Polk Street Redesign

Following nearly three years of debate, the plan to makeover Polk Street, from Union to Market, has been approved by San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency and will include an unprotected bike lane on the west side of Polk and a permanent raised bike lane from McAllister to Pine on the east side of the street, with a section of the northbound stretch from Pine to Broadway a “bike only” lane (i.e., no parking) from 7am to 10am during the week.

A whole host of proposed lighting, sidewalk, alleyway and streetscape improvements intended to increase pedestrian safety have been approved as well.

The bulk of the project construction is slated to commence mid-2016 and will take 18 months to complete.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by San Francisco

    sfmta really half assed this. Lives will be lost all to save a couple parking spaces. what a joke.

  2. Posted by Miguelito

    According to the picture they’re removing that trash can too.

    But seriously though, the businesses are going to suffer from the massive parking elimination. All of the, were showing flyers in the window urging people to attend the meeting at city hall, which was held at 1:00 PM on a Tuesday of course. It explains a lot that all our city’s decisions are made with only the advisement of people who don’t have jobs. Because who else is free at that time??

    • Posted by badlydrawnbear

      “But seriously though, the businesses are going to suffer from the massive parking elimination.”

      Oh not this again. The SFMTA study shows that 85% of the people visiting Polk street arrived by means other than a car. Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Transit riders may make smaller purchases individual purchases but visit more frequently.

      And as far as parking spots go the plan eliminates 170 spaces represents 9% of the 1900 that exist on Polk and 4% of the 4300 that exist within one block of Polk.

      Focusing on providing convenience for 15% of the population that utilizes Polk at the expense of the the other 85% is just dumb.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        this also hurts buses

      • Posted by Jake

        Many small businesses can’t afford to lose up to 15% of their customers. Notice that in the SFMTA study you refer/link to cyclists were only 5% of the population that utilizes Polk.
        We might agree that focusing on providing convenience for 5% of the population that utilizes Polk at the expense of much more popular modes is dumber than dumb.
        Cyclists aren’t going to win any pavement based on utilization. The only rationale is safety.

        • Posted by San FronziScheme

          They are not going to lose their customers. If anything people who come by bike are more likely to stick around longer because 1) you made an effort to get there 2) cyclists are not hopping from neighborhood to neighborhood as much as drivers 3) no meters means you can stay all day.

          • Posted by Jake

            Funny how the business owners disagree with your fantasy.
            There is a perfectly good safety argument for a north/south bike lane in this area. Don’t undermine your credibility by insisting that the legitimate concerns of opponents aren’t real.
            SF has experience reducing car access that leads to significant loss of business. For example, removal of the Embarcadero Fwy had a major impact on Chinatown and North Beach businesses. It was still the right thing to do, but there were costs and there will be here too.

          • Posted by EcceMorons

            A lot of businesses probably lost customers when the cyclist contingency decided to fight them – by posting tons of fake, negative Yelp reviews about their businesses!!

            Classy, real classy.

          • Posted by Anon

            they will lose customers, and people on bikes don’t buy as much stuff

        • Posted by badlydrawnbear

          Right, because there is a bike lane and wider sidewalks NO ONE is going to drive to Polk St anymore.

          • Posted by Jake

            Exactly, because, as we all know, if there isn’t a bike lane then NO ONE will bike there, ever. If all you offer are ridiculous statements, then you just taint your side of the argument as unreasonable. Look, there are good reasons to make Polk safer for cyclists. There are overwhelmingly good reasons to make Polk safer for pedestrians. You can make Polk safer for pedestrians without adding bike lanes. No one should be confused about that.

          • Posted by AK

            @Jake: According to this survey, people probably would shop on Polk more by bike if it were safer.

          • Posted by Jake

            @AK, neither the page you linked to nor the summary of the survey it links to make that claim. AFAIK the actual survey did not gather that data.
            I haven’t seen any data that implies a net increase in total business for Polk Street from this project. If anything many businesses along there expect a decline. Maybe there will be more business from people who cycle and less from those who drive, but I haven’t seen an estimate of the financial impacts.

            The city did do a survey of people on Polk that found spending per person by mode was greatest for people that had arrived by car and least for people that had arrived by bike.

          • Posted by NoeValleyJim

            Spending per person per week was highest for people who arrived on foot and lowest for those who arrived via cars.

          • Posted by Jake

            That is only because the individuals that arrive by car don’t go there as often as the ones that arrive by foot. The car segment of the customers is from a much larger total population that individually visit less frequently.

            BTW, the study as reported did just about everything they could to hide this fact. It is one of the tawdriest attempts to skew perceptions in favor of bike and away from car in all the pieces I have seen from SF gov’t.

            Here is the actual revenue share by mode based entirely on this survey. It is what they call the “typical” percentage of visits by mode multiplied by the “typical” spending per trip.

            05.8% Bicycle
            19.3% Car
            51.4% Foot
            23.4% Transit

            In an unbiased economic market segmentation by mode analysis, this would be the first breakdown you would see, not the last and certainly not something you would have to calculate yourself.

        • Posted by Zig

          How are they losing 15%?

          • Posted by Jake

            Zig, the business were concerned that loss of parking would lead to a loss of customers that arrive by car. SFMTA estimated about 15% of the customers arrive by car. They actually spend more per visit than others on average, so they account for closer to 20% of the spending. There are plenty of studies that show as driving and parking get more difficult people cut back. The nearby Octavia study area for example has details on how people adapted.

        • Posted by S

          those bike improvements include many improvements for pedestrians as well. If the business owners are so concerned with providing parking to their customers, they wouldn’t drive to work and take up those precious spaces themselves! Even Mayor Lee’s buddy admitted to that. I suspect that’s the real reason to preserve those spaces.

          • Posted by Jake

            Can you identify which of the pedestrian improvements on Polk St require the bike improvements? AFAIK, there aren’t any. Not a one. I haven’t studied this plan in great detail, so maybe I missed them. Please let me know if there are any.

            I have studied the 2nd street plan thoroughly and discussed it with members of the project team and confirmed in those discussions that all of the pedestrian improvements there do not require the proposed cycle tracks.

            I find it disingenuous of bike improvement advocates to pretend that these improvements which are only for cyclists are for the benefit of pedestrians. According to CA law, pedestrians are not allowed to walk in bike paths or lanes, according to CA Vehicle Code 21966:
            “No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.”

      • Posted by ipleadthefif

        I’ll tell you what’s dumb; relying on MTA studies.

        Those 4300 spaces include Van Ness. How many of those will be elimiated when the Google bus…excuse me, Rapid Bus transit project goes in? (that would, of course, never be a kickback to tech shuttles)

        I can tell you for a fact as someone that lives in that area, that Larkin has no street sweeping. Cars park their indefinitely and the trash is noticable.

        Polk is lined with unique small businesses that people do indeed drive to. This is evidenced by the fact that those spaces are full throughout the day and especially on weekends.

        So yes, getting rid of these spaces greatly impacting the area. But we can’t get in the way of development and tech buses (follow the $$) so the Tuesday 1pm meeting isn’t all unexpected. Sad.

        • Posted by Alai

          How in the heck is the Van Ness brt a kickback to tech shuttles?

          And if parking is a problem, why not take the obvious step of preventing cars from parking indefinitely? It’s so bizarre- people claim that parking is extremely valuable, but then object to charging even a nominal amount of money for it, or taking any other step to ensure that the thousands of existing spaces are put to productive use.

          • Posted by Anon94123

            I have read that private shuttles will not be allowed to use the Van Ness BRT lanes and platforms, so I do not understand the “kick back” comment either. Also- I am curious how having both Van Ness and Polk Street under construction at the same time is going to impact traffic, or is there a plan in place to deal with this?

      • Posted by flowmotion

        I find this figure to be highly misleading. The majority of businesses on Polk are liquor stores, donut shops, neighborhood bars, and other places that indeed nobody would drive to.

        However, for the businesses that do draw customers from across the city this is of zero consolation. MTA is essentially telling merchants that “Everyone walks to the liquor store next door, so they will walk to your place too”, which is completely false for a lot of businesses.

  3. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    The mayor had made a last moment deal to water the plan down even more a few weeks ago to preserve a few more parking spaces. Parking first, safety second.

    • Posted by Comment

      At least it is a step in the right direction.

      • Posted by Anon1

        If over half of the bike fatalities in San Francisco are “solo” accidents, or caused by cyclists breaking laws (riding through stop signs or red lights as an example), the “safety” factor may not be helped by these lanes. I am not sure how many saw the KRON video on Polk Street showing cyclists continually riding through red lights, even at busy intersections such as Post, California, Sutter, etc. but protected bike lanes alone are not going to save every cyclist who does not practice better safety while riding in the city.

        • Posted by Brad

          Overgeneralizing as usual. Only a minority of cyclists would plow through busy intersections and those that do are the same people that would plow through stop signs in a car while texting (which I see multiple times a day). A protected bike lane would protect the vast, vast majority of cyclists from the absolute zoo that Polk Street is. Cycling down one of the main North-South bike routes should be accessible to cyclists of all levels, not just the brave.

          • Posted by Comment

            +1

          • Posted by Jonny

            The majority of cyclists I see on Polk St, on a daily basis, don’t stop at stop signs.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            the vast majority of the 3%. woop woop. 90% of the bicycle lanes in SF are empty 90% of the time. building more is just stupid policy. I hope in 10 yrs, we repave over this waste of space to facilitate true transportation for the majority

          • Posted by San Francisco

            the majority of car drivers I see on polk run lights, speed, text and talk on the phone while unable to stay in their own lane.

          • Posted by Anon1

            I think the issue is, are the bike lanes for “safety”, or to make more people feel comfortable riding bikes on city streets? As shown in the Polk Street video linked above in my original post…protected bike lanes will not be able to stop bad behavior by cyclists, or drivers. It is interesting to note the San Francisco Bike Coalition is against the proposed California state helmet legislation for cyclists.

          • Posted by Jonny

            @San Francisco, If the majority of car drivers you see on Polk run lights, speed, text and talk on the phone while unable to stay in their own lane, where is law enforcement? The drivers you’re referring to should be ticketed! Perhaps the bike lobby should pressure the SFPD to enforce traffic laws in order to promote safety.

          • Posted by Sierrajeff

            “the majority of car drivers I see on polk run lights, speed, text and talk on the phone while unable to stay in their own lane.”

            Stop with the bull. The “majority” run through lights. That would be quite the anarchy, if true. The “majority” are texting? Ditto, and what a great opportunity for the police to give tickets, if only it were true.

          • Posted by S

            @motomayhem – what a dumb comment. Can you honestly say that all the car lanes in the city are 100% occupied at all hours?

          • Posted by Moto mayhem

            No but they are not completely empty like most bike lanes for most of the time

  4. Posted by Kaveman

    seems like a reasonable compromise for all parties involved. businesses get to keep a few extra parking spaces which they feel they desperately need but all in all the street will be much safer for pedestrians and bikers than it was before which was the major objective of the redesign. both sides clearly wanted more of what they were pushing for which, to me, makes this a fair compromise. Looking forward to biking Polk once the improvements are complete.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Except the decision making shouldn’t be made based on which side screams the loudest. The city should determine their values and priorities and act on that. Here the city is making a clear stand that the convenience of drivers is more important than the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. I think those values are backwards.

      • Posted by Jake

        I understand that the safety of cyclists was compromised for the convenience of drivers, particularly those that would park in front of the businesses. I think it is a shame they didn’t figure out a way to get the parking off Polk.
        How specifically was the safety of pedestrians compromised for the convenience of drivers on Polk?

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Jake – pedestrians are affected indirectly. If a street design influences people to mode shift from car to bike then there’s less danger on the street for everyone. The reverse also applies.

          • Posted by Jake

            It depends on how you get people to drive less. If you do it by increasing traffic congestion for cars, making it harder to find any parking, and generally more stressful to drive, then you may make the streets less safe for everyone. Go for a walk in the PM rush hour around 1st and 2nd on Rincon Hill, or along 6th st. Then imagine that is what is expected for the entire eastern half of SoMa in the future.

            If instead you raise the relative financial costs of driving, such as making parking more expensive, eliminating free parking, raising the gas tax, and increasing transit service, then you can have less car density as well as less cars total.

            BTW, about three-fourths of the cars that commute from the east bay across the Bay Bridge each workday morning are on their way to a free parking place. That was a finding in a UCB study of the effects of congestion pricing on the Bay Bridge. The ones headed to San Mateo have a higher rate of free parking. After taking them out, it is more like 60% of the cars that commute from the east bay across the Bay Bridge to SF get free parking. Get them to pay market rate for their parking and I’ll bet the streets downtown would get much calmer and safer for everyone.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            I’m not so sure about the “frustration makes dangerous drivers” assertion. Maybe it does for some people but those people should give up driving. Frustration is unavoidable. Maybe the DMV needs some sort of Voight-Kampff test to make sure that license holders have the psychological strength to handle urban driving. 🙂

            I agree that parking ought to be managed so that it is easier to find a spot. Either raise the rate or lower the time limit to ensure that parking spots are used most efficiently. Otherwise this valuable resource gets squandered on long term car storage.

          • Posted by Jake

            Stress and the hormones produced by it make people more dangerous. There’s no question about it. Basic biology. And not just humans, corner a house cat and see what happens. Stress is from perceived danger, and we respond mostly in kind. The issue is not whether most people can cope with it day after day, of course they can and do. The problem is it only takes one person that can’t on a given day to ruin your day or even your life. That’s why they call if ‘traffic calming.’

            Increasing congestion increases the rewards for people that cheat – block the box, drive through red lights, etc. Same with other modes: cyclist has more incentive to ride on the sidewalk as the roadway gets more dangerous, pedestrian has more incentive to jaywalk across a wide road like Embarcadero if the lights are mistimed stranding them in the middle.

            Knowing all this, to try to make the streets safer by increasing congestion so much that drivers can’t stand to drive is counter productive. As a community to do this is a form of social fratricide and for the SFMTA to do it would be professional negligence. Besides, it just don’t work that way.

          • Posted by Anon94123

            And even the SFMTA admits that about 30% of the traffic on San Francisco streets are cars circling again and again looking for parking. Chestnut has a couple of busy private parking lots and garages which are always busy, so why did the MTA block the guy who wanted to create a private 3 story parking garage between Polk and Van Ness? I would rather have the cars park off the street. I can understand reducing street parking, but to then prohibit off street parking at the same time seems to show their bias against drivers.

          • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

            Jake – I really doubt that a long term goal of these changes is to increase congestion. At least I haven’t heard anyone involved state that goal. However short term there may be increased congestion until people adapt to the changes.

            What’s the alternative to support the city’s increasing population? Build more auto infrastructure? The urban part of SF is already maxed out. We’ve reached the end of what can practically be accomplished by the drive-alone paradigm.

            SF really needs a world class transit system. But is expensive and you can’t build it without solid political support. Right now people are clamoring for more parking and that will create pressure for wider, faster streets. Not only is that a non starter, it diverts resources (both money and space) that could be used to build out better transit and weakens political support to make bold transportation investments.

            Until that mess is sorted out the city is taking the cheap route of improving bike infrastructure. Though bicycling isn’t for everyone, anytime someone switches from car to bike that frees up several parking spaces for those who chose to drive. And in a city so small that you can bike from one side to the other in less than a half hour bicycling is quite practical for many.

          • Posted by gold_rush_town

            Congestion pricing ring – $20 per day per car to cross anywhere east of Divisadero, anywhere North of Cesar Chavez. Administered by FastPass and cameras, a la the GGB.

            $5 per hour minimum meter parking, scaling to $20 an hour during rush hour.
            Half that for motorcycles.

            Parking will free up. Uber will cost more but be more used. Traffic will flow.

            The expectation of cheap parking is the same dynamic as rent control. Systematically underprice a finite good and you will have a shortage. Pocketbooks guide behavior.

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        i ahve exactly the opposite opinion of this ludicrous plan. we are sacrifiecing the vast majority for the sake of a vocal minotiry

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      in EUopre, the sidewalks are very narrow and people have been walking on them for many years. Why is it that San Franciscans cant walk on narrow sidewalks? its not like our sidewalks are crowded.

      • Posted by Sam

        Because we don’t want to? Also it’s hard to say sidewalks aren’t crowded on Polk… Europe also has large car free areas, that we lack here. Just look at Rome, tons of squares that are pedestrian only.

      • Posted by Alai

        I’m pretty sure there are a lot of wide sidewalks in Europe too.

        I have been on plenty of crowded sidewalks in sf, too.

      • Posted by Amewsed

        San Francisco may be the only place where pedestrians are coddled to their own detriment. In big international cities in Europe and Asia, pedestrians do not have a right of way by merely stepping off the curb. You look carefully before crossing the street and do so when it is safe. Common sense. Only here you have/need laws to protect you from yourself (and end up doing the opposite.)

        Ever walk on Stockton St. in Chinatown on any day of the week where it is cheek to jowl? Read any news about large numbers of pedestrians killed or injured because of insufficient sidewalk space?

        • Posted by Zig

          I was just in Europe a few weeks ago and the city I was in really didn’t have a lot of cars in the center so this is irrelevant

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            curious which city that is. Ive been travelling a lot in EU over the past 2 yrs and dont know a city that doesnt have cars in the center. and only the northrn EU cities seem to be pushing cycling so hard. another thing about EU is that every single city in the EU has better public transport than SF.

      • Posted by Dan

        Yes. I noticed that on the Champs Elysees. Totally narrow. Wtf?

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          youre comparing polk to champs elysee? what about the many other streets with restaurant/bar/liquor stores, which are more closely aligned with Polk. ?

          the sidewalks on most streets in EU are much more narrow than in SF.

          • Posted by Alai

            To the extent that there are commercial streets with narrow sidewalks, it’s because the entire street is narrow, traffic speeds are limited, and people regularly walk in the street.

        • Posted by Zig

          The majority of Paris is famous for wide boulevards

          • Posted by Alai

            For every famous wide boulevard, there are a hundred narrow local streets. The problem we have here is that we consider the wide boulevard to be the only legitimate type of street. Even our residential streets are built as boulevards, designed for moving cars at high speeds, with speed limits imposed ineffectually in retrospect.

      • Posted by tj

        Yes, and that same street most likely has a single driving lane and no parking proximal to the shops located on it, reflecting the street’s development at a time when motorized transport was unconceivable.

        The issue here is simply one of how the public realm of the street is to be allocated between various modes of travel. Since Polk is one of the three main north-south cycling routes in the city (the others being the Embarcadero and Arguello), it makes sense from a planning point of view to prioritize cycling over driving. Is it really so outrageous for drivers to concede a single street?

        • Posted by actionless action

          Market St.

        • Posted by moto mayhem

          yes, because it is congested for muni, taxi, uber and cars and cyclists barely use the lanes that already exist. there are simply not enough people cycling to support these big changes to city streets to allocate to the 3%

      • Posted by Zig

        What a useless comment. I just got back from Basel Switzerland. Much of the old town area had pedestrianized streets, streets that only allowed LRT thru access and few parking spaces on street in the center. If the Swiss can do this in a city of 350k why can’t we lose a few parking spaces?

  5. Posted by Kaveman

    I disagree Milkshake – how is the city making a clear stand that the convenience of drivers Is more important? If anything I’d suggest they are focused on making the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. However, to do that, doesn’t mean they get to ignore a portion of the community that thinks driving and parking in and around Polk street is important. City officials are elected/appointment to hear the voice of all the citizens, not only the bikers, not only the drivers. City officials are here for the peoples values and priorities, and I think they did a great job of listening to the concerns of the people and addressing them.

  6. Posted by moto mayhem

    an absolute shame and hijacking of transportation to please a few vocal cyclists.

    • Posted by Dan

      Bicycling is, ahem, a form of transportation.

      • Posted by Comment

        a good one too!

      • Posted by moto mayhem

        yes, for 3% of commuters

        • Posted by Dan

          Thanks for admitting your original comment was incorrect. Moving on.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i meant hijacking of transportation “policy.” bowing to the 3% for the sake of those on public transport, taxis, ubers and driving is bad policy.

    • Posted by San Francisco

      cars have lanes on 100% of the roads and freeways. God forbid the cyclists get a lane for themselves without getting run over by a 2 ton vehicle.

      • Posted by Comment

        Great point! Building a working system for bikes is not a dismissal of other modes of transportation. It’s just building a working and safe system for an alternate to the car. It’s evening the inequality.

  7. Posted by Amewsed

    I don’t stop or shop on Polk Street anyway. Nightmare trying to find street parking. I figure the neighborhood locals can pick up any shopping slack. Anyone notice the irony? There are a lot more bicyclists in China than in San Francisco. How are bike lanes determined in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou? For those cyclists who fail to follow traffic rules and endanger the lives of others, there should be equal enforcement of laws by CHP, SFPD, etc. This is a fairly objective matter undeserving of the three years of debate.

    • Posted by david m

      there are no bike lanes anywhere in guangzhou and none that i’ve ever seen in shanghai. cycling is extinct in these cities, for the most part. it has become too dangerous.

      • Posted by Amewsed

        Wow, does that mean an entire segment of the population is simply frozen in their place, unable to live their lives, or be free from suffering great bodily injury that comes from mechanized vehicles?

      • Posted by Jake

        Guangzhou has bike lanes and is building more. They even won an award for their recent efforts from the UN in 2011:
        “In June 2010 Guangzhou launched a bike sharing system with 5,000 bikes and 113 stations, primarily along the BRT corridor. The full first phase system included 15,000 bikes, making Guangzhou one of the ten largest bike sharing systems worldwide. Guangzhou has also begun to re-introduce bike lanes on major roadways, with dedicated bike lanes along the BRT corridor. Guangzhou also opened 5,500 bike parking positions at BRT station areas, including double-tier bike parking racks at several key stations.
        In September 2010 Guangzhou opened the Donghaochong greenway along a polluted former canal, which is part of a wider project to build dozens of kilometers of high quality greenways throughout the city. This project created a 4km off-street bikeway and walkway combined with parks and plazas and areas for children to play alongside the water. “

      • Posted by Dan

        I’ve been to Beijing, which has separated bike lanes.

        (This is the original “Dan” posting– but I mostly agree with the other Dan posting on this thread!)

      • Posted by Zig

        I saw tons of bikers still in 2005. Has it changed that much in 10 years?

  8. Posted by Karl

    on a complete tangent….I’d love to hear the opinions from this crowd on the following. I am at a 4 way stop sign this morning, cars/bicyclists at all four stops. Everyone taking there turn going through the intersection, orderly, civilized. A pedestrian is crossing the street in a crosswalk, is halfway across. A driver, it is there turn to proceed, travels through the intersection through the crosswalk the pedestrian was crossing (again the pedestrian was already past the lane the car was in, so no risk, no harm). The driver IMO was being safe. This pedestrian stopped in the middle of the intersection (holding up other traffic) yelling at the driver that they should not be in the crosswalk while she was walking. Again, she was already past the lanes the car was driving. The two got in an argument about the whole thing. As an observer, first off, it was hilarious to see this pedestrian all worked up getting mad. But secondly, IMO the driver didn’t do anything wrong. They clearly saw the pedestrian, waited until they crossed and then proceeded (even though the person wasn’t fully across the intersection). To me the driver was being safe but also moving forward so traffic could continue to progress. I’m a biker, a pedestrian and a driver, so for me it seemed the pedestrian was out of line but maybe I’m in the minority.

    • Posted by Dan

      I believe the law states that it’s illegal to enter the crosswalk at any point when a pedestrian is anywhere in that crosswalk. That said, this just seems like a bit of ruffled feathers getting out of control.

      • Posted by Sierrajeff

        Yes. Technically the driver was wrong; but literally the pedestrian was wrong to get worked up about it.

      • Posted by Jake

        No, the driver has to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian and “exercise all due care … as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.”

        From an article regarding this issue:
        CHP Officer Jon Sloat said the answer is that you can proceed once the pedestrian is not at any risk of being hit, even if he suddenly whirled around and headed back in front of your car.
        “There’s nothing in the vehicle code” about waiting until the pedestrian has reached the sidewalk, he said. “You just have to yield to them” until it’s safe to proceed.
        And Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner Carla Bonilla, who runs the local Traffic Court, seems to agree.
        “There is a case by case issue here. I do not think the person technically has to be up on the second curb for the car to then drive on. However, clearly the intent of the law is for the pedestrian to be out of harm’s way before the car leaves,” she said in a statement.

        • Posted by Amewsed

          In this case, pedestrian safely passed the driver but for her turning around to argue with the driver. She assumes the liability for whatever happens to her next.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            someone can decide to use the crosswalk again for whatever reason.

          • Posted by Jake

            Yes, and they must use due care for their safety whenever they use the crosswalk, CA Vehicle Code 21950.(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.”
            Two wrongs don’t make a righteous.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Thanks for the correction / update. Good to know (as well as your spot-on response to FonziScheme – too may peds in this city think they can blithely walk out in front of traffic “because it’s my right”, as though cars can magically stop [and if they don’t magically stop, it’s obviously the driver’s fault]).

          • Posted by Alai

            Cars are not expected to magically stop- they’re expected to mechanically stop, using brakes. If they don’t, it is indeed the driver’s fault.

    • Posted by BobN

      Obviously the pedestrian left her bike at home today.

      • Posted by San FronziScheme

        Obviously you didn’t leave your manichean hat at home today

        • Posted by Amewsed

          Such a tit for tat person. Petty much?

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            pot… kettle…

          • Posted by Anon

            different person, so yes, you are a tit for tatter, clearly.

    • Posted by Amewsed

      My answer: she is lucky I wasn’t the driver. She would have lost the argument.

      I admit that I can be an aggressive, never distracted, driver. I have crossed the intersection in front of a pedestrian (when they are a few feet away) and got the “really?” comment. I have also found using more hand gestures ie. waving someone to go is helpful and promotes better understanding.

      • Posted by San FronziScheme

        By losing the argument, do you mean “mowed over” or intimidated by a lethal weapon.

        She was within her right. You can’t have traffic cops at every corner and people have to be civil and respectful of the rules. When they are not the scofflaws should be expected to be called out on their douchebaggery.

        I see a few drivers advancing in 4-way stop crossings once in a while. As a pedestrian I find it very aggressive, like someone wants me to move away because this person’s time is more important than anything. Well, I WILL give you that look, and I am not going to walk faster. If you are late or short on time, why does it become someone else’s duty to help you?

        • Posted by Jake

          Regardless of whatever the driver did or however the pedestrian felt about it, when the pedestrian stopped in the crosswalk to berate the driver and thereby hold up traffic, she was violating CA law.
          “No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            Emphasis on “unnecessarily”. Pointing out the unsafe behavior of a driver could constitute a necessity., because this driver might endanger someone else by his behavior in a more unfortunate condition.

          • Posted by Jake

            Oh, please, do it from the sidewalk. The law is very clear. Don’t expect the driver to be receptive to your angrily delivered message, most of them have been cursed at before and see all the good it has done.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            Doing it from the sidewalk hoping that the driver will look in his rear view mirror? What a great idea…

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            To take an example that was mentioned many times these past 3 years: what would you do if you were in the position to shame Chris Buccere when he was still in the North side of Castro Street running lights and stop signs? Maybe a bit of public shaming puts people back in their pace. Of course they will not acknowledge it and even throw you an insult, but do not underestimate the power of random social feedback in people’s behavior.

          • Posted by Jake

            The chance that you are going to change a reckless/hazardous driver/cyclist’s behavior is so remote as to be a bad idea, if that is what your idea is for yelling at them.

            Buccere was going as fast as he could whenever he could and posting his trip times on a website. The only thing that was going to change his behavior was an accident. Tragically, his accident killed another person, instead of just hurting himself.

            And what are you going to do as he rides by as fast as he can? Are you going to yell at him from the sidewalk, get out your phone and post a video, or run into the street to obstruct him and deliver a proper verbal shaming?

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            Buccere was living in an alternate world where virtual scores mattered. If anything, reminding this type of people that they live in a physical world first is a great service you are making them.

            Now for more normal people…

            Shaming works wonders with me…

            I have sometimes been overconfident on my bike or a bit pushy with my car. When someone put me back in my place I would usually acknowledge and be more careful the next time around. But that’s just me maybe…

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            Chris Buccere should be in prison for at least 20 yrs for MURDERing a pedestrian

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            I do agree, but if we do that we will have to go back to all deadly accidents that started from someone blowing a red light.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            i agree. anyone who blows through a light and kills someone because they are street racing should go to prison. he was street racing on strava, same as street racing car to car.

          • Posted by tj

            Just because you are recording your time on Strava, Map My Ride, Garmin or any one of the multiple tracking programs that are available it does not mean that you are “racing”. By this standard any car with a GPS device that gives estimated time to destination would be guilty of the same.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            it does mean he was “racing” in this case because he was trying to beat his personal strava public record and those of his friends. in other words, he was racing. if i try to beat the land speed record and hit someone, i would assume they would call that racing too.

          • Posted by moto mayhem

            btw, when i cycle (for recreation in Marin), i record my time on Strava. big difference recording your best Century, vs. recording your best time across crowded city streets with lights and pedestrians. that endangering the public while racing.

  9. Posted by bike trike and baby carriage parking only

    Most of southern Polk is rent controlled and otherwise fairly marginal residentially. This is the SFMTA pattern — go to neighborhoods where they face little opposition (a few business people are easy to outnumber with Berkeley students) and slather on the meters and bike lanes to no where. I would have made much more sense to invest this time and energy into a better implemented Divisadero for instance, or a more attractively updated 3rd street connector to 16th.

    • Posted by I live in Polk

      This is the dumbest comment I’ve read. -1

  10. Posted by invented

    Give developers additional floors in new buildings for public low-cost parking (and lower-fee resident monthly parking) and kill more and more street parking. Any parent here sending their kid to school in an unprotected bike lane?

  11. Posted by San FronziScheme

    That’s a decent compromise on what will become THE north-south artery for bike commuters. Drivers will never be happy because time in a car is time wasted sitting and waiting (except for people who are illegally doing work in their car on their phone). A bike ride replaces a spinning class and it actually gets you somewhere.

  12. Posted by BDB

    I wonder how often the people who drive to Polk actually get to park on the block they want to go to the store they want now? I would think you get very lucky if that happens, usually you end up parking 2-3 blocks away, maybe more. I know if I drive to Polk or Chestnut/Union are I usually end up parking on Van Ness or Lombard, much easier than circling on Polk to wait for a space to open up.

    • Posted by San FronziScheme

      Depending on where you are on Polk… If you’re next to the steep streets people will be lazier and try and park much closer. In the flats, 2-3 blocks sound about right.

      • Posted by Zig

        I used to park around Pine no problem on the week days. About 3pm onward on Friday big problem

  13. Posted by dc_in_sf

    I live just off Polk, and it has always seemed to me that many of the street parking spots are actually taken up by the folk working in the neighborhood. The opposition of local businesses to this plan thus seemed to be more about losing their own parking spots rather than customer parking

  14. Posted by anon

    I ride pretty much daily but this coddling beginner bicyclists sh** is lame. I’d prefer to go back to the 1990s bike messenger era any day. Most riders I’ve seen on the roads have no business riding – they have so little skills they would be deceased shortly after embarking on a moderately difficult mountain bike ride. And mountain biking is nothing compared to actual traffic where one false move means game over. Riding is no joke and is not safe. Anyone who thinks it is will not enjoy a long life.

  15. Posted by Anon1

    So what happened to the MTA / SFBC 2014 bicycle count? They usually release it around the beginning of the year, but this year they are silent as to why no numbers are being given. Could it be that the better economy has bike usage flat or declining? The recent silence on bike usage statistics was also tried in New York, but the New York Times was able to discover where the statistics were hidden. (click on name for article)

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