Posts Tagged ‘fault’

Debunking the Debunkers: “Charles Vincent, Chris Bucchere, and the SFPD”

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Look what popped up in my inbox:

Saturday, March 28, 2015 Charles Vincent, Chris Bucchere, and SFPD

Take a look and then come back here – that’s how the dedebunking business works.

On March 2nd Charles Vincent, 66 years old, was riding his bike at the intersection of 14th and Folsom in San Francisco when…

When he ran a red light, per the SFPD police report (which I’ve ask to see, but haven’t seen yet), right? The problem with telling the story the way DJ Connel tells things, is that that makes it StreetsBlog-style advocacy journalism. Why not instead tell the story straight? Moving on.

“The DA is not gonna charge that person with a crime because…”

Because the DA would have to get a guilty verdict from a notoriously-slack San Francisco jury. By way of example, you and your GF can have about 14 drinks at the Foodies’ New Favorite Bay Area Restaurant and then run over a Eurpoean visitor and then stop and then move his bicycle off of the street(!) and then switch seats and then make a run for it and then, later on, you get a little bit of jail time, less than a year, perhaps just a few months. So that’s your because. IMO, a different question is whose fault the accident is. (I thought the PR said it was the cyclist’s?)

If someone is in violation of code, it’s sanctionable to kill them with your own violation?

Well maybe, it depends on how the violation relates to the harm. (I’ll point out that sanctionable is a particularly poor word choice here.)

Rewind to the Chris Bucchere case…. Chris rode his bike at approximately 31 mph…

Oh no no no. It was “at least 31 MPH.” If you want to go for “approximately,” then the answer if 35 MPH.

This case brought out a wave of rage against Chris, indeed against cyclists in general, which caused the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to attack him…

Whoa, slow down here. What happened was that he got carried away with Strava, so he’d repeatedly “bomb” down segments of steep streets to see how fast he could complete the “Castro Street Bomb” or the “XXth Street Bomb” and, even though he was experienced with how pedestrians behave on Market street, he crossed over it way over the limit and then he made a bizarre post on the Internet. So if that’s what you want to simply call “the case,” that’s fine, but there’s a reason why this accident became international news. I certainly didn’t feel any “wave of rage” directed at me and I don’t think that the SFBC would have cheered him on absent any purported generalized wave of rage. The people who were really mad were on SF2G, boards like that. Bucchere was way off the scale.

Indeed there’s little question Chris was being reckless…”

Oh, this is quite an admission. The next step after reckless is purposeful, and nobody thinks this accident was purposeful, right? So, yes, pretty reckless. Something I do after I’ve entered an intersection legally, you know, IRL legally, is to stop just before the crosswalk at the far side of the intersection, so as to avoid hitting one or more of SF’s horrible peds. Too bad Bucchere couldn’t have thought of that. Or even slowing down a little bit – that could have helped a lot.

“But the question is here is one of fairness, whether drivers are treated comparably to cyclists…”

Well, let’s look at the case of Randolph Ang. No 35 MPH, no Strava “King of the Hill” aspirations, no internet ode to a bicycle helmet posted five hours later. He got community service, performed at, at least in part, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. No felony conviction, certainly. His post-accident behavior seemed more understandable, right?

The Bucchere case, on the other hand, went something like this: A: “That speeding cyclist blew through the stop sign and hit the pedestrians legally crossing the intersection – throw the book at him!” 

Uh no, for a lot of reasons. The people who voiced emotion against Bucchere, which included, of course, most of the cyclists who commented, (including one who said he’d feel embarrassed to continue wearing a jersey with a certain club name on it) didn’t really get into Sutchi Hui being legally in the crosswalk or not. And this wasn’t a California stop at a stop sign, as this intersection was and is controlled with electronic signals. No no, it was Bucchere’s attorney who talked about Bucchere entering the intersection “legally,” but of course this couldn’t have been true since he was speeding, so oh well to that. And big factors were what he posted online and his fascination with Strava

“But the video shows he [Bucchere] entered the intersection legally.”

Uh, do you mean on a yellow, DJ Connel? I think that’s what you mean. He was speeding though, right? Is speeding legal?

A: “Well, never mind that — he still plowed into those pedestrians legally crossing the intersection!”

Uh no, you’re putting words into peoples’ mouths here.

B: “But if he entered legally, and was near the speed limit, it’s impossible the pedestrians entered the intersection legally…

Whoa, whoa. He didn’t enter legally ’cause he was way over the limit, right?

A: “Well, never mind that — someone says he ran a stop sign during one of the blocks before the intersection.”

Well, stop signs – it looks like he did that too.

I’m not defending Bucchere…

Really? I think you are.

Amelie Le Moullac is just the most egregious of so many tragic cases where cyclists have been killed and blame-the-victim has been the first line of investigation.

Then cite all the many cases then, Dude. I don’t know, what about 2014? All of the deaths in SF were the fault of the cyclists themselves, right? Do you want to get into lessons learned here, DJ Connel? I don’t think you do.

You want to say that Bucchere was reckless but he was at the same time “legal.” You want to debunk myths, but you add some of your own.

So how does that help?

If you want to help, why not pour through all the police reports with at least one transportation-related fatality from last year. I’ll get you started, from a report I can’t link to, after the jump. Maybe you’ll learn something, IDK. Here’s something linkable, from Heather Knight. I’ll tell you, politically, this data proved to be unpopular with SFGov and, for whatever reason, the SFPD commander in charge of traffic got transferred to Timbuktu shortly after this bit came out. So there might be a bias involved, but not the kind you’re looking for.

All right, hop to it. For whatever reason, your blog is Google-worthy, so anything you write about Chris Bucchere gets sent out as a Google alert to those MSM journalists who haven’t yet cancelled their Bucchere Google Alerts. So, unlike any comments you might post on StreetsBlog, actual real nonactivists will look at what you have to say…

(more…)

Just For The Record, the Reason Why There’s No Old-School Traffic Light at Polk and Fulton is 100% SFGov’s Fault

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

There are some gray areas in how the SFPD enforces CA’s Failure To Yield Vehicle Code section upon drivers, certainly, but take a look here to see a case of black and white. The white Nissan on the right failed to yield to the ped on the left, smack dab in front of the Main Entrance to City Hall:

7J7C3502 copy

Fundamentally, this is Fulton and Polk, and I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a traffic light here. Of course City Hall takes up two city blocks and that’s why Fulton disappears here, but wouldn’t the driver compliance rate be orders of magnitude higher with a simple red-amber-green light?

Did I say simple? What I should have said was stupid, because all the SFMTA and the DPW does is “smart,” right? Smart this and smart that. And that means that basic design, the likes of which drivers generally understand the world over, must be stupid, right?

So yeah, that tour bus operator blew though crosswalk and SFGov lost a retiree/contractor and it’s hard to see how the SFPD could write a police report placing the blame upon anyone other than the driver.

But…

But what if the NTSB took a look, what would it say? Would it say, yeah there should have been a light here from the get-go? I think so. I’m saying it would parcel out some of the blame to SFGov, right? As with the pilots of that Asiana flight at SFO, yes, sure, pilot error, of course, but also some blame for SFO operations, some blame for Boeing perhaps as well, and some blame for the SFFD.

But SFGov don’t see things that way. SFGov’s solution is to ban tour bus drivers from yakking to passengers and, oh yeah, let’s put in a non-smart red-amber-green stoplight, but we only have enough money to put in like five traffic lights per year, please give us the SFMTA more money.

So are you “all about safety,” SFMTA? I don’t think so.

Oh what’s that, this is the Great Hall of the People we’re talking about so peds shouldn’t ever have to wait at a red light or at an “upraised hand” signal? Mmmmm…

So really, you all aren’t all about ped safety, you’re about pedestrian rights, right? Like “I’m the NRA, except for pedestrians” or “I’m the NRA, ‘cept for bike riders?”

Here’s a quote:

“…less inviting. Plus pedestrians have to wait at red lights before crossing, slowing down walking. Given that Haight is a commercial corridor the pedestrian environment is key for business.”

None of this “advocacy” against what’s altogether a quite-sensible plan for Haight Street from the SFMTA has anything to do with safety, with keeping peds safe from others but also safe from themselves.

Oh what’s that, you want to cite safety as your goal, but you actually have quite different goals? OK fine.

Most of the Times Pedestrians Get Killed on the Streets of San Francisco, It’s Their Own Fault – Why Shouldn’t SFGov Explore Issue?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You know? Instead of talking about so-called “improvements” that, sometimes,  eventually turn out not to be improvements at all?

Why not explore the issue of what’s wrong with the peds who end up dead and then are considered 100% responsible for their deaths?

Click to expand

Does that make any kind of sense?

So like why was that woman tempted to park on the wrong side of Masonic intending to jaywalk across Masonic at least twice in order to shop at Trader Joe’s? Is there something wrong with the parking situation at TJ’s #100 on Masonic? Why is that?

What can be done to fix that kind of situation?

Just asking…

Bad Taxi Driver Takes Out Cyclist at Sacramento and Battery – Luxor Cab #591 vs. Roadie – A Free Ride to SFGH

Friday, October 19th, 2012

This…

Click to expand

…plus this…

…equals this:

Sacramento and Battery, October 18, 2012.

Now you will get an ambulance bill after the SFFD scrapes you and your ride up off the street, but that’s going to end up being Someone Else’s Problem. So as far as you’re concerned this is a free ride to San Francisco General.

PG&E, San Francisco National Laughingstocks – Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Have a Normal Gas and Electric Utility?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

I don’t know, PG&E. Don’t you know by now that you’re a loser organization?

So how does it help to have your spokesmodels Blame the Customer First?

Right now, we’re actively investigating the cause,” PG&E spokesperson John King said shortly after the outage. “It could be a number of things, from customer-owned equipment to PG&E equipment…”

Oh, I know. The answer is that it doesn’t help.

It doesn’t help at all.

Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job:

Via David Yu – click to expand

Here’s the latest:

PG&E and the City and County of San Francisco Investigate Power Outages at Candlestick Park

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19, 2011 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) issued the following statement from Geisha Williams, executive vice president of electric operations, about the power outages that impacted Candlestick Park this evening:

PG&E is working closely with the City and County of San Francisco, owner and operator of Candlestick Park, to determine the cause of tonight’s power outages. The first priority for both PG&E and the City and County has been to get the power restored as quickly and safely as possible and keep the power on through the rest of the game. Determining exactly what happened and working to prevent something like this from happening again is very important to everyone involved.

SOURCE  Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

And from SFGov:

“MAYOR LEE’S STATEMENT ON POWER OUTAGES AT CANDLESTICK PARK

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today issued the following statement on the electric power outages at Candlestick Park at tonight’s San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Monday Night Football game:

“Following the loss of electric power to Candlestick Park before kickoff this evening, I directed our Police, Fire and Recreation & Park Departments and our Public Utilities Commission to work closely with the 49ers and PG&E to ensure that maintaining public safety and restoring power to the stadium were the top priorities. City staff worked immediately to deliver backup power and support PG&E staff in their repairs.

I have directed Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington to conduct a full investigation into the cause of both outages and, with PG&E, identify immediate actions that must be taken to prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

Tonight we all share in tremendous pride for our San Francisco 49ers. We must make every effort to support continued victories for the team and fans across the Bay Area in the weeks ahead.”

And from Mayor Ed Lee on September 1, 2011, during the one-year anniversary of PG&E’s incompetance killing eight people in San Bruno:

 “They’re a great company that gets it.”

Uh, nope!

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Struck UC Berkeley at 2:41 PM, October 20th 2011 – 3.8 Aftershock at 8:16 PM

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

[Or rather, make that a 4.0 on the Richter, final answer. That was for the afternoon earthquake. This evening’s aftershock at 8:16 PM was a 3.8.]

People in the West Bay could definitely feel this this one today, the one centered beneath UC Berkeley.

It felt like a succession of sharp bumps for a few seconds and then there was some generalized shaking – perhaps it all lasted about six seconds.

The Did You Feel It Map:

The initial estimate was a 4.2:

Magnitude 4.2
Date-Time
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 21:41:04 UTC
  • Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 02:41:04 PM at epicenter
Location 37.864°N, 122.249°W
Depth 9.8 km (6.1 miles)
Region SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 2 km (2 miles) ESE (112°) from Berkeley, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NE (47°) from Emeryville, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) NNW (341°) from Piedmont, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NNW (346°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 90, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.18 sec, Gp= 22°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=3
Source
Event ID nc71667366

Better Know Your Pacific Ocean Beaches of the Bay Area: NASA Photos Shows Half Moon Bay to Point Reyes

Friday, July 15th, 2011

NASA just posted a photo from the last Space Shuttle flight. It’s big, like 4000 pixels.

Here are some annotations. (The white line is the mighty San Andreas fault.)

Click to expand.“This image featuring the San Francisco Bay area was recorded with a still camera using a 180-mm lens by one of the Expedition 26 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying 220 miles above Earth.”

And here’s the plain version at 1800 pixels:

Surf’s up.

A Small Protest Against Nuclear Power at the CPUC: PG&E’s Diablo Canyon and Earthquakes, Lundberg vs. Lomborg

Friday, April 15th, 2011

This was the scene yesterday AM at the CPUC building near McAllister and Van Ness.

Now, Jan Lundberg thinks we should shut down our nuclear panner plants, especially the ones near fault lines.

Bjørn Lomborg disagrees.

And there you have it:

Click to expand

MUNI vs. MUNI in Chinatown: #30 Stockton Collides with #8X Bayshore at Clay and Stockton

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Word comes from Muni Diaries about this afternoon’s collision between MUNI #30 Stockton 7118  and MUNI 8X Bayshore Express 6268 is one for the record books.

Per KGO-7:

“The driver says the problems started when he went to investigate a malfunctioning wheelchair platform. The bus somehow lost control, rolled about 100 feet down a hill and crashed into a second bus.”

Via salmezasf Click to expand

Via disflylatina

And the reverse angle:

Via PopeOnABomb

Via Marvelocity

BIKE NOPA Has Details on the Death of Pedestrian Melissa Dennison at Fell and Broderick

Monday, February 8th, 2010

BIKE NOPA has just posted details on the SFPD police report and the District Attorney’s response to the death of pedestrian Melissa Dennison, killed by a collision at the intersection of Fell and Broderick on September 15th, 2009.

The intersection of Fell and Broderick