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:
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 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…
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.