. That is unacceptable.

AREN’T THE PEDESTRIANS KILLED BY THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR? DO YOU WANT SPECIFIC EXAMPLES, LIKE DEAD PEDS THIS YEAR? A COMMERCIAL TRUCK DRIVER AND CYCLIST CHRIS BUCCHERE KILLED ONE EACH AND THE REST OF THE PEDS KILLED THIS YEAR WERE KILLED BY THEMSELVES, RIGHT?

Also unacceptable is that none of these fatalities caused by people driving received even one-tenth of the attention that the high-profile Market/Castro incident involving a person biking fatally hitting a pedestrian last March drew.

WELL, WHAT TO YOU WANT, A PED STEPS BETWEEN CARS INTO TRAFFIC AND GETS KILLED. FOR EXAMPLE. HOW MUCH ATTENTION SHOULD THAT KIND OF THING GET. OH I KNOW, WE SHOULD JUST TELL THE PEDS THAT THEY “ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY” EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T. IS THAT HELPFUL?

Why? Precisely because the latter is so rare. Equally tragic, absolutely heartbreaking, but undeniably rare.

ALL RIGHT, I’LL DENY IT. IT’S NOT SO RARE THESE DAYS. SORRY.

Within just one week of that crash at Market and Castro Streets, there were two other pedestrian fatalities, both reportedly caused by people driving. Did you read anything about those?

UH, YES, ACTUALLY. AND WEREN’T THOSE DEATHS CAUSED BY THE JAYWALKERS THEMSELVES? LET’S SEE, ONE ON LOMBARD AND ONE ON HAYES. YES I DID READ ABOUT THOSE. IN THE MSM.

And in May, a 23-year-old San Francisco State University student, Robert Yegge, was bicycling when he was hit and killed by someone driving a truck on Oak and Franklin Streets. As of writing this, with the exception of a single story in Streetsblog, no media outlets covered his tragic death.

UH FALSE. AND IS STREETSBLOG REALLY A “MEDIA OUTLET?”  I THINK IT’S MORE LIKE A PAC. (SOME RICH GUY STARTED IT UP, APPARENTLY. I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH MORE HE CAN GO WITH IT THOUGH.)

In fact, pedestrian deaths caused by people driving are seen as so commonplace that they draw shockingly little attention public or media attention. And that, in itself, is a tragedy.

DO YOU WANT ROBOTS DRIVING? THE PED DEATHS YOU SPEAK OF WERE CAUSED BY THE PEDS THEMSELVES.

[GIVE US MONEY, BLAH BLAH BLAH OMITTED]

[RAHM EMANUEL CHICAGO STUFF OMITTED]

[WORK FOR THE SFBC FOR FREE OMITTED]

On a daily basis, be a bicycle ambassador by being a great representative of San Francisco’s amazing, diverse and growing community of people who bicycle.

PROSE LIKE THAT GAGS, DOESN’T IT?

Stop behind the crosswalk, give pedestrians the right-of-way and others will follow.

SUGGESTION NOTED.

[AND THEN THE PITCH, ALWAYS WITH THE PITCH, OMITTED]

SO I GUESS THE NAME CHRIS BUCCHERE ISN’T GOING TO GET MENTIONED ANYWHERE AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF WORDS.

SO I GUESS THE PR HANDBOOK SAYS NOT TO.

OK FINE.

Attention Pedestrians: MUNI Wants to Nag You About Not Running Into Their Buses – New Video – (Oh, BTW, MUNI Sucks!)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Hey, remember when that woman who was doing nothing at all wrong got killed by that MUNI bus driver last year and the driver said that the woman who was doing nothing at all wrong had not been paying attention?*

Like this:

“Loggins’ attorney, Stuart Hanlon, told reporters last month that Dunn had also not been paying attention before the accident; apparently she had her head down and was texting while crossing the street, he said. 

Well the SFMTAMUNIDPT, that outfit that mismanages MUNI and hands out parking tickets, doesn’t remember.

Apparently.

Apparently, when MUNI drivers and operators kill people, it’s the fault of the peds themselves, all of them, apparently, and especially those in the the Asian-American-businesswomen-walking-about-whilst-wearing-ginormous-Sony-STUDIO- MONITOR-headphones-demographic.

Check it:

“Do you want Beethoven to be the last thing you hear?”

Wow, so verite, non? 

By the way:

“Comments are disabled for this video.”

I wonder why.

*Gentle Reader, peds have no obligation to pay attention. None. Zero. Peds need to use crosswalks and not start too soon or too late and not go too fast or too slow and, at uncontrolled intersections, they need to yield to traffic already using the intersection, but they can otherwise do pretty much whatever they want and STILL NOT BE HELD AT FAULT FOR THEIR DEATHS. Emily Dunn made it most of the way across the intersection – that’s proof that the MUNI driver was 100% at fault in this case. 

If Chris Bucchere is Guilty, Is It Possible that Cyclists Have Been Responsible for More SF Pedestrian Deaths Than Drivers in 2012?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

I still don’t know if pedestrian Sutchi Hui had the right of way when he stepped out on the crosswalk at Castro near Market on March 29th. (Cyclist Chris Bucchere’s story isn’t adding up so far and he’s got a lawyer already and the police are investigating, so you make the call on that one.)

But if he is found responsible for that death, how does that match up with the deaths caused by car, MUNI bus, shuttle bus, and truck drivers in San Francisco County so far in 2012?

We’ve had at least two jaywalkers (one on Hayes, one of Lombard) violate right of way and die so far in 2012 And there was a young man who fell off a skateboard and got hit by a truck and died. And there was some hit-and-run(?) by a MUNI bus driver but I don’t think the person who was hit died. And then there was an older driver who went around another car (which was waiting for a pedestrian) and hit said pedestrian, but that pedestrian didn’t die.

Now I’m sure San Francisco’s horrible drivers will catch up to cyclists in the pedestrian death responsibility count by the end of 2012, but I don’t think they’ll catch up to the pedestrians themselves. What can we do to educate pedestrians?

Here’s the mantra:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way.”

This is incorrect for at least two reasons.

1. Jaywalkers don’t have the right of way. That’s why they’re held at fault for their own deaths when they die, with regularity, on the streets of San Francisco. Now, does a driver have the right to aim for jaywalking peds and then say, “Well, he was jaywalking so it’s his fault.” No. Drivers need to be on the lookout for errant peds at all times. But if a pedestrian pops out into the street in the middle of a block and gets hit, the ped has committed a right of way violation and, generally speaking, the ped is at fault.

2. Pedestrians need to wait for intersections to clear even though they have a green light and they are at a crosswalk. Most San Franciscans don’t understand this. If you’re a ped you need to look before you enter a crosswalk, especially if your light has just turned green. (What peds in San Francisco tend to do at certain intersection is to actually jump the light, oh well.)

If you don’t like this situation, you could lobby to have the law changed to give peds the right to jaywalk with impunity and the right to start crossing as soon as their lights turn green. Then, pedestrians would actually “Always Have the Right of Way” in real life.

Would that be good?

I don’t think so.

It certainly would clarify who’s at fault for what, but more peds would die.

Why don’t we change the mantra to this:

You should drive* AS IF Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way.

And to the peds we should say this:

Pedestrians DON’T Always Have the Right of Way

Is that too complicated?

If you want to prevent pedestrian deaths, your primary solution is getting inside the head of the ped to figure out what’s going wrong. Your primary solution isn’t going to be more bulb-outs and wider sidewalks.

Do you want to punish drivers more when they do bad things? Well, be my guest, but that’s a tough row to hoe…

*Your MUNI bus, your shuttle bus, your big truck, your bike, your private car, whatever