A Bicycle Accident Attorney Who Rides, Too

If you’ve been injured while on a bicycle, you want a bicycle accident attorney who rides, too.  We’ve spent over a decade representing cyclists and motorcyclists who’ve been injured.  It’s simple, really.  In my office, we ride, so we know what it’s like out there and we know how to tackle issues that are unique to two-wheeled collisions.


The number of cyclists in California increases each year, and with this increase comes an increase in collisions both with other vehicles and single bicycle collisions caused by roadway defects. While some public entities have tried to evaluate increased safety measures to decrease conflicts between cyclists and other modes of transportation, by and large these efforts have not gone far enough.  We advocate on behalf of cyclists (because remember, we ride, too!) for increased efforts in safety by sponsoring local bicycle coalitions, attending City hearings, and helping to educate the public on ways to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in California.


There are a lot of personal injury lawyers, but my firm is different.  At Rahman Law, we guide you through the legal process and we listen; we get to know you and we fight for your rights.  I have successfully litigated hundreds of cases and I am skilled at getting cases settled.  I am devoted to taking on insurance companies and big corporations to get injured people the compensation the law says they are entitled to.  I’ve been a lawyer in San Francisco for 17 years and now am also part of the central coast community with a second law office in Paso Robles bringing the resources of a big city law firm to you.  Rahman Law PC handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis; you don’t pay attorneys’ fees unless we get a monetary recovery for you.  If you’ve been injured, call someone who truly cares and get a free consultation with Rahman Law at rahmanlawsf.com.

Amgen Tour of California to End in Bay Area!

For the first time since its debut in 2006 the Amgen Tour of California will be running South to North and ending in the Bay Area. The Amgen Tour is North America’s biggest cycling event drawing the world’s best cyclists to compete. This year organizers planned the race in an effort to show off the best that California has to offer. The race, which is 750 miles, begins May 12 in Escondido in Southern California and ends on May 20 in Santa Rosa.

The Bay Area challenges are sure to be some of the most exciting of the 8 day race. On May 17 there will be an individual time trial (‘an all-out sprint against the clock with the fastest riders in the standings going last’) ending at Metcalf Motorcycle Park. For those who are not too familiar with the logistics of major cycling events, individual time trials are one of those rare times when cyclists can really change their standing.

However, according to the Marin Independent Journal, many people predict that it will be the grueling ascent of Mount Diablo that will determine the final line up. On May 18, riders will begin a 93 mile ride from Livermore to the top of Mount Diablo. After the difficult ride on the 18th they will finish the race with ‘a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge before competitors head to Point Reyes National Seashore and west Sonoma County. The race will end with a couple laps in downtown Santa Rosa as a coronation of the victor.’

If you are around the Bay Area in May you will not want to miss this! It is sure to draw a crowd and the festivities will be something the entire family will enjoy.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.



Increased Enforcement in 2013

Thanks to a $140,000 federal grant, San Franciscans will be seeing a greater police presence around schools, senior centers and other at-risk areas in the coming months. These motorcycle officers will be patrolling the areas, enforcing speed and other basic traffic laws in an attempt to make them safer for pedestrians. Violators will be fined $155 per violation.

SFPD has not yet released the names of those areas in which it plans to increase its presence, but Walk SF Director Elizabeth Stampe is hopeful that it will be around schools and centers located adjacent to major thoroughfares like Market Street. While this targeted increase in enforcement is good news for San Francisco’s most vulnerable pedestrians, the children and the elderly, it is not enough for most of the city’s cyclists and pedestrians. As was pointed out in this blog’s ealier post about Valencia street, San Francisco needs more enforcement, period. San Francisco drivers must be made aware that they will be caught and fined when they drive recklessly  and put the lives of the city’s cyclists and pedestrians in danger.

As Stampe commented, “this is helpful and we’re glad to have it, but this is a short-term approach”. What San Francisco needs is an increase in police enforcement of basic traffic laws across the city.



It’s About Time…

The stoplight at 12th Street and Market has become more of guideline than a rule for many cyclists because the timing of the light is just so inconvenient. The wait often prompts cyclists to cross early when they do not have the right of way. This preemptive crossing results in heavy fines when the cyclists are caught and is dangerous to pedestrians when they are not.

In order to tackle the problems at this intersection, Bert Hill, chairman of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee citizen oversight group, is recommending the implementation of a separate cyclist-crossing light. This light would speed up the timing for cyclists, cueing up a green light for cyclists when it is activated. The trade-off, argues local disability advocate Bob Planthold, is that disabled pedestrians will have less time to safely cross the street. His proposed solution is separate sensors for pedestrians and cyclists. Although this would be more expensive, it would better accommodate all interested parties.

Although no plan has been approved yet, committees are working on finding a solution that is acceptable to everyone.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.



Canadian Study Provides Support for New Protected Bike Lane Bill

Last month Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 819, a bill intended to encourage more communities to implement modern protected bike facilities. The current system actively discourages cities from implementing protected bike lanes and other cycling innovations commonly used in Europe because they are not legally covered by Caltrans’s outdated bike lane standards. The new bill is a step forward since it streamlines a process by which cities and municipalities can apply to implement more innovative designs.

And now the bill is getting support from a Canadian study which compares the various different environments in which people ride their bikes. In many ways, their findings reflect common sense. For example, they found that streets with bike lanes are safer than streets without bike lanes. Not to sound rude but, duh. The suprising news is in the numbers. A bike lane (even the most basic and flawed as many in California are) will reduce the risk of injury to cyclists by 50% as compared to a similar street without a bike lane. And the same style street with a protected bike lane (meaning barriers between cars and cyclists) drop risk of injury 90%. Those statistics are astoudning. Numbers like these are hard to argue with.

Imagine, if cities invested in protected bike lanes, it is likely that injuries to cyclists would drop approximately 90%. That means more cyclists on the road and we have posted numerous articles about what more cyclists means for cities; safer streets, better public transportation, less traffic and congestion, more tourism, and the list goes on.

Basically, the Canadian study put numbers to something that San Francisco cyclists have known all along. You have to invest in safety. It may be a lot up front, but the returns are astronomical.

A Protected Bike Lane in San Francisco

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.





Photo Source:

SF Gets First Protected Bike Lane! Drivers Already Violating It

Rules of the Road, Again….

The tragic death of Hailey Ratliff, the 12 year old Novato girl struck and killed while riding her bicycle in October, has local police pleading Bay Area residents to educate themselves on the rules of the road. Here are some basic precautions that EVERY cyclist needs to take:

  1. All cyclists, minors included, must learn and follow the rules of the road. For those riders without a driver’s license (and subsequently without the mandatory training) this means familiarizing yourself with California and local laws.
  2. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is safer to bike on the street than on the sidewalk. Streets are generally flatter, the visibility is better and there is less risk of a collision with cars exiting their driveways.
  3. Stay at least 3 feet from parked cars. The distance will allow for more reaction time if a car begins to pull onto the street.
  4. Wear a helmet.
  5. Use bike lights and reflectors, especially at night and during the winter when cloud cover can lower visibility.
  6. Always signal your moves and make your intentions obvious. If you are going to turn, make sure all the cars around you know you are going to turn.
  7. Drunk cycling is drunk driving.

It’s not fair, but it is true that it lands on cyclists to take extra precautions when sharing the road with cars. Winter in San Francisco and the Bay Area means heavy fog and wet roads. Please be safe!

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.



Motorcycle Safety Classes- JUST DO IT!

In our 3-part article “Motorcycle 101” we blogged about all things motorcycle – tips, laws, gear, buyer’s tricks and time-tested advice. At the very top of our list (well, #3) was a little tid-bit of advice that we cannot help but stress again and again. Don’t be Proud: Get Training. Negotiating traffic on a motorcycle will be different from any other driving experience you have ever had. You may have ridden a dirt bike and you have probably been driving cars for years, but that doesn’t make you an expert motorcycle-driver. Bottom Line: It’s better to be safe, so take a safety course.

For those of you who have been holding back, now is the time to take a course. Winter is on its way, which means San Francisco fog and rain, slippery roads and increased risk of accident.

Rahman Law recommends Monkey Moto School. Evan is an old friend and he is an amazing instructor. Sign up for a private beginner’s lesson and learn the basics at whatever speed you are most comfortable. Or if you have slightly more experience you can take an intermediate lesson and learn to navigate the difficult San Francisco hills like a pro.

Evan- Monkey Moto School

This is not just for beginners! Be sure to check out Evan’s website – http://monkeymotoschool.com/- and read the faqs and the testimonials! These classes will be a worthwhile investment. So JUST DO IT!

Historical Potholes

Half-hidden tracks belonging to the historic San Francisco Belt Railroad create a dangerous obstacle for cyclists along the waterway near Ghiradelli Square . The line, built in 1889, was used to transport cargo from the piers to various locations along the waterfront. In addition, since the line ran from  a tunnel under Fort Mason to the Presidio it was perfect for transporting troops during World War II. Since the line was officially shut down in 1993 this rich history has been at odds with the safety and ease of the roadway. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, which has jurisdiction over the tracks, says that the problem is that the tracks can’t merely be pulled up.

The Maritime National Park is looking for a compromise solution. Their original solution was to fill in the tracks in areas where people cycle most often and leave them alone in other places. However, the pavement cracks every time the sand under the tracks  shifts.

Park officials will hold an open house to gather public comment on possible solutions for the old tracks on Dec. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Maritime Museum at 900 Beach St.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.



Octavia’s Woes

Even the most well-intentioned acts can have negative consequences.  Case in point, Octavia Boulevard in Hayes Valley. Prior to 2005 Hayes Valley was, in the words of Bay Citizen reporter Zusha Elinson, “a hooker haven beneath the Central Freeway”.  This all changed when the city replaced the overpass with Octavia Boulevard. With trees and a park the area became positively residential. Except that its not. It is a busy on-ramp for the near by freeway.

This combination, a residential spin on a congested, fast-moving, freeway onramp, has turned out to be dangerous. The intersection has the (dis)honor of being San Francisco’s most dangerous with 30 injury collisions in the last three years. In the last year alone the intersection was the site of 13 collisions involving injuries.

The real kicker is that 9 of those 13 crashes involved cyclists. With approximately 63,000 vehicles using the intersection each day, the danger to pedestrians and cyclists can be very real. Cars idle in the cross-walks, make illegal turns, get frustrated with the congestion and drive recklessly or simply treat it like the freeway it used to be. Rahman Law PC has successfully handled cases in which bicyclists haven been injured by vehicles on Octavia Boulevard. The majority of such injuries occur when drivers make an illegal right turn onto Market from Octavia.

A study by the SF County Transportation Authority recommends “improving bikeways and crosswalks and reducing car traffic by updating public transit and using congestion pricing, a system of electronic tolls for crowded streets.” It has also been suggested that the city install a camera to catch those vehicles that make an illegal right turn on Market. Whatever the solutions turn out to be, most people would agree that Octavia boulevard is an improvement to the overpass. Few would argue that it has not improved and rejuvenated the area. However, the city now needs to protect its cyclists and pedestrians and take measures to make Octavia safer.

If you ever need a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco, Paso Robles, or the surrounding Central California Coast area, contact us for a free consultation.



Fell and Oak Streets Get a Much Needed Makeover

Three blocks of Fell and Oak streets between Scott and Baker streets are getting a much needed complete streets style makeover. SFMTA has approved a plan to implement separated bike lanes, to install bulb-outs to 12 corners, and to slow  traffic signal lights.

The renovations will mean that the streets will lose a total of 50 parking spaces, a negative consequence that had many local business owners up in arms. At the same time, however, cyclists and pedestrians praise the changes, saying that they are a long time coming. “[The changes] will help people of all ages walking to and from some of the most beloved parks in San Francisco,” said Elizabeth Stampe, executive director of Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy organization. “For too long, the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park have been like islands in the middle of these freewaylike streets.”