Will cyclists and motorists ever get along?

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Bike messenger Adam Shapiro made this magnetized card to facilitate communications between cyclists and motorists.

Bicyclists and motorists often clash in San Francisco, over space on the roadways and in conversations about each others' behaviors, often in the most acrimonious fashion imaginable. My recent writing on bike issues has prompted lots of feedback and controversy – including lovely comments such as “Steve, keep riding your bike without a helmet, with any luck you'll get in an accident and what little brains you have will spill out onto the street and we won't have to read your smug condescending bullshit about bikes anymore.” – but I'm not the only one interested in trying to figure out how this gulf got so wide or how to bridge it.

The San Francisco Civil Grand Jury recently issued a report entitled “Sharing the Roadway: From Confrontation to Conversation,” that identifies strife between cyclists and drivers as a serious problem and seeks “to move towards everyone seeing him/her self as part of the community sharing the roadway.”

It's an admirable goal that echoes that of the SF Bicycle Plan, and the 40-page report occasionally offers some insight into diagnosing why the problem exists, although it focuses mostly on the behaviors of bicyclists and the view by motorists that people who bike are arrogant, dangerous, irresponsible, erratic, inconvenient, vulnerable, and despised, all adjectives it gleaned for a 2002 study in Scotland, for some reason.

The report calls for more education and enforcement that targets all road users, but it seems most focused on criticizing bicyclists for running stop signs and other traffic violations, noting how cyclists are rarely given citations and saying that's at least partly because cyclists have become politically powerful and are more likely to file complaints about cops who ticket them. In other words, we cyclists are the overentitled special interest that the angriest motorists say we are.

The report even discusses such radical ideas as requiring cyclists to get licenses, pay registration fees, and buy insurance, but it gives no mention to radical ideas on the other end of the spectrum, such as importing traffic laws from Idaho, where cyclists legally treat stop signs as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs, which conforms to current behaviors and the laws of momentum and doesn't steal anyone's right-of-way. Clearly, this was not a report written by cyclists.

“If San Francisco truly wants to increase responsible bicycle use, it will need to solve the issues of anger, misunderstanding, and mistrust between motorists and cyclists, and increase everyone's view of shared responsibility on the roadway,” recommends the report.

I thought it was a bit vague and one-sided, but San Francisco Bicycle Coalition acting director Renee Rivera said it strongly supports the SFBC-backed Bike Plan, which was its target subject. “The report goes into a lot of anecdotal detail, but the recommendations are pretty good stuff,” she said, adding that SFBC's members aren't exclusively cyclists, “but people using different modes at different times for different reasons.”

On the other end of the spectrum are people like local bike messenger Adam Shapiro, who says he also wants to improve communication between cyclists and motorists, but he's come up with a different kind of conversation starter, one he's been handing out to fellow cyclists.

It's a magnetized “Yellow Card” that cyclists can toss onto a car that reads, “This magnet was tossed onto your car by a cyclist who felt that you had been driving in a way that could endanger their life. They chose to toss this magnetic note because it can neither damage your automobile, nor will it disrupt your driving. It serves as our communication in a world buffered by steel, glass, and speed. With mutual respect, we can each adjust our behavior to allow all people to live in safety. This is a yellow card, your awareness can keep us out of the Red.”

Shapiro said he heard about the idea from East Coast cyclist Peter Miller, who he met and borrowed the concept from, changing the wording on his version. “This is starting a conversation between two human beings who can be more civil to each other than they have been,” Shapiro told me. Shapiro said he's experienced the full range of emotional responses to threatening behavior by motorists, from fear to rage to “dreary acceptance,” but that lately, “I've shifted away from cycling as war.”

He still rides quite aggressively, in a fashion likely to anger many biker-haters, and he says that his Yellow Card is actually made more for good, respectful cyclists that want to communicate their fear and vulnerability to distracted or self-centered motorists, but who often feel powerless to do so in a highly buffered urban culture. “This subversion of that is unique in saying, 'We can communicate in a way that's non-violent,” he said.

And perhaps that's true, although I tend to think that neither the yellow cards nor educational campaigns are likely to lessen the tension anytime soon. There's still too much resentment on both sides, with motorists feeling judged for their wasteful and dangerous transportation choice and outraged that bicyclists flout traffic laws, and bicyclists feeling judged for riding in a way that makes sense (even to The Ethicist Randy Cohen) and doesn't hurt anyone and outraged for being the target of such scorn for choosing such a widely beneficial way of getting around.

But Rivera said she thinks tensions will wane as traffic design improvements “lessen the places where friction develops on the streets,” and the growing number of cyclists forces everyone to get used to each other and figure out strategies for peaceful coexistence.

Comments

that's basically the cause of the 'friction' (motorists being jerks) -- no place to ride safely in the city. it's very slowly starting to change -- and it's sending the implicit message that you can no longer being a terrorist with impunity b/c the next biker you terrorize might just be a cop. and prosecutor might be one, too. and the judge.

there's a happy thought. :)

Posted by Peter Smith on May. 18, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

Steve how are you trying to "bridge the gap" when you're constantly screeching about the duty of motorists to pay for roads so bicyclists have them to ride on? You oppose asking cyclists to pay even $10 a year to contribute to maintenance in our city, you oppose asking cyclists to carry insurance and you oppose helmet laws (while at the same time advocating for increasing government sanctions on behaviors with which you disagree).

You're part of the problem Steve, now you all of a sudden want to be part of the solution? How about taking a little responsibility to begin with.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 18, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

more miles and more years in the city of SF with much fewer problems than any entitled Steve Jones, going through life with the world owing you must be such an ordeal.

Since I helped Harvey Woo send his children through college by drinking in Shippley alley for years, I predate all these bike riding "activists." and I've never had all these issues they whine about.

I don't think bike riders need to be licensed and I don't think they need insurance, sadly the entitled children like Steve do not want to "share the road" as the saying goes. People like Steve have an entitlement to get their way because they have an entitlement based on their entitlement.

Steve like a born again Christian thinks that we should all get together based on agreeing with him. We would all be one big happy human Gaia loving family if we would all just get along and agree with the Steve's of the world.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 18, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

I doubt the city could run a fee collection system for less than $10 per bike per year in administrative costs. The residential parking permit program loses money at $76 per car per year. bit.ly/5oD9XC (http removed to avoid spam filter)

Liability insurance is a good idea for everyone, it often comes with renters insurance. I'm all for changes to the law which encourage cycling because more bikes will make us safer. Something like the Dutch law that presumes that the motorist is liable for the crash. See bicyclelaw.com/road-rights/a.cfm/road-rights-why-we-need-cycling-insurance for more details.

Posted by Tom Brown on May. 22, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

Unfortunately, no one offers bicycle insurance beyond simple renters or homeowners insurance that covers the bike if stolen. I would love to have collision insurance. I did have accident insurance at one point, but that didn't cover damage to others or to stuff, just to me.

Posted by AoT on May. 23, 2010 @ 7:19 am

Glen, your obsession with me really isn't healthy, but it is funny that you claim entitlement for your age and miles traveled and then, knowing little about me or my background, accuse me of having stacks of entitlement. The reality is that I'm happy to share the roads and that I experience more conflict when writing about bikes than when riding them.

Posted by steven on May. 19, 2010 @ 9:41 am

hip asymmetrical 80's hair cut.

There really isn't a great divide here, it has never even occurred to most people that there is even an issue. Driving a car or riding a bike isn't some sort of class system to most people. How many drivers really care what bike riders think about gas use? If I ever own a car again, I can guarantee that it would be the very last thing on my mind.

There are bad drivers and bad bike riders, the bike riders are more of a menace to me in my opinion, as a bike rider.

In 20 years here I was door-d once, I have been; rammed by a girl riding down Market the wrong way, t-boned by a hippie running a red light at 19th and Mission, a moron rode his bike into my geriatric dog, while the dog was on a leash in the middle of the sidewalk, rear ended stopping at a four way stop etc...

The lack awareness of many bike riders in this town is amazing.

Posted by Mr Matlock on May. 19, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

Will cyclists and motorists ever get along?

-------------------------

Not likely...not the way things are going.

But cyclists are not the problem in the big scheme of things.

Our car culture/car obsession and our many national/world (especially economic) problems are the problem. But many/most people (motorists) need someone to scapegoat therefore they choose cyclists and other scapegoats (think sit-lie and undocumented immigrants, for example).

Cyclists are an easy scapegoat for people to moan, whine and complain about. Of course on occasion some cyclists will do something to piss off a motorist, and vice versa. But there are far more motorists (to annoy each other) than there are cyclists in the big scheme of things. And the day that most motorists become model drivers can be the day that they have a legitimate reason to complain about cyclists not stopping at stop signs, for example. The hypocrisy of many/most motorists is blatant. For example, it is rare to see a motorist come to a complete stop at a stop sign, from my experience. Most yield, if that. And it's not just cyclists that some/many motorists can't stand. Many motorists can't stand pedestrians either. I've gotten so that I run across streets when crossing them especially if there is no walk light, and even running across the street (with a neutral facial expression) some motorists still get impatient with me....and some almost "floor it" (hit the accelerator) I guess to try to get a rise from me after I have run to the sidewalk. People like that need some psychological help.

My partner is also a cyclist but he does some driving in The City for his work. He is often complaining about the nutty drivers and asking "what is going on with people?...why can't they just drive?" I've never heard him say anything about cyclists and he would if he had had a problem with a cyclist. With many motorists these days, the horn is connected to the accelerator and the brake, and I take it that most SUVs* don't come with turn signals?

*SUVs = Sheep/Status Ubiquitous Vehicles

Posted by Sam on May. 19, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

I don't know if urban motorists and bicyclists will get along, but I do think that there should be "shared responsibility."
1.) All bicycles ridden on city streets must be licensed by the city.
2.) All bicycles ridden on city streets must have working mechanical braking systems.
3.) All bicycles ridden on city streets must have a working headlight and rear reflector.
4.) All bicyclists riding on streets with bike lanes must stay within them.
5.) For their own protection bicyclists should wear protective head gear.
6.) Bicyclists should carry insurance.

Posted by CRS on May. 19, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

for everyone else.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 19, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

Yes, let's ban tourists from riding. Too many of them as it is.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

Bike lanes, though they make many people- drivers and bikers alike- feel safe on the road, do not necessarily make us more safe. Often times bike lanes are painted too close to parked cars, thereby putting cyclists at risk of being doored. The portion of the California Vehicle Code dealing with the operation of bicycles states that cyclists must ride
"as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway..." There are a number of exceptions, however, including:
"When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge."

My point is, bike lane or not, I'm going to ride in the safest part of the road, regardless of whether that causes someone behind me to have to wait an extra few seconds to pass me safely. I'm sure you'd rather me be visible, if slightly inconvenient, in front of you rather than doored in a bike lane and falling under your wheels unexpectedly... I know I would.

Here's a link to the CVC if you're interested:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/tocd11c1a4.htm

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

So, shared responsibility means that only cyclists have more responsibility?

Right.

Posted by AoT on May. 23, 2010 @ 7:27 am

Bikes are cool because if you get one then you can be super cool and shove your lifestyle up everyone's nose, and you can wag your finger and act superior and have the approval of the assholes in the Mission who ruined it with their hipster fixie bike bullshit and shitty beer. And you can run people down on sidewalks and say fuck you when someone asks you to follow the rules of the road. Best of all you can vote liberal and get your entitlements for your stupid lifestyle.

Posted by I Love Bikes on May. 19, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

Health Benefits of Cycling
Written by Jerry Travers
adultbicycling dot com

There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling. Let's look at a few of the major benefits:

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise
You can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and without spending a fortune. Many people are put off doing certain sports because of the high level of skill that seems to be required, or perhaps because they can’t commit to a team sport due to time pressures. Most of us know how to cycle and once you have learned you don’t forget. All you need is a bike, a half an hour here or there when it suits, and a bit of confidence.

Cycling builds strength and muscle tone
Contrary to normal perceptions, cycling is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since every single part of the body is involved in cycling.

Cycling increases muscle tone
Cycling improves general muscle function gradually, with little risk of over exercise or strain. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will gradually begin to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end and hips.

Cycling builds stamina
Cycling is a good way to build stamina. It is very effective in doing so,
because people enjoy cycling and they wouldn’t really notice that they have
gone farther the last time they went cycling.

Cycling improves cardio-vascular fitness
Cycling makes the heart pound in a steady manner and helps improve cardio-vascular fitness. Studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.

Cycling eats up calories
Cycling is a good way to lose those unwanted pounds. Steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride.

Cycling improves heart health
According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues.

Cycling improves coordination
Cycling is an activity that involves the whole body. Therefore, arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination are improved.

Cycling reduces stress
Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well being and self esteem. Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.

Posted by Sam on May. 20, 2010 @ 12:47 am

I'm a cyclists and I try to obey as many traffic laws as possible. Especially since here on the Peninsula they are enforced on cyclist. When I lived in SF I still tried to obey as many traffic laws as possible. Mainly because I value my life.

But you know what? It doesn't prevent those motorists from driving like a**holes and near running me off the road...

...and it certainly doesn't stop them from talking on their cell phone while going faster than the speed limit allows.

I'm left wondering why most motorists think of themselves as great drivers who can handle some recklessness.

You want to talk about entitlement? That's a great word for how most motorists view driving. They treat driving and roads as their right. However anyone who remembers drivers ed or the DMV handbook will recall a favorite slogan of theirs

"Driving is a privilege, not a right."

Posted by jOie on May. 20, 2010 @ 6:55 am

Why are you asking about getting along? The real issue is getting people out of cars, because driving is so environmentally and ecologically destructive. I don't want to share the road with cars or get along with drivers, I want to eliminate them. Private motor vehicles should be prohibited from urban areas, and one member of the Board of Supervisors told me directly that (s)he agree with that proposition (I won't name him/her).

Posted by Jeff Hoffman on May. 23, 2010 @ 10:29 am

Cyclists are afraid of being hurt, primarily by cars and trucks. Motorists are afraid of something less physically painful. Cyclists in general are much more aware of their surroundings than motorists. Cyclists are killed and injured by motor vehicles. Motorists are generally not injured in a car vs bike crash.

Posted by Guest Jiro on May. 23, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

Jeff -

I agree with you - we should absolutely eliminate cars from the urban environment. Let's use the political muscle of your one unnamed supervisor and build gigantic parking lots in Daly City, South San Francisco, West Oakland and Sausalito where everyone who owns a car and lives in San Francisco can park, then ride their bikes home. Then wake up, ride their bikes to their cars, parked conveniently in Daly City, South San Francisco, West Oakland and Sausalito. At which point they can drive to work, or visit their friends or families, or take advantage of the other elements of the Greater Bay Area. Thank goodness we've got an ally who sits on the almighty San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and agrees, privately of course, that we should get rid of cars in The City. An excellent idea. I can't wait to see his/her plan to execute this brilliant idea, and I hope to see it soon!

While we're at it, I say we lobby your mysterious supervisor buddy and get some money built into the city budget to build a time machine so we can go back and eliminate the people responsible for putting cars on the road to begin with. Surely (s)he would agree that that's a good idea too.

Posted by arlechino on May. 24, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

When the revolution comes, you know the one that started in the 1960's, when that revolution is finely done and you start living the way people who think they know how Che intended for you to live take over, you will be at the top of the list.

Posted by Mr Matlock on May. 24, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

I think the yellow card method of communication is a great idea...and I really respect the need for two-way non violent conversation among those who share the road...but it assumes that the bicyclists are the only victims and the correct users of the road, when in truth, some bicycle riders are so aggressive and abrasive in their riding, verbalizations and gestures that it would behoove them to hear that the vehicle operators have to say.
Neither side is all right, nor all wrong. We can all be better.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2010 @ 5:51 am

"it assumes that the bicyclists are the only victims" ...where exactly does it say that? I see the phrase 'With mutual respect we can....' which sounds like the opposite.

Posted by mcas on May. 25, 2010 @ 9:17 am

drivers should all bup BP oil at arco in the mission so they know they are killing the earth here in america instead of using shell and killing nigerians or chevron killing ecuadorans.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

the answer is horses.

Posted by sharkcharmer on May. 25, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

As a cyclist both in L A for 15 year and in SF for 33, a bike messenger for 4 years in SF, rode my bike up and down the coast to LA and Back I have always seen the problem as simple as you are small with no insurance and in my way.

Having both driven a car and a bike for 38 years in California I find it interesting that cars act as if we are in the way. So they pass us cursing us only to be in our way at the next light sometimes blocking the whole road way. While the battle goes on and road rage passes from car to car and then bikes the problem is simple. Ride as safely as you can and have something to take the licenses number down.

One person in a car takes up about 10 bike spaces, it leaves oils that are dangerous on the road, and is considered a deadly weapon that emits noxious poison gases that I have to breathe and contributes to global warming.

The bake of my shirt has the sign with the bike symbol with the words on the CVC code ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE CVC 212002 and the front says share the road We are legally there and if they want to take by force the may just spend the rest of the life for murder.

As far as running stop signs and traffic violations I have to say what hypocrites Vehicle drivers are. They break the law for hours by not driving the speed limit.

Follow any car and most of them are driving 5 MPH on up above the speed limit. In 25 MPH zones they go 35 MPH to 40 MPH. The SFPD does not site them or all the jay walkers. In all my years of riding I have never seen a cop give a ticket to a car endangering my life.

Cars are constantly in my way but when I'm in there way they yell get off the road to where the sidewalk? I don't think so.

So I recommended all people getting an Iron on their shirt back of the sign that's posts on many SF streets and get a loud whistle and blow it at them when they blow there horn or almost get you killed. In an argument with a car the car will when and you'll be dead or in the hospital. I also carry a camera and am thinking about getting one for my helmet.

BTW blowing a loud whistle immediately brings attention to what’s happening and if they hit you will have a better chance of having witness.

Road rages is the problem and were just another helpless thing they can pick on.

How much time do you read in the paper pedestrian kills car or cyclists kill car? Remember we have the right of way a some car drivers try to bully of off the road.

As far as tourist on bike the more people on bikes and the more accidents involving children with show who the real menaces are over time.

Don't let the bully you. Watch out for other cyclists. Stand your ground for the right to the road. It's funny to me I enjoy riding my bike the so many of the people driving cars are no happy campers. It just shows the old day of going on a enjoyable Sunday drive is over. Not because of cyclists because there are too many cars on the road.
I have seen booth may improvement in bike safety and education and more cyclists on the rode including women. This trend will continue as oil reaches peak oil production and goes to $300 a barrel and than the guys who cussed us cyclist not now be a self loathing cyclist. LMAO
Keep riding don’t let them win. I was hit and run deliberately a few weeks ago came up behind got next to me and hit me knocking me to the ground and then ran the coward. I was injured but nothing broken and minor cosmetic damage to my clothes and bike. Watch out for psychopath drivers and get their license numbers so we can put them behind bars where all criminals go.
Remember CVC (California vehicle code) 21202 States Cyclists ALLOWED USE OF FULL LANE if they want to take it from you see them in court

Posted by Guest Michael on May. 26, 2010 @ 4:52 am

I miss where CVC 21202 states that bicyclists have use of the whole lane.

Operation on Roadway

21202. (a) 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 except under any of the following situations:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Amended Sec. 4, Ch. 674, Stats. 1996. Effective January 1, 1997.

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

Every six hours a bicyclist is fatally injured in the US.
49% of all bicyclist deaths occur to youths age 16 or younger.

Bicyclists should normally ride in a straight line as near to the
right curb or edge of the roadway as is practical, but always a
car-door’s length away from parked vehicles.

A car can park 3 feet away from the curb SUV's take up most of the lane when and their doors are 3 Feet to 6 feet Which puts you about in the middle of the road. To ride safely one must allow for not being having a vehicle owner opening their door by some car driver who is not paying attention. Also cars are constantly pulling out into traffic and one must be a safe distance. Why don't you drive 1 foot away from parked cars? We have no protection if someone opens the door or pulls out on you it's cosmetic damage to you safe enclosure and maybe you'll kill or injure one of you own kind (a car driver) but we can get seriously injured or killed. BTW The minimum coverage for cars should be $200,000 and not $15,000 which most the time doesn’t even cover your hospital bills. You as a car do not have to worry about all about all the hazards on the road because you are safe in your steal enclosure.
As my final point most cars are not going the 25 MPH as posted on most residential streets and are endangering others by not obeying the speed.

http://cid-1051c63bba7a7c9c.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/use%20of%20full%...

These are posted all over San Francisco streets. If you paid attention to the road signs you would know this. But since you don't here it is. You might notice the signs if you didn’t drive through our communities as if you are on a freeway.
DMV handbook

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/curriculum/Unit%209.pdf

Posted by Michael on May. 28, 2010 @ 3:00 am

Every six hours a bicyclist is fatally injured in the US.
49% of all bicyclist deaths occur to youths age 16 or younger.

Bicyclists should normally ride in a straight line as near to the
right curb or edge of the roadway as is practical, but always a
car-door’s length away from parked vehicles.

A car can park 3 feet away from the curb SUV's take up most of the lane when and their doors are 3 Feet to 6 feet Which puts you about in the middle of the road. To ride safely one must allow for not being having a vehicle owner opening their door by some car driver who is not paying attention. Also cars are constantly pulling out into traffic and one must be a safe distance. Why don't you drive 1 foot away from parked cars? We have no protection if someone opens the door or pulls out on you it's cosmetic damage to you safe enclosure and maybe you'll kill or injure one of you own kind (a car driver) but we can get seriously injured or killed. BTW The minimum coverage for cars should be $200,000 and not $15,000 which most the time doesn’t even cover your hospital bills. You as a car do not have to worry about all about all the hazards on the road because you are safe in your steal enclosure.
As my final point most cars are not going the 25 MPH as posted on most residential streets and are endangering others by not obeying the speed.

These are posted all over San Francisco streets. If you paid attention to the road signs you would know this. But since you don't here it is. You might notice the signs if you didn’t drive through our communities as if you are on a freeway.

Posted by Michael on May. 28, 2010 @ 3:08 am

Hey, Glen, how's it going? I was U.S. Mess #828 back in the early '80s. I knew Crud Savage, Alex, Junior, Wild Bill, Grimes, Rabbit, Charlie, Pete Moss, the works. And i still think (know) bikes rule, and I still think (know) cars suck. Thank Goddess for the power to ride a bike. I don't know how I could have made it through without it.

--Katherine Roberts

Posted by grrlfriday on May. 27, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

p.s. Guest -- where it says (3) "substandard width lane" -- look at that. If you don't have a lane wide enough to fit a car, a bike, and AT LEAST 3' of passing space (c'mon, please give us at least those 36"), which describes almost every single lane in S.F., then you don't have enough room for a car and a bike to be traveling safely side-by-side. In that case the bicyclists not only has the right to, but most emphatically SHOULD, go down the center of the lane herself.

The fact you don't know this and (presumably) are still licenced to drive shows a massive failure of the licencing system. I blame the DMV for not drumming this into the head of everybody who even dreams of getting behind the wheel of a car. Being able to recite CVC 21202 in your sleep, backwards and forwards, should be an absolute prerequisite to being licenced to drive in the State of California. It scares the pants off of me how many utter ignoramuses there are out there on the road, who go into homicidal rages when they see a law-abiding bicyclist taking the lane for safety reasons, because they didn't take the time to familiarize themselves with the Vehicle Code before obtaining their licences.

Posted by grrlfriday on May. 27, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

Every six hours a bicyclist is fatally injured in the US.
49% of all bicyclist deaths occur to youths age 16 or younger.

Bicyclists should normally ride in a straight line as near to the
right curb or edge of the roadway as is practical, but always a
car-door’s length away from parked vehicles.

A car can park 3 feet away from the curb SUV's take up most of the lane when and their doors are 3 Feet to 6 feet Which puts you about in the middle of the road. To ride safely one must allow for not being having a vehicle owner opening their door by some car driver who is not paying attention. Also cars are constantly pulling out into traffic and one must be a safe distance. Why don't you drive 1 foot away from parked cars? We have no protection if someone opens the door or pulls out on you it's cosmetic damage to you safe enclosure and maybe you'll kill or injure one of you own kind (a car driver) but we can get seriously injured or killed. BTW The minimum coverage for cars should be $200,000 and not $15,000 which most the time doesn’t even cover your hospital bills. You as a car do not have to worry about all about all the hazards on the road because you are safe in your steal enclosure.
As my final point most cars are not going the 25 MPH as posted on most residential streets and are endangering others by not obeying the speed.
http://cid-1051c63bba7a7c9c.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/use%20of%20full%...

These are posted all over San Francisco streets. If you paid attention to the road signs you would know this. But since you don't here it is. You might notice the signs if you didn’t drive through our communities as if you are on a freeway.
DMV handbook
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/curriculum/Unit%209.pdf

Posted by Michael on May. 28, 2010 @ 3:02 am

Bicyclists should normally ride in a straight line as near to the
right curb or edge of the roadway as is practical, but always a
car-door’s length away from parked vehicles.

A car can park 3 feet away from the curb SUV's take up most of the lane when and their doors are 3 Feet to 6 feet Which puts you about in the middle of the road. To ride safely one must allow for not being having a vehicle owner opening their door by some car driver who is not paying attention. Also cars are constantly pulling out into traffic and one must be a safe distance. Why don't you drive 1 foot away from parked cars? We have no protection if someone opens the door or pulls out on you it's cosmetic damage to you safe enclosure and maybe you'll kill or injure one of you own kind (a car driver) but we can get seriously injured or killed. BTW The minimum coverage for cars should be $200,000 and not $15,000 which most the time doesn’t even cover your hospital bills. You as a car do not have to worry about all about all the hazards on the road because you are safe in your steal enclosure.
As my final point most cars are not going the 25 MPH as posted on most residential streets and are endangering others by not obeying the speed.

These are posted all over San Francisco streets. If you paid attention to the road signs you would know this. But since you don't here it is. You might notice the signs if you didn’t drive through our communities as if you are on a freeway.

Posted by Michael on May. 28, 2010 @ 3:12 am

Wed, at 11:30 PM making a left turn from south bound Potrero onto 23rd St. I almost pancaked a bicycle that was northbound either in the bike lane or sidewalk, (I can't be sure I didn't see him until he entered the intersection) . He was near invisible until he entered the intersection with its lights. He was in dark clothes and had no lights on the bicycle.

There shouldn't be a bike lane on Potrero, ( It's an arterial and we should not mix bicycles with and heavy traffic flow) and enforcement of the requirements for bicycle lights would save lives.

Having been hit myself and witnessed many near misses of pedestrians by bicycles I'll support an increase in insurance minimums if bicycles are required to also carry insurance.

Posted by Guest John on May. 28, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

Pedestrian and bicycle accidents are the leading cause of death
for ages 8 through 14.

Pedestrian safety is a serious issue. One in six traffic fatalities
is a pedestrian.

Pedestrians lose in any accident, regardless of who had the
right-of-way. Drive cautiously when pedestrians are near and
may cross your path.

Children under the age of 15 account for about 29% of pedestrian
victims and about 28% of bicycle victims.

Posted by Michael on May. 28, 2010 @ 11:57 am