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Comments

Kathleen McGuire

When I drive it seems that the cyclists are pushing their way into the car space. When I ride a bike, it seems that the cars are trying to get as close to the cyclists as they can. I don't think this "blame game" is getting us anywhere. Cars need to share the road, and cyclists need to realize that, as vehicle operators, they need to abide by ALL traffic laws. I don't think there's enough emphasis on the fact that bike riders need to abide by the rules of the road the same as drivers do.

Erik Pavelka

While I don't dispute the findings in the CHP study, I'm greatly disturbed that (a) this is a lead story and (b) that such promotion will cause one single driver to become aggressive against a cyclist. As a serious cyclist for over 20 years, I understand that cyclists are often at fault for accidents that may or may not involve a car. However, in nearly all instances when someone in a car becomes aggressive against a cyclist, the cyclist loses.

I'm sure I've done stupid things on my bike over the last 20 years, but I have never caused a car accident. When someone in a car does something stupid and a cyclist is nearby, the results could literally be deadly.

Next time, leave sensationalism aside and think through what the effect these stories may have.

BikeinBlue

The police are biased to cars because I got hit on my bicycle three years ago while in high school. I had the right away with the green light, this stupid person in his car was on his cell phone accelerated forward colliding into me. My knee was injured and bruised, i couldn't walk that well for 36 hours. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital but the police only took my information and didn't interview me for my side of the story, they wheeled me off before i could say anything to the police. Three weeks later I received a police report saying that I was in the wrong, which unfortunately was a blatant lie. The report was biased and I'm still pissed off because of that

Andy

As an avid bike rider, who has been hit by a car, I think that the rules set by the SFPD are unclear.
In my case, I was struck by a car while I was riding in the bike lane. The car pulled into a parking spot headfirst. The officer at the scene reported I was passing on the right, making my action illegal. But I was in the bike lane, traveling at a normal speed. I was left fully liable for nearly 10k in hospitol bills, and a broken bike.
The grey area in bicycle/automobile right of way and laws is emmense. To report that bicyclists are more neglegent in traffic is neglegent in itslef. I feel cyclists in our city are getting a bad rap. I don't beleive in critical mass, I beleive in critical manners. Our city is growing too fast, and I beleive we, as San Franciscans, need to be a little more curtious to each other. Lets not become another NYC. We are a city known for tolerence, lets not forget that.

Local

I appreciate the attention the station has given to the dangerous zone shared by cars and bicyclists.

However, the segment does not address the cultural dominance of the car in every aspect of the interpretation of the facts and figures presented as evidence. In the end, the CHP monitors primarily vehicular traffic on roads designed for cars, trucks and buses.

Though not explicitly, the segment does seem to lean toward the point of view of the driver, as opposed to the cyclist and even the pedestrian.

The expansion of bicycling as a means of transportation is exciting but also an evolution in progress. The city's road system is not designed to solve these problems. As any process it takes a need, a demand to create this change. This segment certainly provides some evidence to support a need for the next generation of 'traffic' design for an urban city.

Jamie Schroeder

Andy, thats what Dan Noyes do, he make everything in the Bay Area look bad. Because there are more new bicyclists ditching their cars, there is going to be tension. And what way to bring that out is by Dan Noyes and his biased reporting.. We still remember that Yale bullcrap, the Mayor stunt that failed

BikerBen

As a motorcyclist, I see both sides of this issue. I am often in danger from a car driver that fails to see me, but I also have been required to perform drastic maneuvers to avoid hitting bicylists that have failed to obey the "rules of the road".
I would like to see a follow-up report on this issue that focuses on informing people on preventing these accidents, not...who is at fault. Maybe, have a CHP officer give a statement on how car drivers need to share the road, and be more observant. The statement should include a meesage to the bicyclists what laws and rules of the road they are responsible to follow.

Andy

I whole-heartedly agree with Ms.McGuire's comment here. Well put. And, your right Jamie, Dan Noyes (Dan Noyse-sayer) has a tendency to be a hater.

Ethan Nasr

I agree with Erik Pavelka. This story doesn't even mention that the consequences for these accidents are vastly different for cars then they are for bicycles. Simply put, someone operating a 2000 pound vehicle should exercise more caution than someone operating a 15 pound vehicle. Not to let reckless bicyclists off the hook, but when was the last time a bicyclist killed anyone but him or herself?

Cars need to yield to bicyclists, even when bicyclists are in the wrong, for the same reasons that cars need to yield to pedestrians; one mode of transportation is deadly and the other is not.

I applaud the bicycle safety tips mentioned in the feature, but you didn't provide any corresponding information for car drivers about a bicycle's right of way or tips for drivers to avoid hitting bicycles.

As a bicycle commuter, I fear your story has only emboldened drivers to share less of the road.

John McDonald

I was hit by a car several years ago. The man turned left in front of me, and stated he never saw me coming. The police report did list the driver as the at fault person, but this was because he was making a left turn and left turners that cause accidents are almost always at fault. Since then, I have taken a League of American Bicyclists class, and one of the things they teach is for us to assert ourselves into the lane and to ride predictably. The reasoning behind this is the cyclist is more visible and therefore safer when riding farther into the lane. This is also apparently the rule of the road in SF as there are signs ALL over the city that state that bicycles are entitled to FULL use of the lane along with the Califonia Vehicle Code section

fungus amungus

Thanks for increasing the hatred of bicyclists, ABC News. Now I know why I don't bother watching your station. This is what I get for watching Lost, a reminder that poor reporting and dangerous sensationalism is still prominent.

I see poor driving and poor biking every day in the city. Of course the drivers have 3,000 pounds on their side and have no problem swerving right in front of a biker. And when there's a collision the biker doesn't win.

I've been in two accidents where the driver was at fault and both times involved them cutting me off in the bike lane. And then there are the cars that use the bike lane as a place to park.

Face it, the city is still vastly in favor of cars. And when there isn't a bike lane, the drivers will get pissed off and even swerve right in front.

Instead of creating a blame situation, why can't you try to educate people and interview more than one biker in the process. And the only footage you show? A bike messenger riding on the wrong side of the street.

Do you have any morals? Didn't think so.

fungus amungus

I checked out your nice spreadsheet, too. Your focus was on SF so I looked at just the SF numbers. Here's the result:

driver at fault: 735
biker at fault: 801
total: 1536

So the bikers are more responsible in SF, but only at 52% to 48%. Sounds pretty even to me.

Elokin

As someone who values life, I am not interested in who is to blame for collisions. I am interested in what can be done on both sides to prevent collisions and make our streets safer for cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians, who are not being included in this report. The key issue that needs to be addressed is how to educate both drivers and cyclists on sharing the road safely.

I also believe the city has a great need to put more energy and resources into traffic planning, creating more streets like the first few blocks of octavia off of market where multiple lanes of traffic can move through quickly, and there is a concrete divide where bikes can ride safely on the other side, and a wide sidewalk for pedestrians (not to mention a great park further along the median strip). Answers, not blame, are what is needed to make the situation better for everyone.

And one last thing- a lot of people depend on bicycles for their job, as well as their commute. Included in this is a large percentage of the population in San Francisco who are not being represented in this media, specifically marginalized people who do not have financial access to motor vehicles. Making life harder by creating news that offers no answers and promotes more aggression overall is pointless and a waste of time.

Puck

Bicyclists and Pedestrians are at fault for a majority of traffic collisions because they act just like the rest of America does, demanding their rights before they acknowlege their responsibilities. Bicyclists have a responsibility to themselves and others on the roadway to obey traffic laws ... the CHP study shows that a majority do not. (and if you want to argue that the CHP is biased against bicycles ... well ... say hi to Mr. Wizard for me when you get to the end of your journey) Pedestrians and Bicyclists do not have the right of way in Mexico, and they do not have the rampant problem with these types of collisions down there. (Hopefully this will encourage the idiots from Critical Mass to illegally immigrate down south of the border) In the end, no matter what, the 4,000 pound car will always win this debate.

Samara Dun

I was very disappointed by the reporting on this story. While it may not have been intentional and abc wanted to report on a CHP study, the manner in which the information was presented was irresponsible. The report implied that 1.) it's not safe to be on a bicycle in this city, and 2.) that bicyclists are a threat to cars and drivers (and even themselves!). This is absurd. Why not focus on the strides that our community has made to increase bike lanes, promote alternative transportation options, and the increase in bicycle commuters - which is good for our air quality and congested streets. Local media should create a dialogue between drivers and cyclists. Your reporting on this topic was divisive, and I encourage you to present a more balanced news story next time.

elyse

this story was an incitement of hatred toward bikers, plain and simple. please, everyone, spread the word to your friends, write dan, write the station, write your local government...do not let this hatred stand.

there are legitimate discussions to be had about bikes and cars, and this is not one.

Stephen Daniels

I think is story was an incitement toward hatred of bicyclists because they are gaining strength with more people ditching the cars to use the bikes. Biking is healthy, and its good for the body, soul and the environment.

I think this is because of the bike to work day event which many sf city leaders participated in and they discussed the issues of more biking by the year 2010. With more paved roads for bikes and cross city routes.

15 pound bike vs. 2500 pound car who do you expect to win? Oh and Dan Noyes is trying to limit now how much we dismay the report by requiring an email and having a passcode now, what a scaredy cat you are dan noyes cant even take criticism from your bad reporting... I want a boycott of Dan Noyes reporting, he must be fired by Disney!!!

kyle

This is a tough town to be a car driver and cyclist. When you're navigating the city streets in a car there are so many things to be aware of and look out for. As you make a turn downtown you have to check for the color of the light, vehicular traffic of all kinds(bikes included), and pedestrians. You can check your mirrors and everthing is cool, but as soon as you make your move something has changed...a cyclist darting out from behind another car, perhaps. Of course, it's pretty difficult riding a bike around here as well. Pissed off car drivers trying to fit too many activities into one day, pedestrians strolling accross the street not paying attention to the traffic lights or traffic flow, rough street surfaces and other road hazzards that could potentially cause harm are a few of the concerns for cyclists at all times. In this car/bike discussion there is always someone who has a beef with cyclists because they don't obey traffic laws. This is such a joke...go hang out downtown at an intersection and watch the cars roll through traffic lights and stop signs. Drive down a street in in the Mission District and look at the cars parked in the bike lane. Go to 850 Bryant street and look at all of the cars double parked in front of the police station and in the bike lane on 7th street. Of course bike riders(especially bike messengers) break traffic laws, but so do car drivers. I was a San Francisco bike messenger for about 15 years and I witnessed crazy stuff all the time. I picked up packages from a law firm at the ABC building on a daily basis and was often expected to make possible the "nearly" impossible. To do this i broke every traffic law in the book and I was nearly killed or injured on many occasions. It was my job. As a bike messenger I know many people who have had collisions with cars. I would always ask if the driver stopped and nearly every time the answer was in the negative. This is a sad fact on many levels and also touches on accidents that go unreported. This also leads to bike riders coming together in solidarity once a month to pedal the streets in mass...bikers looking out for one another. If a van with a mad driver starts pushing his way through a group of bikes in his 5000 pound vehicle the cyclists are not going sit back and watch it happen. They are going to try and prevent it...perhaps with force, if neccessary.
There are a number of incidents I could write about involving motorists that have taken out cyclists, for example Chris Robertson, who was killed on 4th Street by a pissed off truck driver...not brought to justice if I remember correctly. Times are changing and more and more people are riding bikes, so people behind the wheel better get used to it and cities better start planning for it. This is a pretty big topic and is worthy of more in depth reporting

suckafree

san francisco bicyclists are pretty much terrorists as far as i'm concerned. they are a shameful example of spoiled children that haven't gotten their way and decided to take it out on the rest of us as often as they can. they terrorize me and my family on sidewalks where the road has bike lane (embarcadero). they ignore all traffic laws, ignore common sense and have no common courtesy. these folks are menace to society and we need to start locking them up to show them that their petulance will not be tolerated any longer.

Glenn

Dan,
What about all the pedestrians & other drivers killed by cars? What about all the pollution caused by cars? The truth is, if there were more bikes & less cars, there would be fewer accidents, fewer deaths, fewer children with asthma (not to mention larger issues!)...
I can only imagine someone whose commute is delayed briefly by a bicyclist thinking of your story & running someone off the road in a fit a of rage, because "bicyclists cause accidents". I'm disgusted.

Glenn

Stop the Harassment

I'm appalled that you're dragging the inequities even further here. So many bicyclists are injured and there's never a report. Police have a well-known bias that's been studied and proven. The #1 reason people say they aren't bicycling more is they are scared of cars. Ask any longtime bicyclist and they'll tell you how many times they've been harassed and even attacked, on top of the everyday negligence and disregard they experience. It's a sick joke that you'd continue villifying people who do so much and endure so much to bring more peace to our streets. How about do some REAL investigative reporting and show the REAL side of the story?

Andy

Better yet Sukafree, why dont we put them all on a big island, and drop a bomb on them! That way, we will have enough room for our whole family to finally move out here from Texas!!

A Pedestrian

Any statistics on the number of pedestrians plowed over by cyclists?
I have been hit two times once in front of a San Francisco Police Officer, who smiled and walked in the other direction.

Katherine

I am disappointed in this report for its short-sighted sensationalism. While it would be great if I believed this report was meant to open a mutually respectful dialog between bicycle commuters and drivers, it's apparent that it was a slow news day and ABCNews needed someone to vilify. I am both a driver and a cyclist. This means that as a cyclist I make sure to follow traffic laws, and yet I still have been yelled at because someone thought I was "too far into the lane". Road rage against other drivers has gotten countless people killed, so your directing it at cyclists, who have even less protection from that aggression, is irresponsible to say the least.

Bikes are Toys

I will have no sympathy for bicyclists until they STOP RIDING THEIR DARN BIKES ON THE SIDEWALK. Unless you are a child under 13, riding your new toy to school, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RIDE LIKE A JERK ALL OVER THE SIDEWALK!

Get it through your thick helmets and skulls. The sidewalk is for pedestrians, and when you ride your toys like jerks, you threaten children and seniors. My old dad fell over and almost broke his hip because some anarchist Critical Ma---ole type wanted to ride his fixie toy on the sidewalk ,and he's a senior citizen.

Really mature, jerks. Why is it my brother can ride his bike, obey the rules of the road, and not ride his bike on the sidewalk and endanger people and the rest of you are such losers??

God BLESS Dan Noyes.

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