Friday, July 31, 2009
Among the many things the bikesnobnyc hates are obstacles in bike lanes, for example people walking in bike lanes, or cars subletting bike lanes.
In San Francisco, instead of cars subletting bike lanes, we have homeless people subletting bike lanes.
OK, maybe this is a bike "path" or a bike "bridge" but you get my point.
Now, if you hate homeless people and you hate bike lanes, what to do in this scenario. If you chase away the homeless people, life gets easier for the cyclists. If you want the cyclists to suffer, you let the homeless people continue living on the bridge unabated. What to do, what to do...
Don't give me any guff about transit and cyclists not paying their fair share, when the government is subsidizing private car ownership.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Real Men of Genius.
You'll protect your ride, Mr Lock Your Bike To The Caltrain Rack Guy.
This AM, going down 24th St in Noe Valley, I went nuts and rode past a line of 3 stopped cars, on the right. Bad cyclist.
Fortunately I was able to get some education on this topic. An SUV driver took a brief hiatus from the text message he was writing, calmed down the two shitzu dogs sitting in his lap, and admonished me for passing on the right.
I thanked him for his public service.
Friday, July 24, 2009
SAT style word association.
Danilo Di Luca is to Doper as Chris Daly is to
Answer: While many would argue that any of those terms apply, the answer is D. We all knew had varying levels of A/B/C but even though we had a sinking feeling that Di Luca might be doped to the eyeballs, we weren't sure, and we weren't sure that Daly had a big stinking pile of hypocrisy but there was no clear evidence.
I - and many of San Francisco's residents - took great deals of umbrage with many of Daly's pet projects, his ranting in Supervisors meetings, and generally poor decorum. On the one hand he was a sure vote on reasonable progressive initiatives like fighting back on Newsom's budget that cut deeply to many programs valued by the whole city (primarily MUNI - facing service cuts and a 33% fare increase) yet provided raises for the SFPD and SFFD. Don't get me wrong, cops and firemen do important things, but if the whole world is facing paycuts, the PD and FD shouldn't be immune.
On the other hand, Daly has come up with all sorts of crazy initiatives. His recent attempt to modify rent control was effectively a taking, aimed at the "big bad landlords" but would radically change the rules of the game on some pretty small time landlords. If someone loses their job, helping that person out may very well be a priority for a just society, but not borne by a single citizen. Note - I am a renter and I was "effectively" evicted when our rent was raised 40% in one month (no rent protection for single family homes). While my wife was pregnant no less, so I am hardly unsympathetic to the plight of renters (we are still renting by the way).
The extreme irony in this is that Daly bought not one - but two! - houses in Fairfield, and will be renting one out, not subject to the ex-post-facto penalties he is trying to place upon not only big bad landlords like Citi, but also on the prototypical old school SF landlord - someone owning a 2 unit building, living in one, and renting the other out. Or did Daly never see Pacific Heights? Will Daly be showing up at Fairfield's city council meeting and asking for the same restrictions on landlords there?
The correlation between Di Luca and Daly does not end there. In Italia, the tifosi are rallying around there man, as if he is being persecuted. The hardest of the hard core Daly supporters are doing the same, for example over at Fog City Journal. The folks over at Daily Kos, who worked their asses off to elect Obama, then put him under a microscope immediately would be ashamed. If I worked to elect this guy I would be quite angry, frankly.
The whole thing is weak. The grandparents have been there forever - that's where Sarah grew up. His family unit appears to be functioning, so the topic of moving to Fairfield had to have been on the docket before the last D6 election. At that point, decide if you are going to move, and if so, DON'T RUN FOR RE-ELECTION, and move! Otherwise, decide you love LIVING in the city, and want to re-shape it to your predilictions and then stay here! As soon as he's termed out, one would assume that since his family is so important that he will move to Fairfield. Talk about lame duck. If your heart isn't in it - resign and let someone with some skin in the game take over.
I've toyed with walking around D8 with a petition and getting my name on the ballot for 2010. I would have done it by now except that there is the chance that we will run for the hills ourselves. We have the Alioto-Pier style Wine Country Second Home already. But we haven't moved there because we just like San Francisco so darn much that as much fun as I have trying to keep Redwood trees from dying and planting tomatoes, I prefer to be in San Francisco. I probably won't run because even campaigning would be rough with an 18 month old and an apolitical fulltime job, when you aren't a part of the city political system. But I sure as heck wouldn't run unless I was 100% committed to suffering the consequences of my work should I end up winning.
Postscript from Fog City Commenter H. Brown
Chris came by after work yesterday and listened to the Giants (we won and Cain got his 12th) and put a dent in a 5th of Seagram’s with Luke Thomas. I’ll put a piece about it on my blast list later. It was a good time. He pedaled off to do the last half hour of Pirate Cat radio which was also good.
How much Seagram's would put Daly over the BUI limit?
Friday, July 17, 2009
More: at cyclelicious
Possible Bike Ban in Jefferson County Colorado
County commissioners in Jefferson County announced that they are asking for statewide legislation that would let counties ban bicyclists from county roa
ds of their choice, according to an article in the July 7 Columbine Courier.
I emailed JeffCo and got a canned response.
Summary - we are not proposing to close any roads, but we want to pass a law
that gives us the right to close roads. Even though we (heart) cyclists!
We are not proposing to close any roads to bicyclists. All roads in Jefferson
County are open to bicyclists.
Our intention in getting legislation passed is
to have the ability to balance the needs of various citizens and to assure the
safety of both the bicycling and motoring public.
Our proposal would give counties the same level of authority that cities have
in managing their roads.
Jefferson County has an outstanding record of accomplishment in accommodating
the bicycling community. We are committed to a "Share the Road" philosophy. We've
installed paved shoulders, we plan multi-modal roads to accommodate bikes, and
we will continue to allocate staff to act as a liason to "Bike Jeffco," a bicycle
This effort allows Jefferson County and the bicycling community a forum to work
together and find consensus on ways to accommodate bicyclists in Jefferson County.
JeffCo Board of Commissioners.
Kevin McCasky, Chairman
Faye Griffin, Chairman pro tem
Kathy Hartman, Commissioner
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The accident scene on Mount Hermon Road in Scotts Valley Thursday afternoon. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)A car struck a pedestrian and a power pole on Mt. Hermon Road Thursday afternoon, injuring two people and knocking out power to area customers, emergency dispatches indicated.
2700 people out of power for hours, yet no call to get rid of the crazy cars. Why not? Because cars are useful. Cars get people places that walking/transit/biking/whatever cannot. They also do some very bad stuff. I am not against cars per se, I am just keenly aware that they aren't all they are cracked up to be and that they should be used rarely and carefully. Because they are capable of this sort of crap.
And to beat the dead horse for the fiftieth time - it's very amusing how when there is an incident involving a cyclist - "cycling is dangerous, cyclists are crazy" but when there is an incident involving a motor vehicle, that SPECIFIC driver was a nutjob. Of course, if this were true... first we would no longer allow that nutjob to operate a motor vehicle (doesn't happen) and we would clearly be safe from future problems now that that nutjob is safely locked away (turns out there is a limitless supply of these nutjobs).
Oh well. Onwards and upwards.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The police have a partial license plate (KAY or KAT and a heart symbol) and a make/model (Silver PT Cruiser) but have not found the coward who ran Bennett over, leaving him with a broken spine.
The SF Chronicle has nothing to say on this subject - which could raise awareness in the search - but managed to print 4 anti-cyclist screeds in the LTTE section on July 13. This includes a letter indicating that people should be careful when riding a bike because her son had been hit by a car that ran a red light. If waiting for a green light is not being careful, I really don't know what I can do.
I sent in a reply and was published.
A real crime
A little over a week ago, Andrew Bennett was riding down the bike lane on Valencia with his 4-year-old son, when a Silver PT Cruiser ran a red light and hit Bennett, breaking his spine. The driver sped off, leaving Bennett in the street. The police have a partial license plate.
The Chronicle has not seen fit to publish any information about this, yet finds room for four letters to the editor describing cyclists as the bane of humanity for riding two abreast.
A society that finds that rude but does not decry hit-and-run vehicular assault is truly one on the decline.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Since last Friday afternoon, three of our co-workers vehicles have had their catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles while parked in the parking lot (Bldgs. A & I). In all cases, the victim vehicles were all Toyota trucks (ease of access to the under-body and converter). In such cases, the thieves are primarily interested in selling the semi-precious metals that are contained in the catalytic converters.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I would like to clarify some misconceptions about the Honor the Stop program addressed in the article and some of the comments herein:
Before we get started I will clarify one more thing from the article. It should say "narcissist, cyclist, triathlon coach and Daly City resident Marc Evans". Of course, perhaps the Woodside Almanac felt that including the word narcissist was a redundancy given the inclusion of the phrase "triathlon coach". In my experience being a "triathlon coach" requires a few things.
1) Being very good at triathlon but not good enough to make a living competing.
2) Establishing a cool nickname like "Coach Bill" or "N Squared". Call your students part of "Team Bleeper" or something.
3) Endless streams of self promotion.
Depending on your skill at #3, you might just scratch out a meager living and score endless amounts of fresh tail.
OK, that was uncalled for. Sue me.
1) It is NOT accurate to say these institutions “took over the idea”…I’ve spent hundreds of hours in meetings, handing out bands, attending town meetings etc at my own expense, working with the officers (CHP, Sheriff, Police, CalTrans etc) in the field showing them how to pledge, and paying for the wristbands. We have personally pledges a few thousand individuals (cyclist, pedestrians, motorcyclist and mortorists alike). Honor the Stop is for all roadway users.
2) And it was my idea to organize the enforcement scheme which was implemented. It is accurate that I was not informed of the specific date(s), but it was discussed at length a few months ago. The wristbands were donated to sheriff’s office from the Town of Woodside who purchased 5000 bands.
3)The idea for the wristband began a year before Kristy and Matt were killed. There was an article in the San Jose Mercury News about a concept I had be thinking of for some time with regards to the increasing tension among cyclists and motorist. As a coach, I have always required full compliance in obeying the roadways laws. And every client I've worked with knows my insistance on this is not casual.
The deaths of Kristy and Matt caused me to take the action of creating Honor the Stop.
MY IDEA. MY MY MY MY MY! IT WAS MY IDEA! LOOK AT ME! (See Narcissism).
4) The Honor the Stop program is a simple message for all roadway users. And unfortunately, many people attempt to categorize the program as anti-cyclist and a power play by the law enforcement agencies. The truth is the Town of Woodside and surrounding areas are a magnet for cyclists of all skill levels. It is however, my goal that everyone who uses the roadways display respect for one another by obeying the roadway laws. Cyclists for a vasy majority do not obey the laws and perhaps, no more or less than motorists, but it is my concern for their safety that I advocate obeying all roadway laws.
OK, time to get serious. If Mr. Evans were truly concerned about the safety of cyclists, he would marshall his efforts into an initiative that might improve the safety of cyclists. Unfortunately, promoting a jihad about driving safely would only fall into the noise and not achieve the goal of getting his name into the paper by playing to the meme that "Cyclists for a vasy (sic) majority do not obey the laws".
Additionally, Evans lives in Daly City (according to the article) or Gardnerville (accoring to his post) but he chose Woodside to be the focus of his efforts. Why not Daly City or neighboring San Francisco? Perhaps because in San Francisco his noise would be drowned out by Rob Anderson?
All he's really accomplished with his efforts is to reinforce the notion amongst Woodside residents that cyclists are merely "guests" on the road partaking in an inherently risky activity, and that if there is an incident it happens because the cyclist is participating in that activity. The net effect - motorists feel no inclination to take care on the road because if they hit a cyclist - the fault lies with the cyclist simply because the cyclist was on the road. The recent fatalities in Woodside occured on Sand Hill Road and on Woodside Road, nowhere near a stop sign. One self inflicted, one by driver error, and one by the dubious "Experienced Cyclist took a U-turn into the middle of a busy road and was run over by 87 year old driver, died and then refused to testify against the driver." Matt and Kristy were killed nowhere near a stop sign. The stings going on in Woodside are nowhere near safety hotspots.
I would like to offer to the pelotons for the locat bike clubs, teams and other groups of individuals who do not obey the laws a respectful challenge. That is, STOP and OBEY the laws and I believe we will all eventually find a way to share the roadways with courtesy for all users. The clubs, teams and groups of cyclists who regularly disregard the stop signs are setting a poor example for others and creating a environment whereby mortorist do not know whether you are going to stop or not. If the team, groups, and clubs agree to stop at ALL signs and lights then the not so fast riders will not not so inclinded to run the sign to bridge the gap to the peloton.
There are plenty of people in Woodside who hate the Noon/Valley/Spectrum rides. Question - if those rides suddenly started stopping at the stop signs on the route, would the Woodside Citizens start showing up at the corner of Whiskey Hill and Sand Hill with free lemonade for cyclists? No. They are just spiteful people who can't stand having to deal with legitimate road users who delay them a handful of seconds, so they grasp at any straw to demonize them. And here comes Marc Evans with a whole box of straws.
Those rides come to a full stop at Arastradero and Alpine and proceed with extreme care - because that is a real safety issue. At Portola and Alpine there is NO safety issue. At Woodside and Mountain Home, there is a four way stop and the clearance of that intersection is negotiated silently by the front of the peleton and the drivers at the intersection, and the rational choice is to let the entire peleton clear in one shot.
Again, Honor the Stop is a simple message and if children who I've pledged "get it" then, perhaps there's a chance adults will too.
I hope people will come together to obey the laws not matter what mode of transportation they use. Honor the Stop is NOT a divisive program, but rather an opportunity for everyone to respectfully share the roadways.
I disrespectfully disagree.
All the best,
Founder, Honor The Stop
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
"It's extremely important that we get people in vehicles doing less and paying attention to what they're doing," he added. "At the same time, it's dangerous to ride (a bicycle) around people who are multi-tasking."
Is Sergeant Denton implying I shouldn't be riding my bicycle in Woodside because of the inattentive multi-taskers? This is crap - it gives more credence to the (presumed) minority that claims that the roads are for cars and cars only - when the drivers of those cars are the creators of the danger.
OK, aside from his poorly worded statement, maybe he's saying that we need to crack down on the inattentive drivers who create dangerous conditions?
The deputies had help on July 1 from police departments in Menlo Park and Redwood City, which contributed two and four motorcycle officers, respectively, Sgt. Denton said. There were more cell phone citations on July 1 because it was a weekday with fewer cyclists out there, he said.
Interesting correllation. The distribution of cellphone citations had nothing to do with how many cellphone using drivers are out there - it had to do with how many cyclsists were out there. Perhaps with less cyclists around, the cops can focus on "lower priority issues" like talking on the cellphone. Of course, cellphone usage causes drivers to be inattentive, which the Sergeant claims is "extremely important" to get people to stop doing.
The year-old honor-the-stop campaign is the work of cyclist, triathlon coach and Daly City resident Marc Evans, who urges cyclists, drivers, equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, and motorcyclists to obey all traffic laws and symbolize that commitment by wearing a red and black wristband.
Evans was prompted to do this in response to the deaths of Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson, who were killed by an inattentive driver. Make that a sleeping driver. Who was also a Santa Clara County Deputy. This happened to them while not in the process of running a stopsign themselves. More appropriate tribute might be "honor your REM sleep". I cannot for the life of me figure out how the death of innocent victims prompts one to scold the victim class instead of at the class causing the mayhem.
If getting hit is inevitable, I might as well lay back and enjoy it.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
any information on the below.
Hit and Run of Two Cyclists, One aged Four, at 18th And Valencia
On Wednesday, July 1st 2009 at 11:30am a Silver PT Cruiser sped through at red
light going westbound on 18th across Valencia in the Mission District of San
This vehicle struck an adult riding a grey steel frame bicycle which had a blue
childrens add on tandem bike ridden by a four year old boy. The cyclists were
traveling through the intersection on the green light going northbound on
Valencia at 18th street, July 1/2009 at 11:30am
The driver sped up to run a red light causing severe injury to at least one of
Many people witnessed the accident and gave aid, several said that they got a
plate # but when SFPD interviewed, the only people present had incomplete
information. It is believed that witnesses with complete info left the scene
believing that those remaining had complete info.
Unless more information is gained, the driver will not be found. If you
witnessed this accident, or know someone who did, please, please come forward
by contacting Andrew Bennett at (415) 939-4700 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
AND by calling the SFPD hit and Run Unit at (415) 553-1641. Case Number
090669569 (ask for Inspector Custer).
One of the cyclists has a fractured spine. We need your help in bringing the
driver who hit a father and son and left the scene to justice. An injury to one
is an injury to all.
a reader :)
Anyway, I came across a scene last Saturday that had me boiling...
I usually ride Sunday mornings, and the ride usually includes some
portion of the Portola Valley Loop. This past weekend, schedule
commitments dictated that I ride Saturday morning instead. A friend
and I rode The Loop clockwise, starting up Portola Road. We noticed
arrows on the road, and a LOT of riders around. Seems there was an
organized ride, some kind of "Giro de Peninsula", sponsored by the San
Mateo Italian Association (or similar). Anyhoo, there were a LOT of
these folks riding, and it seemed to be generally the more hobbyist
rider, at least when we passed through.
Now, the Portola Valley Fire Station is a regular water stop for
us, and as we approached, we noticed at least 50 people there, as this
was an official Rest Stop on their route. What surprised me, though,
was that less than 100 yards before the clearly visible rest stop (at
the top of what may have been a tough hill for many of these riders),
the Portola Valley/Woodside police were ticketing cyclists who rolled
through the stop sign in their eagerness to get to the rest stop. I
stopped (I usually do), and proceeded through the intersection,
turning right onto Portola Road, when a woman in a minivan came around
behind me, pulled into the bike lane/shoulder, and just stopped
short! I signaled to the Policeman standing right there, indicating
"What's up with that?", but he was too busy writing tickets to those
dangerous renegade cyclists who rolled through the stop sign.
This disturbed me.
After stopping for water (it was pretty hot already), we proceeded
around The Loop clockwise. When we approached the intersection of
Portola Road and Sand Hill Road, what to our wondering eyes should
appear but a Police car and a Police motorcycle, lying in wait for
cyclists turning from Portola onto Sand Hill.
Talk about shooting fish in a barrel! It's one thing to
legitimately enforce real laws. If they did this regularly, like
every week or every month, I wouldn't even be too annoyed. However,
to wait for an *organized ride* that guided hundreds of cyclists
through town, just to selectively enforce really rubbed me the wrong
One hopes karma comes into play down the line...
Maybe Woodside is trying to get such a bad repuation amongst the organized charity rides that nobody runs them in their neighborhood anymore. Note that there is one that benefits the "Woodside School". Cyclists tried to organize a boycott of this one before when Woodside was refusing permits to organized rides, the School cried that it isn't even in Woodside (it's next to Woodside and services people in Woodside, but who's picking nits here).
The problem, besides this School, and maybe Robert's Market, who in Woodside really gives a rats ass if their community suffers an image problem. It's not like they will suffer from a dramatic loss in tourism dollars. The San Gregorio Store is very nice to cyclists - only asking that you take your cleats off because they have new hardwood floors. This is because the cyclists are a major revenue stream out there in the cuts. Woodside doesn't need your money.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I called Leo after I received my ticket and asked him to put out an
urgent message to the list regarding the enforcement campaign in
Woodside and Portola Valley. His details aren't just right, but we
thank him for putting out the warning. Hopefully it saved some
people some hassle.
Here's what happened:
The Dave Stahl ride was on Portola Rd. heading for OLH, about 17
people. Near the entrance to Windy Hill, we were low-keying it, most
people riding on the shoulder, Dave, at least one other rider, and I
were just to the left of the fog line. Two San Mateo sheriff's
deputy motorcycles passed us going the other way, one with his red
and blue lights on. They turned around and singled out those of us
riding to the left of the fog line to stop. The others were told
they could continue. My ticket is for riding "tandem," a word that
appears in the Vehicle Code only in the context of truck axles or
truck trailers. The deputy said that they had been instructed to
cite everyone riding "tandem" (and failing to stop at STOP signs) by
their supervisor, because the good residents of Woodside and Portola
Valley are upset with inability to get past cyclist groups, and
cyclists failing to stop at STOP signs.
The trouble with these tickets is that the particular section of
Portola Rd in Portola Valley doesn't have a bike lane, it has a fog
line and a shoulder. Cyclists are required to ride as near to the
right edge of the roadway as practicable, but they are not required
to ride on the shoulder. Riding on the shoulder is tolerated, while
driving a motor vehicle there is not (see Alan Wachtel article linked
by Andy Evans, http://www.vcbike.org/bikelaw.htm#_C._Riding_Single .
So, formally, if one is near the fog line but in the lane, he is
legal, regardless of what is going on to his right on the shoulder of
Whether my particular Traffic Court Commissioner will understand this
is another matter that will be pursued. But I agree with the
respondents who say this ticket is bogus.
The deputy who wrote me told one of our group members who is an off-
duty Sunnyvale officer that the SM County deputies will be after us
in force on Wednesdays and Saturdays on Alpine and Portola Rds for
the next three weeks. I don't recall if he said alternate days or
all of those days, but be advised.
The bottom line is rider behavior, particularly the Noon Ride, the
Valley Ride, and the Spectrum Ride, have gotten the attention of the
locals and their police, and they will be after us in force.
Unfortunately, they aren't applying any judgment as to who is causing
a problem and who is not-- we are all the enemy-- including the
father pulling his kids in a Burley who they caught at the Alpine-
Portola STOP sign, and we three vicious criminals who were riding on
the edge of the lane of Portola Rd with no other traffic present.
Keep on Ridin' `\< (*)/(*)
Per "D Medieros"
Please advise the CVC Section number you were cited for. Tandem
in the CVC and vehicle code case law as a definition refers to one
behind the other, ie tandem axles etc, NOT side to side. I am a
retired traffic officer and a California Superior Court State
Certified Collision Reconstructionist. I would like to review what
these uninformed deputies are using for a section. Sorry did not
see it in the exchanges.
I forgot the details of my citation. "21202a VC tandem."
This smacks of a cop just "making it up as they go along".
Dan Connelly has some experience in this area.
Now, this is Woodside, close to Redwood City. Redwood Vity has their own scofflaws to deal with.
The problem is that there seems to be a growing blur between "conservative" and "stupid". In fact, I think the "stupid" have stolen the word "conservative". When Schwarzenegger was elected I was not very happy. Over time I have grown to see him as a "true conservative", hamstrung between the "stupid conservatives" and frankly some "stupid liberals".
The money quote for me that makes my point on stupidity regards electric cars - "Conservatives don’t like betting on some Candyland promise of being saved by some new technology". I want to meet those conservatives. When gas went to $4 a gallon I would point out the concept of Peak Oil and national security implications of using so much gasoline. The answer invariably was "CHEVY VOLT!". Talk about a Candyland promise, we're betting the future on General Motors. This group of "conservatives" is so dead set against changing their ways that they will grab any line from any article or talking point from Faux News and cast it as certainty.
Lind debunks the whole "The Volt will save us" argument very quickly - even if the Volt were here in 5 years, it would take many years for the national auto fleet to turn. Decades frankly, there are a lot of 80's vintage cars in heavy rotation to this day, despite a booming economy for most of the 90's and 00's. How quickly will that fleet turn when people are broke, cash for klunkerz or no? And honestly, mass production of Volts or Teslas is a lot further away. Don't tell that to Sarah Palin or Sean Hannity, who would look under any rock to keep the status quo - electric cars, ethanol, hydrogen, etc... When did "Conservatives" become allergic to smart solutions if they require the slightest hint of shared sacrifice? When you're riding alone, you're riding with Hitler, remember?
SF liberal cyclist Katherine Roberts would love this quote...
But buses over rail saves money, isn’t that the argument?
Sure, they’re trying to save money. But they’re also trying to get people to continue to drive. If you give people buses, they buy cars and drive them. That’s why General Motors and other corporations starting in the 20s began to buy up streetcar systems and convert them to buses. It was not to sell buses. It was to sell cars. They knew if you give people buses, they will say “I’ve got to get a car. I’m not going to ride this thing.”
I am not as dead set against buses as Lind but I get his point.