Supervisors examine anti-cyclist bias at SFPD

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The Board of Supervisors Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee held a high-profile and well-attended hearing Oct. 3 to examine how the San Francisco Police Department investigates motorist versus bicyclist collisions. Sup. Jane Kim called the hearing following revelations about shoddy police work and anti-cyclist bias in the Aug. 14 death of cyclist Amelie Le Moullac.

Dozens of cyclists told horror stories of being hit by cars and then treated badly by police, which routinely absolves motorists of responsibility even in cases where they are clearly at fault.

Deputy Police Chief Mike Biel admitted some shortcomings in their investigations and promised to do better, and he apologized for the absence of Police Chief Greg Suhr and Sgt. Richard Ernst, who showed up at an Aug. 21 memorial event for Le Moullac to make inaccurate and insensitive comments criticizing cyclists. Kim had requested testimony from both men. Sup. David Campos pledged to hold another hearing on the issue, this time at a rare joint hearing of the Board of Supervisors and Police Commission.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum urged the SFPD to, "Focus limited traffic enforcement resources on known dangerous intersections and known dangerous behaviors." (Read Shahum's op-ed on the hearing.)

Concerns about selective enforcement and anti-cyclist bias by the SFPD were heightened in the week before the hearing when officers started enforcement stings focused on stop sign-running cyclists riding the Wiggle, one of the city's most popular and heavily traveled bike routes.

Among those stopped and given a written warning — one of 534 written warnings and 16 citations the SFPD reported giving out to cyclists in September — was Guardian Editor Steven T. Jones, whose Oct. 1 blog post on whether SFPD should strictly enforce laws requiring cyclist to completely stop at stop signs was the most commented SFBG.com post of the last week.

Shahum told us that the Bike Coalition has done education campaigns urging cyclists to yield to pedestrians on the Wiggle, but that none of the seven intersections on the Wiggle meet the SFPD's own stated goals of focusing enforcement on the five most dangerous intersections in each police district. "When you look at the data on the Wiggle," Shahum said, "it's not a high collision area."

Comments

Cyclists have more road access and space in SF than almost anywhere else in the US, and yet they are never happy, always wanting this and that, and enoigh is never enough.

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than listen to one more tale of woe from a self-absorbed, self-entitled white cyclist.

Of course Leah claims that the Wiggle is not a high-collision area. After two pedestrian deaths from cyclists in the last 2 years, pedestrians are running scared and keep out of the way.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

Actually, it was two cyclist-caused fatalities in the last three years (one in 2011, the other in 2012), neither on the Wiggle and both resulting in prosecution of the cyclists. There have been three cyclists killed by motorists so far this year, each time while they appear to have had the right-of-way and none of those motorists are being prosecuted.

Posted by steven on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 10:36 am

this time. The two bike-on-pedestrian incidents were very obviously criminal cases.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 11:03 am

They were all accidents (unless you're alleging the cyclists were out looking for pedestrians to intentionally hit at high speed), and they all involved fatally negligent behavior by the operators of the vehicles (which, in the case of the motorists, were known to be deadly weapons, unlike the rarity of bicycles inflicting deadly injuries). Your anti-cyclist double standards just aren't logical, Guest.

Posted by steven on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 11:24 am

or do you not?

Half the time you are demanding that bikes be treated equally.

But then you want to carve out all kinds of exceptions and exemptions from the law for bikes because they are oh so cuddly and safe and have only killed two people since 2011?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 11:35 am

(guys, no one is interested in this pointless he-said-she-said bs taking up the whole blog)

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 11:45 am

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 11:43 am

Guest, if you'd stop talking once in a while more oxygen would get to your brain. Cars kill 1,000+ pedestrians each and every year vs. each bike/pedestrian fatality, so let's keep things in perspective. In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 4,092 pedestrians were killed in crashes with motor vehicles and 59,000 were injured.

Try to stay on topic.

Posted by Sanity Check on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

some fatalities will occur.

Why does that means that cyclists should not obey the law?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

The article is questioning whether or not their is anti-bike bias in the SFPD, not whether or not anyone needs to follow the laws.

Posted by Sanity Check on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 11:50 am

cyclists disproportionately for breaking the traffic rules, such as so-called "stings" in the Wiggle.

Of course, those allegations are just anecdotal and it is significant that SFBC have come up with no statistics to back up that claim.

Given the groundswell of complaints about arrogant law-breaking cyclists, even to the point of Supervisors accusing cyclists of "bad behavior", I would assume that SFPD are responding to complaints from the people.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by barrier on Oct. 10, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by troll barrier on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

Not a bumper as well?

You must be desperate.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

would get a few hundred people showing up and whining about the injustice of it all.

How about a BofS hearing about whiners and whining?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

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