Supervisor Shocked to Hear Uber and Lyft Violate Bike and Transit Lanes

Water shockingly remains wet:

Some two-thirds of citations for driving in transit lanes and bike lanes, failing to yield to pedestrians, and other motor vehicle violations, are issued to Transportation Network Company (TNC) cars such as Uber and Lyft -- this according to a study from the police department of violations in downtown San Francisco. [...]

What makes the numbers so shocking, said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is that they are so disproportionate. "You have one out of four cars being a TNC in the district I represent," he said. "You would think the number of violations would be the same, one out of four, but what you're seeing is the opposite -- almost three out of four are TNC drivers."

"It was really astonishing to see the number of TNCs that routinely use the bike lane as the drop off spot with no regard to the fact that cyclists are using it," said Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who sits on the committee. He joined a protest for protected bike lanes on Valencia this month.

"These numbers confirm what our members experience on the streets of San Francisco everyday: Uber and Lyft drivers violating the law and threatening the safety of people who bike and walk. Now that SFPD data proves they are doing so in numbers far disproportionate to their share of traffic volume, this should be a wake-up call to the city and the industry," wrote Brian Wiedenmeier, the SF Bike Coalition's executive director, in an email to Streetsblog. [...]

Streetsblog would like to point out that while San Francisco currently has little power to regulate TNCs, aside from continuing to issue citations, it can, obviously, regulate street design. As the human-protected bike lane protests have shown, TNCs aren't an issue when they are physically prevented from stopping in a bike lane. Properly designed protected bike lanes and intersections can make much of this a moot point. And banning private cars from Market Street will make much of this a moot point too -- more so if the Supervisors and SFMTA have the fortitude to ban all cars, instead of just privately owned ones. Continuing to do studies and discuss parking needs, and tearing out unofficial safe-hit posts, instead of installing protected bike lanes as quickly as possible -- not so much.

See also @uberinabikelane, @sfmtra.

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14 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    And that only accounts for the drivers that are actually cited. A traffic cop could sit on the corner of Market and 11th every morning and be unable to keep a high enough pace to cite everyone that deserves a ticket. I only walk two blocks from a Muni Hole to work and every day I have to contend with these bridge and tunnel people trying to kill me.

    • jwz says:

      Also the article implies that getting a ticket for parking in a bike lane is a thing that happens, which is just adorable.

      • Elusis says:

        When I was regularly commuting down Embarcadero to teach, I saw someone almost every day pull over and stop in the eastbound bike lane at afternoon rush hour. I always felt bad when I laid on the horn to inform them how much they sucked for being dangerous shitheads, and some innocent cyclist thought I was honking at them. I SWEAR I AM HONKING AT THE ACTUAL BAD PEOPLE, PLEASE DON'T BREAK MY WINDOW

  2. pagrus says:

    Also incidentally while I agree that bike riders and pedestrians should totally be the priority here, the claim that

    TNCs aren't an issue when they are physically prevented from stopping in a bike lane

    is complete nonsense, as they are perfectly happy blocking auto/motorcycle traffic as well while stopped in the middle of the street.

    • jwz says:

      But you know what happens when you block auto traffic? Two things: 1) You actually get a ticket. I have seen it happen. 2) By doing so, you are inconveniencing other drivers, whereas by blocking a bike lane, you are putting lives at risk.

      • pagrus says:

        I believe you when you say they are cited for blocking traffic-- I have just never seen it happen, especially in my neighborhood. I also agree that inconveniencing moto traffic is very much preferable to endangering bikers or pedestrians if one has to choose.

        My gripe is that TNC drivers just drive/park/idle like assholes no matter who they are affecting, and that the tone of the article suggests that once they are out of the bike lanes then they'll be good citizens.

        • jwz says:

          Well, no, assholes gonna asshole. But at least they could be endangering fewer lives.

          And given the PD's attitudes toward the relative ticket-worthiness of inconveniencing cars, versus endangering the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, it may cause the assholes to slightly alter their behavior merely out of self-interest.

    • Yeah. This happens at every People Protected Bike Lane. A TNC driver wavers & meanders for a bit, stops in the general purpose lane, gets IMMEDIATE EXTREME NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, and moves along to stop someplace less anti-social. Dozens of TNC drivers get this training at each event.

      • pagrus says:

        I like the sound of IMMEDIATE EXTREME NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, did anyone ever make those stickers I wonder?

        On a related note, does the Uber app have an option for taking off driver points for blocking bike lanes? I'm going to guess no.

        • DanBC says:

          You've seen the Russian "douchebag patrol" youtube channel? They use large stickers, on the windscreen.

          • pagrus says:

            I started researching stickers with the sticky part on the top/outside/deco side, so you could slap them on a windshield facing in, but I never got anywhere. For some reason I feel like I used to see them a lot with the KQED logo on them as a kid and it took me longer than I'd like to admit to figure out it's because they're meant to be used on glass.

  3. whomever says:

    Interesting. Not to defend Uber, but here in NYC I'd say yellow cabs are as bad, but none of them come close to the cops. There's even an entire Tumblr of "Cops In Bike Lanes".

  4. J. Peterson says:

    From the twits:

    I get that San Francisco has these handy lanes for Ubers to wait in, but why did they paint pictures of bicycles in them??

    September 15, 2017

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