SFPD Begins Pointless Harassment of Bike Commuters

Let's say I need to get from downtown to Golden Gate Park by bike this weekend. What's my best route that avoids the Wiggle and the Panhandle and Captain Douchenozzle's pointless stake-out? (That isn't, you know, a 30° angle.)

Second question: where's the most effective place I can spend money in order to get this jackass reassigned?

SFPD Park Station Begins Pointless Harassment of Bike Commuters

SFPD Park Station Captain John Sanford has made good on his promise: Officers were out this morning ticketing bike commuters who failed to comply with a strict application of the stop sign law on Page Street and the Wiggle. One bike rider said police justified her ticket by adding their own fictional flourish to the law.

Laura Kiniry, 41, said she canceled a doctor appointment she was biking to after receiving a $234 ticket (plus court fees) because she didn't put her foot down after climbing uphill on Central Street to make a left onto Page.

Kiniry, who has biked in the city for 18 years, said she saw two people on bikes already pulled over by police at Page and Baker. She assumed she wouldn't receive a traffic citation for making a safe, practical near-stop after pedaling uphill at single-digit speeds.

"Maybe I didn't come to a complete stop. I looked both ways," said Kiniry. She said the officer told her, "'You have to have at least one of your feet down.'" That supposed requirement appears nowhere in the California Vehicle Code. [...]

In an email exchange shared with Streetsblog, Inner Sunset resident Sean Rea told Park Captain Sanford that he is "willfully disregarding statistical evidence that proves the majority of injury accidents are caused by motorists -- not by pedestrians or cyclists."

Sanford has said the bike crackdown is a response to complaints rather than data. So Rea wrote multiple emails to report run-ins he'd had with reckless drivers while bicycling. Here's one example:

Twice this week I was cut off by drivers who failed to yield to me. In both cases, [an] SFPD patrol car was behind me and had complete visibility of the situation. I was able to talk to each patrol car at the next red light and when I asked why they didn't cite the driver, both said something to the extent of "well, you're OK, right?".

This seems like a stark double standard to me. Drivers can put me at risk but as long as they don't hurt me they won't get cited. Yet when cyclists make small infractions that don't result in injury the response from you is a crackdown.

SFPD Captain Justifies Bike Crackdown By Misconstruing "Focus on the Five"

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Colin Raff



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