Posts Tagged ‘deaths’

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

 

A Remarkable Safety Record: No Passengers Have Died in an American Jetliner Crash the Past Ten Years – We Made It

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Well we made it. We’ve gone ten years without a passenger dying on a commercial jetliner flying above America, or coming to America or leaving from America. (Now that doesn’t include regional jets – I’m talking about jet airliners, narrow-body or wide-body, made by Airbus, Boeing,  Lockheed, or McDonnell Douglas.)

The last day passengers died was November 12th, 2001 on American Airlines Flight 587.

Of course, we’ve had some close calls since then, like with that shoe bomber guy or with Sully Sullenberger and his famous water landing.

Military flights, well that’s a different story. Capt. Christopher Stricklin punches out (and lives to tell the tale) 200 feet above Idaho:

Click to expand

(And this no-deaths record doesn’t include smaller aircraft like regional jets or turboprops or private airplanes.)

Needless to say, this streak of good luck hasn’t happened before. Back in the day, back in the 1960′s, 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s, people would die on big jets all the time.

But not anymore.

Hurray.

Bicycle Trilogy: Euro Tourists Like Bikes, But Not Concomitant Bike Helmets

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

See?

I’m sure that the bike rental place at the foot of Market Street pushed smelly neon-green helmets on this gaggle of northern Europeans heading outbound, but no dice.

Those are the Euros for you. (You could say the same thing about electrified bikes (helmet use required in CA regardless of age) or mopeds or motorcycles or whatnot, right? Where’s the line?)

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For better or worse…

Donato, A Healthy Pup in San Mateo County, Dies from Eating Death Caps – Dangerous Out-Of-Season Mushrooms in Woodside, CA

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Word comes today from Bluoz about the dangers of wild mushrooms in the Bay Area.

“This poster was made just three weeks ago by a Woodside, California resident who’s dog died recently from eating poisonous mushrooms on their front lawn: http://www.boxerworld.com/forums/dog-health-issues-questions/153219-mushroom-warning.html

The URL in the poster refers to the North American Mycological Society which produces their own warning posters: http://www.namyco.org/toxicology/index.html

Click to expand

Let’s be careful out there.

Apple’s First Ever Store Overwhelmed with DeathPad Protesters in San Francisco

Friday, June 18th, 2010

More than 100 souls showed up for yesterday’s remembrance of dead workers at FoxConn factories in China.

It went a little something like this.

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In memory of Ning Ling, a teenager who fell to her death on April 7th, 2010: 

S. I.S. – Security Industry Specialists, Inc.: