Friday, August 19, 2011

SFPD Enforcement Highlights Need For 'Dismount Zones'

                                                    Bicyclists in Boulder, CO talk about dismount zones and riding responsibly
  Does Streetsblog hate the SFPD? It seems they do by their latest reaction to a traffic enforcement sting along Market Street recently, and the subsequent investigation by Streetsblog showing how many operators where cited. Streetsblog doesn't like to acknowledge the reality that exists at most intersections within San Francisco; bicyclists break the law most often (with pedestrians being a close second). Finally, factual evidence has emerged to support what we already know, there are just as many douchebag bicyclists as there are douchebag drivers (this includes motorcycles that use the bike lane/shoulder), as there are douchebag pedestrians.  Basically, we all suck at paying attention when it really matters.
    Proponents of bicycle infrastructure are a diverse group; professionals and punks, artists and lowlifes.  Yet, some groups like Streetsblog seem dead set on touting the inclusion of bicycles as part of a comprehensive transportation strategy, find themselves dumbfounded when the law on all operators was enforced during the recent SFPD traffic enforcement patrols along Market Street.
   Yes, motorists weigh upwards of 6,000, are often distracted and generally feel as if they own the road. Well, up until a few years ago they did. And now that the bicycle injunction has been lifted, we've had some time to watch how the bicycling community has developed.  Politcal agendas posing as evolved speech will not further your cause of demonizing drivers and the SFPD, so continue whining about how the 'bicycle elite' has been profiled by the SFPD; we'll continue to laugh.
  The development of bicycle infrastucutre can be a great communal effort that includes parents, children, locals and tourists alike, but groups like these only have their agenda in mind.  Let's not chide the police for doing their job and let's admit when we (bicyclists) are wrong. The announcement of more enforcement came months ago. Police were in plain site as scofflaws jumped curbs, ran lights and endangered pedestrians, yet some are surprised by receiving citations? All operators on the streets of San Francisco need to take responsibility for themselves and "Ride Predictably".
photo courtesy of Vagabond Shutterbug via Flikr
  I used to live in Boulder, CO, and wherever there is an area where vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit meet there are signs signaling a 'Dismount Zone' for bicyclists, non-motorized scooters, rollerbladers and skateboarders. This could be a good idea along Market Street sidewalks, pedestrian plazas, and prominent intersections.
 Increasing our awareness of our surroundings, is just as important as increasing our awareness of others.  But don't whine because you got ticketed for breaking the law, that just makes you look childish.

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