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

clearly was not looking where he was going. Looks to me like a slam dunk for vehicular manslaughter.

The bike mob will be out with their usual "oh, but cars are so much more dangerous". And maybe they are, but that's irrelevant to the culpability of this idiot, who should be prosecuted, convicted and jailed.

Also, this raises the issue of cyclists being compelled to carry insurance. The medical bills in this case were probably substantial and many cyclists have few few or any means that can be taken in a civil action. Liability insurance should be mandatory, which probably also means testing, licensing and registration of bikes. Wisconsin already does this, I read somewhere.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

You got it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

Nobody in the bike mob is supporting this guy - see the responses mentioned in this article and others.

But this point needs to be repeated: cars are absurdly more dangerous both for bikers and pedestrians. Cars kill tens of bikers every year[1], and kill or injure almost 800 pedestrians per year[2]. Bike/pedestrian accidents happen about 100th as often, if that.

This guy is apparently a callous jerk who deserves punishment - but making every biker carry insurance because of him is like making every person carry liability insurance because we might go crazy and beat someone to death.

[1] http://www.sfgate.com/webdb/bikeaccidents/
[2] http://www.healthmattersinsf.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=NS-Indicato...

Posted by Ben Woosley on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:17 am

Blew through a yellow light, yes. Small but crucial difference.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

I am interested in how that plays out in court. Blowing through a red vs. yellow in a bike shouldn't matter since there was not a "sea" of people (4 is the number, I think) and bikes have great swerving power. Clearly he didn't bother to use it (or even his brakes). But still, curious as to how that'll be handled by his expensive lawyer.

Posted by Blammo This on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

Exactly right! The bicyclists have no regard for anyone, especially not pedestrians. They should make an example of this guy.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

That isn't true of all bocyclists -- except in the minds of black/white extremist bigots.

That is made evident from the article itself, in which bicyclists have nothing but criticism for this self-centered clod.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 14, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

Bicycle riders in San Francisco have no respect for traffic laws, no respect for other people.

I walk my dog at least twice a day near Duboce Park. At least three or four times a week a bicycle rider will ride through Duboce Park going super fast and almost killing the dogs playing in the Park.

It makes me want to just push people off their bikes as they ride by instead of walking the bike like they are supposed to through the park.

Bike riders in San Francisco feel super entitled to do whatever they want whenever they want and they feel like super cool hipsters because they are on bikes. Make them get a license, insurance and go to school. Give them HUGE fines whenever possible.

Posted by Castro on Apr. 21, 2012 @ 9:15 am

+1 Bicyclists on the embarcadero ride the wrong way, yelling at pedestrians to yield, routinely at 20mph+...They are an absolute menace...Hope they put this clown away...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 6:09 pm

If this idiot's actions will result in bikers being forced into insurance and all this other nonsense, then someone's definitely gonna make sure he'll never ride a bike again. Hopefully the moment he gets out of prison.

This is a terrible idea. I get that medical insurance is expensive, but a civil suit against a cyclist should cover that (in most situations, a cyclist that collides with someone is going to be in no condition to pull a hit and run). If the biker has anything of value, that is. Sorry, but maybe it's more realistic to demand real reform of the health care system so people who survive life-threatening injuries aren't saddled in five-digit debt?

Two huge reasons why cyclists love their ride: a) bikes are cheap and b) completely bureaucracy-free. If all the sudden, owning a bike was saddled with a monthly fee (insurance companies would LOVE this, by the way, which shows you how appallingly evil this suggestion is) and an onerous DMV process (with both a test and a registration fee!!), bike ownership would drop off drastically.

Also, people share bicycles all the time - it's not like a car, way harder to total, easy to cover any rare chance of expenses, etc. It's like letting someone play your guitar or wear your sweater or something. Who wants state regulation over the individual to be that meddlesome?

Finally, this is exactly the kind of thing cops would love to have for an excuse to hassle minorities and the poor. Registration number hard to see or lopsided? A biker is black and has a backpack? Surely there are drugs inside, let's pull him over and search! I'm not pulling this out of my ass, by the way - I heard this kind of thing happened in Oakland back in the day.

And all for what? Just so all those bicyclists that get into serious accidents with pedestrians - a tiny fraction of all pedestrian-related accidents, so, like, five a year let's say - could make their insurance fork over a bunch of cash to a plaintiff for medical expenses? Seriously?

By the way, couldn't find anything about Wisconsin.

Posted by Blammo This on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

I'm a MUNI-riding pedestrian, who would love to bike to work, but too afraid of getting hit by a car. I completely agree that bike insurance is not the answer; we need universal health insurance (e.g. single payer) to cover us all.

While many bike riders ride with common sense, this particular asshole needs to pay for his arrogance and disregard for others.

Posted by Ellen on Apr. 12, 2012 @ 8:25 am

completely bureaucracy-free
_____

Not at all. And I'm surprised a bicyclist would be so cavalier and ignorant:

There are laws -- enforced by bureaucracies -- governing bicyclists and bicycling.

The issue is public safety.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 14, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

This is one sad but timely reminder that no matter what the mode of transport is - bike or car, the driver needs to stay alert. The cause of accidens are usually human errors, and accidents can be prevented if people just drove or rode safely. There should be a speed limit imposed on busy streets.

Posted by Thomas on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 12:53 am

Cars ARE so much more dangerous!
There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes. These numbers does not even include deaths and diseases caused by air pollution.

Your arguments are not based on facts but purely on feelings and assumptions. Of course you will see people on bikes riding in a dangerous manner, just as you see people in cars going past a red light etc. Facts are, that people in cars kills and injure way more people every day than people on bicycles, but it does not make any headlines...it is simply regarded as a law of nature.

Stay with the facts please!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 8:42 am

Cars ARE so much more dangerous!
There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005. The financial cost of these crashes is more than 230 Billion dollars. 2.9 million people were injured and 42,636 people killed. About 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes. These numbers does not even include deaths and diseases caused by air pollution.

Your arguments are not based on facts but purely on feelings and assumptions. Of course you will see people on bikes riding in a dangerous manner, just as you see people in cars going past a red light etc. Facts are, that people in cars kills and injure way more people every day than people on bicycles, but it does not make any headlines...it is simply regarded as a law of nature.

Stay with the facts please!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 05, 2012 @ 8:49 am

""In a nutshell, blammo.”"

This callous murderer apparently doesn't care. I hope the court takes this into consideration when he is sentenced.

Granted, probably just a troll.

I do agree with your point that motorists never get charged for going "blammo" on pedestrians. I once saw a motorist make a quick right turn onto Powell from Pacific once and run over an old Chinese woman. The police talked to her for a few minutes and sent her on her way.

Posted by Troll the IV on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

This is a tragic event, but pedestrian deaths are not uncommon. 80 pedestrians were killed by automobiles in San Francisco from 2003 to 2007. How many pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in the last 5 years? Two.

My father was killed as a pedestrian by an automobile over 25 years ago. Yet this trend still continues. It is ok to get mad at what happened here, but if you want to effect change, start with the most dangerous threat to pedestrians; cars.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

"This is a tragic event, but pedestrian deaths are not uncommon. 80 pedestrians were killed by wolves in San Francisco from 2003 to 2007. How many pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in the last 5 years? Two.

My father was killed as a pedestrian by an wolf over 25 years ago. Yet this trend still continues. It is ok to get mad at what happened here, but if you want to effect change, start with the most dangerous threat to pedestrians; wolves!"

Fix that for you!

Seems silly now doesn't it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:23 am

It's not silly at all. A greater body count, and one which could be reduced is from automobile drivers. Wolves ain't ranking in S.F.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

Yes. Clearly nearly all pedestrian deaths are caused by cars. As a frequent walker, I would feel much safer with more bicycles and less cars on the road. I would hate to be hit by any vehicle, but what pedestrian would rather be hit by a car? Every bicyclist I see is someone making my life safer by not driving a car instead. And yes, I do own a bicycle--and a car. I also walk for an hour every clear day for exercise. I ride early Sunday morning: the only cycle-safe time here.

Because of car-centric planning and zoning, I can't live near work, the main commuter roads don't allow bicycles, and the ones that do have no shoulder, much less a bike lane. So I wind up driving long distances daily through road-rage traffic, at great risk to the environment, cyclists, and pedestrians.

We need to see some commuter roads dedicated to cyclists and more bike lanes or at least shoulders. If only I hadn't been passed over for that job in Amsterdam...

Please more bicycles, less cars--much less cars.

Robert

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2012 @ 8:00 am

A car can carry 4-5 people usually and is on average about 20 feet long. 4/5 cyclists take more space than that AND slow down the other trafffic including bus transit.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2012 @ 9:28 am

That's a ridiculous (and spurious) argument. I've never actually heard anyone try to argue bikes use more space than cars... but here are some points to consider:

1) In the US, the average number of people per driving car is 1.2.

2) The width of the bike lane on Market Street is just over half a car lane. (62%) Bikes routinely ride side by side in this lane.

3) Bikes average around 5-6 feet long. Even at 6 feet, a 20 foot car (as you say) would be 3 bikes long.

4) In a car-sized lane, see Amsterdam for an example of 3-4 bikes in parallel, you could fit 3-4 x 3 bikes, or 9-12 bikes, in the space of a single car. Even if every car magically had 5 people, it's still half the space capacity.

5) Bikes don't slow down traffic when they have their own lane: great argument to have better bike lanes.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 12:57 am

How disgusting that you would make fun of someone who lost a parent to a reckless driver with your pointless nonsense. Your comment reflects extremely poorly on your morals, rationality, and intelligence.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2012 @ 10:02 am

I just want to say that as a bike rider in SF for 25 years, not a day has gone by that a car has not turned in front of me without a signal, or sped through an intersection, or swerved too close, or opened a door too fast without looking.

Every day, if I had demanded my rightful right of way, there would have been an accident.

Playing devil's advocate for a second, the number of pedestrians who have walked in front of me against a light or from behind a car or from the middle of an intersection has been legion, and if those pedestrians had looked both ways before crossing there wouldn't have been a traffic death, regardless who was at fault.

If I had been driving too fast through an intersection and caused a fatality I would expect there to be repercussions and just punishment, but for opportunistic politicians to use this as an excuse to launch jihad against bikes would be a mistake.

I say that because it has happened before.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

My kids do that. If one does something bad and gets blamed, his retort is "but my brother did something worse".

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

Bingo

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:25 am

You might be missing the point. Punish offenders. But if you really want to solve problems, you have to start by going after the ones who commit by far the largest amount of crime(autos) and quit trash talking the ones who statistically barely even factor in. Very much a tragic accident that certainly could have been avoided. Hope this biker feels the full force of the justice system if he is at fault just like all drivers should but somehow hardly ever do.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:35 am

Punish offenders. Precisely. Get to it.
And if the offender is an automobile driver, punish them as well.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

If he really posted that wow, the DA has a slam dunk case. One thing I would note Steven that you failed to do was that both the other other pedestrians killed that you mention in your article, one by Muni the other by Car, were by all accounts Jaywalking, one in the dark on Lombard. Big difference.

Bottom line if the post was real and that is an accurate account, the guy should totally get charged, and his lawyer his going to beat him over the head, sans helmet.

Posted by D. native on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

Bicycling should continue to be free and available means of transportation without adding new taxes, fees, or requirements. It's already illegal to run into people, so if the rider hit someone, let the courts have it. It's Commiefornia though, so probably the bike-haters will get their way and cyclists, including your beloved "poor immigrants" will have to pay stupid-fees and stupid prices for insurance and will screwed over and over again every day whether they ride a bike all the time or not.

Posted by Bob Fairlane on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

Car drivers have insurance so, even if the driver is indigent, if they hit you, you get compensated and have your medical bills paid.

A cyclist, with no insurance, will likely be judgment-proof.

And insurance for cyclists entails registration and licensing. Why should you be the only road user with no accountibility for your errors?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

I'll try very hard to use even tone here.

First off, a bicyclist w/o insurance is not "judgment-proof". That's just wrong. You think this guy isn't going to jail? But what the bicyclist doesn't have is another racket breathing down their neck with monthly fees and a minor bureaucratic nightmare to contend with. Also, what the bicyclist often does not have is money.

Car insurance exists because cars are expensive to fix. Sure, a neck-brace may be required occasionally, but that's not a 50k debt. I bet minor collisions make a sizable portion of all car insurance payouts.

This (unwholesomely American) concept of Liability is only applicable in this situation because of the terrible healthcare system we have, and the way IT handles liability. Call me socialist, but social services need to belong to the people. And medical care IS a social service. If anyone says otherwise, they are flat wrong. So maybe instead of worrying about how to make insurance companies more money and how to further strangle the individual with bureaucratic rat-mazes, we worry about taking back what's rightfully ours from a bunch of organized groups who have no other motive than to make money off of us? What, you really think "socialized medicine" would mean some craphole hospital in Leninsk during the 80s with leaky ceilings and MRSA out the ass?

A small handful of people have gotten injured by bicyclists here. I bet more people end up in the hospital because of drunks every year than because of bikers. So should every drinking person get some sort of drunken idiot liability insurance in case they do something that causes injury to someone else? (I bet Scalia would totally use that.) What if your dog goes crazy and bites someone by chance? Do all dog-owners need dog insurance?

Insurance is sort of a last-resort social construct. It assumes the worst about people, and it drives profits through sustained paranoia and fear. Is it worth letting any more of that that into our lives just so financial recourse can be obtained from, like, three people a year?

Posted by Blammo This on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

Wow, how very enlightened of you. By your logic, automobile drivers should not be required to have any sort of license, pass any sort of test confirming they are aware of traffic laws and cycling safety standards or carry insurance. There should be no inspection or safety standards for automobiles either since that's just more 'Commiefornia' regulations. Why not do away with stop lights, speed limits, cross walks, bike lanes, etc. while we're at it because all of that is just the government nanny state telling us what to do. Yep, you sure do have a good idea.

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

Riding a bicycle is a right, not a privilege.

Driving a car is a privilege, not a right.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:12 am

While the city does not have authority to require a cycling license, they do have the authority to establish a bicycle registration and licensing ordinance and to define requirements for bicycle licenses including but not limited to:

License fees
Proof of liability insurance
Safety inspection of the bicycle
License tags placed in a specified visible area on each bicycle registered
A written safety and traffic law test requirement
A live safety and traffic law road test
Proof of identity via a valid photo ID
etc.

All of the above are standard for most other vehicles/vehicle operators on the road. All of them are adamantly opposed by the cycling community in general, regardless of whether or not they would improve safety for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists alike. Until this attitude changes, the cycling community will not be able to begin repairing the serious and self-inflicted damage they have done to their credibility.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:50 am
No.

I don't agree with you when you say that riding a bicycle is a right, not a privilege. But lets assume that you are correct, riding a bicycle is a right. With every right comes responsibility, and biking on city streets in a manner where you are able to control your bike so that you don't ram into pedestrians in a crosswalk at speeds great enough to fucking literally kill somebody, clearly falls within the responsiblity that comes with the right of biking.

grow up

Posted by DanO on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

Based on what? Anything other than your feelings?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

Marcos, you must have that special version of the Constitution. Would you please point to the section that supports your claim that driving a bike is a right and driving a car is a privilege? Or, point to any statutory law that support your argument.

The basic premise of the law is that if you do anything it must be done in a manner that will not unreasonably risk harming others. As for licensing requirements, the state's police powers are plenary, and they can pass any reasonable law to ensure the public's general safety and well-being.

Rather than getting into silly arguments by making silly statements the lesson learned from this story should be that whether you drive or ride a bike, you must yield to pedestrians and ride at a safe speed so not as to be an unreasonable danger to yourself or to others. Also, if you behave recklessly and cause serious injury or death to another person as a result of your behavior, whether in a car or on a bike, you will be prosecuted and likely face jail time.

Posted by Chris on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Unbelievably self-involved and narcissistic - it's hard to imagine someone writing that who isn't a sociopath.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

Completely agree with you. The degree of self-absorption is unbelievable. An experienced, or even an inexperienced, bicyclist should have had the brakes on and been riding carefully down such a hill in such a heavily trafficked area. Seems he can barely squeeze in the words that he hopes the person he hit is okay.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:21 am

Let's see how objective you become whenever you're faced with recovering from the prospect of imminent death on the streets. It has a unique way of clouding one's perspective, kind of the reverse of how the prospect of execution clears the mind.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:30 am

Are you confessing that you are a sociopath?
Oh, I'm posting.
I must be a sociopath.
Carry on.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

I bet his perception of the situation, and of what he wrote, changed when he was told - later- that the accident victim was seriously hurt and subsequently died.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

As a walker and a driver, I can't count the number of times bicycles have run through stop signs, run red lights, ridden on the sidewalks, swerved through lanes, etc. When I'm walking on the sidewalk and I see a bike barreling toward me, I stand in front of them and make them stop and tell them to get off the sidewalk. Just yesterday I watched a bike on the sidewalk nearly run down an older woman who was stepping out of a shop. The bicyclist didn't even slow down.

Last week I was driving down 18th toward Mission when two bikes zipped around me, one on each side of the car. They went right through a red light and BOTH of them flipped off a driver who had to slam on his brakes to keep from running over them.

Do bicyclists have any idea how much emotional damage they're doing on a daily basis, to both pedestrians and drivers?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

I can definitely relate to these comments. I have had similar experiences every few days while walking or driving in the city.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2012 @ 11:45 am

You must be making this crap up, or at the very least, grossly exaggerating. I've never seen anyone ride a bike on the sidewalk faster than about 5mph. You do realize that if the bicyclist is doing that and you're "in front of him", he can easily move out of your way without causing you a shred of inconvenience? Or he can just hit his brakes and stop?

Why is it I have been never afraid of bicyclists on the sidewalk, and seem to have incurred no "emotional damage"? I just move naturally along and they do the same. Everyone wins. Bicyclists rely on trajectories, and if you don't make any sudden changes to yours, you'll be just fine. (Unless you step out onto the road, in which case you DO have to watch out for morons.) I don't know why a bicyclist would need to be on a sidewalk at a particular time, and I don't really care. But I am not gonna huff and puff about it. To me, someone walking their bicycle on the street is more of a hassle because they take up twice as much space.

You're also subtly implying through your rhetoric that bicyclists AS A WHOLE are a mob of selfish, rule-breaking pests who cause everyone around them "emotional distress".

You need to get over yourself. You live in a high-stress urban environment. If you're the kind of person who freezes up and panics when they see a cyclist coming their way, you need to seriously adjust your frame of mind and relax. The city has accommodated bicyclists just fine, and it's still a learning process - for everyone. It will all will work out if the likes of you don't cluck too loudly and cause the authorities to intervene.

"Emotional distress"....the nerve!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

And don't even get me started about kids with jump ropes or those pesky hula hoops! They have no idea what kind of emotional damage they can inflict! Why, I was once hit by a rotating hula hoop--can you imagine the stress this has since caused me? Why I felt the pain for almost 10 FULL SECONDS, yet nobody has had the balls to ban this practice. UNBELIEVABLE.

Look, I'm not a cyclist or a driver. I'm a pedestrian and Muni rider. And you guys who talk about bicycle emotional distress are nuts. Have I had bicyclists not yield well to me in sidewalks? Absolutely. Does it bother me when it happens? Sometimes, sure, although most of the time I realize how people on bicycle can easily swerve and maneuver (unlike cars). Have I had cars not yield to me in sidewalks? Absolutely. Does it bother me when it happens? Very frequently, yes. On any given day, I am much more concerned about (and inconvenienced by) cars than bikes.

To ponder: I'm on one side of a street and want to go to a bakery directly across the street from me. I have two options: cross in the middle of the block (this is "illegal") or walk down to the intersection, cross, and walk back (this is "legal"). The only reason walking in a straight line to my bakery is illegal is because of cars, and the possibility they might kill me. If we had only bikes and pedestrians, I'd hardly believe that a jay-walking law would have ever been put on the books...heck, I doubt stop signs or traffic lights would exist. In fact, looking back in time before the automobile: they didn't!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 24, 2012 @ 1:10 am

His admissions just changed his charge from a misdo to felony. I have no doubt that given these admissions, he will be charged with a felony and when he pleads, he will be required to take jail time.

Word to the wise: If you are under investigation, don't blog about it.

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

Cycling, as a form of transportation, is a really wonderful option that improves the city's traffic and air congestion, the health of the general community, etc... The problem here is the prevailing cocksure attitude of, what seems to me to be, the majority of the biking community. The concept of 'share the road' seems to only be applicable to cars. My friends who bike say it is a matter of one or two bad apples spoiling the whole bunch, but I find that nearly everyday I witness some bull$h*^ or another that is really an infuriating disregard of the rules of the road. The punk in question usually displays some sense of superiority to all other vehicles and pedestrians on the road, as though by lowering his or her carbon footprint we should all prostrate ourselves trying to move out of their way. I'm a mom and an SF native, and I have to say that this baloney is DANGEROUS and ARROGANT, and there is no room for it in a densely populated urban area. No more Critical Mass, no more mowing down old people, if you are going to share the road, then drive defensively and safely, and for god's sake, SHARE THE ROAD. When I think of major metropolitan cities that have successfully integrated bicycling into their public transit schemes, I think of someplace like maybe Stockholm or Copenhagen. It's hard for me to imagine getting flipped off by a twenty-two year old shit head with their butt crack hanging out riding a fixie in Stockholm--but in SF, it's just another day at the races.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

with banishing all other road users so they can have a cycling nirvana. They even complain about muni and pedestrians, but reserve their special venom for cars.

They need to be slapped down and incidents like this will hopefully make them less selfish and weird.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 1:41 am