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

I often bike across wide streets where the light turns yellow and I am clear to go through but the yellow phase is timed for car speeds, so by the time I cross the other side of the intersection pedestrians are already crossing. This is not the cyclist's or pedestrian's fault it is traffic engineers who are trained to design streets mainly for car traffic. Time for redesigns!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

so I account for it when I cross an intersection.

Posted by matlock on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want to be crossing any street that marcos is approaching with his bike and his concept of right and wrong.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

The real legal issue is whether the cyclist can be shown to have a malice intent, which would support a second-degree murder charge. The posting by the cyclist appears to be an open and shut case of vehicular manslaughter.

The standard for 2nd degree murder will be proving "a willful and wanton disregard for human life". It's hard to make a case that the cyclist did not understand the consequences of his actions and was unfamiliar with the physics of bicycling. He clearly made a willful decision to disregard the human life of all the pedestrians, which he knew would be in the intersection. If he entered the intersection on yellow and was speeding, then these are serious factors that may support 2nd degree murder.

Posted by AgentG on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

i've been paying attention to the way elizabeth stampe of walksf is loathe to say boo about bad bikers. she spouts lots of big idea stuff about redesigning the city and completely ignores the need to push for holding bikers accountable for their recklessness.

while there is major emotional and political turmoil over the death of the senior pedestrian, there ain't shit about it here:
http://walksf.org/

oh, and last week when the guy had been hit and hospitalized, again nothing from walksf about the menace of out of control bikers. i blogged about how stampe had issued a joint statement from her group and the SFPD about enhanced enforcement of laws pertaining to autos, conveniently omitting the fact that the plan she worked out with the cops also pertained to bikers.

the cops were clear to me in an email that stepped up enforcement was in the plan:
http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2012/03/sf-police-to-crackdown-on-drivers-...

i'd like for a pedestrian group to form that advocates painting BIKERS - DISMOUNT on every damn sloped sidewalk for the disabled and people in wheelchairs in the city. put the words in front of everyone's eyeballs, especially bikers and let's create a norm of NO bike riding on sidewalks.

a responsible walkers' group should also push for bright yellow paint on the edge portion of the sidewalk and the words STAND BACK stencil in black on the yellow stripes.

just like we have yellow stripes with words to that effect on the muni islands on market street and yellow plastic flooring warning on BART platforms, we need yellow stripes on major thoroughfares delivering the message to pedestrians to be responsible and stand away from the edge where they put themselves at risk of injury and worse.

lastly, i'm skipping over marc salomon's posts because i can't stand his know-it-all-ness. he has one agenda: to show how smarter than the rest of us he is. it's a shame he doesn't dial back his arrogance and 'win the rhetorical debate at all costs' on this issue. okay, i've seen his icky arguing skills for years on lots of topics and i quickly tired of where he goes - back to his ego - always.

one last recommendation for community consideration: the sf bike coalition needs to show communication and engagement leadership by holding open town hall style meetings for all, not just their members.

they are the biggest fools for ignoring the anger that has been brewing for years against reckless bikers. there's no way for the public to regularly interact with SFBC leaders and members.

if they were interested, they could bring the warring factions together and lessen the shouting and rhetoric and being a community dialogue. this SFBC approach of occasionally having volunteers stand on a street corner and do outreach to bikers, is a good tiny step in more engagement from the group.

but it's like putting a band-aid on a hangnail when you've got a gaping, bleeding wound.

maybe one place to have an initial discussion about the reckless bikers is at the bicycling advisory committee at city hall - and in a room from which it can be broadcast on SFGOV tv. right now, i believe just a public forum for folks on all sides to just vent would be helpful. give everyone the same amount of time to say something and do some real democracy practicing.

Posted by MPetrelis on Apr. 06, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

You can have all the signs you want but they will be ignored just as they are now. For example: There's a sign in Warner Plaza saying "No Smoking" but I see people smoke there. There's a "LOOK" sign on the street curb telling people to look both ways before crossing the street at Castro/Market. Most people are too busy texting or on the phone to look anywhere but at their screens, especially either direction. Most just walk right off the curb and don't look in any direction (other than straight ahead). There's a wonder more pedestrians aren't hit than there are because many/most don't have the sense to look to their left or right at the traffic coming at them.

I ride on the sidewalk often about at the same speed that a wheel chair rides on the sidewalk. *Very slowly* and I give the right-away to pedestrians. I pull over and stop frequently to get out of their way. You wanna ban wheel chairs too? A wheel chair is nothing but a small bicycle in a different shape. Both have 2 wheels. I ride on the sidewalk because it feels much safer than being out in the streets with the SUV nuts who don't care who they hit. Yeah, let's ban everything---BAN, BAN, BAN---and ram this City to the damn right as far as we can get it. It's moving there pretty quickly.

Of course, if this article were about a motorist having hit a pedestrian (and the pedestrian died), there would be about 10 comments all saying, "how sad, RIP." One would copy the other. But since it's about a cyclist, the venom, hate and bile pours out. The double-standard that people have for cyclists as opposed to can-do-no-wrong, model-driver motorists is outstanding.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 5:48 am

Having been the victim of a bicyclist who blew a red light on Market St at First two years ago.
I say throw the guy in jail and throw away the key. I never enter that intersection without first looking
both ways. Unfortunately my caution didn't work that day. The cyclist claimed he had a green light, even though 2 witnesses came up to me and said they would testify that he definitely cruised through the intersection against the red light. That was after I flew through the air and landed in the gutter.
He proceeded to get up on his bike, but I told him I wanted to see his license.
He wasn't the least bit concerned about me, just that he was late for work!
I called my husband out of a meeting and told him I needed to see our physician in Sacramento.
The following day I called the SF Police Department to report the accident. Guess, what they don't accept
telephone reports, you have to appear in person to make the report.
Lucky for me I wasn't killed. Not so the unfortunate soul who recently died because of a careless
bicyclist.
I think a law should be passed that bicyclists must register their "vehicle" every year, then those of us
on foot can at least trace these irresponsible, careless drivers.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 7:47 am

Well your little fictional story is cute. It's exactly like other stories that others have made up on here for their anti-cyclist agenda. I could make up one too that's "anti-motorist" (or actually talk about the real, near-accident I saw last week because a motorist was texting while driving...almost had a cunk), but I don't have the time for that.

Licensing Cyclist? Bad idea. Other places have tried it. Google this article:

5 reasons why licensing cyclists in Toronto is a bad idea

If you're going to license cyclists, then you'll also have to license pedestrians because they are more than half of the problem. There are far more of them than there are cyclists. And licensing motorists hasn't changed their reckless behavior or their arrogant disregard for the "rules of the road."

I'm a cyclist, pedestrian and once-a-week motorist, I can assure one that most motorists are far from model drivers, yet they sanctimoniously lecture cyclists on the "rules of the road." If only the motorists would attempt to obey those rules themselves!! (Have they stopped making vehicles with turn signals?) I also see a few cyclists who drive/ride as badly as motorists. A cyclist will occasionally run a red light and almost get hit, just as a big gas-guzzling SUV will run a red light and almost get hit. Then there are the oblivious and too-busy-texting and tunnel-visioned pedestrians. But for all the haters of cyclists, I have to say that at the rate the petro prices are rising, you may end up being a cyclist yourself very soon by default (if you can get on a bike). Either that or walking. Then who will you be hating on?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

and much more it can certainly regulate bikes. McDonalds Happy Meals have never killed anyone but cyclists have. Regulation is the answer. Deep, hard regulation. It always is according to progressives.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

A group of pedestrians should get together and block Cricial Mass once.

Show them what it is like.

Posted by Troll the XIV on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

Despite your erection for Cricial [sic] Mass---which is only one day a month---they already know "what is is like" to be blocked. That's why Critical Mass began, in part. Do you often comment on things you know little about?

But this is not about Critical Mass. It's about one cyclist with no connection with Critical Mass.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

as a result of the first gulf war.

Nothing to do with revenge on drivers.

Posted by matlock on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:57 am

Always yield to pedestrians. It doesn't matter, whether they are "right" or "wrong"; I can scarcely believe that you're trying to make this argument. A man is dead. No, really -- he's dead. Consider that. The man is dead.

That bike rider had no control over that bike. Which means he was going far too fast for conditions. Period. I don't give a damn if the light was yellow or pink or blue when he entered the intersection, he didn't have control of his vehicle, and a man is dead because of his carelessness, his recklessness, his chasing the high of speeding down hills. And when seeing no way out of smacking into people, yes, yes he absolutely should have laid that bike down in the middle of the intersection, or entering into it, whatever, he should have taken the beating meted out due to his irresponsibilities, his thoughtlessness.

And I just don't understand this at all anyways; I'm in Austin, and I'm used to people being careless toward pedestrians here, but every time I've been in the bay area I've been amazed at the response to pedestrians. Cars actually stop there. Unreal. Aren't bicyclists on that same wavelength out there, don't bicyclists respect pedestrians as automobile drivers do? The guy who killed this man had no respect, and neither does anyone trying to defend his actions.

We all know how dangerous it is to be on a bike on the road, we all of us loathe how people cut us off without a care, honk at us as if we don't have a right, on and on. We've all been scared, we've all gotten angry. But out of those experiences should come compassion for those who we could hurt -- compassion and care for them even if we are "in the right", even if we are within the letter of the law -- our experiences should engender compassion for those that we endanger, just as we'd like compassion from automobile drivers.

Stephen Nielsen
Austin Texas

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

"Always yield to the pedestrian. Always control your bicycle."

Something is missing there. Add to that: "Always control your motor vehicle."

"Cars actually stop there. Unreal. Aren't bicyclists on that same wavelength out there, don't bicyclists respect pedestrians as automobile drivers do?"

*Some* cars actually stop here, many others don't. Many keep moving as if they are "yielding." I take it you haven't been here in San Francisco in some time. Automobile drivers respect pedestrians? I wish that were the case. Some do. Most of the time when I'm crossing the street as a pedestrian these days I run. I feel it's in my best interest to run, because it doesn't feel safe because of the impatience of many (most?) vehicle drivers these days and their not paying attention to what they're doing. They either: on the phone, texting, smoking, drinking their latte, flossing, brushing their teeth, putting on makeup, shaving, putting on eye liner, adjusting their clothes, picking at their socks (or something down there), eating, adjusting the music level, cleaning the dashboard, opening a bottle of something they're having trouble opening and they're preoccupied with that, putting on a new CD, as some examples. A pedestrian is not necessarily one of their concerns in many cases.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

It's miraculous more pedestrians and cyclists aren't hit and killed. You really delude yourself when you say that many drivers aren't concerned about pedestrians - because we are. I don't know ANYONE who drives a car who would be nonchalant about hitting either a bicyclist or a pedestrian - every driver fears that possibility and compared to the nonchalance with which this bicyclist treated killing an old man ("blammo!") 99.99% of SF drivers are fucking saints.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

Do I detect some ageism here? As in "old" man. We do live in a very ageist society. A person is dead, regardless of his age. What does that have to do with anything? It wouldn't have been any better if he had been 22 y/o. The person's chronological age is irrelevant (but I do know that the media do fixate on such things as they are part of promoting the ageism problem we have in this country).

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

Clearly you do not.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

Honor and respect must be earned, regardless of one's age. I don't bow down to people because of their chronological age. How ridiculous. Although I have heard that dated and traditionalist thinking before and it's mainly the sheeple who hold to it. I reject it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

Father, young daughter killed by speeding vehicle in Concord
04/07/2012
A speeding teen driver lost control of his sport utility vehicle, jumped a sidewalk and struck a Concord family out for a morning bike ride Saturday, killing a father and his 9-year-old daughter and injuring his 12-year-old daughter, authorities said.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20347467/father-daughter-kil...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

The odd thing is that bike riders look at themselves as a select group, unlike drivers.

So when one of their own select does something dumb it is excused, and the answer is "but someone somewhere did something else.

The citizens of the city, and many bike riders see these idiots out riding around putting themselves and everyone else in danger and then the bike crowd rationalize it all away.

The bike coalition types with their "one less car" sense of entitlement doesn't excuse bad behavior, no matter how much you want it to.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 11:16 am

If the fatality was an Afro-American instead of an elderly Asian man, black leaders all around the States would play the race card. The cyclist admits that he went thru a yellow light to be caught in a crosswalk area, which is a ticket if "5-0" or "Johnny Law" happens to be around. If he had hit a 6 year old white girl, what would public opinion be?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

No one with any sense would go 20-30 mph on bike on the streets in this city.

Posted by Rob Anderson on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 9:47 am

Keeping up with traffic isn't an issue in many places, going 30 is fine in a lot of places.

Rolling down that hill with such a huge intersection and knowing the lack of attention people pay when on foot, the guy was just an idiot.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 11:22 am

Wanted some respect they would behave in such a way that they would gain the citizens respect.

Trying to put this into perspective by bemoaning cars, thats what children do.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 11:19 am

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

Chris Bucchere will be doing jail time soon (lesson: don't brag about your crimes openly in a website).

He better get some lessons about how to avoid anal "blammo" whilst in the slammer.

Posted by Troller numbero cinque on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

Marcos a legend in his own mind and a piece of shit in real life..

Posted by Guest on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

to parathrase- bikes don't kill people-people do
cars don't kill people people do
ok same for guns, etc.
most vehicle operators , say 85% of both cars and bikes actually are pretty consistent . it's arrogant aggressive driving on the part of the the top %of idiots that cause accidents like the one that took a life . no matter what form of transport we use, we can't let the people in that small percentage endanger all of us with their lack of manners and common sense.
in regards to the biciclist that killed a pedestrian i can only say that it's obvious he is of the bikultist sort that think our streets are their personal race training track or individual video game with other travellers mere obstacles on the road.
the courts will decide his liability
i think vehicle operator registration and mandatory liability insurance is called for.

Posted by Guest terry on Apr. 08, 2012 @ 10:12 pm
Wow

First you defend a guy who hurt his wife in front of his kid, all because he's a "progressive."

Now you dismiss a horrendous death by bicycle because "oh it doesn't happen often and so it's no big deal so coddle the irresponsible bicyclist and rat out the victim."

So much for "progressive values." You people are disgusting. The fact you can't see your own hypocrisy and lies on behalf of what's left of your political "movement" is proof you're done. I hope you never have to get a call from the police saying a loved one died because they were killed by a douche in a bike, a car or whatever. I'm sure, however, if you did, you'd defend the murderer.

Go back to SLO!

Posted by SF Values Rock! on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:09 am

If those are your conclusions about what I wrote here and what I've written about Mirkarimi then you need to work on your reading comprehension skills. It's very important in today's complex world.

Posted by steven on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

marcos has a good point there. you can proceed into an intersection on a yellow. whether or not he made a bad judgement, he had the right of way. everyone clamoring for cyclists to behave like cars and be licensed like cars are tainted with irony on this one.

Posted by regular dude on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 10:02 am

Dude:

Check your vehicular code. Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, even when they are crossing improperly.

Ever hear of "drive defensively"?

Posted by gbeb on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

operating a vehicle is an earned priviledge not a right.
bikes are vehicles and subject to vehicle code. there fore the operators should be registered and insured. .bikommuters shouldn't assume they are exempt . sooner than later they'll be called upon to act like adults and pay their way.

Posted by Guest terry on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

. . . the behavior that led to this.

While I know most riders are not so offensive, many are. I see bicyclists running red lights and stop signs while talking on the phone and not paying attention to traffic. They ride on sidewalks (which is illegal, I believe) where elderly are walking. And they SCREAM through my neighborhood. Many don't signal. Others hog, not share, the road.

One day, a guy went zooming through my neighborhood at 35 MP, not bothering to slow down as he crossed an especially steep part of Castro. No cross-traffic car would have been able to see him. And, if he got hit, the driver would have been in trouble for his irresponsible actions.

As a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition, I have seen very little action about this. Yes, their training sessions talk about safety and I appreciate it. But, bike riders like this jerk need to be called to the carpet -- even if there are not bad consequences to their irresponsibility. They turn the community against the rest of us. I would be for licensing bikes so pedestrians and drivers could report this behavior and help reduce it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

"As a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition,...."

LOL. Yes, I'm sure you are. No, you're quite transparent with your anti-cyclist rant. Of course, most of what you wrote can also be easily said about motorists, but you were not about to say that. Most of what can be said about SOME cyclists can also be said about many motorists. That's being objective. But being objective was not at all the intent of your anti-cyclists rant "as a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition."

The "personal testimonies" that people come on here and make up for their agenda is incredible, but I suspect many people see them for who and what they are.

As for the nonsense about licensing cyclists, who cares what you're for? Don't you read any previous posts, ever?

5 reasons why licensing cyclists in Toronto is a bad idea
http://www.blogto.com/city/2012/01/5_reasons_why_licensing_cyclists_in_t...

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

San Francisco cyclists have. There needs to be regulation. Extensive regulation.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 09, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

"LOL. Yes, I'm sure you are."

I am a member. Who cares if you believe me?

"No, you're quite transparent with your anti-cyclist rant."

I didn't think I was being anti-cyclist. I want more bike lanes and more bikes on the road. I am, however, being anti-law breaking and anti-unsafe cyclist. And, I believe that is the official position of the Bike Coalition. Are you saying you believe cyclists SHOULD break traffic laws?

"As for the nonsense about licensing cyclists, who cares what you're for? Don't you read any previous posts, ever?"

I don't have to read previous posts to express my opinion, do I? Or do you get to approve what are serious opinions or not?

Thank you for posting the link. There are valid reasons why licensing may be unproductive. But, I believe there are more valid reasons for regulating the behavior of unsafe operators of bicycles. Maybe you have some positive suggestions other than licensing? If there were some other than registering, licensing, or insuring (all of which you oppose?), perhaps you would like to list them?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2012 @ 11:07 am

The lines of reality get so blurry when people ridiculously defend their method of transportation. Maybe it's a generational gap, or just a lack of attention to the world around them. I see this whole issue very clearly from every article and angle I've read since it was reported, from the lens of my childhood growing up in SF. Thusly,

1. Bike guy was seen by witnesses as running red light along with another biker.
2. The man who was hit was well into the crosswalk, and his wife ahead of him.
3. Bike clobbered the old man, who later died of his injuries.
4. Bike guy wrote a "it's not really that big a deal" blogpost de-humanizing the victim.
5. Car/Pedestrian/Bike advocates begin finger pointing who's really to blame, while the biker who killed him may get a slap on the wrist like with the other ped-killer cyclist.

Simple rules I was taught as a kid.
1. Look both ways before crossing street, don't assume people will stop just because the law says they have to.
2. Check your mirrors/corners before you turn while driving.
3. Don't walk against/ride through/run red lights period.
4. Getting somewhere 2mins later just so i don't get hit/run over/drive like a maniac and go to jail, is a far favorable ending to wherever I'm going.

Just be aware and realize that pedestrian, driving and bike laws don't keep you from getting killed.
Simple.

As far as where the laws should go from here, if you can hit and kill someone with a bike and considering the MPH most cyclists hit in this town, I think a license and insurance is in order for specified routes and downtown. If anything, a licensing program will educate many who obviously have NO idea the rules of the road. This inclides car people as well.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2012 @ 8:41 am

You all do realize that it's very likely the blog poster purporting to be the cyclist involved is an anti-bike troll trying to rev up the public's passions against the entire community of cyclists, right? I'd bet the writer has had a similar situation to the one he describes, except he was driving a Chevy Tahoe or some similar monstrosity.

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

Excepted it was confirmed by the SFDA and the guys lawyer that he was indeed the author of the offending post.

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

Google this from sf.streetsblog.org:

Advocates: Despite Bike-Ped Death, Cars Still Greatest Danger to Peds
Monday, April 9, 2012

“In a way, this is kind of a man-bites-dog story,” Stampe said of the bike-ped crash — an event receiving an unusual amount of attention precisely because it happens so infrequently, while too-common car-pedestrian crashes go vastly under-reported. ”This is a real tragedy,” Stampe continued. “I don’t think anybody disagrees, a lot of people are upset, and it’s not okay for people to be hit in a crosswalk and killed in San Francisco. But the fact remains that three people a day are hit by cars… and that’s an underestimate.”

(The Guardian's !@#$!#$ spam filter wouldn't allow the link)

Posted by Guest on Apr. 10, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

Looks like surveillance footage shows Bucchere sailing through the intersection making no attempt to slow down. Meanwhile neither side of the intersection "filled with people" as the light turned red, as he said.

Posted by Troll II on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 7:41 am

An adult urban bicyclist MUST, repeat MUST know how to do what is called an "emergecy or quick stop".

What one does is shift one's butt as far back as possible (to prevent flying over the handlebars) and lock the rear brakes first, then the front brakes.

One must be prepared to stop and hit the street, rather than plough into pedestrians or automobiles.

Propertly done, the emergency or quick stop reduces harm. A cyclist must be prepared to take some bruises and lose some hide rather than blow a red or yellow light and endanger pedestrians.

Again, pedestrians are not in helmets. Pedestrians are vulnerable.

And by the laws of physics, as well as California law, bicyclists are operating vehicles and as responsible for honoring traffic law as motorcyclists and automobiles.

Bleating about the evils committing by auto drives is a poor defense.

And not using gasoline does not make a pedestrian death or injury any less real when committed by a careless cyclist.

This is why it is high time that all adult cyclists be required to do the League of American Bicyclists Road One training.

It is no victory to get more people onto bicycles if this increases the number of unskilled cyclists.

The population is getting older and more mobility impaired people are going to be walking. Unless cyclists and drivers all learn to give attention to their fellow humans, this tragedy is going to be repeated.

The attention goes to cyclists because they are as yet the only ones out on the road who are not required as yet to train themselves, and we are seeing the ugly results.

European cyclist culture instills accountability and collaboration - one takes classes as school child on how to ride with traffic.

The outlaw cyclist mentality that is fostered in San Francisco is not validated or taught in Europe.

Without accountability and courtesy we cannot be said to have a cycling culture in San Francisco.

Some might say its impossible to do this.

Sure its possible. Its part of dog owning culture in SF to pick up dog poop and put it in a baggie. Many dog parks even have a supply of poop bags.

If we can train dog owners to do this, we can, with enough civic will, make changes in SF cycling culture that are very long overdue.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

I rode a bike for years in the 80's. Rode it to work for night shift at SFGH. I respect people who choose to ride bikes and when in a car always give them right of way whether it is technically theirs or not. That said I live, in the Mission and experience on a daily basis cyclists who ride in a reckless and dangerous way-to themselves and to others. I personally had 3 patients (all elderly) hit by cyclists. 2 of them died. To my knowledge none of the cyclists were ever found (they didn't stop either).

Yes, cars by definition are dangerous-they could kill you going 5 miles per hour. Which is why they are supposed to be operated in a safe way. Bikes are less dangerous but clearly can kill people as well when not operated in a safe way.

So who are statistically the drivers and riders not operating cars, motorcyles, bicycles and skateboards in an unsafe and sometimes fatal manner? YOUNG MALES. The issue here is not cars versus bikes but numerous young, macho assholes who are a danger to us all. Good luck improving that situation.

Posted by catherine cusic on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

There are just more males on them.

Women probably at a lower percentage are awful, but they are out there.

Posted by Matlock on Apr. 11, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

Everyone who lives in San Francisco knows the intersection at Castro and Market to be one of the most complex and dangerous in the city. You don't fly through there with any vehicle no matter if you have the light or not. This guy was selfish and reckless. He should be held responsible.

For the bigger issue, San Francisco needs to create a safer, more bike and pedestrian friendly environment but until the infrastructure changes and becomes less car-centric, all parties need to exercise caution and show respect for each other on the road.

Posted by pistol stamen on Apr. 13, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

my insurance broker says he could write a minimum coverage policy for a biciclist for about $100-$150 a year. considering many bikes cost up to $1500 that sounds affordable. throw in a bikommuter registration fee of say $25 a year and we might achieve equal access equal liability.
of course the bikultists who think our streets are their personal race training track or video game will resist while the majority of bike riders would probably embrace it for its common sense.

Posted by Guest terry on Apr. 13, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

I am a nearly 70 year old pedestrian who has lived in the Mission almost all of my life. In order to get necessary exercise I limit any driving in the city and use my car almost exclusively to go out of town. I often walk to shopping and use Bryant Street to get to restaurants, the day old bread store, to Safeway at 16th Street, to Walgreens, vegetable stores on 24th, and as part of my walk to Mission Street, the Library and BART. Now Bryant is a street with not that much traffic, 4-way stop signs at every block and medium to narrow side walks throughout except at a few corners. But many times, as I walk to my various locations, I see bicyclists never stop at any stop signs, ride at speeds up to 20mph on sidewalks, and cut in and out between cars parked and in traffic ignoring any driving rules at all. Very infrequently are these bicyclists under 16 years old. I could understand small kids staying on the sidewalk to ride their bikes--in fact the kids who are cycling are more careful than the young adults(?) who are most of the bicyclists. Now Bryant has little traffic compared to downtown or the busy streets in the Mission so there is really little reason for any adult to ride a bike on the sidewalk of Bryant. The bikers also use crosswalks to cross the streets to try and justify not stopping at corners at all.

But a more ridiculous situation are the bikes on the sidewalks of Valencia Street between 15th and 22nd Streets. These are exceptionally narrow sidewalks with barely room for two people to walk abreast. More that once I have been yelled at--"Move out of the way, old man" (or 'you old f--k') by guys riding on the sidewalk Now Valencia is a busy street made more congested by the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the street to accomodate the bicylists. So why is there any reason for any bike to be ridden on the sidewalk there? But, as was pointed out in many of the preceding posts, the few selfish bike users make a bad example for the many.

As a pedestrian and a person whose health and vision prohibit riding a bike on city streets I must protest this attitude of entitlement that riding a bike is an activity above control and accountability and is a RIGHT?? I don't remember riding bikes mentioned in any body of law as a RIGHT. As people who believe that they want the government out of the areas of their lives that they think the gov't should stay out of, they better get out there and join a TEA PARTY group and let those of us who really want to be free to walk the streets safely do our walking. At least cars usually stay off of sidewalks.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 13, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

In Amsterdam, which has had a vibrant bike culture for decades, bicyclists have to be licensed. Let's do that hear. Let's make these reckless people accountable. There ought to be a helmet law too.

Posted by Jammy Ham on Apr. 13, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

A way for pedestrians to assist in taking back our sidewalks for foot traffic

Walk with one or both arms akimbo.

This is the amount of space a person takes up if carrying two large grocery bags.

If even a few able bodied pedestrians do this, or do this when they seen an approaching illegal adult sidewalk cyclist on a pavement that is NOT a designated biycycle path, the arms akimbo
will do something to protect one's space.

I have been snarled at, flipped off and shrieked at by rude adults in children's bodies who are illegally riding at high speed on sidewalks.

Instead of yelling back, I have discovered that arms akimbo protects my personal space and forces them to give a timely warning or...better still compels them to dismount and do the right thing...walk the bicycle on the sidewalk.

It is only a bicycle -- not a chariot of the Gods. And you ride on streets shared with human beings, not in the fiery heavens.

Inflate the bike tyres.

Deflate the ego.

A bicycle must not be used as an intoxicant.

A noble cause must not be used as an intoxicant.

A bicycle is transportation, not a chariot of the Gods.

Ride with awareness of our shared humanity.

None of us is a god.

We may at times feel immortal but that is just it--only a feeling.

Dont put others at risk so as to hold on to a private ecstacy.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 14, 2012 @ 3:26 pm