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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bicyclists Suck in Golden Gate Park (Okay, Not Everyone Sucks)

On Tuesday during evening rush, I was going home from work in my car and it requires me to drive into Golden Gate Park to go from the Outer Sunset district to the Outer Richmond.

What irritated me during this commute is a huge wad of bicyclists who decided to blow right through two stop signs. No, it's not Critical Mass, that's not until this Friday in downtown. It was around 30 bicyclists that was like a huge swarm of pissed off bees down Martin Luther King drive, and I can see them in my rear mirror coming fast. These were bicyclists that looked like they were training to be in a bicyclist racing event because of their racing bikes and their tight fit clothing.

Here's where they were going:

View Larger Map

I was stopped at point "C" just behind a SUV waiting for its turn to make a right turn onto Chain of Lakes. I noticed the swarm come from behind me, blew through the stop sign at Middle Drive (point "B") and on approach to make a right turn onto northbound Chain of Lakes.

I noticed in my mirror that they almost caused an accident when a car with the right of way (no stop sign) had to slam their brakes, and the SUV in front of me at the intersection had to also slam their brakes because the bikes passes on the right of us between the curb and the car.

That was just creepy to see a wad of bikes just violate state traffic laws and nearly cause multiple accidents. State law clearly says that ALL bicyclists on the road must obey all traffic signs and signals; did they? HELL NO. I'm no vigilante to put a stick in their spokes, and I decided the only decent thing to do when there's safety concerns is to call the police. I don't know what happened after that, but I hope those bikers gets a ticket and enjoys their day in traffic court.

This has happened before...
About six months ago, I had the same incident happen at map point "B" where I was the car going west and had the right away, and about a dozen fast moving bicyclists decided to cut me off by blowing through the stop sign on Middle Drive.

I know there's a lot of you that are angry at bicyclists, and much of the complaints happens in downtown. But let's remember that not all bicyclists breaks the law, just a handful who thinks they are superman or totally invincible to cops writing tickets. All it takes is one crash to end someone's life and haunt the car driver forever.

But nobody really targets the bad cyclists in Golden Gate Park. It is because it's easier to get away with it due to the winding roads and you don't exactly know what street they went on so you can call the cops and report it? Would you know where South Fork Drive is? Likely not for many drivers.

For the rest of you, have you experienced a bad incident with a bicyclist breaking the law? Leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

As someone who used to commute via bike and who just started again, I'm really annoyed by the jerks who break the law and act like they are entitled to ride anywhere and in an aggressive fashion. It breeds ill will toward all bicyclists.

Ryan G said...

I've had bicyclists fly out of nowhere several times, affecting me as a pedestrian and a driver. I remember a recent story where a bicyclist hit and killed a pedestrian. The ones who break the law - running lights and stop signs, throwing their bikes into crosswalks when people are crossing, etc - give the bicycling public a bad image. When I ride my bike, I tend to let cars go at 4-way stop signs before crossing, even if I have right of way, and I do my best to share the road.

Maybe one of these guys needs to be hit and killed by a car as the bike runs a stop sign. Maybe the headline could read "Biker Killed While Running Stop Sign" and they would start to get the picture. I know it's not all bicyclists who are the problem. It's the jerks who think they're entitled to everything. A reality check is in order, but at what cost?

Eric Kauschen said...

I almost hit a biker crossing over at point D you noted last night at 8pm. It was dark, they had no lights and I didn't see them run through the stop sign until they were about 3ft from my car.

I appreciate bikers green leanings and the exercise they get from it, but if they're going to get killed by not following traffic laws does it help them?

Lance Armstrong commented on the radio yesterday that stopping for stop signs actually makes you strong than running through them because you have to build back up the speed which uses your muscles more and makes you a better competitor in professional racing.


murphstahoe said...

Maybe one of these guys needs to be hit and killed by a car as the bike runs a stop sign. Maybe the headline could read "Biker Killed While Running Stop Sign" and they would start to get the picture.

Drunk drivers kill tens of thousands people every year. You think that they would start to get the picture. But it repeats itself over and over.

I think you have an overinflated view of humanity.

Akit said...

John: Ain't that a little harsh?

Vitaly Gashpar said...

Eric, I was near GGP at 8 pm last night and it was still light out, a bit foggy, but not at all dark. Maybe you still had your shades on?

phipps said...

This ride, that I call the "Tuesday Night Park Ride", others have called it the "Tuesday Night Crit", "Tuesday Night Race Ride", and many other things has been going on EVERY Tuesday night from April through September for at least 20 years, maybe even 30 years.

Whoever chose this route many years ago did so because it's all right turns and the stop signs we go through do not have any auto cross traffic. While it does cross several cross walks, it is relatively the safest circuit we have been able to find in San Francisco to ride at race effort.

As far as I know (I've only been doing this ride for 6 years), there has never been a collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian on the ride, nor between a cyclist and a car.

Some people see the law as black & white. Stop completely at all stop signs, never exceed the posted speed limit, never talk on your hand held cell phone while driving, never drink and drive etc., while most people tend to have their own sense of which laws they can stretch or break.

Some drivers freak out when they see a cyclist roll through a stop sign while making right turn or roll through a 3 way stop sign where there is no cross traffic to the right, yet that same person will drive through the park at 35 mph (speed limit is 25), or drive on the freeway at 80mph or talk on their cell phone while driving.

Double standards.

I hope we can all get along and stay safe out there!

Akit said...

You do realize the "T" intersection of Middle Drive and MLK Drive (point "B" on the map) is just an accident waiting to happen?

MLK has the right of way, Middle Drive has a stop sign. There's very little reaction time for a car to stop if a wad of bicyclists blows the stop sign.

phipps said...

If we see a car coming we yell "CAR", slow down & ride single file on the right.