BikeLane.jpgWhen the SFPD officer looked at our thorny bramble of bike parts, and asked us, ‘Is this stuff all connected?’ We just laughed, the U-bolts rising with our chests as we laid there like a human dam choking off the flow of sauce from BP to its loyally dissociated customers.

This quote is just an excerpt of one protestor’s“raw testimony” published yesterday from her day and a half in San Francisco County Jail after she and four other persons were arrested last Friday for chaining themselves to bicycles and blocking the entrance to the Divisadero and Fell St ARCO gas station in the name of cyclist safety and anti-British Petroleum sentiments.

SFPD spokesperson Lieutenant Lyn Tomioka confirmed that five people were arrested at the protest on Friday, August 20, four of whom were booked at county jail for failing to obey a traffic officer and later released and one who was cited for an infraction and released. Out of the four protestors who were booked, three are male and one is female (the afore-quoted woman with the anti-establishment attitude). All are Bay Area residents except one of the men, who is from Seattle.

According to the blog Haighteration, two of those arrested are members of Fix Fell, an organization which refers to itself as “a group of people alarmed about the catastrophe in the Gulf, and disturbed by the City of San Francisco’s impotence when it comes to making the city safe for those who get around by bicycle or foot.”

Although Fix Fell has been protesting outside the ARCO station every Friday since June to condemn the BP oil spill, their mission has morphed into educating San Franciscans about the dangers that motorists who frequent the Fell St. ARCO pose to bicyclists who use the bike lane that runs alongside the gas station.

Cyclists have long complained that drivers cut through the bike lane to pull into the ARCO station, presenting a bicyclist versus motorist scenario that can leave bikers bruised and banged up–or worse, in the case of the German tourist who was recently killed at the nearby intersection of Masonic and Turk.

The hit-and-run death, which happened when 21-year-old cyclist Neils Yannick Linke was hit from behind by a drunk driver, has only intensified the outcry from Fix Fell and other community organizations calling for safer streets for bikers and is believed to have added fuel to the fire leading up to the ARCO station protest. Lieutenant Tomioka said she cannot say for certain whether or not the protest was influenced by Linke’s death, however.

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority (SFMTA) recently painted the bike lane on Fell between Scott and Baker streets green with hopes of appeasing Fix Fell and other bicyclist activism groups and making it easier for cars and bikers to coexist on San Francisco’s busy streets. While the efforts are welcomed by bicyclists, the city could be doing much more, protest organizer Stuart Matthews told Bay City News.

“We’re happy that the city is apparently paying attention to our protests and trying something, but hopefully they’ll make it even better,” Matthews said.

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  • LibertyHiller

    I can empathize with how bicyclists feel about car drivers treating them like obstacles, because that’s how many bicyclists treat pedestrians. I don’t own a car or a bicycle, so I do most of my getting around by MUNI, cab, or shank’s mare, and car drivers are nowhere near as threatening as a bike rider who believes that traffic laws don’t apply to him or her.

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to jump out of the way of a bicycle on the sidewalk, or stop dead in a crosswalk while someone on a bike ran the light or the stop sign, I might not be rich, but I’d be able to pay off my credit cards, and money left over to put a down payment on a new Mercedes.

    When I don’t have to worry about bike riders and their thoughtlessness, then they will get a little of my sympathy. Until then, I’m going to treat them like the childish scofflaws they are.

  • LibertyHiller

    I can empathize with how bicyclists feel about car drivers treating them like obstacles, because that’s how many bicyclists treat pedestrians. I don’t own a car or a bicycle, so I do most of my getting around by MUNI, cab, or shank’s mare, and car drivers are nowhere near as threatening as a bike rider who believes that traffic laws don’t apply to him or her.

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to jump out of the way of a bicycle on the sidewalk, or stop dead in a crosswalk while someone on a bike ran the light or the stop sign, I might not be rich, but I’d be able to pay off my credit cards, and money left over to put a down payment on a new Mercedes.

    When I don’t have to worry about bike riders and their thoughtlessness, then they will get a little of my sympathy. Until then, I’m going to treat them like the childish scofflaws they are.

  • mikesonn

    LibertyHiller, do you apply the same level of generalization to drivers as well?

  • mikesonn

    LibertyHiller, do you apply the same level of generalization to drivers as well?

  • Greg Dewar

    You can’t have a discussion about anything related to bikes in this town anymore. People on all sides are unable to make distinctions or concede on principle that yes, their side does bad things.

    So, to review

    In SF we have Goofus Cyclists. These are the douches who use a wide sidewalk as their velodrome even when they have a bike lane, who run stop signs and red lights and think their some form of urban badass, they scream like stuck pigs whenever you dare suggest bikes aren’t all made by Jesus Himself and blessed with unicorn kisses, and overall annoy the fuck out of people.

    Goofus Cyclists are in the minority, but we remember them because they annoy the shit out of us.

    Gallant Cyclists are awesome. They are just trying to get around safely, wear safety equipment, don’t ride bikes without safety features, and generally obey the law and respect the pedstrian, the Muni bus, the Muni Metro, and drivers who are also behaving like civilized people. They are in the majority, but because they’re not douchebags, don’t go on blogs all day, and don’t annoy us.

    Goofus Drivers (and their cousins, Dumbasses Who Shouldn’t Have A License) think they can drive like they did back in the shitty little town they came from. They hang illegal Us, could give 2 shits about anyone (other auto drivers, bicyclists, walkers, pets, etc.) and speed down side streets and talk on the cell while driving. SInce we lack a system of testing people’s driving skills and giving them some sort of gov’t issued document saying they’re able to do so safely, there’s a lot of these. Again, we remember them because they are assholes. (Side note: Drunk drivers are fucking criminal scum, and no amount of striping is going to change the fact a douche that drinks 10 shots of vodka and then gets in his stupid car is a fucking menace to society)

    Gallant Drivers, of which there are fewer and fewer, drive in the stress inducing streets of SF every day just hoping not to get killed, kill anyone, or get in a wreck or get a ticket. They pay a fortune in insurance and at some point, if they can do so , ditch the car or store it elsewhere because owning a car is a pain in the ass in this town.

  • Greg Dewar

    You can’t have a discussion about anything related to bikes in this town anymore. People on all sides are unable to make distinctions or concede on principle that yes, their side does bad things.

    So, to review

    In SF we have Goofus Cyclists. These are the douches who use a wide sidewalk as their velodrome even when they have a bike lane, who run stop signs and red lights and think their some form of urban badass, they scream like stuck pigs whenever you dare suggest bikes aren’t all made by Jesus Himself and blessed with unicorn kisses, and overall annoy the fuck out of people.

    Goofus Cyclists are in the minority, but we remember them because they annoy the shit out of us.

    Gallant Cyclists are awesome. They are just trying to get around safely, wear safety equipment, don’t ride bikes without safety features, and generally obey the law and respect the pedstrian, the Muni bus, the Muni Metro, and drivers who are also behaving like civilized people. They are in the majority, but because they’re not douchebags, don’t go on blogs all day, and don’t annoy us.

    Goofus Drivers (and their cousins, Dumbasses Who Shouldn’t Have A License) think they can drive like they did back in the shitty little town they came from. They hang illegal Us, could give 2 shits about anyone (other auto drivers, bicyclists, walkers, pets, etc.) and speed down side streets and talk on the cell while driving. SInce we lack a system of testing people’s driving skills and giving them some sort of gov’t issued document saying they’re able to do so safely, there’s a lot of these. Again, we remember them because they are assholes. (Side note: Drunk drivers are fucking criminal scum, and no amount of striping is going to change the fact a douche that drinks 10 shots of vodka and then gets in his stupid car is a fucking menace to society)

    Gallant Drivers, of which there are fewer and fewer, drive in the stress inducing streets of SF every day just hoping not to get killed, kill anyone, or get in a wreck or get a ticket. They pay a fortune in insurance and at some point, if they can do so , ditch the car or store it elsewhere because owning a car is a pain in the ass in this town.

  • sfresident

    Well put Greg.

  • sfresident

    Well put Greg.