Was the cyclist who killed a pedestrian reckless?

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A cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian at this busy intersection at the bottom of a steep hill.

San Francisco's bicycling community is bracing for a backlash following the second recent case of a cyclist hitting and killing a pedestrian, particularly given a callous online posting by someone claiming to be the cyclist, whose 71-year-old victim this week died of injuries sustained a week ago at the intersection of Castro and Market streets.

The case was a hot topic at last night's monthly Carfree Happy Hour, a gathering of cyclists, transportation professionals, and alternative transportation activists, many of whom had unearthed new information about a case they're all grappling with. And the consensus opinion was that the cyclist seemed reckless and may deserve to face criminal charges.

Yet activists also sought to place this case in context, noting that an average of almost three pedestrians are hit by cars everyday in San Francisco, even though that rarely makes headlines. There were 220 pedestrians killed in San Francisco from 2000-2009, the vast majority hit by cars whose drivers rarely faced criminal charges. In fact, the same week that Sustchi Hui was killed there was another pedestrian killed by a motorist and another one by a Muni bus.

But that doesn't lessen the importance of this latest bike-vs.-pedestrian fatality, which is sure to make news precisely because it's so rare, and because it comes just weeks after 23-year-old Randolph Ang pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter for running a red light at Embarcadero and Folsom Street in July 2001, hitting a 68-year-old woman who later died from her head injury.

San Francisco Police Department won’t identify the cyclist in the latest incident unless he's charged with a crime, and its investigation is still ongoing, said SFPD spokesperson Albie Esperanza. “It's a tragic accident,” he told us, noting that the cyclist was cooperating with the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the District Attorney's Office will decide whether to bring criminal charges against the cyclist.

Someone who identified himself as Chris Bucchere posted a note on the Mission Cycling Google group on the afternoon of the incident, March 29, describing an accident that apparently took place at the same time and place. And the description that Bucchere gave of the accident is not likely to garner much public sympathy for him (We contacted Bucchere by e-mail and telephone, we're waiting to hear back for him, and we can't independently confirm the authenticity of the message or its contents).

“I wrecked on the way home today from the bi-weekly Headlands Raid today. Short story: I'm fine. The pedestrian I clobbered? Not so much,” the message began.

The post then goes on to describe the incident, which matches the details of other reported accounts of the fatal crash: “Around 8 am I was descending Divisidero Street southbound and about to cross Market Street. The light turned yellow as I was approaching the intersection, but I was already way too committed to stop. The light turned red as I was cruising through the middle of the intersection and then, almost instantly, the southern crosswalk on Market and Castro filled up with people coming from both directions. The intersection very long and the width of Castro Street at that point is very short, so, in a nutshell, blammo.”

Another member of the Carfree Happy Hour group who is a regular competitive cyclist said that Bucchere was a member of the website strava.com, which tracks minute-by-minute data of cyclists for training purposes. And this source said he was able to use the site to determine that Bucchere was traveling through the intersection – which is at the bottom of a steep hill – at approximately 35 mph at the time of the collision.

Bucchere's message continued: “The quote/unquote 'scene of the crime' was that intersection right by the landmark Castro Theatre – it leads from a really busy MUNI station to that little plaza where The Naked Guy always hangs out. It was commuter hour and it was crowded as all getup. I couldn't see a line through the crowd and I couldn't stop, so I laid it down and just plowed through the crowded crosswalk in the least-populated place I could find.

“I don't remember the next five minutes but when I came to, I was in a neck brace being loaded into an ambulance. I remember seeing a RIVER of blood on the asphalt, but it wasn't mine. Apparently I hit a 71-year old male pedestrian and he ended up in the ICU with pretty serious head injuries. I really hope he ends up OK.

“They asked me a bunch of stupid easy questions that I couldn't answer, so they kept me for a few hours for observation, gave me a tetanus shot and sent me on my way.

“Anyway, other than a stiff neck, a sore jaw/TMJ, a few bruises and some raspberries, I'm totally fine. I got discharged from the hospital during the lunch hour. The guy I hit was not as fortunate. I really hope he makes it.

“The cops took my bike. Hopefully they'll give it back.

“In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac. Like the Secret Service would do for a president, she took some serious pavement today, cracking through-and-through in five places and getting completely mauled by the ragged asphalt. May she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live on and ride on. Can I get an amen?

“Amen.

“The moral of this little story is: WYFH”

Several members of the newsgroup took issue with the lesson Bucchere claims to have learned : WYFH, or “Wear Your Fucking Helmet.” One poster wrote, “I'm not sure that's the moral of the story,” to which several others agreed. Another poster wrote: “What were you thinking ? As a 15 year sf resident and a 10 year cyclist and a pedestrian at that intersection every weekday .. I'm kind of embarrassed to wear my mc kit anywhere nearby now. I truly hope you've learned your lesson but I'd have to say this is not the end of the story for you, and yes you should get yourself a lawyer.”

Recent studies have shown that San Francisco is a dangerous city for pedestrians, but not as dangerous as many other cities on a per capita basis given our density and high pedestrian populations. A study released in January by the Alliance for Biking & Walking concludes San Francisco has the third highest biking and walking levels among major US cities, but ranks eighth in bicycle and pedestrian fatality rates.

A 2011 study by the group Transportation for America, “Dangerous by Design,” analyzed factors associated with pedestrian deaths – some of which seem to be at play in this case – and concluded, “Especially when combined with unsafe street and road design, vehicle speed presents a deadly threat to pedestrians.”

Comments

You don't need an expensive licensing system, you merely enforce the laws already on the books regarding mandatory bicycle equipment.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

If he was riding a fixed gear bike without brakes, he had no business being on a busy street, FGS!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:27 am

Agreed. But there is no evidence of that at this point.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:38 am

and was riding too fast and without paying due attention.

If his bike turns out to be faulty, then he is even more guilty.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:57 am

on his descent before he entered the intersection. This has been documented by a nifty GPS device he was wearing which was streaming all that info at the time.

This is an interesting case because, like many people are doing, the cyclist was sharing all the details of his life on a real-time basis and then in the form of this (now deleted) blog post. He really can't say he didn't do it or he wasn't aware because he said he was and there's an electronic trail of crumbs a mile wide which shows everything - including his excessive speed.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

Wow, talk about blaming the victim! Generally, the light turns green after the traffic light in the crossing direction has turned red. Even if he entered the intersection while the light was yellow, what did he think? The light was going to turn green again, just for him? Also, given such a busy intersection - with cars, buses, walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, and everything in between - did he actually expect everyone to clear the intersection just for him, and just because he took a chance to try and get across while the light was turning red?

By his own account, he came across a crowd of pedestrians on Castro & Market, and tried to plow through the part of the crowd that was the "thinnest". This was not about one stray, lawless pedestrian who just decided to step out in traffic before his right-of-way. You're going to say that an entire crowd of pedestrians were doing the wrong thing? Screw that.

A pedestrian stepping off the curb during a green light should expect to get to the other side without being hit, by a car or a bike. Yes, we should look out for errant traffic, but if a large group of people is also crossing the street at the green, then well over more than one person has determined that the coast was clear. Just because this poor man couldn't get out of the way faster than the rest does not mean he should be blamed for his actions.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

Of course, the only victims to be blamed are UNWORTHY victims like Eliana Lopez who is responsible for her own predicament and must be held brutally accountable. Cyclists, likewise, are UNWORTHY victims and are all cyclists are always responsible for the conduct of other cyclists.

WORTHY victims, on the other hand, like busybody fauxttorney Ivory Madison and Poor Mr. Hui, who jumped off the bridge when everyone else jumped off the bridge, are completely unaccountable for their risky conduct because they are WORTHY victims.

If everyone expected for everyone else to conduct themselves according to the law and acted accordingly, then there would be a mess of dead and injured people. On the way back from work today on Market Street, I had to dodge even more jaywalking pedestrians who were oblivious to the danger they put themselves into. One of them caused a daydreaming cyclist to cut right in front of me as I swerved to avoid the ped and cyclist colliding. I could have been KILLED if I'd not been conscientious.

For a gang of libertarians who blame the poor for their predicament because they are UNWORTHY victims, you sure seem able to flip on a dime to give others a big fat pass on the consequences of not paying attention and suffering the predictable consequences not looking both ways before crossing the street by crafting him as a WORTHY victim.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

by ranting like a lunatic, Marco. While I agree that a few of the points that you have made in this thread are valid, you seem wholly unable to look at this situation objectively and seem to only be interested in defending all cyclists universally and without prejudice. Your narrow point of view has caused you to make some seriously erronious and potentially hurtful remarks here-- seriously? Harm reduction should be applauded? Do YOU read this stuff before hitting submit?

What happened at Market and Castro was wrong, and it was bad on the bicyclist. Period.
ALSO, when pedestrians get hit by cars, when cyclists get doored by cars, when people drive erratically-- that is also wrong, and it is bad on the motorist. There are no absolutes here, this is not black and white. Sometimes people, all people--on bikes, on foot, in cars, in wheelchairs, on those dippy little razors--all people fuck up sometimes. The cyclist in this case fucked up, and for you to go on ad nauseum about the rights of cyclists and the fact that this guy did no wrong is truly in poor taste. The guy even admitted that he screwed up! And, more importantly, a real live, flesh and blood human being got killed. Somebody's grandpappy got killed. Ok?
I have a friend who hit and killed a woman in his car, and she, the pedestrian, was determined to have been 100% at fault, but guess what? That shit haunts my friend to this day. You know why? Because he is a decent person with a concience. You, on the other hand, are a (or at least you represent yourself to be a) narcisstic, know-it-all-fuck-wad with a point to make. Never mind about you, Marco. This isn't about you.
Accidents don't get resolved once fault is determined. Those who survive go on living with the accidents for months and years and lifetimes. This poor sap who hit the guy has to go on living with this accident for the rest of his life. Those aren't just words. That is the sad, harsh reality.

The point of this conversation should not be to retrace the accident and determine who done it. I believe that there are experts who do that type of stuff. The point of this conversation should be to collaborate as to how we all, as citizens of the same city, will go forward and try to improve our actions so that this does not happen again.

I'll start.
I am going to be (even more) vigilant about looking in my rearview before I open my car door, looking both ways before I cross the street, and being a defensive pedestrian whenever on foot. I am willing to hear more suggestions from cyclists (maybe not Marco) about how my actions as a pedestrian can be improved to better accommodate sharing the road as it pertains to cyclist/pedestrian interactions.

What about you, Marco? What about you, everyone? How do we make sure that this doesn't happen again?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

A busy intersection at rush hour and you are FLYING through the intersection.
Use your head, and stop.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

I agree with most of this but it appears clear that the bicycle was operating at a speed that was excessive for the conditions. Addressing the fact that pedestrians routenely fail to allow traffic to clear an intersection seems to be acceptable to many here. I suggest that until all parties are expected to play by the rules you're pissing in the wind.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

Something similar happened to me last year as I took my bike on the 22 Fillmore/bike ski lift to a meeting of the doomed Avalos campaign in the Marina. I'd gotten off at the crest of the hill in Specific Whites and was biking down Fillmore. At Union, I had the green, there was a pedestrian who was crossing against his red. I pointed my bike to take me past his path of travel so that I would not hit him like we cyclists do every time a crazy pedestrian recklessly jaywalks in our ROW. He realized that he was in the wrong and turned around to get back to the curb and I hit him. It was more like the pedestrian sideswiped me while i was riding my bike. He was a drunken 20 something and was not injured nor was I.

But pedestrians can and do place themselves illegally in danger in ways that legal cycling cannot anticipate nor avoid. In this case, entering the intersection on the yellow is a legal movement. All cross traffic must wait for traffic legally in an intersection to clear before proceeding. That is not just a good idea, it is the law.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 7:22 am

they were obviously going too fast for the conditions. A car that rear-ends another car is automatically deemed at fault for going too fast.

So if you hot that pedestrian, then you were going too fast tod eal with contingencies. What if a dog or child had ran out?

And anyway, in this case, the pedestrian was crossing on green, while the bike blew thru a red. Case closed. Lock him up.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 7:42 am

I'd slowed down to account for the pedestrian and then the pedestrian reversed course and plowed into me. That I'd slowed down meant none of us were injured, I'd just hit the drunken fool as he ped-sideswiped me.

It appears the cyclist entered the intersection on the green or yellow, which is legal. Peds are required to allow the intersection to clear of legal traffic, even if they have the green/walk signal.

That's the law. Since the cops don't enforce that law, there are no consequences for ignoring it. Until when people ignore it things like this happen. Of course, this is not a wake up call for pedestrians to stop, look and listen, rather a green light to beat up on legal cyclists.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 8:33 am

Cyclists often try and maintain speed thru junctions and manoever past people assuming their line of motion will not change. But that's a dangerous assumption.

And please, enough with the "cars do it all the time" mantra. Second grade excuses don't wash when you're an adult.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:17 am

Reductio ad absurdum. If everyone had to slow down to deal with every conceivable contingency than bikes, peds and cars would never move.

I accommodated the idiocy of the drunkard and the drunkard slurred to me that he was at fault, not me.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:44 am
Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

You could very easily hit someone going 10mph and kill them. Pick a different measure.

Posted by Mike on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

Marcos:

You should not enter an intersection on a yellow light if you can avoid doing so.

From DMV:

yellow light Solid Yellow– A yellow signal light means "CAUTION." The red signal is about to appear. When you see the yellow light, stop if you can do so safely. If you cannot stop safely, cross the intersection cautiously.

clearly not the case in this instance, no caution. But you are correct on green
lights.

green light Solid Green– Give the right-of-way to any vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian in the intersection. A green light means "GO." If you are turning left, make the turn only if you have enough space to complete the turn before creating a hazard for any oncoming vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Do not enter the intersection if you cannot get completely across before the light turns red. If you block the intersection, you can be cited.

On a red light things are a bit different

red light Solid Red– A red signal light means "STOP." You can make a right turn against a red light after you stop then yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles close enough to be a hazard. Make the right turn only when it is safe. Do not turn if a "NO TURN ON RED" sign is posted.

NO excuse for entering the intersection on a red light. The yellow light gives you
warning if the light is red STOP. If you can't stop you already blew it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 8:55 am

The cyclist showed caution by minimizing the danger of his transit through the crosswalk by aiming for where there were fewest peds.

Peds are likewise required to show caution and look both ways before leaving the curb to allow traffic legally in the intersection to clear.

Like Mirkarimi, the conduct of the cyclist toes the line of what is permissible under the law, and like Mirkarimi, this will be used by opportunists to advance a political agenda irrespective of the number of injuries this will authorize motorists to visit on legal cyclists.

And, like Mirkarimi, this will deflect attention away from the true dangers, the brutal incumbency of political corruption and the brutal incumbency of rogue motorists which are the common bane of cyclist and pedestrian alike.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:10 am

reports say the crosswalk was crowded, thus this isnt' the case of one guy zipping out the moment the lights changed.

and we are supposed to laud this schmuck for aiming where there were fewest peds? after he created the dangerous situation in the first place? my freakin' hero.

your posts on this subject are pretty pathetic, man

Posted by DanO on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:45 am

Yep, we are to applaud harm reduction because the pedestrians entered the crosswalk illegally before the intersection had cleared. Right of way is to be given, not taken. It does not matter if you're "right" if you're injured or dead. Those of us who survive on the mean streets learned that lesson long ago.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 11:12 am

says anything about the pedestrians being in the cross walk illegally. Can you show me where that's been said? If not, seems to me you're creating facts to create a scenario to spread the guilt out instead of placing it where it belongs, a moron who, by his own account " just plowed through the crowded crosswalk."

and spare me the heroics of your survival in the mean streets. I bike in the City too and I've somehow managed not to crash into any pedestrians, much less at such a speed where I end up killing someone.

Posted by DanO on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 11:58 am

Marcos is obviously starring in his own private movie.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

And the brutal narcissism of people who feel that its normal to take up an entire discussion with details of their personal lives. Me me me me!

Posted by Mirrorman on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:50 am

Yes, motorists are in greater number and have more hazardous vehicles.
But a failure to exercise due caution caused a pointless death.
Is the cyclist as lame as many motorists? Yes. imho

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

If cyclists want pedestrians and drivers to take them seriously, then cyclists should stop opposing ANY form of licensing or other regulation.

There is no reason, other than selfishness and arrogance, that the cycling community should oppose a city ordinance that required bicycles operated on public roads to be licensed, with requirements including a visible ID tag (license plate) to aid in enforcement, a requirement to carry liability insurance and a requirement to pass a simple written test on relevant traffic laws and safety. Proceeds from license fees could go to road improvements for cycling (e.g. bicycle lanes, bike racks, etc.) and cycling advocacy. This would be a huge PR win for the cycling lobby as it would demonstrate they are serious about the safety of the broader community, not just cyclists.

The stubborn refusal of cyclists to support and even promote such an ordinance is a disservice to the majority of cyclists who do obey current traffic laws, and is reminiscent of the behavior of the NRA and the rest of the firearms lobby.

I've hear a lot of arguments against such an ordinance, but they all end up boiling down to 'I don't want to', and if that sentiment ruled the roads more broadly, the number of cyclists killed or injured by cars would be an order of magnitude higher than it is.

Another simple action that cyclists could do to regain the good-will and support of the community would be to self-police by reigning in Critical Mass. I'm not suggesting an end to CM, just that the cycling community should be aggressive in ensuring that CM cyclists don't ride on the sidewalk, pound on cars that are stopped safely at traffic lights, etc.

Cyclists, Critical Mass is where you as a body are most visible to the community at large, and where you are imposing inconvenience on your fellow citizens, whether drivers or pedestrians. There is value in the action as a means of advocacy and awareness building, but, much like the reckless and lawless behavior of Oakland Occupiers, the current behavior only cements a negative sentiment and increases the animosity that makes the roads less safe for cyclists.

Take the step and demonstrate your commitment to responsibility. Otherwise stop complaining of the bad rap you receive.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:41 am

You want bikes to have license plates? That's ridiculous and impractical. We'll take our lumps and learn our lessons from this incident, but that doesn't mean you'll get anywhere with these opportunistic and extreme overeactions.

Posted by steven on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 11:22 am

Even Avalos suggested bicyclists start paying a yearly registration fee. Mention it to Steven and you're accused of "opportunistic and extreme overreactions."

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

man and nightclubs.

"Just leave me alone!"

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

So how exactly do I want to regulate everything? Actually, I believe in nearly libertarian levels of freedom, except that I believe in taxing the rich and those who profit from public resources, whether they be corporations, developers, or motorists who expect free parking on public roadways. I'm really only interested in regulating the rapacious rich, because of the potential damage they can do to the rest of us and because we need money for roads, parks, transit, police, and other basic city functions. All the trolls who accuse progressives of trying to regulate everything are just making simplistic straw man arguments, despite the frequency with which they like to hear themselves stating the same flawed point over and over. 

Posted by steven on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

The guy you endorsed for mayor last year? He agreed with a bicycle registration fee too.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

I really hope you are speaking about Marcos when you talk about opportunistic and extreme overreactions.

What I am hearing from him is basically that the person who stepped in front of the bullet is at fault for getting shot.

Why is this not an outrage?

Posted by Mirrorman on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

How is it more ridiculous than cars and motorcycles having license plates, because it is very slightly inconvenient? Other vehicles have tags in order to make existing traffic, parking, etc. laws more enforceable. The biggest obstacle to cycling regulation enforcement is the difficulty of identifying violators, who today aren't required to carry any form of ID at all. Your response is a standard cop-out unless you think we should start eliminating such laws for others who operate on the road. Classic me-fist hypocrisy.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

It's ridiculous because any plate that's readable will create a lot of drag on the bike. It may not mean much when you're talking horsepower, but when you're talking human power they would be onerous.

Posted by Mike on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

or more legislation around them in any way, but that argument is idiotic.

Posted by matlock on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 1:04 am

Never been hit by a bike have you!!!
It's little enough to be registered. You are subject to the same traffic laws
as an auto.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 7:49 am

The distance between 16th Street and 17th Street at Market on Castro is about 500' according to google earth.

If the cyclist was going at 35mph, then he would have covered that in 10 seconds assuming constant speed which is an assumption given the two hills between the foot of Castro and Market.

I'd doubt that any mobile device could report GPS location data in 10 second increments, too expensive for battery life. That is not a reliable indicator of speed.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:50 am

Listen to Marcos. Don't be so hateful and jealous.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:56 am

Jealous of what, exactly. Yes, we are all super jealous that Marco is a narcisstic ass who is willing to make a fool of himself to prove a point.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

What does it matter what the law is regarding pedestrians stepping out into oncoming traffic? The law wont save your ass, stupid. What will is to remember what your mommy told you -- "Stop, Look, and Listen."

Posted by tagletigre on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 11:52 am

I support bicycling-- lawful, civil and skilled bicycling.

And I am an eleven year road crew volunteer for AIDS Lifecycle.

This said: I do not support cyclists running red lights and being unprepared to stop for pedestrians who are lawfully within cross walks.

Pedestrians do not wear helmets. Bicyclists do - or should be in helmets.

A cylist must be reading to do what is known as an "emergency stop/quick stop" or *in extremis* be ready to do a quick stop and lay the bicycle down - exactly the way motorcylists are trained to reduce or avoid injury in emergencies.

And, there is no excuse, legal or moral for an adult cyclist ever, but ever to ride on sidewalk pavement.

In Europe, the bike culture begins with classroom instruction in schools to teach collaboration with rules of the road.

THe gold standard is to ride ones bicycle as skillfully and predictably as one does a motorcycle.

Pedestrians are as vulnerable in relation to a bicycle as in relation to an autmomobile. Both by the laws of physics and state law, bicycles ARE vehicles and need to be handled with care, attention and courtesy.

If one is unprepared to stop ones bicycle in traffic, one is riding recklessly.

See you on AIDS Lifecycle 11

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

As other posters have mentioned, I'm curious as to whether the cyclist was riding a fixie or other bike that didn't have brakes.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

as should everyone who kills innocents. I wouldn't mind a 15-year sentence. and i'd want the same for anyone else showing a blatant disregard for human life.

Aside from Dick Cheney-like moral monsters, though, there is actually something we can do to prevent this type of thing:

1) get traffic engineers to actually re-design/fix the streets for bikes, which includes, of course, making yellow lights longer so bikes can actually make it through intersections before crossing walk/bike/car traffic engages -- these car-oriented light are the primary reason why alleged 'red-light running bikers' get slaughtered by cars, and then bike advocates wonder aloud, "Why did she just ride in front of that car like that? Was she suicidal?" -- uh, no dimwit, the light changed while she was in the middle of intersection, of course,

2) get SFBC and WalkSF on board to support a sane policy regarding stop signs and red lights because these unjust laws sow confusion and lead to untold numbers of injuries, and occasionally, even deaths. The Idaho Stop is not good enough -- we need the ability to 'California Stop' both Stop signs and red lights while always giving right of way to people who have the right of way, which includes yielding to/stopping for pedestrians who have the right of way -- this is very simple and obvious, it's already the way the world works, not just in SF but all over America and all around the world, by cops and citizens alike, and even and especially in Amsterdam -- so please, no fantasy "but they don't do it in Amsterdam" excuses -- newsflash: they do too (p.s. The Netherlands is the safest country in the world for transportation) -- we're just going to legalize safe, normal, everyday behavior and outlaw and actually crack down on illegal, dangerous behavior,

3) get SFBC, WalkSF, the car people (is there even a group? AAA?), MUNI, Caltrain, BART, etc. to commit to a Vision Zero policy to make a real effort at zero transportation-related deaths per year -- including suicide prevention -- no more excuses:
http://www.visionzerooregon.org/

All of these steps are completely obvious and realistic, and if we commit to doing these things on principle, no person or party will be able to oppose them and expect to be taken seriously. Of course, that requires that we don't feel compelled to apologize for wanting to be able to survive while walking and biking the streets of SF.

Posted by Peter Smith on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

"All of these steps are completely obvious and realistic, and if we commit to doing these things on principle, no person or party will be able to oppose them and expect to be taken seriously."

Yes, your sense of entitlement is pure common sense. See you at the next pro-life protest, afterwards we can go to the vegan restaurant and sign some petitions to ban SUVs.

Posted by matlock on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 1:09 am

I think that we should license everyone as pedestrians whether they walk or not. And we should require everyone to get pedestrian insurance. Here's the rationale: everyone might walk some day and might end up being involved in a collision. That is a clear nexus to interstate commerce, so we need an individual mandate for every person who is in the class who might theoretically walk some day and hence might become involved in a collision needs to be identifiable and needs to cover their potential liability.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

It's called health insurance and that makes perfect sense, if you are a conservative looking to preserve the insurance industry and believe for profit health care is the solution to a national health care crisis.
A moderate looking for a way to compromise with right wing partisans looks to garner their participation and adopts their solution of individual mandate, to which those self same right wingers then make outrageous allegations of socialism and non-constitutionality, which eventually get presented as argument in comments on subjects for which they have no connection.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

I'm sorry, but did the writer of this article actually make the point that the media (i.e. him) doesn't write about pedestrians getting hit by cars?

Isn't that your job dude? If you think every story about a pedestrian being hit by a car/bus/truck/etc. is newsworthy, write about it. Stop blaming other people because you decided not to talk about it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

I might just give him a little tap, tap, tappy with my bumper to remind him that hey - sometimes mistakes him.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

This is a tragic accident. If the post was in fact put up by the rider, he was obviously callous in his post. There are laws to deal with the events which caused the death of an innocent man of 71 years age. Assuming that the writer of the blog entry was in fact the rider, he was obviously not intending to communicate an expression of his feelings for the poor victim, he was focused on his own survival experience.

Whatever else may come of it, the guy survived an accident (of his own making), that knocked him silly and caused him to loose consciousness. He was telling his tale of survival. He certainly had no intent of hurting anyone and it seems like his actions to lay the bike down were appropriate and an attempt to prevent injury to others.

Insensitive, stupid and naive blog post, hell yeah... but not specifically demonstrative of his feelings for the victim.

Every tragic event does not require a solution whereby society reworks itself to a slightly better chance that things do not repeat or solve a problem which may not actually exist. There is no reason to take this event and from it extrapolate a solution which might add great burden and no relief.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

I have lived in SF over 15 years now and never encountered such a rude bunch of agressive cyclists as here. They ignore stop signs, ride on the wrong side of the street, are agressive on sidewalks, weaving in and out of pedestrians and start cursing blue if you tell them to slow down or confront them on their recklessness. I had a cyclist run a red light and almost run me over and when I yelled "watch it" start cursing at me.

I think SF is too lenient with cyclists and along with the stupid monthly "Critical Mass", I'd wish SF police would clamp down on these morons. If you are rude, riding recklessly and agressively, you are doing no one a favor by saving the air.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 5:20 pm