Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Experimental data on cars vs bikes at stop signs

A few months ago, there was a story in our neighborhood paper, the Noe Valley Voice regarding the intersection of 24th and Church. This intersection is a mess, a four way stop with a streetcar running down Church Street, and platforms for the street car in the middle of Church in both directions, resulting in a strange split in the lane. This also means that train riders are dropped off in the middle of the street and must negotiate their way to the curb as the train is departing.

Not surprisingly, this sometimes results in accidents, as the Voice reports in a story where resident Kevin Daniels has taken it upon himself to try to get something done after witnessing a pedestrian hit by a car - while walking with her two young children.

Checking the letters to the editor for the following month, we see some responses from the community.

Two local residents recount stories of being hit by vehicles at that intersection. Both drivers indicated that they hadn't seen the pedestrian, at least one was not cited.

Then, there is this...


In response to Kevin Daniels’ request to Captain Greg Corrales for stepped-up traffic enforcement, the police have conducted a targeted enforcement of the 24th and Church intersection on the mornings of May 4 and 5.

The results have been forwarded to Captain Corrales and to the engineering division of the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA).

Of the 16 people cited, 14 were San Francisco residents. Nine were cited for failure to yield to pedestrians, three for being on cell phones, two bicyclists for failure to stop at the stop sign, one motorist for failure to stop at the stop sign, and one for not wearing a seat belt. One of the violators had a suspended license.

We will continue to conduct targeted enforcement at that location as staffing allows.

Captain Al Casciato
Traffic Company
San Francisco Police Department

There's the anecdotal proof. Two of those vicious scofflaw cyclists were cited for running a stop sign, but only one car! Aha!

However, 9 motorists were cited for "failure to yield" - also known as "running a stop sign with a pedestrian right in front of you". It's illegal to run a stop sign no matter what, running one with someone in the crosswalk is dangerous. As three pedestrians mentioned in just these two issues can attest to.

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