Monday, April 9, 2012

bicycle safety in sf

on friday i alluded to an incident that happened recently here in sf. it's horriblehorrible thing, something is wrong when people get hit by cars, bikes, etc. or seeing pedestrians scurrying across the street because they are scared to be hit. that is a failure in urban planning.

here's a local npr radio show which discusses the aftermath of this incident which, for worse, gets a disproportional amount of coverage versus when a car his a pedestrian or a cyclist. i am not excusing what happened, especially based on what we know so far but here's some discussion...

San Francisco prosecutors are deciding whether to file charges against a cyclist who recently struck a pedestrian in a fatal collision. While bike accidents leading to pedestrian fatalities are rare, this is the second such incident in the past year. With more and more cyclists taking to Bay Area streets, we take up the issue of bicycle safety.

Host: Michael Krasny

  • Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
  • Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy organization
  • Al Casciato, captain in San Francisco Police Department
  • Bert Hill, chair of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, which considers bicycle transportation projects and policies and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and other SF city and county agencies
  • Herbert Weiner, San Francisco resident who has gone before the SFMTA board to discuss his concerns about Muni, transportation issues and cyclists


  1. I agree that it's horrible that this poor person was killed.

    Don't you wish the odds for a bicyclist being hit and killed by a car were anywhere near as low as for a pedestrian to be hit and killed by a *bicycle*?

    At the least, I wish that when a bicyclist got killed it made anywhere near the kind of national headlines as it does when a ped gets hurt. Too often in a bicyclist's death I see comments to the effect of "well, a bicyclist takes their chances riding with those big heavy cars...too bad..."

  2. i do wish that. as a friend put it, in the past 10 years, the number of pedestrians who have been hit and killed by a bicycle is statistical "0" which indicates how infrequently it happens.

    and yah, i wonder how we can change public perception in that your last sentence isn't the first thing to go through people's minds. my mom tells me to be careful when i'm riding, but i have to think that way more people are killed while driving by other cars than bicyclists hit by cars. i should be telling her every day to "be careful."