Posts Tagged ‘“Rules of the Road”’

Finally, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Acknowledges that Pedestrians Don’t “ALWAYS” Have the Right of Way

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Well, this is refreshing, this new bit from the SFBC.

You see, they used to go around telling peds that peds “always” have the right of way.*

But, the always is now gone from their new materials.

Do you think the SFBC learned something from this tiny WordPress blog?

I do.

To review, telling peds they always have the right of way is always the wrong thing to do.

*That was all the way back in 2012, except now this old SFBC posting is down the memory hole, lost forever. Also lost forever are the SFBC’s tax forms, which used to be posted but now are hidden away, oh well.

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?” Uh, Shouldn’t the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Have Consulted a Lawyer Here?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Are these 2012 “Rules of the Road” posted anywhere? I don’t know. [UPDATE: Here we go.]

Anyway, leave us begin:

“Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way.”

UH, NOPE. THIS IS EXACTLY WRONG IN CALIFORNIA* AND THIS IS THE KIND OF BAD ATTITUDE THAT GETS PEOPLE KILLED. (I DON’T KNOW IF DRIVERS IN SAN FRANCISCO ARE ANY WORSE THAN THE U.S.  AVERAGE, BUT PEDESTRIANS IN THE 415 ARE _MUCH_ WORSE THAN AVERAGE. RIVALING BERKELEY’S. IF I WERE GIVING THEM ADVICE IN A PUBLIC FORUM, I’D TELL THEM TO STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT. I WOULDN’T TELL THEM A FALSEHOOD ABOUT CA LAW TO MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR.)

In the crosswalk or not, bike riders and drivers are required to yield to pedestrians. (CVC 21954 (b))”

UH, NOPE.** IF YOU MEAN TO SAY THAT DRIVERS SHOULD USE DUE CARE FOR THE SAFETY OF EVEN THE CRAZIEST PEDESTRIAN, THEN YOU’D BE ACCURATELY BE PARAPHRASING THE CITED CODE. BUT CALIFORNIA LAW IS SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN* TO STATE THAT PEDESTRIANS DO NOT “ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.” TO REVIEW, IF YOU ARE A PED IN A CROSSWALK, MARKED OR UNMARKED, OR NEAR ENOUGH (SOMETIMES CLOSE IS CLOSE ENOUGH), AND YOU DIDN’T START TOO EARLY (THAT MEANS THAT YOU WAITED FOR TRAFFIC TO CLEAR THE INTERSECTION AFTER YOUR “WALK” LIGHT LIT UP) AND YOU DIDN’T START TOO LATE (LIKE WHEN THE WAIT LIGHT STARTS FLASHING), THEN, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. IF NOT, THEN YOU DON’T. SORRY. THAT’S WHY WHEN YOU GET KILLED BY A MUNI BUS ON HAYES STREET BY JAYWALKING LIKE WHAT JUST HAPPENED, THE DRIVER INVOLVED DOESN’T GET PUNISHED. THE REASON IS THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY. DOES THAT MEAN THAT DRIVERS HAVE A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO RUN YOU OVER ON PURPOSE WHEN YOU’RE JAYWALKING? NO IT DOES NOT.

Stop Behind the Crosswalk. Leave crosswalks free and clear for pedestrians. Always stop behind the line. (CVC 21950, 21455)

UH, HOW ABOUT IN FRONT OF OR AHEAD OF OR BEFORE THE CROSSWALK INSTEAD?

Stay on the Streets. It is illegal and unsafe to ride on the sidewalk if you are over the age of 13. (SF Transportation Code Sec. 7.2.12)

UH, ON SOME SIDEWALKS IT’S OK FOR ADULTS TO RIDE A BIKE, IT JUST DEPENDS. AND WHY IS IT “UNSAFE” FOR A 14-YEAR-OLD TO RIDE ON THE SIDEWALK BUT NOT A 13-YEAR-OLD?

Go With the Flow. Ride the same direction as traffic. Walk your bike on the sidewalk if you find yourself on the wrong block of a one-way street. (CVC 21650)

IRL, THIS IS MERELY ADVISORY IN SAN FRANCISCO. YOU COULD RIDE YOUR BIKE IN THIS FASHION ON A DAILY BASIS FOR DECADES AND NOT GET CITED FOR THIS.

Mind the Signs and Lights. Stop at stop signs and obey red lights, just like all other vehicles. (CVC 21200)

IRL, THIS IS MERELY ADVISORY IN SAN FRANCISCO. YOU COULD RIDE YOUR BIKE IN THIS FASHION ON A DAILY BASIS FOR DECADES AND NOT GET CITED FOR THIS.

Light up the Night! Reflectors and a front white light are required by law. We recommend you use a rear light as well. (CVC 21201)

WELL, _NOW_ YOU’RE TALKING. AGREE.

Take the Lane. Whether you’re next to parked cars, or there are hazards in the bike lane, if you feel safer, take the lane and ride outside the door zone. (CVC 21202)

THIS IS A SUBJECTIVE STANDARD UNSUPPORTED BY CALIFORNIA LAW. OH WELL.

It’s OK to Leave the Bike Lane. If you feel safer outside the bike lane, you can ride in other vehicle travel lanes. (CVC 21208)

MEH. SO WHY HAVE BIKE LANES THEN? I’LL TELL YOU, THE CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE DOESN’T REALLY DEAL WITH “FEELINGS” AT ALL, IRL.

Be a Friend to Disabled Neighbors. Sometimes people with disabilities need access to the curb. Paratransit carriers (including taxis) may have to enter the bikeway to drop them off. Be a good neighbor and give them room. (SFMTA Policy)

REALLY? I NEED TO CHECK TO SEE IF THE PERSON COMING OUT OF A CAB IS MY “DISABLED NEIGHBOR” BEFORE I DECIDE TO “GIVE THEM ROOM” OR NOT? THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE CRAY-CRAY, DOESN’T IT? MAYBE I’LL JUST GO AROUND PARKED TAXIS AS ANY SENSIBLE PERSON WOULD DO?

So there you have it.

Maybe they’ll get it right next year…

*”Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.”

**”The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.”