Dear Invisible Cyclist,
I am writing about that all-too close encounter on Arguello Boulevard Saturday night, which gave me quite a scare. I've always been the one on the bike during these situations before, so maybe it will help you to hear from the other perspective. I was driving (yes, I also own a car) and I always watch for cyclists, but I couldn't see you! With no lights, you are practically invisible. When I started turning I saw you in my headlights at the last second and stopped. Maybe it made you feel secure that I was watching out for you - but we all know that there are many idiots behind the wheel who don't seem to pay any damn attention even in the best of circumstances. It pains me to think of another potential cycling casualty. We all need to wear lights!
Ideas for the SFBC
Dear Bicycle Coalition,
I hear you endorsed [Supervisor Mark] Leno. I personally disagree with endorsing anyone who represents the [Mayor] Brown Machine.
Also, when are we all going to start looking around at lesser-used arteries in our neighborhoods, so as to prevent through car traffic? Streets like Shotwell and Capp could be closed to through-car traffic, yet residents could still get to their garages, if things were designed right. There's city property on Shotwell, a fire training tower with a large parking lot, part of which could be used for a small police station to enforce (pro-bicycle) and to bring peace to a neighborhood by being a visible presence.
Also, why not have monthly bike rides with/for SF Supervisors en-masse, showing them the benefits as well as the rough spots in bicycling. And, why not get the SF Police Department to work off some of those donut calories with monthly rides?
These sound like great ideas. If you can help implement these campaigns, please let us know. With a small staff, we have to rely on SFBC members like yourself to be pro-active on campaigns.
Paying Attention Pays Off
Dear Tube Times,
Thanks for publishing Linda Atkins' article "Biking Wisely, Assuming Nothing" (Jan. '01). I bicycle as if each of us were responsible for the consequences of our choices; I appreciate the reminder that I'm not alone!
The philosophy "if we're all following, the consequences aren't anyone's fault" can be fun for a while, but in the long run it doesn't make the streets of San Francisco any safer for bicyclists. Not during rush hour on Market Street, and not in the form of Critical Mass. Paying attention to what we're doing, and paying attention to what others around us are doing, is what gives real credibility to "share the road" on an everyday basis.
Send your Letters to the Editor to Tube Times, SFBC, 1095 Market Street, Suite 215, San Francisco, CA 94103, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by the first of the month prior to publication.