Time to mandate bicycle licenses

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Bicyclists in San Francisco should have to register their bike, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance — the same requirements for driving a car.

We have one set of roads long dominated by automobiles. But as a growing number of bicycle commuters assert political power to get their own lanes, they need to put some skin in the game. If cars and bikes are going to share city roads — which is where the future is headed — the responsibility for safe co-existence should also be shared.

Mandatory registration, license and insurance could ease ongoing resentments between cyclists and motorists. Cyclists will get more protection while motorists will be glad they aren’t alone in being held accountable on the road.

Before protesters on bikes jeer at me for suggesting this idea, they should know I’m pro-bike. I even rode my bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles for charity. I share a car with my husband but mostly take public transportation and walk — and we live on the westside, in the “suburban” part of town near Stonestown Mall, where cars and parking spaces are still abundant.

Before my neighbors accuse me of undermining westside entitlement to drive and park, they should know I support putting parking garages with ground floor retail in neighborhood business districts.

And before transit-first urbanists get mad, they should know that I’m an advocate for investing in the subways and transportation infrastructure we regret not building decades ago. But until we get that world-class transportation system, we can’t pretend Muni is the Paris Metro…(more)

Good arguments for sharing responsibility for safety on the streets. Good reason for a balanced transportation plan. Very good idea to phase in the changes. The pace of change is largely responsible for the anger on the streets.

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Open letter to Supervisor Weiner

Dear Scott,

Please do not close Noe and Sanchez Streets to left turns onto Market.

There are so few ways to access Market Street; since I’ve lived here we’ve closed off McCoppin, Octavia, Buchanan, Dolores, Church, and Castro Streets to turns onto Market.
As a result, 15th St., 16th St., Sanchez and Noe are often congested 2-3 blocks to get onto Market.
Drivers flood the Duboce Triangle and the Castro trying to go around.

What problem are we trying to solve?

Pedestrian jay-walking is epidemic in the Castro as are bicycle red-light runners.  The recent brown paint  encourages pedestrian to wait in the middle of the street.  See attached photos.

But SFPD does not dare enforce, due to severe backlash from SFBC, and lack of support from both the command staff and city government (according to multiple friends who are officers, and wish to remain anonymous).  Currently peds and bikes get a pass.  But Vision Zero will only work if everyone is accountable.

• We support a left turn arrow from westbound 16th St. to westbound Market St., often backed up 2 blocks / 6 light cycles / 10 minutes.
• We also support the idea of an all-way pedestrian crossing light at Noe/16th/Market, just as we currently have in the Financial District.
• We oppose turn restrictions from Noe and Sanchez Streets.


—Jamey Frank,

Church Street Neighborhood Association