A bicyclist rides across California Street on Bike to in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
After several cyclists were killed after being hit by cars, the city is finally improving road safety by painting bike lanes, but that's spoiled the mood of people who can't bear to walk more than a few feet from their cars.
In a process that has actually been described as "complicated," patrons of one liquor store are now required to drive their cars several yards further than they used to, then get out and rhythmically place one foot in front of the other in a motion experts call "walking."
One liquor store owner described how her customers can't figure out how to approach the store without creating a traffic hazard. And the owner of a printing shop complained that customers had to walk as much as three blocks to reach her store. Meanwhile, a cyclist was in life-threatening condition after being struck by a hit-and-run motorist on Christmas. Who has suffered more? It's impossible to say.
But it gets worse. When a motorist parks in the bike lane, thereby dangerously forcing cyclists into oncoming traffic, they are given a $105 ticket. Never in the history of human suffering has anyone ever been persecuted to such an extent.
The bulk of the problems are concentrated around Ocean Ave. The area is notoriously tricky for cyclists, since bike lanes appear and disappear from one block to the next, making it unclear how bikes should mix with traffic.
Supervisor John Avalos and the SFMTA are working to find a solution to this seemingly-impossible disaster. The top priority at the moment is finding more parking spaces, rather than improving Muni service or opening stores closer to where people live and work.
Until a solution can be found, merchants may continue to suffer decreased business while patrons are forced to physically engage their limbs.