It's Frogger on the Streets of San Francisco
Ironically, in a bout of tremendous wrong-headedness, the City is once again placing the emphasis on pedestrians: Countdown timers at crosswalks, brighter markings, and education programs. But in the end, we need to deal with the cagers because, let's face it...Granny not making it across the intersection before the countdown timer expires isn't going to cause a fatality, and a mobility impaired person isn't going to speed up because you've given them a "death clock".
Here are some ideas. How about confiscating the vehicles of red-light runners? And if you're a bus driver? You lose your job. Period! How about we increase the fines for speeding downtown by a factor of...oh say...10! Better still, how about we close downtown to cars altogether. Don't like it? TOUGH! I too old for video games, even one's where I'm the goddamned star!
I couldn't agree more, Froggy. After participating in my second Critical Mass the other night, I'm convinced this city would be so much better without cars all over the damn place. The land within the city limits roughly forms a seven by seven mile square, which should be easily navigable by bicycle or on foot, with public transportation available for those who are less mobile.
You're right. It's time the city focused on protecting us pedestrians/bicyclists rather than "educating" us.
Traffic lights are even worse, as drivers are too busy monitoring them to watch for peds.
On Sydney council just installed crossing lights in a popular 'little Italy' precinct. The transport authority will force them to remove this little ped helper because it throws out the bus timetables.
Lew, would be cool wouldn't it. It's too bad there are so few cities in the US where living without a car is a viable alternative.
Cartledge, we had a similar problem here. We had GATSOs for red light running in our South of Market area, and they worked! But the state forced them to be deactivated by claiming that there were no stats to support that they were effective. (There were the state choose to ignore them because they hadn't been 'approved' by CalTrans.)
It is like frogger out there, by fine amphibious friend. Be safe.
SF has one of the better transportation systems. Between MUNI, BART, Caltrain,, etc., there is no reason to drive a car to work (or even downtown for almost any reason). I survived just fine.
I had a car for the last 2 of the 15 years I lived there but I didn't drive it except to leave town.
Downtown is a disaster.
An elderly man has died in hospital after being struck by a cyclist in Melbourne's south on the weekend.
The 77-year-old Mentone man was crossing Beach Road at a traffic light near the intersection of Naples Road in Mentone at 8.30am on Saturday.
At the time, the "Hell Ride" - a weekly communal ride involving cyclists in groups of 100 or more - was taking place along Beach Road.
All downtown areas should be free of automobiles - parking should be in lots, which frankly should be free; and public transportation needs to be accessible and frequent. When I lived in Chicago, I rode my bicycle or took public transportation to work. Here in Los Angeles, I have to drive - and I hate driving.
Granny, I don't know about that SF only has 750K residents, but we have 465K cars! Though you're right we have a very extensive transit system, and nobody should need a car here.
Pekka...welcome. Two words...public transit. Buses, cable-cars, streetcars, BART. We've got it all. But as to the hills...nature's gym, I say. :-)
Sothis, I'd kill for pedestrian "use" laws like the ones in Europe. Never happen here unfortunately. Back in Northern Virginia (where I used to live), bicyclists didn't even have a right to the road.
Diva, yeah I thought about that Hummer thing, but where would I park it?
PoP, perhaps catching red-light runners is more difficult than catching speeders. Don't know.
Just depends where you livwe and what you do, but we cool folk always like to live in the heart...
It's time the city focused on protecting us pedestrians/bicyclists rather than "educating" us.
I really wish I could believe in some sort of victim-based solidarity between bicyclists and peds, but I can't. In my experience, bicyclists have even less regard than drivers for a pedestrian's right of way (with less dire results, granted, but still--fucking obnoxious).
And don't even get me started on Critical Fucking Mass, which fucks over peds (ever try to cross the street when those selfish fucks are riding against the light?) and transit riders just as much as it does individual drivers. Critical Mass has never been about anything other than the 'right' of bicyclists to disregard the rules of the road when they feel like it.
You're probably right though. The city has changed a lot since I first moved there many years ago and not for the better.
Tom, though I agree that there are many bicyclists that ignore the rules of the road--and let me be clear I have no sympathy for them--they simply aren't having to manuever a 2 ton vehicle. So...less responsibility IMHO. That said, rules-of-the-road-wise...ticket the hell out of 'em if they run a red, fail to signal, etc...
Granny, nope car-wise it's definitely not better. Car sharing is helping, but it hasn't gone nearly far enough.