Diamonds a Biker's Friend?
I commute from Richmond to my work downtown and I'm always looking for the safest route. Bike lanes are the best, but there aren't any after Divisadero. I now have a route that includes streets with diamond lanes, which I only have to share with occasional buses and right-turning cars. My question is: Are bikes legally allowed to travel in the diamond lanes? The signs say they are reserved for cars turning right and buses. But they are great for bikes, and I can hardly be expected to ride in the middle of the street.
The law is unclear on this issue, but it makes sense for transit-only lanes to be shared bus/bike lanes. The SFBC is working on encouraging the city to make this shared situation a standard policy, as well as supporting efforts for more - and better-enforced - transit-only lanes. We're also working to increase awareness and understanding of bicyclists' rights among bus drivers and to educate bicyclists on how to safely share lanes with buses. --Editor
Mom Back on Bike
Years ago, before my daughter was born, I used to bike everywhere: UCSF, downtown, SFSU, Marin, and everywhere in between. With a toddler and then school-age child to get to school every day, I had to abandon my bike and drive a car. Thanks to the Bike Coalition's tremendous efforts and the support of bikers in SF, on Bike to Work Day I enjoyed a wonderful bike commute from my home in Bernal to my job at Mission High School. The bike lanes are great! I'm hooked again!
While I can't ride every day due to my daughter's other commitments, I am able to cycle a few days a week and am having a great time rediscovering bicycling. Thank you for your continued efforts to make SF bike safe!
Join the Pack
I ride to work every morning on the great Valencia bikeway and down Market Street. I do it for the high that CO2 and adrenaline provide, but I was hoping to be doing it for camaraderie as well. However, I find that even when there are eight to 10 riders going down Market together, they do not form a pack, and they do not talk to each other.
This is very sad. I know people are still waking up on their way to work, but smile at your fellow bikers, and take the opportunity to ride together (rather than to race each other to the next light). Am I wrong in suggesting people ride in a pack? I think we should encourage SF riders to work to protect each other.
Driver ID is Crucial
I'd like to add something to the April 2001 article "Police Work with Bicycle Community." In addition to memorizing or writing down a car's license plate number, it's very important to be able to identify the driver. A helpful Oakland police officer explained there's not much they can do with just a license plate number, if the owner of the vehicle says s/he wasn't driving it. I never got a good look at the driver of the black Mustang even after s/he deliberately swerved to threaten me.
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