January 30, 2013

Is NoPa Being Wrongly Targeted With Reduced Parking/Traffic Lanes?

Citizen%20NoPa%20Flyer.jpg

Last night "Citizen NoPa" papered parked cars on the streets of NoPa in an attempt to rally new opposition to the proposed redesign of Masonic Avenue and loss of 167 on-street parking spaces, a redesign which was approved by the SFMTA last year and shouldn’t be catching any plugged-in people by surprise.

The flyer leads a NoPa resident who’s now starting to feel that her neighborhood is unfairly being targeted to wonder, "Is it right to reduce traffic lanes and parking and then also approve a new Target store in the same area?"

The construction work on said City Center CityTarget at the corner of Masonic and Geary has commenced and is currently slated for an October 2013 opening.

New Design For Masonic Avenue To Be Approved This Afternoon [SocketSite]
City Center CityTarget Officially Slated For October 2013 Opening [SocketSite]

First Published: January 30, 2013 3:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The SFMTA has approved the build-out of new parking spaces on Turk, near Masonic. Additionally, there are probably a half dozen parking lots at the upcoming City Target location. Come on, people, get your facts straight! The Masonic redesign is a good project for the future of the neighborhood. As a NoPa resident I look forward to the redesign.

Posted by: Bryan at January 30, 2013 3:13 PM

There was plenty of community outreach for both the Masonic changes and the new Target, most people in the neighborhood are in favor of both, which is why they have both been approved.

There's lots of parking available at the Target location, although it is chopped up a bit,

I live 2 blocks from Masonic and about 4 from the Target location and I'm looking forward to the changes!

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 30, 2013 3:20 PM

They should have just razed that entire shopping center.

Posted by: Joel at January 30, 2013 3:47 PM


I live south of the Panhandle on Ashbury, so this is of only slight interest to me, but honestly, if you live or your destination is near Masonic and Hayes or any of the flat portion of Masonic north to Fulton, you are a long way and a bit of an elevation gain from that Target. not to mention you may not be able to park there if you are not spending money there.

Posted by: redseca2 at January 30, 2013 3:57 PM

Parking is being eliminated all over the city to make way for bike lanes that are simply underutilized and cater to a very small demographic. Two blocks of Bosworth Street recently had parking removed for bike lanes. Glad to see someone is trying to do something but alas this is a losing battle...

Posted by: Willow at January 30, 2013 4:11 PM

I 100% support the masonic redesign. This stretch of road is by far the most dangerous in my 30+ mile commute. I can't count how many times I've seen pedestrians, bikes and cars almost get hit by cars making a left hand turn off masonic. Hopefully the redesign makes that permanently illegal. Next up will be those cars that like to make illegal left hand turns into Trader Joe's north of Geary. Baby steps.....

Posted by: k&l at January 30, 2013 4:13 PM

If you build it, they will come.....the bikers that is.

Posted by: Karl at January 30, 2013 4:16 PM

The SFMTA is being bullied and hijacked by the bike coalition people.

There needs to be balance. On street parking is still badly needed in many areas.

Posted by: futurist at January 30, 2013 4:19 PM

There are hardly any businesses along Masonic between Haight and Geary. The few that exist have free parking (Lucky) or ample parking on cross-streets.

I see tow trucks on Masonic nearly every morning removing cars during rush hour... so it seems we are already making due with one lane effectively closed (not to mention the back-ups caused by the unprotected left turns on Fell/Oak when passing through Panhandle Park).

If you want free parking, move to the suburbs.

Posted by: moz at January 30, 2013 4:26 PM

According to SFMTA, there are 281,700 on street parking space. Some of them are being converted to other purpose. But vast majority of the 281,700 spots will remain unchanged.

A road network is much more useful when they are well connected. This is clearly the case for Bosworth which is an important bike corridor that connects the southern part of the city to Mission and beyond. The utility of having a network that connect 2 part of the city is much more than 2 blocks of parking, which is a drop in the bucket from the overall stock.

http://www.sfmta.com/cms/rfact/documents/FactSheet12-19-12.pdf

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at January 30, 2013 4:39 PM

If you build it, they will come.....the bikers that is.

Posted by: Karl at January 30, 2013 4:44 PM

Hey, you voted for these local politicians, so when they take away your parking - and your paychecks - for their utopian schemes, it's your fault.

Posted by: unwarrantedinlaw at January 30, 2013 4:51 PM

"...This is clearly the case for Bosworth which is an important bike corridor that connects the southern part of the city to Mission and beyond."

Really? Sorry, but unless you have some sort of evidence to back up this statement it's really meaningless. I live in the neigborhood and don't see the bike lanes along this section of Bosworth utilized at all. They also appear to have been arbitrarily implemented because after those two blocks the street parking is preserved. Go figure!

Posted by: Willow at January 30, 2013 5:13 PM

A reader comments:

"The SFMTA is being bullied and hijacked by the bike coalition people.

There needs to be balance. On street parking is still badly needed in many areas."

We're in agreement. There needs to be balance. Which we'll get in our fair city when we have about a thousand times more bike lanes - a conservative estimate.

Posted by: Boojum at January 30, 2013 5:26 PM

Vast parking lots in the Target complex-- perhaps earmark 200 spots for residential monthly parking at a reasonable fee.I realize it's not Target's responsibility & it's not the same as free, but there's going to be unused parking on various levels & it could be a winning solution. Would be a reasonable amenity Target could offer in exchange for the increased traffic that should occur.

Posted by: Invented at January 30, 2013 5:48 PM

@futurist, et al

These changes have huge improvements for pedestrians and public transit, as well as local residents. It reduces speed, thus improving safety, adds a median to make the street more attractive and quieter, has bulb outs, reducing the distance and time pedestrians spend crossing the street. While it also has improvements for cyclists, it has many improvements for all parties, except those who just want to speed through the neighborhood.

Fortunately this project is already approved, can't wait to see it finished!

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 30, 2013 5:48 PM

Willow - One aspect about building out any sort of transportation infrastructure is that usage doesn't immediately ramp up. First of all as Wai Yip Tung indicates, you need a well connected network in order to attract people. We're still a long ways from connecting up destinations. Second, it takes time for people to be change modes.

In one case of exchanging street parking for bike lanes I recall a neighbor complaining that no bikes used that route. No big surprise there since lanes didn't exist yet and non-expert cyclists would feel uncomfortable on that street. This neighbor even sat on their porch one day and counted cyclists: 12 total!

The city worked to address the neighbors' street parking concerns and came up with a plan that resulted in a net loss of I think two parking spots. Then the lanes were installed.

I rode that route daily and saw no significant increase in bike traffic for several years. But then a decade later I counted on average 10-15 cyclists during the 15 minutes it took me to traverse that leg of the route alone. That is an enormous jump in ridership.

Have patience. Changes in a transportation infrastructure can take a long time before they have their desired effect. Not all bike lane additions have the immediate acceptance that the Valencia lanes exhibited.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 30, 2013 5:56 PM

Rather than what's proposed, it would have been nice to have a mixed-use complex built adjacent to the Masonic/Presidio underground light-rail or BART station. Alas, we have no such transit in place and never will.

Hey, move Trader Joe's in there and free up a lane of traffic on Masonic that is almost constantly blocked due to thrifty shoppers idling in their cars waiting (im)patiently to get a parking spot to pick up their case of $2.49 Chuck and overpackaged produce from Chile.

Posted by: Mark at January 30, 2013 6:20 PM

I agree...build it, transit that is, and they will come.

Posted by: Mark at January 30, 2013 6:22 PM

On street parking is still badly needed in many areas.

Which it wouldn't be if the Planning Dept. allowed builders to include the necessary amount of off-street parking spaces. What is so aggravating about all this is the inconsistency in policies. I'm all for eliminating on-street parking for bike lanes if we could compensate for the lost spaces by building more off-street parking. The city would be much easier and nicer to get around in.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at January 30, 2013 6:39 PM

Which it wouldn't be if the Planning Dept. allowed builders to include the necessary amount of off-street parking spaces.

You do realize most of the city still has parking minimums, not maximums? And that there are regularly Socketsite articles about builders who ask for exemptions to build LESS parking than mandated?

Of course street parking is "badly needed"! When the city offers parking permits for $100 a year, and the cost of a private space (whether for you or your car) is hundreds a month, of course the cheap kind is "badly needed" and the expensive kind not so much. But there's only so much public space, and maybe using such a huge portion of it for cheap car storage isn't the greatest use of the city's resources.

Posted by: Alai at January 30, 2013 6:56 PM

More about the self-entitled badly behaving cyclists:

One cyclist, recently in Noe Valley, a female not wearing a helmet, yelled at ME and gave me the finger after I called her out for running a stop sign and nearly running ME down while I was in the marked crosswalk. This happens ALL the time thruout
The City.

Another cyclist, riding at night about 8:30 pm on Brannan St. at 9th with NO lights or reflectors, nearly plows into my car, as I am crossing the green light legally. After honking my horn to alert him, he simply kept riding and yelled back to me: f**k you.

And don't start with me about bad drivers. Lots of them too. I'm talking cyclists right now and they are largely out of control.

Just two examples of many.

Posted by: futurist at January 30, 2013 7:28 PM

"it would have been nice to have a mixed-use complex built adjacent to the Masonic/Presidio underground light-rail or BART station. Alas, we have no such transit in place and never will."

Mark, Amen.

You must have just arrived - welcome to Mr Roger's Neighborhood. We build quaint and pretty surface transit here -not underground. No vision for Geary out to the Ocean -- no Van Ness, and on. Any serious city would create the infrastructure for the next gen -- we work from year to year, cautiously, and by committee.

If we're not going underground (yet), let's at least hope the surface transit is electric and silent.

Posted by: Invented at January 30, 2013 7:29 PM

"to alert him" riiiiiight.

Posted by: EH at January 30, 2013 7:42 PM

You are like a broken record futurist... Same old empty annecdotes

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 30, 2013 8:07 PM

I am going to do my level best stab at the template for the anti-car zealot:

I am rich, white, childless and from somewhere else. I may not even live here -- like the guy in charge of parking planning at the MTA, who lives in Berkeley. I have a set of stock phrases and lingo I picked up from a small but well-funded PETA-like zealot-heavy group called livable cities (sponsors the streets blog, is the lobbying group behind SFPark, etc) and none of those phrases ever EVER even pretend to speak to the genuine issues that the vast majority of voters (who also drive or have no problem with drivers) have stated over and over again with respect to the "transit 1st" boondoggle.

Issues such as hauling children around, driving for work, being old, needing your car, being BUSY -- etc etc etc.

There is a tone deafness to this (like all absolutist zealot groups), a preference for "preachy vinegar" over a "Well oiled Muni pot of honey" and a general arrogance that belies the overwhelming characteristic of these people: they have nothing to lose because their real-life experience is still in its infancy.

Posted by: Stucco_Sux at January 30, 2013 8:26 PM

Holy smokes! Someone was talking about parking ratios and they weren't frustrated urban planning students on socketsite?

Posted by: soccermom at January 30, 2013 8:34 PM

MOD: Who actually is being connected and served by all these bike lanes? I suspect it's the same folks that Stucco_Sux refers to in his post above. SF continues to be less diverse as a result unfortunately...A entire city that looks like Valencia St is going to be oh so boring.

Posted by: Willow at January 30, 2013 8:57 PM

I wonder how many people that "are only finding out about this issue by reading this flier" are recent transplants or USF students/faculty who only car about the neighborhood for about 8 hours, three days/week, for a few years. I drive down Masonic rather frequently during rush hour and the "rush hour" lanes are hardly used and residents just park in ther driveways. Also, didn't the mta do a parking survey in Nopa for the fell street lane project and learn that a majority of parked cars don't belong to local residents? Then the neighborhood voted down a residential permit zone? Citizen Nopa should have realized that if he wanted parking, he should have splurged his tech money on the $1m condo in the 'hood rather than the $800k one without it. Or at least visited the neighborhood once before the Sunday open house.

Posted by: Eugene at January 30, 2013 9:23 PM

@Willow,

From what I can see from the bicycle map, the Bosworth underpass is the key route for people from Glen Park and Excelsior to go to Mission and SOMA.

http://goo.gl/maps/N6W6v

If you don't see it being utilized much, I hope it will go up in the future. As this has happened in many of newly create bike routes. The other possibility people haven't been look at it long enough before making a comment and they underestimated the actual usage through the entire day.

People who concern about parking should really have more appreciation for the cyclists. If all of them give up their bicycle and buy a car instead, the parking situation will be far far worst. Let's thank a cyclist for making it easier for you to find parking.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at January 30, 2013 9:24 PM

@Stucco

Thanks for that fascinating description of the mythical anti-car zealot... but how is that relevant to this topic?

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 30, 2013 10:15 PM

You do realize most of the city still has parking minimums, not maximums?

Not the areas where they're trying to put the bike lanes and take away street parking.

Posted by: BobN at January 30, 2013 10:25 PM

"Not the areas where they're trying to put the bike lanes and take away street parking."

Like Masonic Street? The three blocks of Oak and Fell between Baker & Scott? Anywhere in "NoPa" at all?

Posted by: Alai at January 30, 2013 11:39 PM

a quick reminder to everyone about why we need more bike lanes -- its not for today -- it is for 2 decades from now -- that is how city planning has to think -- infrastructure changes occur over decades -- and in 2-3 decades we are going to have MANY more people in this city. If they all brought cars, we would have Manhattan like solid grid-lock. it would be unlivable. This is why city planner understand the need for a transit first approach which starts moving people to use bikes and transit more than cars -- its the only way to fit more folks onto the existing road infrastructure (cars take up too much space).

So yes, if you have a short term view, some of the decisions don't make sense -- but if you follow short term ideas, you end up with a broken city.

Bike lanes are one of the big growth areas for non-car transit because they are a cost-effective approach for the city -- some paint on the road is much cheaper than adding new bus lines (though that is being worked on too).

Ever tried to drive through downtown during rush hour? It sucks. Would you like the city to be like that all the time? I doubt it. So, if you want a city where you can actually get around 20 years from now, start thinking about how you could use your car less.

Posted by: BigV at January 31, 2013 12:07 AM

WRONG- There is no evidence that bike lanes will take up the slack for lack of investment in public transportation, for the majority of people when asked would desire more and better public transit options FIRST. There is no evidence that "mode shift" will take place after the bike lanes network is in place, I repeat, NO evidence, either from the SFMTA fact sheet (up .13% in 11 years for bike usage) or any other source not associated with the bike coalition, and they take no account of the children, the elderly and those who have restricted mobility. Bike lanes are a POOR attempt by the SFMTA to reduce creating and building additional PUBLIC TRANSIT. I can think of no American west coast city better suited towards an expansion of public transportation, and yet we are being held hostage by 3.5% of the street users (bike journeys).

The idea being floated by some here about how making car ownership so difficult it will force people on to bikes is basically holding the MAJORITY of the city hostage to the obnoxious bike coalition. The SFMTA states the "Bicycle Program's Vision is to make San Francisco the North American city with the highest per-capita bicycle use " so they feel the best way to accomplish this is by removing parking?

Posted by: BetterTransitNow at January 31, 2013 5:03 AM

Not the areas where they're trying to put the bike lanes and take away street parking.

Um, all of NoPa has parking minimums.

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2013 6:56 AM

@BetterTransitNow
actually, bike ridership has increased by over 70% in the last few years as the new bike lanes have gone in. People really are using them.

And I NEVER intended to say that it is bikes vs. transit. I agree, transit is the way to go for many folks, and the city is launching on a big review of Muni -- which is the key step to any major overhaul -- what I was saying is that it is cheap in comparison so there is strong support as a fast and easy way to start changing how people get around.

And they really do! People really do use there bikes ALOT more. There are traffic jams in the bike lanes during rush hour. If you have been around this city long enough, the change is obvious.

Also, it is not like we are the only city to experiment with this. All throughout the world there are cities that have put in good biking infrastructure and seen great improvements in bike usage.

Posted by: BigV at January 31, 2013 7:53 AM

@ Moz "If you want free parking, move to the suburbs."

Geeze this gets tiring. "Move to the suburbs" seems to be the response to any and every issue raised. Don't like street people, "move to the suburbs". Don't like violent crime, "move...". Don't like naked people...Don't like the free flow of "poo and pee"..

I was born and raised here and don't plan to move anywhere, yet we have a right to express our opinion. More than likely you Mos are a carpetbagger. Don't like parking? Maybe you should move back to Manhattan!

Posted by: You Move Instead at January 31, 2013 9:26 AM

@BetterTransitNow,

Let get some facts clear up. First of all you said bike usage is up .13% in 11 years. I believe you get this figure from page 3 of the SFMTA fact sheet. The correct number is 1.2%, not .13%. That's the absolute increase in transportation mode. Percentage-wise it has increased 57%, the largest increase in all mode.

You question whether implementing bicycle program's vision should be done by removing parking? My comment is, in some cases, yes obviously. Not only is removing parking necessary to for adding some bike lane. It is also necessary for many transit improvement. The Van Ness and Geary BRT and in some TEP proposals for adding transit only lane all requires replacing street parking for transit. Hyperbolic reaction aside, this move is actually very rational. We need to meet the increasing mobility demand, especially in downtown area and in many arterial roads. Using arterial road for storage (aka parking) is very inefficient use of valuable and limited space. We prioritize the corridors for mobility. Parking means using the real estate for storage. It will be a big waste if prime real estate is used for storage. So it is better moved to other less demanding space that make up of the on the bulk of the 281,700 spots.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at January 31, 2013 9:51 AM

And to echo a point that Wai Yip Tung made earlier, priority for use of street space should always go to transportation first. Other uses like parking, landscaping, parklets, etc. should only be allowed if the street is already capable of meeting all traffic demands of all modes, including pedestrian and cycling.

Parking can be moved anywhere, even into underground silos if that is what is required. Transportation on the other hand must be supported continuously between points A and B. If a link is broken anywhere along the path then the network is broken.

In particular for cyclists if you have a two mile route along a busy street that has nice bike lanes all the way then it works great. But if the street narrows for a few blocks, dropping the bike lane and requiring cyclists to ride in the center of a shared lane to stay clear of parked cars then the network is broken for all but the most experienced and brave cyclists.

In that case if removing street parking along that narrow stretch to create a bike lane negatively impacts the commerce and vitality of the area then a parking lot or garage can always be created off the street to replace the lost street parking. You cannot do that anywhere near as easily by routing the bike lane off the street.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 31, 2013 10:38 AM

I'm glad others are talking about the bully Bike Coalition people who continue to hold the SFMTA hostage.

Biking here will always be for a very small percentage of people; mostly, young, male and white.

When they reach their 30's or early 40's most of them (not all) will begin to settle down, get a job with a decent income to be able to afford owning property (instead of sleeping in someones closet) start a family with a partner and yes: wait for it! transition to owning a car and using it.

The hills and the rain and cold are a bitch when you have to haul groceries from Whole Foods and haul the little kiddies on the bike as well.

Life goes on.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 10:45 AM

@futurist - I'm quite sure that I make a lot more than you, have no car, no intention getting one (though I do wish there were more taxis here), and ride a bike fairly often - wait for it - with my wife to and from our owned property (both here and in Vancouver, BC).

Pretty sure that you're living in the 70s or something, where anyone with the means is just lusting after a tasty car.

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2013 10:55 AM

Well, anon. Not sure exactly what you mean. Looks like you just decided to make this into a pissing contest as to who makes more $$ than whom.

Huh?

It's great that you ride a bike. And it's fine that you don't own a car, or ever wish to buy one. Great! So what? Do I smell some holier than thou coming from your voice?

Yes, that may be the problem.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 11:10 AM

wow, futurist managed to be patronizing, overly simplistic and unwittingly funny all in 10 small lines.

The last time I took the SFMTA hostage is when I broke my derailleur with the fully packed 14 breathing down my neck as the light was turning green. Good times...

Posted by: lol at January 31, 2013 11:12 AM

In your dreams futurist. If you think that the SFBC or any of the other similar orgs around the bay area wield that amount of influence then you're delusional.

The SFMTA and other streets agencies are required to listen to citizen input but they have no legal requirement to act on those suggestions. That doesn't mean that advocacy organizations can't point out where the SFMTA is not following legal mandates from other organizations like our elected representatives that do have legal influence. It also doesn't mean that the MTA and BoS cannot come to the conclusion that we need better bike infrastructure on their own.

As for your predictions of the future, you ought to visit one of the cycling intensive cities and see for your self that older people, parents, and non whites also bike.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 31, 2013 11:17 AM

@futurist - holier than thou? No. I don't care what other folks do.

I was only responding to your notion that anyone who bikes must not be an adult or make any money.

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2013 11:27 AM

Let's hope futurist's vision will not come true, that is all cyclists will transition to car when they reach 30 and 40. That will make parking so much harder for everyone.

Don't forget to thank a cyclist for helping on parking by dampening the demand.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at January 31, 2013 11:31 AM

I am amazed to hear all the stereotypes about who is riding bikes in this city. My husband and I are a 30-and 40-something, two-career, two-kid family, and we don't own a car. Our son is now old enough that he's in elementary school. Every weekday morning we meet up with over a dozen families in his class who ride with their kids to school. Family bikers are pretty much the only bikers I know. (I am, of course, aware that there are young hipsters riding bikes in the Mission, but I don't see them on our daily rounds much.) Like half the families on bikes at our son's school, we've conquered the hills with a pedal-assist on our kid-and-grocery-hauling bikes--which is pricey by bike standards but laughably cheap in comparison to buying a car. (Did I mention that we live on Mt. Sutro?) Every morning on our commute I see dozens of other families like ours going to other schools, and at preschools along our route, as well as our own, I see parents locking up their bikes at drop-off.

I am immensely grateful to San Francisco for making our trips easier by adding more protected bike lanes. We would ride everywhere in the city with safer routes. As it is, we sometimes have to take some unpleasant detours and once a month or so we rent a car through City CarShare because many streets aren't safe enough to ride with our kids on deck. But when it finally happens, there will be far more families like us. And everyone else will have a much easier time parking their cars even if there are fewer spaces than before. Surely this is a win-win?

Posted by: sfparent at January 31, 2013 11:41 AM

The degree of civic whining that goes on in SF, along with the requisite telling of the life story which is oh so inspiring is just so exhausting!

Why does everyone here feel the need to present a thesis in opposition to every change proposed.
Is your life really going to be ruined by this?

Posted by: Bob at January 31, 2013 12:08 PM

Yes, like SFParent and many others can support, biking IS for everyone, or all ages and income levels. My family is also a very bike intensive family. We have a car, but almost never use it -- mainly for going on trips out of the city to the rest of the bay area.

I commute all year long, rain or shine, by bike. Its not that hard with the right gear. And I'm not young anymore either.

concerning income: Amongst my friends, biking and income are inversely related -- my wealthier friends are more likely to be avid bikers -- because they can afford to live in expensive dense urban areas where biking makes more sense than driving. It is the less wealthy friends, who move out to the suburbs, who are the least likely to ride a bike.

Posted by: BigV at January 31, 2013 12:12 PM

futurist, are you sure you actually live in San Francisco? maybe it's Denver or Portland, or somewhere in the midwest. This city you frequently describe doesn't resemble the SF I know.

At my small office the most frequent cyclists are 2 asian males in their 40s, one married with a kid, the other single, and a white woman in her 30s, married with children.

I see people of all races, genders, and ages cycling just about every day.

And I'm still not clear why you think this is a cyclist only improvement, the main proponent was the Fix Masonic group, and the cycling improvements are only a fraction of the scope of the project. Is it that any change that has any improvement for cycling is by this Bike Mafia that you seem so afraid of?

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 12:32 PM

I would like to echo Wai Yip Tung. Too many people stereotype those on bicycles as young, unmarried, and childless. My wife and I are in our 40's, have a child, are married, own property in the city, and ride our bikes to school, work, and errands. I too support the city adding more bicycle infrastructure as it makes it safer for us and our daughter.

We ride bikes because they're a lot cheaper than operating a car and happens to be faster to our daughter's school than driving. The city's bike infrastructure has expanded the areas where we will ride, but there are still some parts of the city were it doesn't make sense to do so.

Masonic is crapstatic for any mode except cars. If there were bike lanes, I would happily ride to Trader Joes or the JCC from our house in the upper Haight. As it stand now, I take the bus or drive, because I wouldn't dream of riding on that road with my daughter (or even myself). If this is fixed, you'll see many more people using it, just like on Arguello.

Posted by: gneiss at January 31, 2013 12:32 PM

I happened to do my grocery shopping by bike at TJ's on Masonic 2 weeks ago, heading back to the 94114. Both heavy baskets full. I probably used up one of my 9 lives on that trip. The biggest issues were cars zooming by, cars double-parked, cars making crazy left turns, and cars protesting that I was on "their" way.

I stopped owning a car 6 weeks ago. It was collecting dust and my butt was collecting fat. Time to prioritize. Cycling seems like a good trade off, especially when you're into your 40s. I have 12 zip cars to pick from less than 2 blocks away when I have to use one.

It's a good thing I have the option (and knees in OK shape).

Posted by: lol at January 31, 2013 12:49 PM

@ You Move Instead

You got my point exactly. That IS the response to every complaint on this forum. Especially when worthless tenants like me dare to express our opinions about ridiculous rents, inflated property values supported by Prop 13, etc.

It's always "everyone wants to live in SF" & "you have to pay a premium for culture and transit" & "tech money is here to stay" and blah blah blah.

I moved here from TX many years ago so I understand car culture, probably more than you ever will. I've endured photochemical smog worse than anything in LA, been run off the road while riding a bike in my Houston neighborhood, and watched people siphon/steal gas because they couldn't afford to buy enough to get to work (most places in TX are totally inaccessible without a car).

I got rid of my car a year after moving here because it doesn't make sense to have one in SF and I didn't want to pay $300/mo for a garage spot (or move it weekly for street cleaning). I didn't campaign to have street cleaning stopped so I could leave my precious car in a free spot.

This NOPA flyer is ridiculous and you know it. Removing the parking spots on Masonic to improve eco-friendly transit options will not harm anyone except those who feel entitled to free parking.

If you don't like carpetbaggers on your turf, then move to the suburbs. ;-)

Posted by: moz at January 31, 2013 1:00 PM

WalkSF was also a strong supporter of the Masonic project.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 1:01 PM

The Bosworth lanes were very important, and they are used plenty. That stretch between Arlington and Alemany was a disaster before. Alemany is a key route to a large chunk of the city with bike lanes and get plenty of usage.

Most of the time they look empty. The Bay Bridge is not the size it is because of capacity needs at 12 PM, it is for capacity at peak. There is enough usage at peak to justify the lane.

Talk of fixing transit first is important - but investing in bike infrastructure is great towards that end if we get any mode shift. Every person who is on a bike is not stretching MUNI's capacity or causing road congesting and blocking a bus - if someone drives they cause congestion on roads that have not been "screwed up" by a bike lane too.

You can argue that the mode shift won't happen, but it is completely ignorant to claim that a mode shift to bikes would not be positive - it is just so much cheaper to move people on a bike than a car.

And we have definitely achieved that mode shift. There is no comparison between 1998 when I started riding around SF and today. This mode shift is more pronounced *outside* of the stereotype advanced by the anti-bike brigade. More women, more older people, and escorted or tandemized children.

I also dispute the assertion that someone who is riding a bike now in their youth will give that form of transport up. That's old thinking. The younger people riding bikes now are choosing to do so for reasons beyond "can't afford a car" and those are the reasons that stick.

All the money in the world will not make the 38 Geary fly over the car in front of it, but if we can remove the car in front of it, the 38 moves. And painting bike lanes is a lot cheaper than digging subway tunnels or buying buses or hiring drivers.

Posted by: John Murphy at January 31, 2013 1:09 PM

I'm a homeowner in my 50's and I bike commute. We have a car as well, for groceries, out of town trips, and late nights, but we put only about 3000 miles a year on it, mostly from long trips. Bike lanes help our household use just one car, instead of two as we did in the past. Can't wait for continued improvements in bike lanes.

Posted by: Dan at January 31, 2013 1:57 PM

I live near Masonic in a property I own, have a car and two children, and have to park on the street, and I fully support this project even though it will make parking more difficult for me and for my wife. We do need a balance in this city, and we're not there yet. We need better transit and bikeways that do not require bravery to use. Masonic is dangerous the way it is and needs these changes!

Posted by: NOPA resident at January 31, 2013 2:05 PM

I notice how my so called "anecdotes" about bad cyclists behavior are quickly swept away,and not discussed. I suspect a lot of good cyclists are simply embarrassed by what I described. Remember, they were actual events.

And I suspect the other group of arrogant, law breaking cyclists will simply add to the conversation and say f**k you and ride off.

Very little is discussed here or other forums about their behavior. The standard line, very tired, is this: "well, what about all the bad drivers..?" Of course, that's true too. But the bad cyclists behavior discussion quickly goes silent.

And yes, one more time, for those who don't or won't read: I said: most, not all cyclists: and I said "mostly" referring to demographics.

I support safe, respectful biking in The City. I support bike lanes when done appropriately, still allowing for vehicle traffic to move safely and smoothly. I do not support outrageous, arrogant, bad, cyclists behavior.

We need bicycle licensing, insurance and REQUIRED lights and reflectors front and back.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 2:18 PM

Hi futurist, in addition to driving, I also use a bike and walk, and have thought about bad cyclists, bad drivers, bad/rude pedestrians, and I can say with 100% confidence that out of all the close calls and crashes I've experienced, that bad cyclists are much less of a concern. Even when driving, the people that scare me the most or cause the most close calls are far and away are bad drivers. At most, bad cyclists have been annoying, but they don't scare the crap out of me like bad drivers or cause me to fear that I may end up in a crash that sends my wife or kids to the hospital. Bad drivers have sent me, my cousin, my dad, and my sister to the hospital on separate occassions, and someone else I cared about to the grave.

Bad cyclist suck, but focusing on them is ignoring the elephant in the room.

Posted by: NOPA resident at January 31, 2013 2:29 PM

Futurist......your anecdotes are overlooked because they are exactly that. You described two or three examples, when we have a 1000 bikers a day commuting. Those percentages are not too bad if you ask me. And of course you are going to have a few bad bikers, we have all seen them. I'm a biker and I see those idiots from time to time. Does that mean, we ignore the hundreds of other bikers that are safe and respectful? Do we always need to manage to the lowest level? What about the idiot drivers and pedestrians. Let's not use a few bad apples to distort this picture. For every bad biker, I can find 10 doing the right thing.

Posted by: karl at January 31, 2013 2:41 PM

I suspect the reason Pro-free-parking people think of the cyclist community as white and afluent is because that's whom the see advocating. Cycling the streets, especially the most dangerous, commercial, industrial, or rural roads are also a huge number of less afluent cyclists squeeking along on the best vehicle they can afford. They need the bike to get to work. Check the back rooms of restuaurants and you will see the cooks' and busboys' bikes. Safe cycling access throughout the city isn't an entitled cause- it is a critical access issue.

Posted by: Dan at January 31, 2013 2:56 PM

I do not support outrageous, arrogant, bad, cyclists behavior, either. It irritates me to see traffic law being widely disregarded. I think there is a big cultural issue that need to be addressed.

But how does this have to do with the Masonic plan specifically and bike infrastructure improvement in general? There all looks like good planning to me. Good bike infrastructure is also important to draw female and families riders to address the gender gap you allure to.

To give another counter example to your stereotype. I started full time bike commuting in my 40s. I also own a car and I use it regularly. I walk a lot. To round that up I use Muni a few times a month. This and other comments should give people a sense of the diverse transportation need of the inhabitants.

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at January 31, 2013 3:01 PM

Yes, some cyclists are unsafe and rude. It is a problem and most cyclists disdain that behavior.

But what does that have to do with expanding infrastructure like this? Should all cyclists should be punished for the misdeeds of a minority?

As far as the ratio of crazy/wild/dangerous/rude cyclists to curious/safe/sane cyclists I think things have become better as the infrastructure is built out and allows timid riders to feel comfortable on the road. Does anyone remember what it was like in the 1980s when bike messenger culture dominated the streets? There were hardly any bike lanes back then so only the crazy or brave were cycling the streets. It was worse back then.

Open the door for every man and woman to ride a bike and you'll see behavior improve overall.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 31, 2013 3:16 PM

Hi NOPA resident - lights and reflectors are required by law, and I know cyclists who have been fined for not having them on their bicycle.

As for carrying insurance, I already do - it's called 'unisured motorist insurance' I get it with my car insurance and it's to provide me with covereage when a motorist hits me and can't pay out enough to cover my medical bills, etc. Most insurance companies wouldn't bother with liability insurance for cyclists, because the rates would be laughably low. How often do you think cyclists cause property damage to vehicles that they can't pay out of pocket?

Posted by: gneiss at January 31, 2013 3:17 PM

Nice distraction, futurist. When cornered move to another playground...

But I'll bite. I am also pretty annoyed by the lack of respect for traffic rules by many many of my fellow cyclists. Simply stand 2 minutes at the corner of 12th and Market at 9AM and count the numerous red lights being run. This light is especially useless, but it is here nonetheless. (I always catch up the lazy red light runners @ Van Ness, lol).

The same cyclists put inside a car would always stop at that red light. Yet when cycling the "I pick my own rules" attitude applies. Not that I am perfect myself, au contraire.

Now if a registration system with a visible bike ID, or an RFID was set up, this would maybe make cyclist a bit more conscious that they need to adjust to the outside world.

As cyclists, we want respect, and we deserve much more than we have now, but at the same time we need to earn it. If we are really full fledged vehicles, then rules will apply even if means adding 2 minutes to the commute.

Posted by: lol at January 31, 2013 3:18 PM

@NOPA Resident: Bad cyclist crashed into my then 6-yr old son in GGP on a Sunday of all days. We ended up in the Emergency room luckily with no major injuries.

I live in the neighborhood, my property has no garage, so as of right now I'm passionately against new biking lanes, parking restrictions etc. Of course when I build my garage and get used to having it, I'm sure I'll become very bike friendly. Or not...

Posted by: grove_cole at January 31, 2013 3:25 PM

Nope, Karl. Those were two events that I described that occurred last week. Just last week. One has to watch diligently every day, every hour when entered a crosswalk legally, across Valencia St. from about 27th until Duboce Ave. That's just one street.

Every day.

But this is not a distraction, lol. It's a PART of the discussion dealing with making our city more bike friendly, and safer for pedestrians as well.

I'm happy to give cyclists respect and a voice in our transpo systems. But they need to earn it, as lol says.

But many, IMO, don't want to earn, nor do they give a rats ass.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 3:31 PM

@gove_cole - car drivers maim, kill, and injure people every day. Living on my street which has a hill at the top, half a block from a school, drivers routining roll through it sometimes at 5-10 mph. I would argue they have certainly not 'earned' the right to our streets. If you want to make steets safer, reduce the dominance of cars, not cyclists.

Posted by: gneiss at January 31, 2013 3:37 PM

I notice how my so called "anecdotes" about bad cyclists behavior are quickly swept away,and not discussed.

Why do you have the word anecdotes in quotes? That's exactly what they are.

Your anecdotes are ignored because they are of little value as evidence, from wikipedia:

"Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted only in lieu of more solid evidence. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims."

and

"Because of the small sample, there is a larger chance that it may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases."

Further, your anti-bike bias is obvious, so what little value there is in anecdotal evidence goes right out the window when it comes from you. The only folks that pay any attention to it are those who share your bias.

You continually ignore statistic and fact based evidence, and then whine when people ignore your worthless anecdotes.

Remember, they were actual events.

So what if they were actual events? All you've shown is that there some a-holes on bikes, which everybody already knows, just like we all know there are a-holes in cars.

Very little is discussed here or other forums about their behavior... the bad cyclists behavior discussion quickly goes silent.

I see a lot more discussion here about about bad cyclists than drivers. Discussion about drivers almost only ever comes up because somebody, usually you, starts bashing cyclists. If you want to ignore bad drivers, don't be surprised when people ignore your frequent repetitive diatribes against cycling.

I said: most, not all cyclists: and I said "mostly" referring to demographics.

Right, so you are "mostly" wrong, not all wrong.

I support safe, respectful biking in The City.

Exactly what does this "support" from you consist of? You are outraged by the slightest violation by a cyclist, but seem to ignore the numerous illegal actions conducted by drivers, which result in far more harm.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 3:52 PM

SFPD set up a sting at Geary and 22nd a few weeks ago to catch folks not stopping at the crosswalk. I did see a couple bikers pulled over there, so not sure what futurist means about laws not being enforced. Of course, for every bike pulled over it was at least 50 cars...I literally saw at least 200 cars pulled over for not stopping at the crosswalk, over the course of about 3.5 hours. That's insane (and astoundingly dangerous).

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2013 3:55 PM

Thanks grove_cole for your comments. Sorry about your little boy being hit by a cyclist. I hope he is doing ok.

I'm sure we all remember the cyclist that flew thru the amber/red light last year at Castro and Market and killing a pedestrian. It does happen. And that cyclist seemed hardly apologetic. I wonder what the status of that case is. Very little of that tragic event was discussed by the cycling community. Over at Streetsblog they gave it a few comments and soon thereafter buried it in old news.

Typical.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 4:13 PM

I'd love to see some outrage from other drivers on stuff like this:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-s-dubious-No-1-traffic-deaths-injuries-2462290.php

Even on a per-mile driven basis SF has the most dangerous drivers in the state. Almost 4000 people killed or maimed by drivers in 2009 alone. I'd like to see futurist show a little bit of outrage for these dastardly drivers and the pain that they're inflicting on our city.

Posted by: anon at January 31, 2013 4:21 PM

More than a few times, I have seen 49er fans and Giants fans drunk in public, knocking things over, and getting into ugly shouting matches and fights, sometimes sending people to the hospital. When I was 6 at my first game at the Stick, a drunk spilled beer all over me. Now I can't stand anything or anyone associated with the Giants or 49ers.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone smoke pot illegally in public. I find it very annoying that they break the law and now cannot stand anyone associated with pot.

I've been hit, sent to the hospital, cursed and honked at, cut off, you name it by drivers, but that's ok, because I'm a driver too and I get it.

Posted by: Logic at January 31, 2013 4:37 PM

@futurist

I wonder why you didn't send your condolences to the guy above who has been hit by cars, and many members of his family have been hit by cars... what could it be?

I also wonder why you don't comment on the other 2 deaths that happened in San Francisco around the same time as the cyclist killing the woman, one by a driver who's excuse was that he didn't know a leg cast would impair his driving ability.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/05/three-pedestrian-deaths-elicit-varied-reactions-san-francisco

Or the many other deaths caused by drivers since then.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 4:51 PM

@futurist

I mostly agree with you. Cars are a major form of transportation and people do use them. To design a city as if they don't exist or are going away soon is insane and a case of people not living in reality.

I'm a cyclist and a driver but I have some (non obvious) health issues that often make cycling problematic at times. I'm lucky because I can afford to Uber a few times a week. But the belief that cycling is for everyone is flat out alienating to a significant population in this city and unappealing to many more. And the public transit here is terrible and smelly and it takes forever, if it comes at all.

The situation as I see it:

-We are getting rid of a ton of parking spots on the street, but as far as I know, outside of mission bay, there are no new large garages being built to fill in the need for parking.

-Public transit is terrible and is not going to get much better for a while.

-Biking is the best way forward, except you can't take bikes on Bart during rush hour, a significant fraction of the population can't bike and another chunk just won't. And it sometimes rains here.

-There aren't enough taxis.


The solutions really are obvious:

-Dedicated bike lanes/streets with separate signaling and well marked intersections when merging with auto traffic.

-Build a few parking garages in the busy commercial districts to get cars off the streets.

-BRT with traffic light priority so the bus takes less time than a car. And cleaner busses with strict enforcement of litter laws and public decency. And if you feel my bus is a substitute for a spittoon, I get to punch you.


Everyone gets something that's better than before. The problem with much current policy seems to be that it's based upon hating cars more than it is about improving the system.


Posted by: frog at January 31, 2013 5:19 PM

i'm white affluent in my 30s and cycle a lot. I do not think cycling will ever reach 10% in terms of mode of transportation for commuters. for those saying we are planning for 20+ yrs from now, I can't see what cycling has to do with that. Creating an east to west subway or above ground train makes sense, but we shouldn't get too carried away with bike lanes. I also don't think car usage will go down very much in SF over the next 10yrs or so. Taking away easy access for cars will hurt the sf economy and small local businesses in particular . Of course, target will be OK with its massive parking lot, but what about smaller furniture stores, grocery stores (like rainbow), etc?

there are a lot of bad cyclists and bad drivers. the cyclists (like myslef) are more like annoying gnats but bad drivers are much more dangerous. I think more frequent driving tests are important and I think all cyclists should be required to be licensed and to register their bikes and be insured.

One other cyclist note. Wearing headphones while cycling in the city is dangerous and should be illegal. do people really think that is safe?

On another note, there are quite a few parents on here talking about commuting with your kids. I have noticed some things tht are very concerning to me as a parent. DO parents really think it is safe to ride their infants/toddlers 1-3 yr olds in those seats on the front or back of the bike? I don't and honestly think this should be illegal as it is child endangerment. Maybe you are a safe cyclist, but if you fall or a car hits you, your kid is going to be very seriously injured or worse. I also see skiers in tahoe with infants on their back and think the same thing. Even if youre an expert skier, there are a lot of idiots on the mountain who are out of control. if they hit you, your kid is in trouble.

Does anyone else find this as troubling as i do?

Posted by: spencer at January 31, 2013 5:25 PM

@ Spencer and frog: Bold comments and honest comments. I thank you for that.

I too agree that cycling will NEVER reach 10% of our population. It's a good alternative, as I have said many times before for a small, unique part of the population. Great for them. They should absolutely be licensed and insured.

Our city needs to create the BEST public transit in the nation. It's possible but we don't have the leadership in place to do it.

The anti-car, car hating rhetoric is old stuff here. It mostly comes from the young, white male arrogant cyclists. They need to grow up.

And what about the cylists who talk on their cell phone while biking? How stupid and dangerous is that? And yea, its just as stupid and dangerous for drivers, AND it's illegal but rarely enforced. Make it illegal for cyclists as well.

I agree completely with Spencer about these young, mostly affluent parents hauling their very small kids around in a bike cart, or on the back seat. Seriously dangerous. What parent in their right mind would take their kid down Valencia St. in that traffic? A tragedy waiting to happen I fear. I find that practice very troubling as well.

Thanks for your comments.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 5:39 PM

@spencer

Most serious injuries to children going to or from school is from cars of other parents hitting them. Cars are the number 1 cause of death for Children:

"Nearly a million children worldwide die every year as a result of unintentional injuries, and the biggest killer is traffic accidents, according to a report from the World Health Organization."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98055567

Fear is rarely rational, people tend to be most afraid of the things that are least likely to happen. An example: planes are much safer than cars, but you rarely hear about people being afraid of riding in a car.

It is no more dangerous to be in a car than on a bike.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 5:42 PM

@futurist

"... cell phones... Make it illegal for cyclists as well"

It already is. But I'm sure you won't let facts get in the way of your complaints!

Can you provide any real evidence to support any of your claims?

It's interesting you bring up public transit in this thread, because one of the major improvements to masonic will be to improve the 43, one of the popular cross town routes. As I've mentioned numerous times, cycling improvements are only a small part of this plan.

Oh... and by the way, I drive to work every day, haven't ridden a bike in over 2 years, am in my late 30s, and african american.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 5:59 PM


I'm not sure what random death rates due to cars have to do with anything. A lot of countries have a lot of people spending a lot of time in cars. So that's where people die.

If we were all on bikes, then fewer people would be killed in cars.

I'm sure in Thailand, a lot of people are killed in tuk tuks, but in this country very few are.

And I'm unlikely to drown since I've never commuted on a boat.

Cars are a facet of this country's infrastructure, as are bikes, and busses. We can make them all play together nicer and try to make them all safer, but this shouldn't be a morbid competition about which is killing more people and is therefore the more evil competition.

We should of course be making those comparisons about oil usage. But in that case, cars don't do as poorly as many people think. And you can find at least one study looking at efficiency of the human body that concludes that driving in some cases might use less fuel than a meat eating cyclist. It was a bad study. But then again, many studies that are quoted are quite bad.

Posted by: frog at January 31, 2013 6:02 PM

@ lyqwyd: my deepest, most humble apologies for committing a grievous sin here on SS in not knowing ALL of the traffic codes currently in place. When does the public flogging begin?

Ok, then let's enforce the no cell phone talking with cyclists as well. Happy now?

But I'm not gonna deal with "proving" to you or anyone as to what I see on a daily basis with cyclists. Take my word or not. Up to you.

BUT! it is MUCH more dangerous to be on a bike, esp here in SF than in a car. Ok, prove to us that it's not.

Now, stop with the chip on your shoulder. Relax. Enjoy the dialogue.

I am.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 6:55 PM

Chris Bucchere was charged with a felony. Last time I checked, Bucchere had plead not guilty and a preliminary hearing was pending.

Posted by: Sal Zigtal at January 31, 2013 7:55 PM

And I hope he gets a few years in prison for committing this heinous felony, on his bike.

Posted by: futurist at January 31, 2013 8:43 PM

@Spencer, Here's a suggestion: If you think cyclists with kids in tow are 'troubling' to you, then why don't you stay the hell off the road if you feel you're a danger to us?

@Futurist, jumping from irrelevant topic to irrelevant topic is the hallmark of frequent SFGate commenters with no life. Thanks for taking part in the above discussion by playing your role of today's SFGate troll. I continue to be amazed at the patience other well-spoken commenters exhibit by trying to reason with you.

Posted by: Mom on a bike at January 31, 2013 9:35 PM

@frog

spencer asked about safety of parents biking their kids, so I answered and supplied some information to support why it's no more dangerous than driving them. The statistic applies for the U.S. as well.

I point out the gross numbers to point out that a conversation about safety should at least include the greatest cause of harm.

"But then again, many studies that are quoted are quite bad"

If you are suggesting that my information is bad, feel free to correct it with better information.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 10:19 PM

@futurist

I'm not too concerned with what you can see, but if you make claims about a certain group of people, and you have made many of them here, then you should be willing and able to provide the evidence to support those claims.

Example:

You claim "it is MUCH more dangerous to be on a bike, esp here in SF than in a car." And then expect others to prove you wrong. That's not how things work.

If you make a claim, you should be willing to support it with evidence. When a scientist comes up with a new theory, does he say prove me wrong? No, he provides evidence and supporting material for his theory. In a debate, it is not an accepted strategy to make a point and then say "prove me wrong".

So far you've provided nothing but a couple anecdotes to support your many claims, and as I've pointed out, your anecdotes are pretty much worthless as evidence.

But I'll give a go at proving your claim that it's especially dangerous in SF wrong...

One of the major tenets of bike (and pedestrian) safety is safety in numbers. San francisco consistently ranks as one of the top 10 cities for cycling, largely due to the large numbers of people doing it here. Since SF has a much higher rate of cycling, it is safer than the average city.

Part 2 of your claim (that it's more dangerous in SF than elsewhere) dutifully proven wrong.

On a side note, more cyclists also seems to increase safety for pedestrians, at least as far as any danger from bikes. In new york over a four year period cycling almost doubled, while bike / ped injuries dropped

Again, feel free to provide some evidence to support you many claims so far.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 31, 2013 11:14 PM

How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history futurist? I guarantee that within your lifetime, more than 10% of trips will be done by bicycle. At the current rate of growth, we should see it in 20 years in San Francisco.

You should live that long, unless you get hit by a car first.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at February 1, 2013 12:01 AM

Yeah, the overall attitude toward cycling is changing. It's less and less "cars vs bicycle" but more and more the same people use both means of transportation in different times.

Which is awesome news, because there's no safer driver than one that knows by experience what a cyclist can pull off, good or bad. The same applies to cyclists who are also drivers and have a clear prospective of the mindset of someone behind a wheel.

Me still being there after 25+ years of bicycle commuting is a testimony of the overwhelmingly careful nature of drivers. There are a few bad apples sometimes.

A quick anecdote. I was going up 18th mid-block towards Dolores at a 15MPH clip. A driver behind me was focused on passing me even though the opposite lane was packed and 18th there is tricky because of all the businesses and pedestrians. After burning a bit of rubber and forcing me to duck into a curb cut between 2 parked cars, he did manage to pass me but was stopped a few yards later by the cars stopped at the Dolores St. traffic light... The driver assumed by default that being behind a bike slows you down. Silly him when I passed him later, and the 3 other cars to catch the green light.

Had he been in a similar situation on a bike, his attitude would have been maybe a bit smarter.

Posted by: lol at February 1, 2013 8:32 AM

Futurist: "The anti-car, car hating rhetoric is old stuff here. It mostly comes from the young, white male arrogant cyclists."

And so is the bike hating rhetoric apparently...

Posted by: Rillion at February 1, 2013 9:56 AM

this has been a great thread to follow along with, a lot of sense on both sides.

I ride my bike to work - It's faster than the 21 Hayes - I'm at Divis, It's also faster to get home on the bike. Bike is an old style dutch commuter - a 3 speed. It's the perfect bike for getting around the city.

I have a car - I use it less than my bikes. I have a garage, I love my car,bikes and garage.

I agree with above the safety in numbers part. I've been amazed at the increase in folks riding on Market Street. It's a proper rush hour for bikes, I would think more bikes than cars now on a morning.

I also recently spent time in Copenhagen - that idealistic spot (for bike riders) And there were many many people with 2 or 3 kids in the bike buckets . My wife pointed out that she felt this would make drivers operate cars in a slower more careful manner. As all it takes is 2 or 3 news stories of a driver knocking down a parent and 2 kids for a huge change in the narrative.

I'm lucky to be healthy enough to ride my bike around town and to work.

And as to the original start of the thread the 40-45mph that people used to drive on Masonic was ridiculous. Its still a little better now at 25-35 (25 is the speed limit). But I'm looking forward to the proposed changes.

Posted by: BDB at February 1, 2013 10:44 AM

This city, along with the rest of the nation, spent the better part of a century recreating itself in order to better accommodate automobiles. We demolished entire city blocks, permanently closed off streets used by everyone in order to make freeways, and required anyone building housing to make still more accommodations to the auto.

And now the drivers are entitled to what they "won". A city which dedicates most of its public space to them is the natural order, and anyone proposing to rededicate even 0.2% of that space to other purposes is derided as a "car hater".

Families which choose to take their children on a bike are reckless idealistic fools, because they can be hit by drivers, who can't be blamed because they're only doing what's natural and expected.

"Compromise" is when the addition of a bike lane or widened sidewalk is matched by the construction of a parking garage, at great public expense, so that the amount of public space devoted to cars is never reduced.

It's nonsense.

Posted by: Alai at February 1, 2013 4:42 PM

well i have to say that i still think it is totally reckless to carry a kid under 5yrs old on your bike in the middle of a traffic filled city.

I think its child endangerment and would not every consider doing this.

I spend about 12 hours per week on my bicycle, and have been doing so for about 15 years, and know what kind of situations can happen. I ahve been hit 4x with 2 trips tot he emergency room with broken bones

Posted by: spencer at February 1, 2013 5:10 PM

I agree with Alai.

The typical SF street from property line to property line is roughly 60 feet. This includes 2 X 10-foot sidewalks, 25 feet for traffic and 15 feet for parking.

This means that cars are currently using 2/3 of public space excluding parks, and that parked cars are using 25% of that total space. It is only fair to dedicate some of that to non-car users here and there where it makes most sense. expand pedestrian space (like Castro street) or create new bike paths (Masonic).

Posted by: lol at February 1, 2013 5:44 PM

I'll support you Spencer: totally agree about parents hauling kids around on a bike or in one of those stupid little carts. Watching a 4000 pound vehicle fly by them on Valencia St. is almost heart stopping.

It's dangerous, stupid and irresponsible.

I don't mind the comments that disagree with me. We all have different view points here and that's part of the discussion.

But I can't figure out the outright offensive and, well, stupid comment made by NoeValleyJim directed toward me.

Out of place and lacking all elements of civility.

Posted by: futurist at February 1, 2013 6:11 PM

Right. Cruising through the city with your kids at 12 mph on one of the few streets that has bicycle facilities is "dangerous, stupid and irresponsible".

"Flying" down the same street in a 4000 pound vehicle is... what? A fundamental right? Something that we all have to accept no matter the cost?

This is what I mean about entitlement.

Posted by: Alai at February 1, 2013 6:47 PM

You can't figure out how you feel entitled to call other people dangerous, stupid and irresponsible and then engage in mock shock and horror when someone else makes a mildly similar ad hominem attack toward yourself?

Are you for real futurist or are you just trolling?

Considering that the bicycle share of overall trips has gone up 71% in a just over six years, the idea that it will double in 20 more is hardly "offensive and stupid."

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2012/02/07/sfmta-city-bike-count-up-71-percent-since-2006/

Sorry about your accidents spencer, but I have a personal anecdote that is different than yours: I have been cycling for over 20 years here, and as my main form of transportation for over 7 now. I have had two minor accidents, both caused by me and a Muni rail, no trips to the ER and no broken bones. I carry my kids to school every day on the back of my bicycle and have had zero accidents since my oldest daughter was born 7 years ago. You might want to consider adjusting your riding style.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at February 1, 2013 7:18 PM

I would personally be satisfied if cyclists had 3.5% of the overall surface area of the city streets dedicated to our use. Right now we are no where near that amount.

No one on earth has a grander sense of self-entitlement than the American motorist.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at February 1, 2013 7:22 PM

@spencer and futurist

You are welcome to believe whatever you want. Some people don't believe we landed on the moon... some people still believe Elvis is alive, and a few people even believe the earth is flat.

Belief is easy, but the facts don't support your beliefs.

Posted by: lyqwyd at February 1, 2013 7:37 PM

But you see, people: it really is "stupid,dangerous and irresponsible" to be hauling a child in cart or on a bike on a busy urban street. Fact.

You people still don't get it. Of course there is no inherent "right" to driving your vehicle down the street. It's NEVER about rights. It's about reality. Guess what? it's called a STREET for a reason: they were and still designed for VEHICLES. Now, no one, (to my knowledge, including me) is saying that cycling should not be allowed on that same street. It is and that's the movement in many cities. Bike lanes are going on, and yes, they are being used.

But, let's be clear: The close proximity between a bicycle and a vehicle IS a risky, dangerous situation. That's a pure fact, without any emotion or rhetoric attached. We cannot avoid that danger, short of creating dedicated, completely separate bike lanes with concrete barricades for safety. And that's not about to happen.

Mixing vehicles and bikes on the same road is inherently dangerous for the cyclist. Pure fact.

And to add to the mix a small child lovingly being hauled in a flimsy canvas cart on rubber wheels, is equally dangerous.

And stupid and irresponsible as well.Cars aren't going away, and neither is urban cycling. The adults are responsible for their own safety. Bringing children into the mix is just wrong in the situation I am describing, and the one that Spencer also mentioned.

Posted by: futurist at February 1, 2013 7:40 PM

The close proximity between a bicycle and a vehicle IS a risky, dangerous situation. That's a pure fact, without any emotion or rhetoric attached.

It's not a fact. Take a Google Streetview tour through Amsterdam. There are few protected bike lanes, no concrete barriers, nothing of the sort. On most streets, cars mix freely with bikes-- you can see them everywhere: http://goo.gl/maps/f2c5I.

The cars haven't gone away. They're right there. But they still have a much, much lower accident rate.

So let's figure out how they're doing it, and do the same thing. Your philosophy seems to be "it's dangerous, people are going to get killed, so get over it, and if you care about your kids you'll keep them in a tank."

But we can and should do better. And we will.

Posted by: Alai at February 1, 2013 8:45 PM

@futurist

Bicycles are vehicles as well, and streets have existed since long before the automobile.

Nobody has said that there is no danger in taking a child to school on a bike, but taking a child to school on a bike is no more dangerous to the child than taking a child to school in a car.

If you believe that taking a child is "stupid and irresponsible" then you should also believe the same about taking them in a car, or you are irrational.

If you are actually concerned about child safety then you should be much more concerned about cars around schools given the FACT that cars are the number one killer of children. But you persist in ignoring autos, so your hypocrisy is clear, and therefore nobody is going to take you seriously.

It's funny that you bring up mixing bicycles and cars on the roads. The changes being proposed for Masonic which are the topic of this thread include creating a separated bike lane on Masonic. There also happen to be 2 schools on the stretch of Masonic being modified. So if you are truly concerned with the safety of children, or cyclists, or pedestrians, or drivers you should be strongly supporting these changes.

Posted by: lyqwyd at February 1, 2013 8:47 PM

Concrete separations are already there in many places around the world. Actually I take them all the time when I am cycling in Paris.

http://goo.gl/maps/zMG51
(next to my old hangout cafe back in the day).

Or this one: http://goo.gl/maps/yKrY5

On the Rue de Rivoli, Paris's East->West main artery.

They got these built 10+ years ago. Then again, they built their HSR 30 years ago too...

Posted by: lol at February 1, 2013 9:55 PM

Chris Bucchere was charged with a felony. Last time I checked, Bucchere had plead not guilty and a preliminary hearing was pending.

He changed his plea to "guilty" to felony vehicular manslaughter in order to avoid a prison sentence last week.

From the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco bicyclist pleads guilty to felony in pedestrian's death:

A bicyclist who struck and killed an elderly pedestrian in a busy intersection here has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter but will avoid a prison sentence, Dist. Atty. George Gascon said Tuesday.
He struck Sutchi Hui, 71, who was walking with his wife. Hui was rushed to a hospital, where he died of blunt-force trauma injuries four days later.
…The crash inflamed an ongoing debate in this bicycle-centric city about just who owns public space. And it underscored the contention of many that bicyclists ignore traffic laws to the detriment of everyone else.
"The goal here is to send a message," Gascon said about the decision to charge Bucchere with a felony that could have gotten him a maximum of six years in prison. "You have a responsibility. Just because you’re riding a bicycle, not all bets are off. All the rules that apply to everyone else on the road apply to you."

Go read the whole thing.

I'm a cyclist and bike commute multiple times per week, but I part ways with the lycra-and-toeclips set when it comes to routinely disrespecting the rules of the road.

Gascon had this guy and should have made an example out of him. 1,000 hours of community service isn't going to deter the next idiot who thinks that blowing through a crosswalk is okay as long as you do it the way it's portrayed in movies like Premium Rush, he should have done some jail time in addition to the service hours.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at July 23, 2013 3:22 PM

he basically got off scott free. he plowed through 3 lights, and all witnesses concurred they were red. Then after killing a woman, the 1st thing he asked about was his bike. Then he wrote in a blog that he was too committed to run the yellow light to stop. It is insanity that he did not get at least 5 yrs. But he is a rich, white, educated male, so its a different justice system. Most cyclists in SF fit this demographic, and most (but not all) seem to feel entitled to do whatever they want. It appears the DA agrees that they can do whatever they want with no repercussions. This guy should be banned from riding a bike or driving a car at least. I guess as long as he beat his strava time, then its oK

Posted by: jill at July 23, 2013 3:43 PM

jill, we know all this already. But nice retyping. Except it's a male who was killed.

We'll be all ears for your next vociferous rant when the next pedestrian is killed by a car running a crosswalk at 30MPH+ like it happened too many times this past year.

Posted by: lol at July 23, 2013 4:14 PM

Why do all you bike freaks have to blather on about autos every simgle time someone justly complains about the idiocy that is strident, bikey, entitled, dangerous, cyclist behavior? Every single one of you runs stops and reds. Every single one. You all pass from behind in the right. You are all sanctimoious holier than thou and annoying. Juat be quiet and take the criticism, creeps. You deserve it. And yes, plenty of people vociferously complained when that already once cited elderly driver plowed over all the people in Santa Monica, for example. Knock it off with the automatic "waaah, cars are bigger" bs and stop breaking the law.

Posted by: Captain at July 23, 2013 4:47 PM

That was an epic rant from someone who obviously has little background about the people he's ttalking to.

Feel better now? Good. SFGATE is the place for you.

Posted by: lol at July 23, 2013 5:17 PM

LOL is a good name for you. you over-posting, overly self impressed, get the last word in every single time biketroll. You're so quick to go to the "cars cause more accidents" card. Just like all the sfgate biketrolls you obviously support. Ha. You suck. Go run four stoplights and flip off four grandmas or something. You know that's what you really want to do deep down.

Posted by: Captain at July 23, 2013 5:45 PM

Someone is in a bad mood today.

Posted by: lol at July 23, 2013 6:27 PM

Somebody needs a hug.

[hugs Captain]

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at July 23, 2013 8:08 PM

And the elderly driver in the 2003 Santa Monica Farmer's Market incident had to stand trial.

He pleaded not guilty, and after a trial, by a unanimous verdict, jurors found him guilty on all charges, convicting him of vehicular manslaughter for killing 10 pedestrians. He didn't actually wind up going to jail, but he had to pay about $107,000 in fines and restitution which wiped out his estate.

George Gascon could have at least put Chris Bucchere through the same process and put irresponsible cyclists on notice that flouting traffic laws won't be tolerated, but instead he folded, sending irresponsible cyclists the message that flouting traffic laws have no serious consequences.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at July 23, 2013 9:54 PM

I agree Bucchere got off too easily. Vehicular manslaughter should result in automatic jail time.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at July 23, 2013 10:19 PM

Every case is different and I am certain a prosecutor will do whatever he can do in the context he is given. This is our justice system and however unjust some individual cases might appear, it's still the most just system there is. There was huge pressure to crucify Bucchere but apparently they went as far as they could.

Posted by: lol at July 24, 2013 2:11 AM

"he most just system there is. There was huge pressure to crucify Bucchere but apparently they went as far as they could."


I would argue that the huge pressure was to NOT crucify him as that might interfere either the grand nearsighted cycling plan

Posted by: Moto mayhem at July 24, 2013 8:50 AM

And newsflash for the shooting-from-the-hip conspiracy theorists: the family of the victim didn't want him to do jail time. Otherwise the outcome might have been different.

Posted by: lol at July 24, 2013 9:00 AM

Lol, Big Bicycle must have gotten to the family and pressured them to pretend they didn't want jail time. The bicycle lobbiests are everywhere dontchaknow.

Posted by: Rillion at July 24, 2013 4:22 PM

the coalition probably paid them off. Its basically the closest thing locally to the New Jersey Mafia

Posted by: I eat Bicyclists at July 24, 2013 5:46 PM

You folks don't know the half of it. The SFBC is in cahoots with an underground network of Flemish speaking, indica rolling, organic thread wearing radicals. While the world has Germany under close scrutiny to prevent a third try, the real menace is next door.

Mark my my word, we'll all be wearing orange lapel pins as we walk past mandatory portraits of Willem Alex to our coveted bike rack spot.

Everyone hates the Dutch.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at July 24, 2013 7:12 PM

The Dutch would be very interested to learn that they speak Flemish, and not, um, Dutch. Stick to your day job of wondering about photoshopped clouds, or what the fake people depicted in renderings are talking about.

Posted by: Anonkadonk at July 24, 2013 10:07 PM

MoD, once the Dutch have managed to get all the world to convert to cycling, they'll quadruple the price of inner tubes. Yes, I have it on good authority that the Royal Crown of the Netherlands own 95% of inner tube manufacturing capacity that they have been accumulating since 1897 through shadow subsidiaries. What do you think the Boer War was for? The dutch Crown OWNs the British Crown.

Next time you purchase an inner tube, cut through it 4 inches from the valve and you'll see a very recognizable wreath on the inner side. If you cannot find it, try another tube. It's on 40% of them. It sometimes takes a few ones.

Posted by: lol at July 25, 2013 9:10 AM

Anonkadonk,

These Dutch conspirators ARE speaking Flemish, simply for throwing off the unsuspecting masses into thinking they're harmless Belgians.

Posted by: lol at July 25, 2013 9:18 AM

I for one welcome our new Dutch/Belgian overlords, any people that came up with eating fries with mayo instead of ketchup are obviously worthy of ruling.

Posted by: Rillion at July 25, 2013 9:37 AM

Have you ever tried to eat fries with Mayo in a paper cone at a country fair in Belgium? You have to eat ridiculously fast so that the mayo doesn't liquefy and melt the paper. It takes training and apparently only the Dutch/Flemish can do it.

Proof they have a training camp somewhere.

Posted by: lol at July 25, 2013 9:41 AM

Haven't done it here, but I did do it when I visited Amsterdamn for my sleeper agent training. Most of the time I have to order a side of mayo with my burger/sandwich and the ignorant american wait staff just assumes it is extra may for the burger, keeping my cover intact.

Posted by: Rillion at July 25, 2013 9:51 AM

Smart move indeed. Plus this fries/mayo combo creates a comfortable layer of blubber that can absorb any projectile's energy better than Kevlar. It's not only very efficient but it's also undetectable by airport X-rays or sniffers.

Posted by: lol at July 25, 2013 10:10 AM

Oh gee Anonkadonk, my bad. You're right, it is literally unpossible for a Dutch person to speak Flemish. Those languages are miles apart. And my hair is getting frizzy for some reason.

-----

Thank you comrades Rillion and lol. Your efforts are needed as we complete de Meester Plan. These Amerikaan swine will be slathering their Frites with mayo and munching herring soon enough. The bike thing could take a little longer though especially if the former increases their waistlines too much.

-----

To everyone: buy more tulip bulbs now before you're priced out. Prices are skyrocketing.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at July 25, 2013 12:17 PM

MoD, I kept some from the last bubble (bulbble?). Do you think I could be in the money again? 376 years is a long time to wait. I am not sure I want to take inflation into account in my ROI. Good thing tipster is not there to rub it in with the obvious opportunity cost ;)

Posted by: lol at July 25, 2013 3:24 PM

Post a comment


(required - will be published)


(required - will not be published, sold, or shared)


(optional - your "Posted by" name will link to this URL)

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)


Continue Perusing SocketSite:

« Apple Rumor Busted But In Part Confirmed As Well | HOME | McDonald's SoMa Site Up For Sale, Zoned For 105-Feet »