Posts Tagged ‘Vehicle Code’

Cold Busted: Do SFMTA Parking Control Officers Even Try to Follow the Law? Take a Look

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Leave us review California Vehicle Code Section 40202(a):

“The notice of parking violation shall also set forth … the last four digits of the vehicle identification number, if that number is readable through the windshield...”

Except some DPT meter maids are in the habit of not writing down the last four digits of the VIN. Check it:

Some SFMTA parking citation officers thought they found a loophole by simply entering “cannot read,” “covered,” or “unable to locate” in the VIN field space of a citation. 

03/07/12: Officer NW (Badge #206) wrote 66 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 66 of them!  

02/01/12: Officer TA (Badge #12) wrote 27 citations of which he said he “cannot read” the VIN plate information on all 27 of them.”

So am I saying I believe the factual statements of some random Change.org petition over anything spun out by the SFMTA?

Yes, yes I am.

Now is this VIN requirement kind of a technicality, and is it kind of a pain to be looking for VINs when the PCOs need to make their quotas in order to pay for Ed Reiskin’s generous benefits package? Yes and yes.

But that’s the law. Perhaps the SFMTA should try to change the law if it’s so hard to obey.

Let’s hope that the SFMTA keeps a closer eye on its PCOs in the future…

Now let’s travel back to the past:

Via the excellent Uptown Almanac comes news of this anti-MUNI bumper sticker campaign:

Beej Weir with deets here and here.

“The bottom of the sticker reads: “ASSAULTING A PARKING CONTROL OFFICER IS A CRIME. SO DON’T GET CAUGHT.”- WACKO 1

As previously noted, harsh.

California Penal Code 241 — Assault, punishment. (“(b) When an assault is committed against the person of a parking control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a parking control officer, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

So much for “Good People, Tough Jobs.”

Longtime East Bay Resident and SFGate Advocacy Journalist CW Nevius ID’s Cable Car as a “Hyde Street Trolly”

Monday, January 6th, 2014

(You can take the boy out of the East Bay (and plop him in a SoMA condo), but you can’t take the East Bay out of the boy.)

Gentle Reader, consider CW Nevius and his most recent bit advocating for the oppressed white millionaire homeowners of Russian Hill – this time he’s acting at the behest of Supervisor Mark Farrell (R., District 2)

See that*? 

Click to expand

Now I think the word you’re looking for, CW Nevius, is trolley with an “e,” as in potatoe.

Except it aint a trolley, it’s a cable car.  To wit:

“…electric tram (streetcar), sometimes confused with a cable car.”

And the vehicle code section cited here is wrong:

“The problem, says Deputy City Attorney Buck Delventhal, is California Vehicle Code 21106.1…”

CW Nevius, if you’re going to take the trouble to cite a law, why not take the time to do it the right way? Do you feel overworked, CW? You shouldn’t. Moving on…

And there’s this:

“Stefani says Farrell’s office was unaware of the 1987 law…”

Uh, former law? Or former bill? Did the “law” sunset automatically? And was it ever signed by The Duke in the first place? I don’t think so actually.

You see, CW Nevius, what you should look at are the reasons why the millionaires’ efforts always fail. Try this on for size:

The streets of a city belong to the people of the state, and the use thereof is an inalienable right of every citizen, subject to legislative control or such reasonable regulations as to the traffic thereon or the manner of using them as the legislature may deem wise or proper to adopt and impose.’ … ‘Streets and highways are established and maintained primarily for purposes of travel and transportation by the public, and uses incidental thereto. Such travel may be for either business or pleasure…”

Nevius, why don’t you retire or go back to sports, srsly? Then you’d get replaced by somebody who would do your job better than you, right? Wouldn’t that be a win-win?

But before you do that, why don’t you fix this**`?

“Jose had been struck by a late-’90s, silver, four-door sedan as he stepped off the curb at Oak and Scott.”

“And the intersection of Fell and Scott, where Jose was hit, has consistently been described as one of the city’s most dangerous.”

Fin. 

*Looks like somebody is striking a pose on the crosswalk:

I’m a model you know what I mean
And I do my little turn on the  
Yeah on the catwalk on the crosswalk, yeah
I do my little turn on the crosswalk

**I actually believed The Neve on the Fell and Scott thing, so I was going to go out there a week or two later on a Tuesday night at around the same time on the theory that this was somebody coming home during the evening drive. But then I saw that the actual location was on Oak so now I think the driver isn’t on a commuting schedule. You know, I’ve got a Canon 5D, crank the ISO up to 25,600, use a simple 200mm 2.8 prime to see if I could see some damage and get a plate. I mean it might have been worth the effort.

The Cyclists of the 280 – Legally Riding Your Bike on “The Most Beautiful Freeway in the World,” San Mateo County

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Yes, the 280, the Junipero Serra, aka the Most Beautiful Freeway in the World.

Anyway, Brocephus here is using his bike on an onramp heading north.

And it’s legal. Check it:

Riding Your Bike on the Freeway in California: It’s Not as Illegal as You Might Think – As Here, on the 101 in Marin County

Click to expand

Enjoy!

Bicycle Fatality on the I-80 at University in Berkeley Raises the Question: Can You Ride a Bike on a Freeway?

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Consider this morning’s news:

Katie Utehs ‏@katieutehs2h - All lanes of eastbound 80 blocked for bicycle vs. collision at University. @ktvupic.twitter.com/iIHtmZJ8bw

Is it legal to ride a bike on the freeways  of California?

No, not on the very urbanized part in Berkeley I don’t think.

But bike riding is legal on other certain stretches of freeway.

The details:

“We’re not talking about temporarily closing down a freeway to cars on Father’s Day like they did in Pasadena a while back, to the horror of Rob Anderson.

And we’re not talking about an illegal bicycle romp in traffic the way the Crimanimalz do it on the 405.

We’re talking about you legally riding your bike on the right side of some of California’s 4000 miles of freeway.

Well, according to the California Department of Transportation, maker of melty orange and blue cupcakes, sí, se puede. Yes, you can ride your bike on about 1000 miles of California freeway.

Click to expand

For proof, check out this white sign in Marin County on the 101 South. You see? It says “BICYCLES MUST EXIT” so that means, assuming you didn’t ignore any ”Bicycles Prohibited” sign, it’s all good for you to be on this stretch of freeway. Q.E.D. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Here’s the CalTrans version:

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

And here’s the Vehicle Code:

21960.  (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
by order, ordinance, or resolution, with respect to freeways,
expressways, or designated portions thereof under their respective
jurisdictions, to which vehicle access is completely or partially
controlled, may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways,
expressways, or any portion thereof by pedestrians, bicycles or other
nonmotorized traffic or by any person operating a motor-driven
cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter.  A prohibition or
restriction pertaining to bicycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized
scooters shall be deemed to include motorized bicycles; and no
person may operate a motorized bicycle wherever that prohibition or
restriction is in force.  Notwithstanding any provisions of any
order, ordinance, or resolution to the contrary, the driver or
passengers of a disabled vehicle stopped on a freeway or expressway
may walk to the nearest exit, in either direction, on that side of
the freeway or expressway upon which the vehicle is disabled, from
which telephone or motor vehicle repair services are available.
(b) The prohibitory regulation authorized by subdivision (a) shall
be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are
erected upon any freeway or expressway and the approaches thereto.
If any portion of a county freeway or expressway is contained within
the limits of a city within the county, the county may erect signs on
that portion as required under this subdivision if the ordinance has
been approved by the city pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
1730 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(c) No ordinance or resolution of local authorities shall apply to
any state highway until the proposed ordinance or resolution has
been presented to, and approved in writing by, the Department of
Transportation.
(d) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section on or
after January 1, 2005, to prohibit pedestrian access to a county
freeway or expressway shall not be effective unless it is supported
by a finding by the local authority that the freeway or expressway
does not have pedestrian facilities and pedestrian use would pose a
safety risk to the pedestrian.

Riding Your Bike on the Freeway in California: It’s Not as Illegal as You Might Think – As Here, on the 101 in Marin County

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Now, we’re not talking about temporarily closing down a freeway to cars on Father’s Day like they did in Pasadena a while back.

And we’re not talking about an illegal bicycle romp in traffic the way the “Crimanimalz” do it on the 405.

We’re talking about you legally riding your bike on the right side of some of California’s 4000 miles of freeway.

Well, according to the California Department of Transportation, maker of melty orange and blue cupcakes, si, se puede! Yes, you can ride your bike on about 1000 miles of California freeway.

Click to expand

For proof, check out this white sign in Marin County on the 101 South. You see? It says “BICYCLES MUST EXIT” so that means, assuming you didn’t ignore any ”Bicycles Prohibited” sign, it’s all good for you to be on this stretch of freeway. Q.E.D. Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Here’s the opinion from  CalTrans:

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

And here’s the Vehicle Code:

21960.  (a) The Department of Transportation and local authorities,
by order, ordinance, or resolution, with respect to freeways,
expressways, or designated portions thereof under their respective
jurisdictions, to which vehicle access is completely or partially
controlled, may prohibit or restrict the use of the freeways,
expressways, or any portion thereof by pedestrians, bicycles or other
nonmotorized traffic or by any person operating a motor-driven
cycle, motorized bicycle, or motorized scooter.  A prohibition or
restriction pertaining to bicycles, motor-driven cycles, or motorized
scooters shall be deemed to include motorized bicycles; and no
person may operate a motorized bicycle wherever that prohibition or
restriction is in force.  Notwithstanding any provisions of any
order, ordinance, or resolution to the contrary, the driver or
passengers of a disabled vehicle stopped on a freeway or expressway
may walk to the nearest exit, in either direction, on that side of
the freeway or expressway upon which the vehicle is disabled, from
which telephone or motor vehicle repair services are available.
(b) The prohibitory regulation authorized by subdivision (a) shall
be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are
erected upon any freeway or expressway and the approaches thereto.
If any portion of a county freeway or expressway is contained within
the limits of a city within the county, the county may erect signs on
that portion as required under this subdivision if the ordinance has
been approved by the city pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section
1730 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(c) No ordinance or resolution of local authorities shall apply to
any state highway until the proposed ordinance or resolution has
been presented to, and approved in writing by, the Department of
Transportation.
(d) An ordinance or resolution adopted under this section on or
after January 1, 2005, to prohibit pedestrian access to a county
freeway or expressway shall not be effective unless it is supported
by a finding by the local authority that the freeway or expressway
does not have pedestrian facilities and pedestrian use would pose a
safety risk to the pedestrian.

See you out there. Stay safe!

Point-Counterpoint on the Recent Topic of Cycling’s “Golden Age”

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Didn’t realize the amount of snark that San Francisco Chronicle editorials can have. (Like this recent reference to the “shopping cart set,” for instance. Wow.)

Anyway, point-counterpoint, below.

Boy, this is a genius photo – the traffic lights are red and green at the same time, all Christmas-like. Signals at this intersection still need work.

Here we go:

Pull up at any busy intersection where bikes and cars meet, and it’s often a free-for-all.”

No it’s not. I realize this fits the format of an editorial but it all seems a bit clunky. Is lying allowed here?

“Drivers honk, shout and swerve into bike lanes.”

Well sure, sometimes, but not “at any busy intersection.”

“Riders are allowed the full use of driving lanes, the same as any vehicle.”

False, exactly false, actually. Here’s the rule: “Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…” There are some exceptions of course but bikes are not treated “the same as any vehicle” under CA law. Do editorialists have editors?

“The city’s network of lanes and suggested riding streets is little known…”

Uh, false? Little known, what?

“….one side-effect of an obstructionist lawsuit that delayed bike lane work for four years until this year.”

The City gambled and lost on CEQA. It took a judge about five minutes to agree that Our City was improperly horsing around with Environmental Impact Report laws. Could it be that CEQA itself is “obstructionist?”

San Francisco clearly wants to accommodate bike riding in a major way. But it must be accompanied by a recognition that bicyclists must follow the rules – and San Francisco police should be willing to enforce them.”

Now this bit here is tacked on at the end, all abrupt-like. So, drivers are allowed California stops in California, especially in San Francisco, as are cyclists, especially in San Francisco. There are reasons why SFPD cops generally don’t hand out tickets to cyclists. So attempting to change that, well, that’s going to take more than a half-assed, error-ridden editorial, right?

I’m think the “Golden Age” of cycling has more than a little to do with the rise of fixed-gear bikes. Talk to a bike store owner about the mountain bike craze – I’m saying I wouldn’t go extrapolating out too far into the future.

But Only Time Will Tell.

[MSM Sign-Off Mode = OFF]

MUNI Ought to Convert These Halfway Ped Fences on Market Street to Regular Fences – Peds Love to Jaywalk, Right?

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The poor cyclists of Market Street have to dodge slow-moving and unpredictable pedestrians at all times, irregardless of traffic signals. What’s the point of leaving holes in the pedestrian fences of Market Street if the bad peds are just going to walk right through?

Why not put in a proper fence and force the bad peds to use the crosswalks like everyone else? I mean, isn’t there supposed to be some bicycle revolution going on? So why do we have a fence that seems to be designed with a bunch of idling cars in mind?

Is the speed limit 10 MPH in this area? That’s too fast considering that some peds just jump into traffic without even pretending to look, like they own the place.

As seen camera left. See?

Click to expand

Poor cyclists!

The jay in jaywalking:

Def.2 a foolish or gullible person

Attention Pedestrians: Green Does Not Mean Go in San Francisco

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

The failings of the drivers of San Francisco are well-documented…

…but what about pedestrians - how are they doing?

Not well, based upon their behavior in the Financh and other nearby districts. Let’s take a look at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission‘s “Safety Toolbox: Common Violations for Pedestrian-Involved Collisions” for some help:

Common pedestrian-at-fault violations

Pedestrian Violation Outside Crosswalk 21954.A  Pedestrians Outside Crosswalks
Pedestrian Violation at Crosswalk 21950.B  Right-of-Way at Crosswalks
Pedestrian Violation of Signals 21451.C  Circular Green or Green Arrow21451.D  Circular Green or Green Arrow

21453.D  Circular Red or Red Arrow

21456.A  Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk

21456.B  Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk

21462.  Obedience to Traffic Control Signals

Jaywalking 21955.  Crossing Between Controlled Intersections
Pedestrian on Roadway 21956.  Pedestrian on Roadway

The problem is that lots of peds violate California Vehicle Code Section 21451(c) and 21456(a) without knowing it. That is, they routinely enter crosswalks immediately after their light turns green. That’s a no-no in CA unless you make sure that traffic has cleared the intersection first.

21451(c) A pedestrian facing a circular green signal… may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.”

“21456 Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DONT 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.”

Can a ped get a ticket for blocking a car? Yes, but I’ve never heard of it. Prices start at $108 - I’m sure that they can easily exceed that what with court fees and whatnot.

21451(c,d) Green Signal–Pedestrian Responsibilities $108.00

So, green does not mean go. Green means go after the intersection has cleared – this applies to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, everybody.

The real concern for pedestrians is them being held at fault after being hit by a vehicle. The issue turns on whether the driver entered into the intersection on a red light or not. When you encounter Third Street and Market, where cars need to travel 175+ feet to clear the intersection, extra vigilance is needed. The only thing keeping most pedestrians from immediately crossing on a green is a caravan a slowly moving cars trying to clear the intersection.

So you can continue living your life thinking that cars are running red lights at every busy intersection during every light cycle, or you can learn the PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK DUTIES in California.

Your choice, ped.

Belief in Ridiculous Handheld Cell Phone Law is California’s State Religion

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Oh how they’re mocking us in New York. Why? It’s ’cause of our stupid cell phone law (California Vehicle Code Section 23123), the one that’s not based on scientific study, the one that says there’s a great deal of difference between handsfree cell phone calls and regular old cell phone calls when driving. Are there powerful forces conspiring to prevent an outright ban on cell phone use for drivers? Yes.

Is the National Highway Safety Administration afraid to raise the issue of how it doesn’t matter if you use hands-free technology? Yes, pretty much.

You’re cold busted, legendary film producer Irwin Allen. After seeing this, my first impulse was to run up on you and do a Rambo, but then I realized that even if you had hands-free technology back in 1973, using it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway:

phone copy

(Yes, this is a Rolls Royce. Thanks for asking!)

Would Maria Shriver be safer with a hands-free connection when she yaks away behind the wheel? No.

Oh well.

Best Buy Sends a Parade of Electric Bikes Down San Francisco’s Market Street

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

This is how outbound Market Street appeared in San Francisco this morning as Best Buy sent a parade of expensive $2500 A2B electric scooters (the Worst Consumer Products of 2009) and also inexpensive E-Zip bikes up the street. E-Zips went for $350 last year at some Wal-Marts (not that I could tell, having never set foot in one) and now $500 (and up) at Best Buy.

E-Zip in the background, A2B in the foreground. Were there a dozen or so riders in this mini, corporate Critical Mass? Something like that:

IMG_0042 copy

Click to expand

What do you get for you $350? Well, you don’t get high tech batteries, that’s for sure. But that’s part of the reason why it’s cheaper than the obscenely overpriced A2B and the Trek Ride+, which is being tested out these days by some of San Francisco’s elected officials. Costco also has a few dogs in the e-bike hunt, upon occasion.

Will you say “Engine*, yes. Gas No”?

Only Time Will Tell.

*Not an actual “engine” – the marketing cookies of Best Buy mean motor, but oh well.