Monday, December 22, 2008

Nicely Done Sergeant M.G. Cesari - SFPD

From the sfbike mailing list (
Reprinted with permission from the author

From: Michael Anderson

This morning while riding in the right lane heading east on Geary St. in front of the Curran Theater, I got "corked" by one of San Francisco's finest. His name: Sergeant M.G. Cesari. The officer came within inches of hitting me and then cut me off, causing me to slam on my brakes and swerve to the right. No siren, no lights, no warning at all! It was an attempted vehicular assault. Sgt. Cesari stepped out his car, and asked me for my driver's license. When I asked him why I was cut off, he became more annoyed than before and demanded my license. When I insisted on knowing why he needed my license, he told me I was impeding the flow of traffic. When I informed him that there was obviously no bike lane and that I'm allowed Full Use of the Lane, he told me that either I show him my license or he would take me to the station. I showed him my license, and after taking his time, he handed me a ticket to sign; CVC 22400a Impeding Flow of Traffic. When I told him that thi
s was outrageous and wouldn't sign the ticket, he told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back! I said to him " you gotta be kidding me". He responded by saying that this is the last time I'm telling this to you. I reluctantly told him to show me the ticket and I'd sign it under protest.
And yes I got his badge #: 155. I also took pictures but I have no witnesses.

After this incident I headed straight to the SFBC office, where Andy helped me out and gave me some excellent advice. Next stop, Office of Citizens Complaints.

And this all happened after a lovely morning of Christmas Shopping.

Thanks again to Andy Thornley!

Be careful out there. Happy holidays to my fellow bicyclists.

Michael Anderson

The right lane of this section of Geary is a bus only lane - 24 hours a day. Bicycles are allowed to use a bus only lane. While motorists often
feel free" to use this lane, to claim that one is "impeded" by a cyclist is a little irreverent, given that the car is not supposed to be there in the first place.

Mr. Anderson claims that there were no buses to be seen. What exactly was he impeding? And if there is no traffic (aside from himself - bikes are traffic) allowed to use that lane, he could claim that he is in line with the CVC - "Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than
the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall
ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway"

And where is SFPD when someone "impedes traffic" by double parking in a bike lane?


Perhaps double parked in front of a Starbucks?

As far as I am concerned this is just harrassment. Maybe that's a bit too holy - but at the very least it's a waste of the officer's time. If only the SFPD could be as crackerjack about those 100+ homicides in San Francisco this year.


jhalv said...

That section of Geary St. is one-way heading West. If you were heading East, as you write, you were riding the wrong way down a one-way street. You would warrant a ticket.

Did you mean to say you were riding West, away from downtown?

murphstahoe said...

It wasn't me, it was Michael Anderson. I assume this is a typo.

The original email indicates he was in the right hand lane, in a followup correspondence he said he was in the bus lane. The bus lane is only the right lane if you are going west.

If he were riding the wrong way, the cop would have probably ticketed him for that, not impeding traffic.

The cop came around him, if he were going the wrong way, then so was the cop.