Not much room up there of course.
Look at that crummy little ride – they call it a SmartCar.
Getting your motorcycle from south of the Panhandle to north could take you something on the order of two to five minutes, depending, assuming you’re not already on Masonic or something.
But cutting through on the north-south walking paths, well that’s easy as pie, ‘specially when the lights sync up nicely.
As here, where Bro didn’t even have to stop for traffic.
This is the scene from two days back, southbound 6th Ave betwixt Cabrillo and Balboa.
I’m assuming the bike rider got a ticket, ‘specially since he seemed to be ignoring the cop even after siren whooped once, and then again.
And here’s the thing – Bro slowed way down for the stop sign, on a pretty big slope, he showed respect for the stop sign, about as much as the typical car driver would have. Even so, the Richmond Station cop on the dirt bike pulled him over anyway. See?
I myself, heading north, back to The City, didn’t have a chance to come to a complete stop before I heard the whoop-whoop noise, but I certainly did after.
Anyway, here’s the thing – the cyclist either didn’t see the cop coming west on Cabrillo OR the cyclist ignored the cop ’cause he didn’t think he’d get pulled over.
If I were the cyclist coming downhill, I DEFINITELY would have seen the cop and I certainly would have come to a complete stop once I saw the cop.
Gentle Reader, how many people living today have more time on a bike in SF County the past quarter-century than I? Precious few, I’ll tell you. Junior the Bike Messenger, certainly, and most of your career-level SF messengers, and some of the “founders” of Critical Mass still living in town, certainly. And, due to a couple somewhat-SFMTA/MUNI-related mishaps, this has been a bad year. However, I’m still in the 99th percentile, and I’ll tell you:
You gotta show respect for the po-po, unless you want to spend hundreds and thousands on tickets over your lifetime on a bike in Frisco.
Is this two-faced? I suppose. But what do you want me to do? I California stop on bikes, and in cars. It depends on the circumstances. And one of the big circumstances is if a cop is right there looking at you. Of course one should be looking around all the time anyway, for other bikes, for cars, trucks, peds, everything
Admittedly, bikes were (seemingly) invisible to the SFPD back in the 80’s and 90’s, so I had a bit of an advantage over the riders of today. But my biggest advantage is paying attention – that’s the key.
Anyway, that’s why I have more miles and fewer citations than the average…
You know, the way everybody else does.
As here, on the “300 block” of Ashbury, or what would be 300 block but for the Golden Gate Park Panhandle being there. But no matter, just wait for the light and then head north or south on the walking paths:
This will save you all kinds of time going from Fell to Oak or Oak to Fell.
This didn’t used to be a thing, but now it’s a thing, especially at night…
Welcome to ‘Merica, Dude:
I’ll tell you, I’m not a big fan of the vaunted The Wiggle bike route and here’s why:
FOR MOST PEOPLE, THERE’S A BETTER WAY TO GET FROM THE PANHANDLE TO DOWNTOWN, TO GET THERE AND BACK AGAIN
That’s why. This was my stab at promoting the Northern Wiggle,* aka the McAllister Pass,** aka the Hastings Cutoff. *** Some people listened, but most did not, oh well.
Anyway, aside from this route being a third of a mile shorter and faster and safer and relatively ped-free, it NEVER gets any SFPD Bicycle Enforcement Actions, the way, say, the intersection of Waller and Steiner gets.
Speaking of which, now more people are joining the SFPD, to “referee the Wiggle,” if only for a short time.
While 95% of cyclists using the Wiggle are really incredibly respectful of other road users, there is that small minority who give us all a bad name. I’ve always wanted to dress as a referee and hand out yellow and red cards to bad cyclists (and maybe some cars and peds too) and I’m using NOW! as my excuse!
Come join me in shaming the few bad cyclists out there and making the Wiggle just a little bit safer and more courteous!”
*I, myself, wiggle from street to street north of the Panhandle on my way inbound to Fulton and Scott – it depends on traffic.
**The pass over Alamo Heights, which the Southern Wiggle route mostly avoids by generally following the route of the former creek what used to drain the kind of valley where the Golden Gate Park Panhandle sits now.