San Francisco Leads the Way

It seems that most trends, in the United States, either start in New York city or on the west coast in Los Angeles or San Francisco. I am hoping that this addition of bike lanes, in San Francisco will be no different. Here is the story:

It began on Wednesday, June 22nd when, in two separate hit and run incidents in San Francisco, two cycylists, riding legally, were struck and killed by unknown drivers.

Separate Hit-and-Runs in SF Leave Two Cyclists Dead

Two bicyclists were killed just hours apart in separate hit-and-run crashes late Wednesday in San Francisco, police said. The first involved a woman riding her bike in Golden Gate Park who was struck and killed by a car. The woman was riding near 30th Avenue and John F.

So, the following day, in response to the two deaths, Ed Reiskin, director of transportation at the SFMTA, stated: “The best bike infrastructure in the world would not have prevented these collisions.”

Bike advocates reeling from cyclist deaths in SF

Bicyclist advocates Thursday were reeling from the loss of two cyclists killed within several hours of each other in separate hit-and-run collisions in San Francisco.The first incident was reported at 30th Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park around 6 p.m. Wednesday, in which a w

 

Bicyclist advocates disagreed and set about to show the city how easy it was to make the streets safer for cyclists. So they painted lines to indicate bike lanes, but the following days they noticed that cars were driving through the bike lanes like they did not exist. Taking a cue from what had worked in other cities, like New York City, the activists added yellow cones to the lines, and immediately the cars began staying out of the safe lanes:

Guerrilla Bike Lanes Show Cities How Easy It Is To Make Streets Safer

One night in June, a driver sped through the wrong lane of traffic in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco-trying to pass another car-and killed a cyclist riding legally in the other direction. A couple of hours later, another driver in the city’s SOMA neighborhood sped through a red light and killed a 26-year-old woman on a bike.

Now, according to city administrators, the bike lanes will become permanent. While the yellow cones kept drivers out of the bike lanes for a little while, eventually they were knocked down by passing drivers and traffic resumed its prior activity of ignoring the bike lanes. Now the city is installing permanent traffic delineators which are adhered to the ground. The advantage to these is that they bounce back when struck and keep standing to mark the bike lanes.

Trying Something More Durable

While we love the psychological impact of orange cones (drivers intuitively slow down around them), we have noticed that our orange cone installations get pretty banged up after a day or two. Cones get knocked over or removed, and their impact dissipates over time. So we decided to test out a new tool this week.

Hopefully this thoughtful move will help the city of San Francisco move closer to its stated goal of Zero Traffic Fatalities. As the father of an avid cyclist I would love to see every city in the nation adopt such measures to keep the roads safe for those who enjoy their chosen two-wheeled mode of travel.

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