San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133
Once again, the SFMTA undermines the publics trust in their Government, and its falling on deaf ears at City Hall
The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) is planning on spending millions of dollars in public funds to slow down auto traffic and remove parking spaces along Polk street in spite of overwhelming community opposition. Polk street is already the Wild West of roadsharing because bicycling is completely unregulated. The residents and businesses on Polk contend that there would be fewer cycling collisions if The San Francisco Police Department took the time to enforce the traffic laws for cyclists.
Separated bicycle paths treat cyclists as though they are rolling pedestrians, rather than drivers. This treatment makes them feel they are separate from traffic and encourages them not to follow the rules of the road. Cars follow the rules to avoid collisions. It helps them to anticipate what other cars will do. When cyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles don’t follow the same rules they put themselves, and the public at risk.
The Bicycle Coalition is perpetuating the ridiculous idea that bicyclists are essentially sitting ducks out there in traffic. Yes motorists are out there and they make mistakes. They, along with the pot holes, pavement cracks and debris, are the rocks that cyclists have to deal with. Every potentially dangerous human activity, from SCUBA to skydiving, from backpacking to surfing, from motorcycling to airplane piloting, has best practices designed to mitigate risk. It's all about fairness. No more entitlement for cyclists to break the law while insisting on a police state against taxpaying motorists. The San Francisco Police Department does not enforce the rules of the road for cyclists on Polk street so cyclists are allowed to ride in the center median, run red lights, and ride in pedestrian walkways.
Since 2000 Polk Street has had sharrows from Post Street north to Union Street and designated bike lanes from Post Street south to McAllister. According to the SFMTA, over the last 5 years or so there have been twice the number of bike accidents on lower Polk where there are designated bike lanes than on upper Polk where there are sharrows:
Geary to McAllister (6 blocks) 37 bike accidents
Clay to Geary (7 blocks) 18 bike accidents
Union to Clay (7 blocks) 14 bike accidents
Most bicycle accidents in San Francisco, including Polk Street, occur at intersections. Will the addition of a designated bike lane from California Street north to Union Street and a raised cycle track from California Street south to McAllister Street decrease or increase the number of accidents on Polk Street? Where is the research to show the SFMTA’s new plans will improve bike safety on Polk Street?
Wikipedia: Segregated Cycle Facilities
Cycle path collision risks:
Studies showing greater benefits:
A large study undertaken by S.U. Jensen et al. into the safety of Copenhagen cycle tracks before and after they were constructed concludes “The construction of cycle tracks in Copenhagen has resulted in an increase in cycle traffic of 18–20% and a decline in car traffic of 9–10%. The cycle tracks constructed have resulted in increases in accidents and injuries of 9–10% on the reconstructed roads. The increase of accidents and injuries increased at intersections while decreased mid-block.”
Studies showing greater risks:
A Danish study by Agerholm et al. in 2008 concluded that “Through the years many studies have shown that bicycle paths in built-up areas impair traffic safety. A new Danish study presented in this article confirms these results… the main results are that bicycle paths impair traffic safety and this is mainly due to more accidents at intersections, and that there has been no improvement in the design of new bicycle paths compared to the older ones.” . . .
A statistically significant increase in the total number of injury accidents by 10% was found. It is mainly caused by a significant increase of 18% in the number of injury accidents in intersections.
Why would the SFMTA want to implement a design that has been shown to increase intersection bicycle accidents? If bicycle accidents increase, will the SFMTA have an excuse to build more bicycle infrastructure? See, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3802069.ece
Should the MTA install cycle tracks that give unskilled bicyclists a greater perception of safety but which are known to increase the risk of intersection accidents?
Should the City and County of San Francisco be held liable for intersection accidents arising from this design defect?
According to ABC News local Polk Street Mechants have been circulating a petition to recall District 3 Supervisor David Chiu. We shouldn't really be surprised. This online resource says that the District 3 Supervisor, "introduced and successfully passed a resolution to encourage city departments and agencies to adopt a target for 20 percent of all trips in San Francisco to be made by bike by 2020". He is also committed to "Expanding Our Bicycle Network and Infrastructure" and "a strong supporter of SFpark technology that is currently in place in about a quarter of the City’s meters, and would ."
At some point The Polk street merchants need to get on board with the news that their City Supervisor has been working to promote the interests of his friends at the Bicycle Coalition. Why else would he introduce legislation to close Market Street to cars? Its hard to imagine anyone who loves bicycles more than the District 3 Supervisor. Hey, isn't that the District 3 Supervisor on Polk street with the Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition?
It would seem that the local businesses do not agree the Bike Network Expansion Is Transportation Priority #1
Bicycles should be registered per California Vehicle Code and the relevant sections of the Code MUST be enforced with real tickets. Since the bicycle folks are so supportive of "safer streets" we are sure that they would jump at the chance to contribute to society by helping to hire more police officers to enfore the traffic laws. It's all about fairness. No more entitlement for cyclists to break the law while insisting on a police state against taxpaying motorists.
Contact your city Supervisor that you want cyclists to conform to the same rules of the road that motorists have to follow. This includes:
The city of Madison Wisconsin has an excellent bicycle registration program that would serve as a good template for San Francisco to follow. This information seems to evaded the SF Bike club who has spent a good deal of time lobbying city hall for new bicycle lanes.
If the Bicyclists put their wheels on the Road THEY SHOULD OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD!
A list of contacts for Mayor and Supervisors:
Edwin Lee, Mayor - MayorEdwinLee@sfgov.org
David Campos , District Supervisor - David.Campos@sfgov.org
David Chiu, District Supervisor - David.Chiu@sfgov.org
Malia Cohen, District Supervisor - Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
John Avalos, District Supervisor – John.Avalos@sfgov.org
Jane Kim, District Supervisor - Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
Carmen Chu, District Supervisor – Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org
London Breed, District Supervisor – London.Breed@sfgov.org
Norman Yee, District Supervisor – Norman.Yee.Bos@sfgov.org
Eric Mar, District Supervisor – Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
Mark Farrell, District Supervisor – Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org
Scott Wiener, District Supervisor – Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org
It's all about fairness. No more entitlement for cyclists to break the law while insisting on a police state against taxpaying motorists. Its time for the San Francisco Police Department to enforce the rules of the road for for all cyclists on Polk street.
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San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133