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Friday, October 22, 2021

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News + PoliticsOpinion: Saving lives, not unleashing police violence

Opinion: Saving lives, not unleashing police violence

There are good reasons for people to worry about the way the cops are enforcing Vision Zero 

Graphic by
Graphic by SF Bicycle Coalition

by Fran Taylor

The deaths of Sandra Bland in Texas and Samuel DuBose in Ohio following police stops for failing to signal a lane change and lacking a front license plate highlight the dangers of relying on law enforcement to rectify social ills.

While traffic violence in San Francisco leads to three pedestrian injuries every day and 11 pedestrian fatalities so far in 2015, those of us involved in the Vision Zero campaign to stop this violence must be wary of unleashing another form of violence on populations typically singled out for selective law enforcement.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Police Department is using Vision Zero as a pretext to target the typical victims of traffic violence: pedestrians and bicyclists. While getting a ticket is less serious than dying after police intervention, both exist on a continuum of profiling and misuse of power. This juxtaposition creates an opportunity for groups that may not speak much to each other—transportation advocates and communities of color—to acknowledge each other’s struggle and find common ground. It’s up to all of us to seize this opportunity and broaden our frames of reference.

Black and brown communities in San Francisco have every reason to be skeptical of a campaign like Vision Zero that could give police a new excuse to harass them, especially in light of the recent deaths of Alex Nieto on Bernal hill and Amilcar Perez-Lopez in the Mission at the hands of the SFPD. Watching videos of Sandra Bland and Samuel DuBose being pulled over for minor traffic offenses and winding up dead must send a chill to anyone hearing calls for increased police enforcement.

Exacerbating this atmosphere of distrust is the intentional police misinterpretation of Vision Zero that has already taken place in San Francisco. Reliable data have shown that five behaviors—red-light running, speeding, stop sign running, failure to yield, and violating pedestrian right of way—cause the most mayhem on our streets. Even though all of the offenses making up “Focus on the Five” consist of driver fault, some police officials have used Vision Zero to justify ticketing bicyclists and pedestrians in the Tenderloin as well as along the Wiggle.

This chart shows the stats for traffic stops in the Tenderloin
This chart shows the stats for traffic stops in the Tenderloin

Vision Zero advocates must remain steadfast in our efforts to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2024. Fortunately, we have other means to reach this goal that do not require police intervention: reengineering streets so that they no longer encourage speeding; enhancing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure; and providing education to all members of the public, no matter how they get around.

But enforcement cannot be avoided altogether. We all see every day drivers whip around turns without slowing, forcing people to jump out of the way; speed on neighborhood streets where children may be playing; or gun it through red lights. When police ignore these dangerous moves and instead pounce on so-called jaywalkers or hound a youth of color for no good reason, we are left doubly unprotected.

To add insult to injury, the populations most likely to be racially profiled are also those most likely to be injured or killed by traffic violence. Nationally, African Americans have a pedestrian fatality rate 60% higher than that of whites. For Latinos, that rate is 43% higher. At the same time, nearly 75% of black respondents in a recent survey consider violence against civilians by law enforcement to be a serious problem, compared with less than 20% of whites. This disconnect could lead Vision Zero to alienate the very neighborhoods that it could help the most by identifying the campaign with heavy-handed police behavior.

City Hall and the San Francisco Police Department have been silent or insulting on these contradictions. The community-based Vision Zero Coalition and the more city agency–heavy Vision Zero Task Force, as well as transportation advocacy groups such as Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, must instead look beyond our own members and encourage all San Franciscans concerned about both traffic violence and police violence to help us address this problem.

Now is a perfect time for bicyclists and pedestrians who may newly understand how it feels to be targeted unfairly to wake up to other forms of police profiling. As we continue with our work, we need to keep our eyes and ears open to the possibility of unintended consequences. Vision Zero can’t let itself become a rationale for open season on drivers of color.

 

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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207 COMMENTS

  1. “The distinction I am drawing here is that drivers do not think they should be above the law, but cyclists do.”

    What a hilariously absurd and utterly untrue statement.

  2. easy for you to type what BIKES should do, but a lot are not, if the city spent some money and had signage at several interesections, that would be helpful.

  3. as a drive, and as someone who has driven in the city before there were any bike lanes, and as they have evolved, I always am ready for anything when driving, and i always yield to pedestrians and bikes, but you do raise a good point, both bikes & pedestrians should be a lot more careful ESP at night since it’s sometimes impossible to see them…

  4. I doubt drivers would like it if the SFPD cited them for double parking.

    The problem is that the SFPD, Park Station to be specific, has been targeting cyclists who run stop signs while ignoring the traffic violations by motorists. Motor vehicles double parked in bike lanes, for example, is notoriously ignored by the SFPD. There’s also a video that was recorded, where the SFPD was citing cyclists who ran stop signs (at the Wiggle), and it not only showed average motorists not stopping at the stop signs but also showed an SFPD car didn’t completely stop.

  5. A driver who double parks also thinks they’re above the law as they know double parking is against the vehicle code/law. Not only do they think they’re above the law, but their action of double parking in bike lanes and parking in short driveways which cause a blockage of sidewalks displays they feel their convenience is more important than safety of bicyclists & pedestrians.

  6. Peds yield to cars out of viseral intimidation. Bikes are nominally less threatening – though getting knocked down is hardly a ‘picnic’. But yes, both should yield to peds.

    I just have trouble when they’re crossing mid-block, walking in the bike lane or numerous other infractions.

    But yes, avoiding collisions – my new mantra.

  7. Yes yes, of course.

    It just seems that riding on Market lately its become like that scene out of
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q5Nur642BU with all the people crossing this way and that;

    except these days there are a lot few cars or horses.

    I take it that with the withdrawl of most motor traffic, the street sounds relatively safe to cross anywhere – unaware? of the silent threat of bikes. That many of the riders are themselves acting anarchically doesn’t help either.

    One can usually count on fellow road users to not want to waste their time with an “accident”. But some denizens of Market St might see such an event as an opportunity to collect.

    Its v hazardous out there. Safe travails everyone.

  8. It’s my understanding that there is a section in the CA Vehicle Code that says that it is always an obligation of any road user to avoid a collision if it is possible.

    So the fact that the other party is technically in violation of the code does not, ipso facto, give you legal immunity if you decide to just run them down.

    Their illegality doesn’t let you off the hook if you could have avoided an impact. But that said, their wrongful behavior would be considered a mitigating factor in any civil or criminal action that resulted from it.

  9. Is one obliged to yield to someone who is doing something illegal – like jaywalking?

    I mean, I don’t want to collide with anyone (if on a bike, I risk injury myself; if in a car, I risk damage to vehicle and injury to another). But I’m not sure its my obligation any more than its the other persons obligation who is acting unlawfully.

  10. They appear still there to you because you haven’t swapped out of your browser

    Gee, I thought you were the tech guy here. Didn’t you invent the internet?

  11. I’m not the one endlessly trying to lie about being censored here. That is the true definition of insanity

  12. Wait, you are still denying that dozens of your comments have been removed by the moderators here?

    Please say that you are. Please.

  13. I am imaging “this comment was removed” where dozens of comments by marc sullivan used to be?

    Heck, even Greg commented on it and he is supposed to be on your side

  14. The readers who are witnessing your meltdown as you are in full denial that 48Hills are removing your comments as fast as they can.

  15. It does take a special kind of idiocy for a left-winger to be barred from a left-wing website for trolling.

    But you managed it. Well done!

  16. No difference between the two. If you make an out of state purchase, you need to declare it on your CA-540.

    Obviously you do not. Tax cheat.

  17. I wasn’t wrong when I pointed out to everyone here that you were being aggressively censored for misbehavior, abuse and dishonesty

  18. A car purchase would require that I pay the tax, but not a cup of coffee. A car purchase, btw, would probably be caught by the DMV. At this point you’re a tax cheat. I’m not.

  19. CA residents owe CA sales tax on all purchases made, regardless of location. Did you seriously not know that?

    You can’t just go up to Oregon, buy a car and expect to not owe CA sales tax.

  20. Please provide the section of the CA tax code that says that purchases made out of state — say, on a trip to Oregon — are subject to the CA sales tax.

  21. Nah, I just sucked your comments out of this website.

    But if you are lucky, these latest posts of yours might stick around until tomorrow morning, when another mass cull of your verbiage will take place, amusing us all some more.

    And notice how nobody on the left sticks up for you? Friendless and clueless.

  22. Many out-of-state vendors do not collect CA taxes. And any purchases you make out of state – even a cup of coffee – should be declared for CA sales tax.

    Why are you a tax cheat?

  23. Was I clueless when I pointed out that you were being aggressively moderated and then you tried to deny it?

    You are just soooooo angry about this. It’s hilarious.

  24. hayes, do you declare your out-of-state purchases so that CA taxes are paid each year?

    Trick question, because nobody does, so you are a tax cheat.

  25. No $am, the topic here is how one behaves in a civilized society. You are holding cyclists to a higher standard than you hold yourself. In your binary world, that makes you a hypocrite.

  26. Getting manipulated is provoking the other party into crossing the line so that their posts are removed, as yours are now being routinely eviscerated.

    I’ve been warning you for some time that 48Hills is losing patience with your constant bitter trolling. They are finally taking action.

    The main reason you have failed politically is because nobody likes you. Even if you have some ideas that don’t totally suck, it doesn’t matter, because even your progressive comrades hate you and refuse to support you.

    You’ve been driven off progressive island for being revolting. And now you are being driven off this site as well. Are you some kind of masochist?

  27. You accused me of lying when I pointed out your posts had been removed from the Welch thread, and now dozens more of yours have been removed from this thread.

    Proving that you are the liar.

  28. I didn’t say anything of the sort. What I’ve said is that if you contend that cyclists must obey the letter of the law, you must contend that taxpayers do so as well. Further, you admit that you do not register your Airbnb properties with the city as required by law. You are a hypocrite and have no business lecturing anyone about obeying the law.

  29. No, every single street must have parking removed so that there can be grade separated bike lanes everywhere always.

  30. Wrong, Greg, I only responded to jhayes. I admit I was surprised that he made sense for once. But I don’t know if the number is a record or not, and neither do you nor him.

    I don’t know SFPark nor which “team” he is on, but he made sense here.

  31. Now you’re trying to walk it back because you accidentally trolled your own “team.” But it’s no use. You’ve been caught red-handed.

  32. I never said the statement was ridiculous. I referred to jhayes re-statement of that as contradicting another statement that jhayes had made.

    Whether the number is a record or not has not been determined but, for all we know, it may be true.

  33. Greg, I don’t think that helmet laws should be mandatory because it is an infringement of freedom and because it really only protects the wearer.

    But that said, it makes far more sense for cyclists and motor cyclist than it does for driver and pedestrians.

  34. Greg, that’s not it. Tim may disagree with my views and values but he understands that I express them honestly and in a civil manner.

    foghorn/marcos is always quick to turn abusive if anyone disagrees with him, and routinely deflects the debate with irrelevancies and insults if he doesn’t get his way.

    Moreover, marcos is constantly criticising progressives do choose a different approach or strategy from him. Indeed, marcos appears to hate those on the left more than the elft’s common enemy.

    And while fragmentation and intolerance are not uncommon among leftists, marcos has taken that to an unacceptable level, and is therefore being restrained for the good of the many and the cause.

  35. Drivers still die of head injuries. Helmets would help prevent that. Reduced visibility isn’t really an issue any more with typical bicycle helmets, but I agree that it might make driving less comfortable. It makes biking less comfortable too.

  36. I think that proves his point that Redmond is enabling trolls. Trolls like you incite others, while remaining superficially polite. In the process, the comment section turns to mush, and ordinary readers leave. If that’s what Redmond wants to do, that’s his business I suppose.

  37. Actually it amazed me that jhayes was actually saying something so it wasn’t a huge shock when it was pointed out that he was just parroting somebody else’s comments.

    given the increase in cycling in SF, it is entirely possible that cyclist-caused accidents are at a record high. Certainly nobody has proven otherwise.

  38. sorry, i’ve wanted to vent my frustrations about this for awhile.

    Paragraphs – aw yes….punctuation no, too lazy

  39. I TRY to do all of this, but sometimes I may forget, and it’s not appreciated to have some person going way too fast around a corner (with a stop sign btw), to cuss me out and call me an axxxxx, because I forgot one time. Bike people need to be polite & kind to car drivers unless otherwise provoked. I know that’s a dream, but it would certainly make things a lot easier!

  40. When? When he pointed out how ridiculous your comment was about the “record” number of cyclists killing pedestrians?

  41. I love how they’re being perfect trolls. I understood exactly what you meant, jhayes. I saw the comment too, and thought it was pretty absurd. Record numbers my ass!

    The trolls, of course, never called out that comment, because they were playing on his “team” in this debate. But when they erroneously thought that you made the comment, then they pounce, because you’re progressive, and any statement a progressive makes must be opposed and countered, always.

    Yes, the comment is outrageous, and the joke is on the trolls.

  42. With seatbelts and an airbag, no driver should go through a windshield any more. And the discomfort and reduced visibility of a helmet might cause more accidents

  43. You were the one complaining about a zero tolerance policy towards cyclist bad behavior. And now you claim there is no zero tolerance policy?

    Which is it?

  44. Yes, siddle, as a matter of fact they do. In a bad accident, a driver can go through the windshield. Not as often as bicyclists (on a percentage basis, but perhaps more often on a sheer number basis). If the argument is that bicyclists should be required to wear helmets because helmets save some lives, then the argument would hold for car drivers too, because it would also save some lives.

  45. The removed posts of yours are all there for anyone to see on the Calvin Welch message thread.

    That’s gotta hurt – censored by your fellow passengers on the left.

  46. Most streets do not need separate lanes for different classes of road users. That is why there are only bus lanes on a few streets as well.

    The problem is more when a bike lane is put on a major, busy, high-speed artery like Fell and Oak.

  47. You are the one lying if you are trying to claim that your posts were not removed by the moderators yesterday. The evidence is still there in the Welch thread.

  48. I’d suggest that tickets are disproportionately given out to drivers.

    But the more angry you get, the more readers know that you know you are losing the debate.

  49. You had multiple posts removed by the moderators yesterday from the Welch thread. Any reader can easily verify that by looking at it.

    It’s bad enough that you would now lie about that, but to tell a lie that can so easily be exposed indicates either desperation or gross stupidity

  50. “bike lanes on some streets but not on ALL streets”

    No, we must continue with our secret plans to put bike lanes on all streets.

  51. You really need to learn how to debate issues and topics without becoming so angry all the time. When the moderators remove a whole bunch of comments, as they did with yours yesterday on the Welch thread, it’s time to wake up and behave.

  52. I only apply as much effort here as it takes to refute you, or tempt you into personal attacks which amounts to the same thing

  53. Just because I beat you in debates is no reason to turn to cheap personal attacks. The moderates have already started removing your posts here. Be careful.

  54. No, drivers just want enforcement against all road users and not just
    the one deemed politically incorrect or ideologically impure.

    Bitch.

  55. There are on average 20 instances of auto murder of pedestrians in San Francisco each year.

    If 1.5 per decade offends your sensibilities so, how can you stand by idly when 200 pedestrians per decade are killed by motorists.

    Hypocritical troll.

  56. How many departments? Is that anywhere near a majority? Statistics and evidence to support your assertions or you are lying again.

  57. Look at the various cities that have implemented it, including NY and SF. Zero tolerance works. Trying to avoid laws that personally inconvenience you does not.

  58. You are inventing interpretations of the law not supported by precedence and real-world experience.

    AKA lying.

  59. The Moullac case was not murder. There were no criminal charges brought. Why do you lie?

    I watched that video and found it to be inconclusive since the cyclist can hardly be seen in it. It wasn’t clear to me whether she hit the truck or the truck hit her. That said, her family got a 4 million payday but then this is America and insurance was paying anyway. Being found 51% at fault for an accident does not imply the burden of proof necessary for a criminal charge,

    Cyclists need to obey all traffic laws

  60. There is a difference between

    1) Breaking a law understanding that you are doing that and deciding to take the risk of being caught, and

    2) Thinking that you are above the law

    No there is not.

  61. And since both bicycles and automobiles are vehicles under the law, both modalities must be held to exactly the same standards under the law.

  62. No, the widespread adoption of zero tolerance policing is indicative of its effectiveness. You just want a pass for cyclists because you ride a bike. Self-serving.

  63. That is two too many, and there have been many injuries as well – one just the other day in the Panhandle.

    The community wants cyclists to obey the vehicle code and do a better job of stopping and yielding at intersections.

    I agree with you that identity politics is repugnant and unhelpful

  64. Bogus argument. Cyclists are not required to put a foot on the ground when they stop. However, it’s often a good idea as it proves to pedestrians, cars and cops that they have come to a complete and sincere stop.

  65. Not sure why you’re going off topic, but I do agree with you that cyclists have to follow the vehicle code and cannot claim immunity because of some ideological belief in the superiority of cycling or the evil of cars.

  66. I think that motorists should be required to stop their autos at stop signs. Unbuckle their seat belts. And then put one foot flat on the street for five seconds before getting back in the car, buckling back up, checking and adjusting all of their mirrors and then proceeding once it is safe.

    This is because autos are vehicles under the law just like cyclists.

  67. Coming to a full stop at stop signs, signaling when changing lanes and only doing so when the lane is not occupied and driving at or below the speed limit are not “best practices,” they are the black line letter of the law for motorists that is disobeyed more often than they are heeded.

    Amelie Moullac was murdered by a negligent truck driver who did not obey the law. The SFPD declared Moullac at fault. The SFBC had to scour local surveillance video to do the job the SFPD is supposed to. That video revealed the truck driver was at fault due to recklessness. The driver has never been prosecuted for killing someone due to reckless use of a motor vehicle.

    http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/01/15/verdict-in-wrongful-death-suit-against-driver-who-killed-bicyclist

  68. “The distinction I am drawing here is that drivers do not think they should be above the law, but cyclists do.”

    As do some taxpayers.

    As to Kamakazie cyclists, it was not my comment. It was from SFParkripoff. I used it as an example of an outrageous statement.

  69. There were two recorded pedestrian fatalities over the past three decades due to cyclists.

    If progressives can assign entire groups characteristics based on one facet of their existence, then why can’t conservatives?

    It is bullshit prejudice in any instance, but that is the same spew that issues from the mouths of progressive activists regularly.

    How about we treat each person as an individual first and a member of a group second?

  70. The distinction I am drawing here is that drivers do not think they should be above the law, but cyclists do.

    And so, apparently, do some taxpayers.

  71. Contributors here are welcome to criticize any flawed comment here, whether directed at them or not. Te moderators have sent you a warning. Be mindful.

  72. Again, if the SFPD began to enforce the CVC as you’d have them, then there would be a lot of angry motorists.

    Apparently you prefer to distract the serial injury and occasional killing by motorists of peds and cyclists back onto cyclists and peds so that nothing has to change for motorists.

    It is not like cyclists and peds are killing and injuring motorists, now is it?

  73. We are all responsible for the real life consequences of our actions and we need to act accordingly with respect for others.

    When driving a car, motorists must always maintain control, when stepping out into the path of traffic from their car, motorists must always look before they leap. When crossing the street, it is also behoovey to look both ways.

  74. No, there was a second case on the Embarcadero about 3-4 years ago. Anyway, above you said this:

    “Kamikaze cyclists who are sending pedestrians to the hospitals in record numbers.”

  75. Taxes are different. People typically avoid or evade taxes when they disagree with the tax AND when they think they can get away with it.

    The distinction I am drawing here is that drivers do not think they should be above the law, but cyclists do.

  76. Car drivers dont need to wear helmets because

    1. Cars have seatbelts
    2. Cars self deploying airbags
    3. Cars have bumpers designed to absorb the impact from collisions
    4. Cars have crumple zones also designed to absorb the impact from collisions

    According to BicycleLaw.com (a cycling advocacy law firm)

    “Most bicycle accidents are in fact solo accidents involving a defect or some other hazard in the road or trail.” http://www.bicyclelaw.com/p.cfm/legal-issues-for-cyclists/about-bicycle-accidents

    Bicyclists should wear helmets for their own protection

  77. $am, you’re making stuff up again. In recent memory I am aware of one fatality caused by a cyclist. There are many, many more caused by motor vehicles. Where does your 80% figure come from? The SF cycling community is overwhelmingly privileged white males? Casual observation suggests that many are women. And have you stopped any cyclist to inquire about his or her economic status? Of course not. As with so many of your posts, this is all BS.

  78. There is a difference between

    1) Breaking a law understanding that you are doing that and deciding to take the risk of being caught, and

    2) Thinking that you are above the law

    When a driver double parks, he is consciously taking that risk but doesn’t pretend he is doing something lawful or principled. He just hopes to not get caught.

    A cyclist who doesn’t stop at a stop sign instead thinks that the law shouldn’t apply to him. And if we don’t enforce that requirement then cyclist behavior will continue to get worse.

    What people do inside their own home is another matter, because nobody else is harmed by that

  79. No, drivers just want enforcement against all road users and not just the one deemed politically incorrect or ideologically impure.

  80. You were arguing to not enforce certain laws according to whether they personally inconvenience you. That is not tenable as a matter of public policy.

    PS: I notice that dozens of your comments were removed from the Welch thread. You should be careful out there.

  81. Does this include registering all of one’s Airbnb units with the city, or is not registering them a form of legitimate protest? Can a property owner choose which laws to observe or is this just a traffic thing?

  82. This is really over the top: The “Focus on the Five” campaign targets only motorists and none of the Kamikaze cyclists who are sending pedestrians to the hospitals in record numbers.

  83. and they do nothing to take into account the fact that CARS NEED TO BE ABLE TO move through the city….it’s “us vs them” and the SFMTA has created this

  84. and bikes have no patience with cars. god forbid if i forget to look as i open my car door, (Church & Hermann) does a bike have the right to not stop and be going around a corner so fast? just because a drive forgets something does not mean they want to take out a bicyclist!

  85. This seems like a great place to post this as someone that lives out of the city (Peninsula – Pacifica/Half Moon Bay no adequate transport options), and comes into SF several times a week. Your vision zero plan is NOT working in the sense that no one looks at it from the drivers point of view. the sfmta has created MASSIVE gridlock with each of their “calming” procedures. This creates angry drivers (not myself, as I always allow extra time, and i’ve had the luxury of driving to & from the city as this has all unfolded so i’ve been able to adjust to it gradually over time), that are stuck in traffic, then you factor in the delivery trucks, and uber cars, that often times are double parked everywhere, then the people looking for parking, and all the delivery people that are delivering everything to the people that summon everything on their apps and don’t leave their house during the week, it’s laugh-a-ble; I’m all for making the streets safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, however, adding transit only lanes, reducing lanes on a lot of downtown streets, and changing one way streets to 2 way is ridiculous – at least every block. I think that a logical solution would be to maybe have these safety improvements block staggered, meaning one block is still left “drivable” (1 way or whatever) and the next has been reconfigured for all the necessary safety issues; bike lanes on some streets but not on ALL streets, how ridiculous is it to reduce the lanes of traffic, or make a one way street 2 way and then have bikes block your only lane in addition to all the aforementioned things in the way? this “us vs them” mentality that the city and bicylists and vision zero has created will only end up causing MORE INJURIES and even DEATHS in the short & long term. CARS MUST exist in SF, they drive through the city to the North Bay, or people such as myself drive down to Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, etc. we have no choice, and we spend a lot of money in the city in doing so. And one more thing, for all the parking places that have been taken away in the last 5 years by Car Shares, and then these parklet things, and now near the corners for safety (which I 100% understand and agree with, it does make it much easier to see who’s at the corner), the city needs to build parking garage’s for the cars that MUST EXIST in SF. A lof of the “new” SF average person, has a garage that they bought with the place they live in, so they are most likely set (or they don’t have cars), but the parking places that have been taken away need to be replaced. I had to laugh your comment “Black and brown communities in San Francisco “, seriously? The only black people still allowed in SF are in public housing, or Hunter’s Point, etc. , I remember in the late 90’s when black people lived in Hayes Valley, and off of Divisadero and such, over the years they were all forced out. and as for the mission, how many Latino’s do you think are still there? Again, I’m all for safety improvements, and such, but cars need to be factored in as a necessary evil, not something that will magically go away…. I feel very qualified to speak out about this. Originally from LA, I lived in the city for 10 years w/out a car; then when I moved back to the area and to the Peninsula I had to have a car, when i was a pedestrian I knew how to look at things both as a driver & a pedestrian, the city could do a lot more by using SIGNAGE at every corner if need be, i cld go on and on, i’ve been waiting to lay this out somewhere…i’ll put it to rest now…

  86. The Vision Zero task force is cherry picking the California vehicle code and lobbying the City Hall to ONLY enforce traffic laws for motorists. Cyclists are treated like vehicle operators under most California bicycle laws. Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations. This means that cyclists are required to obey lane designations, STOP signs, traffic lights and DUI laws. Bicyclists are also required to use hand signals before stopping, turning or changing lanes.

    Using lights and reflectors at night is the law (CVC §21201). Refer
    to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with all of these rules. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37

  87. The Bicycle Coalition is perpetuating the ridiculous idea that bicyclists are essentially sitting ducks out there in traffic. Every mode of travel has best practices designed to mitigate risk.

    1. Drivers must be licensed to drive and wear seat belts
    2. Motorcyclists must be licensed to drive and obey traffic laws
    3. Pedestrians must obey traffic lights and posted signs
    4. Truck drivers Drivers must be licensed to drive and wear seat belts

    Why is it that bicycling, alone among all such activities as far as I can tell, is so chock full of participants who seem to loathe having to learn and adopt the best practices of their chosen activity?

  88. Just who are these they, then, and are these they authorized to speak for everyone? Have you done the research to prove that the Vision Zero Task Force members don’t wear helmets? Photos or it didn’t happen.

    If the Police Department upheld all laws against cars, you’d be more upset with them than with cyclists. The only reason why motorists demand enforcement is because they know the SFPD tilts enforcement away from them.

  89. The sanctimonious “Vision Zero Task Force” who are demanding safer streets and shared roadway space want it both ways. They claim to be the equal of
    motorists, entitled to their equal share of the road, yet they refuse to wear bicycle helmets, or obey the traffic laws.

    The Police Department has a civic responsibility to uphold the laws that are currently on the books. Cyclists should be issued tickets for moving violations, including disobeying traffic signals and failing to yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians should also be ticketed for jaywalking and crossing against traffic signals.

    The taxpayer funded “Vision Zero” advocates have to make up their minds. Are they co-owners of the road, obliged to follow its rules? Or are they free spirits, obeying no rules and claiming no privileges? If the “Vision Zero” coalition wants their share of the road, they can’t go on pretending that they are above its laws.

  90. Where is the evidence for this outrageous assertion that pedestrians violate the law because they see cyclists violating the law? Smells like your ass as if it was just pulled out of it.

  91. No, but I can understand pedestrians being flexible with the jaywalking rules if they see cyclists routinely failing to yield at crosswalks and stop signs and lights

  92. Wrong. You have to enforce all laws. The reason is very simple. If a law is never enforced then it ceases to be a law at all.

    That is not to say that there aren’t enforcement priorities. We’d expect SFPD to spend more time on murders than on littering. But that is not to say that littering gets a pass if a cop sees it or if the public complains.

    In particular, the recent sting on cyclists using the Wiggle was prompted by SFPD received a large number of complaints from the local community about bad, inconsiderate and dangerous cyclist behavior there – much of it around not stopping when required.

    Just because your taxes contribute towards SFPD salaries does not mean that you get a pass when you break the law.

  93. The enforcement of the California Vehicle Code by the SFPD needs to be treated as an exercise in public health, laws that when broken in certain ways lead to the most deaths and injuries must be enforced, laws that when broken in certain ways that don’t lead to the most deaths and injuries must not be enforced.

    There need to be consequences for station Captains and line officers for disobeying public policy. We pay their salaries and they will enforce laws according to our priorities or they can forfeit advancement and find jobs elsewhere.

  94. It’s a fairly fundamental rule of the road that any and all vehicles should yield to pedestrians. More generally, faster traffic should yield to slower traffic.

    If cyclists want pedestrians to be more deferential, they could perhaps start by showing some common courtesy and respect themselves.

  95. Yeah, this part that Fran writes is bizarre:

    “five behaviors—red-light running, speeding, stop sign running, failure to yield, and violating pedestrian right of way—cause the most mayhem on our streets. Even though all of the offenses making up “Focus on the Five” consist of driver fault . . .”

    Driver fault? Cyclists routinely do all of these and in one recent case a cyclist blew through a stop at speed and killed a pedestrian who had the right of way.

    Any argument that starts with the premise that cyclists are victims is not going to get far. And moreover while Fran liberally plays an entire deck of race cards here, including several jokers, the arrogant self-righteous community of cyclists in SF is overwhelmingly privileged white males. Where is Fran’s faux race outrage about that?

  96. “Reliable data have shown that five behaviors—red-light running, speeding, stop sign running, failure to yield, and violating pedestrian right of way—cause the most mayhem on our streets.”

    With all due respect to the writer, Vision Zero is already an abysmal failure because under “vision zero” pedestrians and cyclists bear NO RESPONSIBILITY for their own
    safety and by extension, for their actions on the road. The “Focus on the Five” campaign targets only motorists and none of the Kamikaze cyclists who are sending pedestrians to the hospitals in record numbers.

    Walk San Francisco and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition are lobbying organizations who get millions of dollars from The Dept. of Public Health, the MTA,
    Neighborhood Development, and the PUC in the form of grants, continuing
    projects, operating costs and bike to work day. Every dime the city collects through the “Focus on the Five” campaign will get funneled right back to the “Vision Zero” advocates who are on the city payroll.

    Safety improvements are always possible, but not through the command-and-control, vehicle-hostile tactics that “Vision Zero” calls for. The goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities is of course completely unrealistic, and every stakeholder in the traffic safety community knows it. Why? Because the San Francisco Police department
    does not enforce traffic laws EQUALLY for pedestrians, cyclists, and
    cars.

    1. “Vision Zero” does not penalize distracted pedestrians who stare at their phones while crossing the street.
    2. “Vision Zero” does not penalize Kamikaze bicyclists who run red lights and blow through stop signs
    3. “Vision Zero” is nothing more than a tool to escalate the assault on driving and to encourage heavy-handed, revenue-based enforcement.

    Stanley explains why traffic laws should be enforced for everyone and shows why the police should enforce traffic laws for everyone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3pKqR20LiQ

  97. And I am forced to yield to pedestrians who disobey the law every day, many times per day.

    If SFPD doesn’t enforce, why should I expect this to change?

  98. As pedestrian I’ve been forced to yield (step back) when I was crossing in the crosswalk with the green light. Twice in the last 2 weeks walking the 1.3 miles to civic center. Not cars, bicyclists.

    Cars also offended, but proportionally the bicycles are over represented in the category of threats to my wellbeing.

    If SFPD doesn’t enforce, why should I expect this to change?

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