As my clients know, I’m not just a bicycle advocate, and not just a pedestrian advocate, I am a safety advocate. And whenwe’re navigating the busy (and sometimes dangerous) streets of San Francisco, safety is much more important than whetherwe are walking, pedaling, or driving. I’m of the opinion that everyone needs to do their part to avoid collisions, avoid personal injuries, and generally keep one another safe and secure. In our community, we have rules for good reason, and we should all be following them.
Unsafe cyclists have been a recent target in the news, with many news outlets sensationalizing some bad cyclist behavior, like not stopping at stop signs, coasting through intersections, and generally misbehaving on the road. I certainly don’t think every cyclist acts unsafely, in fact, I’m almost sure the majority of bicyclists follow the rules of the road as they should, but a few bad eggs can ruin our reputation and create bad feelings in the community. A lack of courtesy today can lead to a whole lot of hostile jurors tomorrow.
Earlier this month, a local news station, KTVU, ran a story on a Virginia Melchor, a bicycle crash victim, making reference to cyclists not yielding for pedestrians and running through stop signs. However, neither of those two things happened in Melchor’s case. Although tragic, the injury had nothing to do with any cyclist’s failing to stop or to yield at intersections or crosswalks, and this incident was used as a platform to victimize pedestrians and villianize cyclists. Is there anyone who feels that this kind of journalism is fair?
So my ask is, what do you think? Are cyclists in our City really that bad? Are pedestrians just not paying enough attention? What’s the cause of the problem, and what solutions do you recommend to reduce San Francisco pedestrian and bicycle injuries? I believe that everyone should do their part to keep our streets safe, and everyone must accept personal responsibility, so should the rules of the road be more heavily enforced on San Francisco bicycle riders?
The negativity is really getting uglier and uglier. The anonymity of commentary on the web is great in some ways, however when I read comments about bicycle deaths that are so heartless and callous, I can only think that this supposedly bicycle friendly community is actually not friendly to anyone at all.
Hello, I’m Claude Wyle, a San Francisco bicycle and pedestrian accident attorney. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered here? Feel free to contact me or visit www.ccwlawyers.com
Claude A. Wyle is a partner of Choulos Choulos, and Wyle, a San Francisco based law firm dedicated to representing clients who have been injured by the wrongful conduct of individuals, corporations, public entities, and businesses. Mr. Wyle also frequently sits as a Judge Pro Tem for the city and county of San Francisco.