Thanks to Leno
In last month's Letters to the Editor you printed a letter from a member criticizing Supervisor Mark Leno for "representing the Brown Machine." During his years in office, Supervisor Leno has attended every SFBC event that I have been to and, to my knowledge, he has voted in favor of every piece of bike/alternative transportation /livability legislation that has been proposed and has even sponsored several pieces of legislation on behalf of the Bike Coalition. There have been very few SF Supervisors, if any, that have been more friendly to the bike community than Leno. It is true that he was appointed by Mayor Brown several years ago, but since then he has been elected by a progressive constituency that he has worked hard to earn.
SFBC member, district 8
Editor's Response: The SFBC strongly endorsed Supervisor Leno in the last elections for exactly these reasons, and we continue to look to him as one of the strongest bike supporters on the Board.
Dingers and Blinkers
I realize that lobbying for new bike lanes and campaigning for bike-friendly politicians and similar lofty causes are important, but in my perfect world, with my short attention span, two issues remain at the top of my list of things to be improved:
1) Every bike that is ridden in the city ought to have one of those little "ding" bells. In Chicago, where I came from, a bunch of the bike stores would automatically install a bell on every bike they sold. My little bell has saved my ass many times, and has often caused the road to "open up before me" in situations where a lot of pedestrians are around. They're inexpensive, and you could maybe even get the SFBC logo printed on them.
2) Since I moved to SF about 9 months ago, I have been absolutely perplexed as to why drivers in this city refuse to use their turn signals. I've come so close to biting the big one numerous times when drivers have simply failed to signal their intended turns. To me, there is no worse display of "I own the road." Perhaps it would be worth attempting to educate drivers that using their blinkers in the city makes the city safer for bikers, pedestrians and drivers (and may prevent them from being arrested or sued when they hit someone).
Keep up the good work,
I just want to say how great it is that the SFBC is continuing to pursue action and awareness regarding the recent bike tragedy.
Some years ago a very close friend of mine, Gene Chang, was killed riding his bike down Judah. He was riding responsibly, but did not anticipate a driver who opened her door in front of his path. I learned about the accident a week or two later when I returned from vacation, but it was impossible to find any reference to it in any publication (I was not a SFBC member at the time). The whole story seemed to disappear - I don't know if the person who killed Gene was ever brought up on charges. It is as if it never occurred. I still miss Gene and think of him often. Gene was married only a year at the time and his wife was expecting their first child. I still can't believe it happened.
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