Here’s how it starts:
And here’s what happens later on:
Here’s how it starts:
And here’s what happens later on:
Whoo wee, where to begin here? Apparently, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thinks Supervisor David Chiu is the Great Enemy of Cyclists in San Francisco County. Read on, below.
And this is sort of funny because I’ve never ever seen him in a car. I’ve seen him walking in the Financh, I’ve seen him getting on a bus on Market, and I’ve seen him many many times wearing a dark suit while riding a bicycle, but I’ve never seen him in a car. Isn’t that funny?
All right, a couple opening matters here. Cyclist Chris Bucchere, who actually is responsible for death on the streets of San Francisco has gotten praised, defended and ignored by zealous cycling advocacy crowd of San Francisco.
Praised: Oh, Chris Bucchere is a “good guy.” Oh, Chris Bucchere didn’t do anything at all wrong because he “entered the intersection [of Market and Castro] legally.”
Defended: Oh, Chris Bucchere had a concussion when he wrote all those things. Oh, the people who saw him blowing stop signs before the accident are car drivers so of course what they say is unreliable.
Ignored: I’ll tell you, I don’t think the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has ever used his name – he’s become an unperson, basically. He’s bad for business, of course.
So that sets the bar pretty low, but here comes David Chiu, who, apparently, deserves his own body count webpage, you know, on account of all the people he’s killed on just one street over the years. See below, I’m srsly.
And the other thing is this. You might not know this and it might not look like it but, I have:
More years, and
on a bicycle in San Francisco County than anybody at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, at WalkSF, and at the StreetsBlog (And to that tally you can also add driving vehicles and walking around and, perhaps, riding transit but I’m not regularly on MUNI anymore.)
Now, on with the show. This kind of stuff just showed up in my reader about a couple of weeks late. Check it:
Leave us begin
“Why are David Chiu and the SFMTA Turning Their Backs on Your Safety?”
ALL RIGHT, YOU’RE STARTING OFF JUST ASSUMING THAT SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON SAFETY, RIGHT? IS THIS HOW YOU ROLL, SFBC? WE GIVE YOU ALL THIS TAX AND FEE PAYER MONEY, HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR TO DO WHAT? TO PAY YOUR SALARIES, TO PAY THE RENT ON YOUR OFFICE. TO ENDORSE THE ELECTION OF ED LEE SO THAT YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY TO PAY YOUR SALARIES? OK FINE. BUT SINCE I’M BEING TAXED AND FEE’D TO PAY YOUR BUDGET, I’LL SUGGEST A BETTER HEADLINE FOR THIS SCREED – HOW ABOUT, “HERE’S WHY WE THINK SUPERVISOR CHIU AND THE SFMTA ARE TURNING THEIR BACKS ON TRAFFIC SAFETY FOR A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF USERS OF ONE STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY?”
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, March 27th, 2014. David Chiu’s Injury Counter – Collision history from Update to the MTA Board of Directors PAG Committee. Visit sfbike.org/polk for live injury counter. We are deeply troubled to see that Supervisor David Chiu and the decisionmakers at the SF Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) are turning their backs on your safety on Polk Street. Facts are facts: Polk Street is the second most dangerous corridor in San Francisco, according to the City’s official data.
UH, ISN’T MISSION A MORE “DANGEROUS CORRIDOR” THAN POLK? AND ISN’T THE LOWER THIRD? I THINK SO.
Yet Supervisor Chiu and the city’s transportation agency officials are ignoring these facts by promoting a watered-down design for Polk Street that is light years behind what is needed to make bicycling and walking a safe, comfortable experience for all.
HOO BOY. UH, BICYCLING AND WALKING ARE NEVER GOING TO BE “SAFE” AND “COMFORTABLE” EXPERIENCES “FOR ALL.” SORRY. SO S.F. DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT S.F. TO DO ON JUST ONE STREET IN THE CITY ISN’T GOING TO ATTAIN YOUR GRAND GOAL.
And they are ignoring their recent votes and public pronouncements supporting Vision Zero — apparently your safety on our streets is not such a high priority after all.
HOO BOY. UH, VISION ZERO IS WHAT, NOW? IT’S SAYING WE’RE GOING TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, WE’RE GOING TO ELIMINATE ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS IN SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY IN A DECADE, BY 2024. VISION ZERO IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. SORRY. DON’T YOU KNOW THIS, SFBC? OH YOU DO BUT YOU WANT TO PRETEND TO BELIEVE IN VISION ZERO SO YOU CAN BE DISAPPOINTED WHEN SFGOV DOESN’T DO EVERYTHING YOU WANT IT TO DO EACH AND EVERY MONTH OF 2014-2024? FOR WHAT, FOR BEING ABLE TO RAISE MONEY TO PAY SALARIES, FOR FUNDRAISING? OH, BUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS ARE DOWN LATELY? WHY’S THAT? AND YOU MAKE FAR MORE MONEY FROM SFGOV GIVING YOU MONEY THAN FROM SFBC MEMBERS PAYING DUES? ISN’T THAT BACKWARDS? I THINK SO.
This is not acceptable.
OH, OK, SO WHY DON’T GIVE BACK ALL THE MONEY WE’VE GIVEN YOU OVER THE YEARS? AREN’T YOU A GOVERNMENT-SUPPORTED INSTITUTION NOW? SO WHY DO YOU TAKE ANY MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESPISE SO?
To hold these City leaders accountable, we launch the David Chiu/MTA Polk Street Body Count clock, tracking the number of people hurt on Polk Street on their watch.
SO IF DAVID CHIU DOESN’T BEHAVE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT HIM TO, THEN HE’S RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION DEATHS ON ONE RANDOM STREET IN SF? HAHAHA! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS THROUGH? SO LIKE WE’RE LIVING IN “STRONG MAYOR POLITICAL SYSTEM,” SO WHY NOT CALL IT THE “ED LEE / SFMTA POLK STREET BODY COUNT CLOCK” INSTEAD? AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A “BODY COUNT” IS? IT’S, “The number of people killed in a war, disaster, etc.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/body%20count SO I THINK YOUR HYSTERICAL “COUNT” IS OFF BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. AND ACTUALLY, DAVID CHIU DIDN’T KILL ANYBODY ON POLK STREET.
We will keep this clock up until Chiu and the MTA get serious about safety by bringing to the MTA Board of Directors a true safety-first Polk Street proposal of separated bikeways the entire project length.
I SEE, SO DAVID CHIU, THE BIKE-RIDINGEST SUPERVISOR EVER, THE DUDE YOU SEE ALL THE TIME ON A BIKE WEARING A GOD-DAMNED PIN-STRIPED BLUE SUIT, THAT GUY, HE’S THE GREAT EVIL OF CYCLING IN SF? HAVE YOU ALL THOUGHT THIS ONE THROUGH? I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE, SFBC.
We are hearing from Chiu that he believes the watered-down design shared publicly this week is a compromise that is “good enough.” But have no doubt: the only thing this proposal compromises is YOUR SAFETY.
WHOA, ALL CAPS. “SO ANGRY.” BUT IRL, THE WAY TO INCREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF EVERYBODY. THE WAY TO DEACREASE THE COMMONWEAL IS TO GIVE IN TO NARROW, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED, MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS.
Hundreds of people have reviewed the lackluster design and voiced their concerns to Chiu and the MTA, but to no avail.
WELL, TO _SOME_ AVAIL, RIGHT? AND IF THAT FIGURE WERE THREE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE LARGER, LET’S SAY SOMETHING ON THE ORDER OF HUNDREDS _OF THOUSANDS_ OF PEOPLE, WELL, IF THEY ALL WANTED THE EXACT SAME PLAN FOR THIS ONE STREET, THEN THEY’D GET IT, RIGHT? BUT JUST HUNDREDS ON ONE SIDE AGAINST THE WHOLE REST OF THE CITY, WELL, THAT’S NOT MUCH A OF A FIGHT, RIGHT?
Instead, they are responding to a vocal minority of people opposing bicycle safety improvements on the street.
UH, I THINK _YOU’RE_ THE VOCAL MINORITY, SFBC, RIGHT?
The resounding message from people who bike and walk on Polk Street is that the current design is a recipe for mass confusion and dangerous conflict.
YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK FOR A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO LACK YOUR MONOMANIACAL VISION, SFBC.
The proposed bikeway zig zags between parked cars and the curb, stops and starts, sometimes completely disappearing for blocks at a time, leaving you hanging while biking and leaving drivers confused and stressed out.
WELL GEE, WHY NOT LEAVE POLK STREET THE WAY IT IS THEN? OR JUST REPAVE IT AND CALL IT A DAY – IS THAT AN OPTION? ACTUALLY, THE BULK OF SAN FRANCISCO JUST MIGHT PREFER EXACTLY THAT. WHAT IF THAT WERE THE CASE? MMMM… AND WOULD DRIVERS GET MORE “STRESSED OUT” BY HAVING SOME PARKING OR NO PARKING ON POLK STREET? IF YOU’RE CONCERNED ABOUT DRIVER STRESS, THEN YOU’D KEEP TYHE EXISTING LAYOUT OR GO BACK TO PREVIOUS DESIGNS, ACTUALLY.
We’ve heard loud and clear that all road users desire orderly, predictable street designs that minimize opportunities for conflict.
WHO TOLD YOU WHAT NOW? DOES THE SFBC NOW SPEAK FOR “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. HAS THE SFBC EVEN HEARD FROM “ALL ROAD USERS?” I DON’T THINK SO. IN FACT, MANY PEOPLE PREFER WHAT DAVID CHIU PREFERS. AND ACTUALLY, THAT’S THE VERY REASON HE DOESN’T DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT HIM TO DO 100% OF THE TIME. OR DO YOU ALL THINK THAT DAVID CHIU IS IRRATIONAL?
So we ask: Do David Chiu and Ed Reiskin really imagine that parents will guide their child through this proposed biking slalom course that disappears entirely at times?
HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE I SEEN RIDING BIKE ON POLK IN MY LIFE? MMMMM… I KNOW THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A FEW, BUT I CAN’T RECALL ANY. AND WOULD THE SFBC THEN PREFER THE CURRENT NON-SLALOM SET-UP? OR PERHAPS SFGOV NEEDS TO GIVE SFBC ALL THE MONEY IT WANTS AND, IN EXCHANGE, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD TO GIVE THE SFBC EVERYTHING ELSE IT WANTS, SFGOV SHOULD IGNORE ALL OTHER MONOMANIACAL PRESSURE GROUPS IN THE CITY AND GIVE IN TO JUST ONE, FOR SOME REASON.
Is this their vision for a bicycle-friendly San Francisco?
YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY SAN FRANCISCO, SFBC. YOUR GOAL WILL NEVER BE ATTAINED.
What happened to Chiu’s call for 20% of trips by bike by 2020?!
WELL, AGAIN, JUST AS WITH VISION ZERO, THE 20% BY 2020 GOAL WON’T BE ATTAINED. AND WASN’T THE SFBC ITSELF THE PARTY THAT WAS CALLING FOR THIS PIE IN THE SKY? I THINK SO. HOW MUCH ARE POLITICAL PROMISES WORTH IF EVERYBODY KNOWS FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THEY WON’T BE ATTAINED? AND WHY ARE THE TIME-FRAMES FOR THESE GRAND FLOURISHES ALWAYS ENDING IN THE 2020’S, BY WHICH TIME ALL OF THE IMPORTANT POLS WILL HAVE BEEN TERMED OUT? MMMM…
Do they think that drivers of delivery vehicles want to do a new round of mental math every block to figure out where it’s OK to park?
SO DELIVERY DRIVERS WOULD PREFER ZERO PLACES TO PARK OVER SOME PLACES TO PARK? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY SAYING, SFBC? I THINK DELIVERY DRIVERS WILL DO JUST FINE FIGURING OUT WHERE TO PARK WHETHER IT’S LEGAL OR NOT – THERE’S NO MATH REQUIRED.
Do they think that San Franciscans will welcome confusing and antagonistic conditions on the city’s official north/south bike route, which is already experiencing a record-number of injuries among people biking and walking?
IRL, POLK STREET IS PRETTY SIMPLE. IRL, POLK STREET ISN’T “CONFUSING.” IRL, IF YOU WANT A “CONFUSING” STRETCH OF ROAD, LOOK TO THE EASTERN SECTION OF SFBC-APPROVED JFK DRIVE IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. IRL, IF SOMEBODY DIES AFTER GETTING HIT BY A MUNI BUS OR A CYCLIST GOING FOR A STRAVA KOM ON POLK STREET, IT’S NOT ACTUALLY DAVID CHIU’S FAULT.
But it’s not too late to steer the Polk Street project back to safety.
UM, IF BY “SAFETY” YOU MEAN WHICHEVER PLAN YOU’VE DREAMED UP, SFBC, THEN YES IT IS TOO LATE. YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ALL THAT YOU WANT, SFBC.
We ask you to join us now to stand up to David Chiu and let him know that cowardly decisions today have direct, life-and-death impacts on real people like us.
Hold David Chiu (who represents much of Polk Street and is running for State Assembly this Fall) and MTA decisionmakers accountable by telling them loud and clear that they cannot not continue to turn their backs on your safety.
OH, I SEE, THIS IS A FUNDRAISING APPEAL TO STAVE OFF THE DECLINING MEMBERSHIP ROLLS, I SEE.
Call Supervisor David Chiu’s Office: 415-554-7450
OH, SO WHO’S THE “VOCAL MINORITY” NOW?
Call MTA Director Ed Reiskin’s Office (leave a message at the general front desk): 415-701-4500
AND ED REISKIN WORKS FOR ED LEE, RIGHT? WHY NOT INSTEAD JUST CALL YOUR BODY CLOUNT CLOCK THE ED LEE BODY COUNT CLOCK AND BE DONE WITH IT?
Tagged as: Connecting the City, David Chiu, Polk Street, Safety, SFMTA, Vision Zero
PERHAPS YOU’VE LOST YOUR WAY, SFBC…
Here’s the latest effort from CW Nevius, who’s taking a break from being spokesman for San Francisco’s right-side-of-the-aisle political faction to go on a “bit of a rant” against local pedestrians. But what’s up with this?
“Even when they are in the right, I worry about them. When the traffic light countdown gets to five or six, they step confidently into the crosswalk — which is their right…”
Don’t you have an editor, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have an editor, and plus, editors cost money, that’s right.
But don’t you have a fact checker, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have a fact checker, and plus, fact checkers cost money, that’s right.
But don’t you have a photographer, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, photographers cost money. So all your observations, we’ll just have to take your word about them. OK fine. BTW, [sarcasmmode ON] nice stock photo you’ve got there, Neve. “Cause a stock photo taken in the People’s Republic of China, you know, from more than a thousand li away, well, that really illustrates how “militant” and “freaking nuts” San Francisco peds are, huh? [sarcasmmode OFF]
And oh, BTW Neve, the peds of SF aren’t militant, not at all. Try to find a different word for what you mean.
Of course you’re new in town, I get that. Sure, welcome to San Francisco, Neve.
But you’re doing a half-assed job doing your half-time gig.
You need to try harder.
*”Walk, Wait, or Don t Walk
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.
(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.
Amended Ch. 413, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.”
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.
Click to expand
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).
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Here’s your accident scene* on Market betwixt Battery and Sansome on August 3rd, 2012…
Click to expand
…and here’s the streetcar driver, sitting inside of his streetcar, old 1811, pondering developments:
Just because the SFMTA MUNI DPT is corrupt and evil and the worst large public transit agency in America and it has spokespeople who are famous for lying all the time, just because of that, doesn’t mean that the average SFMTA MUNI DPT is a bad person or anything…
*Maybe there’s some blame to go around here, having to do with maintenance or procedures or maybe the Mom-ish Subaru driver went on the wrong side of Market for a while only to suddenly pull in front of the streetcar and slam on the brakes – these things are possibilities, I suppose. But, man, things don’t look good for this operator.