Man Killed in Golden Gate Park Motorcycle Crash

Bay City News and the SF Examiner are reporting a solo motorcycle crash at Kezar and Martin Luther King Drives in Golden Gate Park on Saturday, September 2nd at 9:40 p.m..  The motorcyclist was killed in a solo crash in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park that involved a motorcyclist and a light pole near the intersection, according to police. Police said the motorcyclist, identified only as a white man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation into the collision is underway, and no further details were immediately available.


Pedestrian Peril in San Francisco

With its dense shops and restaurants, beautiful vistas and diverse neighborhoods San Francisco is a city in which walking is often the most desirable mode of transport. However, a recent poll by Bay Citizen shows that many pedestrians do not feel safe walking in the city.

The Bay Citizen’s nonscientific poll found that nearly half of the 98 respondents said “they wanted the San Francisco Police Department to ticket more drivers or cyclists for disobeying traffic laws. Several said they’d like to see the city ban right turns at red lights, while others suggested lowering speed limits.”

Recently, the City has been working to make some improvements to pedestrian safety.  An updated federal guideline has forced the City to extend crosswalk times in many intersections, including along Market Street. In addition, Police are focusing their efforts in corridors where there have been serious or fatal collisions. In June, the city lowered the speed limits on four South of Market streets – Howard, Folsom, Harrison and Bryant – from 30 to 25 mph.

Areas that went on a “road-diet”, where sidewalks and medians were extended, lanes were decreased and other measures were taken to reduce traffic and increase pedestrain activity, seem safer. “The bike lanes, expanded sidewalks, parklets and bulbouts make the street and traffic seem calmer” one respondent wrote.

Yet, many people feel that the City has just not done enough. A SoMa resident who responded to the survey suggested that pedestrians who still do not feel safe, and people who feel like the city has not done enough, should bring their complaints to community meetings. Another respondent suggested that everyone stop pointing fingers and laying blame, and instead acknowledge that pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike have responsibilities when they share the road. It is when these groups work together that San Francisco’s streets will become safer.

A map detailing the intersections that the survey respondents identified as the most dangerous in San Francisco for pedestrians can be seen by clicking on the link below.

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


Bikes on Bart: Individual’s Stories

As part of its Bikes on Bart Advocacy, the San Francisco Bike Coalition interviewed a few of the cyclists taking advantage of the lift on the rush-hour ban to find out how it was affecting people’s commute.

Eric, Fruitvale to SOMA: The ban on bikes during rush hour completely prevents Eric from biking to work. He can usually make it to the station early enough to take BART before the blackout hours start in the morning, but he cannot hang around in San Francisco until rush hour is over after work. Because of the restrictions, he drives to the Bart station and walks to work. The lift on the ban on Fridays during the month of August allows Eric to bike to the Fruitvale station and bike to work, then bike home. His commute is quicker, cheaper and more efficient. It is the ideal situation.

Hopefully, people like Eric who responsibly utilize the services BART has to offer, can help to permanently change BART’s policy on bike. Lifting the ban on bikes on BART during rush hour is beneficial for commuters, for the Bay Area and for the environment.




Road Dieting- The (Not-So) New Fad

According the SF Examiner roads sometimes need to diet in order to become healthier. This means shifting emphasis from cars to pedestrians and cyclists by  reducing traffic lanes, widening sidewalks, adding bike paths and greening medians. These road diets are long-term investments for the neighborhoods which they service. Road diets can decrease the number of cars, increase the number of pedestrians, improve safety conditions, reduce collisions, increase demand for restaurants and store-front businesses and generally improve the conditions of the neighborhood. Not surprisingly, City transportation officials say San Francisco has put more roads on a diet than anywhere else in North America. These projects and their results have been observed on Divisadero Street corridor, San Jose Avenue, Eddy and Ellis streets, Valencia Street and Folsom Street. Business owners and residents in these areas laud the new security pedestrians feel when crossing the street, the more leisurely pace of cars and cyclists and te improvement in the overall atmosphere and value of the neighborhood. Although not everyone is completely convinced, most people agree that the renovations add value to a neighborhood.




Motorcycles 101 (Part 3 of 3)

Part 1 discussed some of the basics of motorcycling, Part 2 dealt with practical riding tips, and Part 3 will focus on tips to keep in mind when purchasing a motorcycle.

13) When you choose a bike make sure your feet can comfortably touch the ground when you are seated.

14) Keep in mind that bigger is not necessarily better. Small bikes can be easier to maneuver, park, store and to handle in general.

15) Don’t compromise on your first bike. You may not be able to afford the best bikes on the market, but make sure you want the bike you buy. You should feel good riding the bike, both comfort-wise and asethics-wise. Most of all, you should look forward to getting on your bike in the morning.

16) At the same time however, do NOT buy your dream bike as your first bike.

a) You will damage it and the cost will be less emotionally and financially draining if you do not purchase that bike you have

been dreaming of owning since you were 15.

b) Buy cheaper bikes until you become an experienced rider and you know what you want and what to look for in a bike.

17) Take advantge of motorcycle forums on the web when trying to determine which bike is right for you. Read the reviews and make your decision based on user experience, not manufactorer advertising.

18) Make sure you have set aside money for general maintenance before you purchase your motorcycle.

There is a multitude of tips and advice for motorcyclists that have not been included in this series. To be a safe motorcyclists search out these tips. Read about motorcycles and riding techniques online or strike up a rapport with your local motorcycle dealer. Make training and learning a life-long goal.


Kardas, Jeff. “50 Things New Riders Should Know (And Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).” American Motorcyclist 66.8 (August 2012): 46-48. Print.

Objectivity Wins this Round

In New Hampshire motorcycle sound testing will now be conducted using instruments, like the one pictured below, that provide roadside, objective measurements. This is in contrast to the subjective test which most motorcycles are subjected to throughout the country. New Hampshire’s SAE J2825 authorizes roadside testing using measurement of sound exhaust sound pressure levels of stationary bikes. This test will be administered before any ticket can be issued.


This new law is good news for responsible motorcycle riders as they will now have ways to prove that their bikes meet legal standards. Hopefully, as this technology becomes streamlined, more states will adopt similar laws.

The New Hampshire law takes effect January 1, 2013.


“New Hampshire Adopts Objective Sound Test.”  American Motorcyclist 66.8 (August 2012): 46-48. Print.

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Motorcycle 101 (Part 2 of 3)

Part 1 discussed some of the basics of motorcycling. Part 2 will deal more with practical riding tips.

6) Scan: Be aware of what is going on around you at all times. As a motorcyclist you must be an active driver. It is your life on the line, so be aware and compensate for bad drivers around you.

7) Pace: Ride at your own pace. Don’t follow the pack/leader. Do only what you feel comfortable doing.

8) Brake!: Learn to use both front and back brakes and PRACTICE! Make sure you can slam on the brakes as quickly and as safely as possible.

9) Lane Position:  Try to make yourself as visible as possible to drivers around you and make sure that you have an ‘escape route’ if a situation becomes dangerous. Assume you are invisible to most drivers so put in the extra effort to make sure they see you.

10) Double Check: Always perform a head-check when changing lanes or turning.

11) Triple Check:  Take the extra time to adjust your controls. Check all of the levers on your bike and make sure you can intuitively reach for them and find them instantly. You do NOT want to be fumbling around, trying to find the correct lever on a ride.

12) Comfort Matters!!!: Unlike with a car, your comfort matters when riding a bike. Here are a few important tips to remember that will affect your health and the safety of you and those around you.

a) Drink Water- Stay Hydrated. Especially on long rides.

b) Invest in Proper Safety Gear- A Helmet, Gloves, Over-the-Ankle-Boots, Riding Pants and a Riding Jacket. Even a minor                    collision can mean serious injury for motorcycle riders. You should AWLAYS ‘dress for a crash’ whether it is a short ride or a long ride.

c) Invest in Waterproof Gear – If you live in the Bay Area riding in the rain and low-lying fog will be a fairly common occurrence. So invest in some waterproof gear. The more comfortable you are when riding, the less distracted you are, the safer you will drive. It will be worth it.

d) Don’t ride on an empty stomach. Same reasoning as before. An empty stomach means you are distracted. Don’t be distracted!

e) Most of all, as cheesy as it sounds, listen to your body. Don’t try to push through discomfort, hunger or thirst because that means that at a minimum you are distracted, and on a motorcycle driving distracted means dangerous.

Check back soon for the final installment of the series, Part 3!


Kardas, Jeff. “50 Things New Riders Should Know (And Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).” American Motorcyclist 66.8 (August 2012): 46-48. Print.

Allstate Does Good… Maybe?

“Every day in the U.S., an average of three motorcyclists are killed at intersections in crashes that involve other vehicles.” In order to help eliminate these crashes,  Allstate established its Once is Never Enough (as in, look twice before crossing the road) Program. As part of this program Allstate works with local traffic authorities to identify dangerous intersections and then donates and installs warning signs at these locations. The “Watch for Motorycle” signs have been developed by Allstate since no such official, standardized sign exists.


It seems that for once, Allstate really does have the driver’s best interests in mind. Although the program is probably nothing more than a marketing strategy (the signs are only going up in 30 U.S. cities throughout the year), it has serious potential, especially since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 46% of all multi-vehicle crashes occur at intersections. Whatever the motive or extent may be, if these signs make even a few drivers look twice at an intersection than they have done their job and more.


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Motorcycles 101 (Part 1 of 3)

Motorcycling, whether as a hobby or as a practicle means of transportation, can be an enjoyable, money-saving endeavor. However, it can also lead to expensive, life-altering mistakes.Whether you are a motorcycle veteran or a relative newcomer it is good to remember that on the road you are vulnerable. In a recent article, American Motorcyclist outlined the 50 Things New Riders Should Know (and Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).

1) Be Legal/Get Licensed: A piece of paper will not make you a better driver, but the attitude with which you approach motorcycling will. Get serious, get a license.

2) Passengers Second: Learn how to drive your motorcyle alone before adding a passenger. Remember, you are responsbile for your passenger’s safety, so make sure you are comfortable on the road before you take on that responsbility.

3) 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. Bottom Line: it’s better to be safe.

4) Maintenance:

a. Do It Yourself- become familiar with your bike and whenever possible figure it out yourself. That way you will know when something isn’t quite right.

b. Check your tire pressure regularly and often.

c. For those problems that you just can’t fix yourself find a local mechanic. Strike up a rapport. Get comfortable asking questions. It is always better to ask a question then to be unsure.

5) Seek Local Knowledge: If you are just getting started riding in the Bay Area and San Francisco (or anywhere new) look for bike shops and events and talk to people. Seek out advice and suggestions. You might be suprised by what you find out and it will save you a lot of time and stress in the future.

Check back soon for more tips/suggestions in Part 2!

If you ever need a motorcycle accident lawyer, contact us for a free consultation.


Kardas, Jeff. “50 Things New Riders Should Know (And Experienced Riders Shouldn’t Forget).” American Motorcyclist 66.8 (August 2012): 46-48. Print.

Congress at the Wheel? – Well, we knew it was dangerous…

A while back I wrote about Congress’s progress on negotiations surrounding the Federal Transportation Bill. Now those negotiations are closed, the vote has been taken, and the Federal Transportation Bill has finally passed.

While the passage of any transportation bill is encouraging after so many delays threatened to freeze funds, alternative transportation advocates are understandably disappointed with the final bill. Many of the programs in the previous bill advocating cycling and pedestrian paths have been gutted and funding has been compromised. This news is especially disappointing since representatives, like Senator Barbara Boxer, promised to protect these programs.

Here is an overview, courtesy of America Bikes, of the major differences between the previous transportation bill and the current bill and what this could mean for cyclists and pedestrians in California and the Bay Area.

1) The 2012 bill combines Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails and ‘Some Road Usages’ into a single category. These programs no longer have separate funding and distribution mechanisms. This means that not only will alternative transportation programs be competeing against one another for funding, they will also be competing against highway and road projects classified as ‘road usages’.

2) Funding for this category has been cut from $1.2 billion to $800 million.

3) The old bill allowed states to redistribute 10-15% of funds from these alternative transportation programs to other transportation uses.  Under the new bill states could transfer 50-100% depending on the circumstances.

This bill will be in effect until October of 2014.



Federal transportation bill negates decades of progress