“> See all stories on this topic Homeowners Blast City For Continued Inactiveness On Harmful 17th Street Muni Tracks In May, on San Francisco’s yearly Bike to Work Day, Erin Pitts hopped on her bike and headed from Valencia Street to Golden Gate Park. Following the city’s designated bike course to the Wiggle, she found herself marketing along 17th Street. That’s when she crashed. “I was stopped at the traffic signal on Church Street,” said Pitts, who considers herself a skilled bicyclist. “The light altered, I crossed the street, and after that I damageded straight on the other side of the street, when I was required to walk around an unlawfully double-parked car.” The reason for her accident will be familiar to anyone who’s ever biked on that stretch of 17th Street: “My wheels got caught in the Muni tracks,” she said. Because we first reported on the threats positioned to cyclists by 17th Street’s Muni tracks in July, little has changed– and lots of next-door neighbors are furious. Continued inaction, some are saying, might lead to legal action against the city. When Risk Becomes Accepted When Pitts crashed her bike on 17th Street, a variety of other bicyclists stopped to help her. “Individuals were extremely understanding due to the fact that the same thing had taken place to them,” said Pitts, who eventually got 26 stitches in her arm. “They were informing me that it was a rite of passage in San Francisco to damaged on the Muni tracks.” Kai McMurtry, marketing supervisor for local bike business Mission Bicycle, is well aware of the hazards posed by biking on 17th Street. The company sells sticker labels–“badges of honor”– that depict a bicyclist crashing on the Muni tracks. “If you ride the mean streets of San Francisco and haven’t had a near miss on the Muni tracks,” checks out Objective Bicycle’s site, “you need to ride your bike more often.” “It’s said, half in reality and half in jest, that it’s not if the tracks get you, but when,” McMurtry notes. While skilled bicyclists know the tracks ought to be crossed at 90 degrees, “the risk arises when an unanticipated obstacle or road user requires a cyclist to make a movement they weren’t anticipating. That’s when crashes occur.” By that requirement, 17th Street in between Church and Market is “a problem,” McMurtry said.” [You’re] squeezed in between the door zone, tracks, and passing automobiles … there’s no comfy place to be as a bicyclist.” That’s how Pitts felt when she crashed in May. “17th Street is a bike lane, however it’s not plainly marked that way,” she said. The street utilizes sharrows, rather of a painted green cycling course, as in other parts of the city. “Parents dropping off their kids or Uber chauffeurs can double-park, and they do not reconsider it, due to the fact that it’s not clear that it’s a bike lane. Just because the road is painted with a bicycle does not indicate it’s bicycle-friendly.” Although he’s never ever ridden a bicycle, Bob Planthold agrees. Since of a childhood bout with polio, Planthold utilizes braces and crutches to obtain around. Though he’s never ever fallen on the 17th Street tracks, he stated that his crutches have actually slipped on them more than once, practically causing him to decrease in the middle of the crossway. Planthold is concerned for cyclists, but he’s likewise concerned for other susceptible people who might cross the tracks, from wheelchair users to people with walkers. “The city has to have its departments start looking at how it can be proactive in avoiding injuries,” he informed us, “and to make travel safer by foot, by bike, by wheelchair, by walker, and by infant stroller on 17th Street and its intersections.” Planthold states the stakeholder conference hosted in July by SFMTA and Manager Wiener’s workplace didn’t include a member of the Mayor’s Workplace of Special needs, nor did it include any members of SFMTA’s own Disability Access Committee. “We belong to this too,” he said, “so they have to include us.” Planthold says he enjoys to now be involved, however he’s worried that the various city companies involved in making 17th Street much safer are working out of silos. “It’s not just MTA and DPW,” he said. “Why the hell didn’t the school district take a look at the confluence of all these schools, and then look at the crossway at 17th and Church and inform the city to make it much better for the children?” More bicyclists are on their method to 17th Street, a lot of them with children in tow. The city’s Shared Schoolyard project expanded to Sanchez Elementary School in June, creating a new weekend play ground for local kids, and Bay Area Bike Share is planning a brand-new station at 17th and Sanchez. Back in July, we shared a video of a cyclist crashing on the Muni tracks as she navigated around a double-parked automobile, with her 2 children on the back of her bike. The school district declined to talk about how they advise parents to get and drop off their kids, and on 17th Street track security in basic. ‘The City Needs To Do Something’ When asked what the SFMTA has done to resolve the situation on 17th Street since our July article, spokesperson Ben Jose had this to say: While Jose didn’t offer a timeline for these improvements, he did say that elimination of the Muni tracks along 17th Street is not possible, and that parking elimination was a possible option. When asked what the SFMTA needs to state to people like Pitts and Planthold, who’ve argued that the city has been unresponsive and inactive when dealing with the safety concerns along 17th Street, Jose again shared this text: He included that websites requiring extra improvements between Church and Sanchez had actually been determined, although he didn’t have specific numbers on the number of holes have actually been filled or signs set up along 17th Street. The SFMTA did not allow us to speak straight with the individuals and engineers who are working directly on the 17th Street safety enhancement propositions. Andres Power, an aide to Supervisor Scott Wiener, informed us the manager is intending to see MTA’s proposals “soon.” She stated that he’s hosting a stakeholder meeting next week, although Power wasn’t able to confirm a day or time. When asked what specific solutions Wiener’s workplace wish to see, Power stated that “at this point, track elimination is not on the table, so putting that aside, we’re going to be searching for a service that is a genuine service, and improves the safety condition out there.” Power would not state if Manager Wiener would specifically support parking removal or not, nor did he say exactly what a “real solution” might look like. He did state that neighbors will get a possibility to add their voices to the discussion “once we see MTA’s proposals later on this fall.” Jiro Yamamoto, a homeowner of 17th Street, isn’t really convinced that this existing push by the SFMTA and the manager’s workplace will lead to a near-term option. “The city will be eventually be required to do something,” he said. “Due to the fact that people are getting injured regularly, someone is getting seriously injured or pass away. There’s going to be a public outcry, and somebody is going to take legal action against the city. Then people are going to step forward and say it took place to them too.” The city doesn’t seem to have strong data for the variety of bike crashes and pedestrian-related mishaps on 17th Street. SFPD was unable to provide any numbers on reported events, and a lot of accidents on the street likely go unreported. Yamamoto would like to see a commitment by the city to decrease the number of crashes on 17th Street. “If Ten Years from now it’s the exact same circumstance, something bad will have happened to too many people, and the city will have failed.” “Either the parking has to go, the tracks have to go, the traffic needs to go, or the bicycles need to go,” he stated. “It’s a quandary, however the existing circumstance is illogical. The city needs to do something.”
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“> See all stories on this topic Volvo supplies safe transportation for TransCape “Cyclists are hence quite in focus for Volvo and we have been looking for … and show simply how well we match the mountain biking experience lifestyle.
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