San Francisco Pedestrian Hit By Bicyclist; Severely Hurt

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A bicyclist struck a pedestrian at Embarcadero and Mission Street in San Francisco Friday morning, causing life-threatening injuries, police said.

Police were called to the scene of an accident at 8:33 a.m., police Officer Albie Esparza said.

Officers found a bicyclist had struck a woman in her 40s who was crossing in the crosswalk, causing a life-threatening head injury. Preliminary information suggests the woman was crossing legally with the light, Esparza said.

The bicyclist remained at the scene and was being interviewed by investigators.

Traffic on northbound Embarcadero St. and surrounding streets – including the I-280 ramp to 4th St. – was clogged for hours after the accident.

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Esparza said the bicyclist would face the same potential legal repercussions as the driver of any car involved in a collision with a pedestrian, if they were found to be at fault.

“Every bicyclist in the city should be reminded each and every day that all the laws on the books apply to them too,” Esparza said. “They need to stop at every stop sign and every stop light.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • npc10202001

    Bicyclists on the Embarcadero have absolutely NO regard for pedestrians. They ride right on the sidewalk. As a pedestrian, you need to look both ways before crossing from one side of the SIDEWALK to the other or risk getting hit by a bicycle. I’ve often wondered why this is allowed by the police, particularly since there is a bike lane in the street. And those who do use the bike lane rarely stop at red lights. I’m so sorry this happened, but not at all surprised. I

    • EqWheels

      I agree that it’s high time for police to begin enforcing traffic laws on cyclists. Like so many other motorists I regularly encounter cyclists who fail to stop at lights or stop signs, fail to yield right of way or signal. What’s more all too many of them seem to arrogantly flaunt this behavior as if they are somehow entitled. Reading some one of the other reply’s here the writer sounded more like an eco-terrorist than a citizen.
      What really gets me is California Senate bill 910 (SB910) which seeks to force drivers to give cyclists a 3 foot bubble when passing or else slow down to 15 miles until you can pass. More over as the bill is sailing through on it’s way to becoming law, most often only a few of our elected officials are even present to vote on its passage.
      I agree with one of the other reply’s here that in these cash strapped times California needs to take a hard look at registering and plating cyclists. California Vehicle Code 21206 even has the provision for municipalities to register bicycle riders, but not the whole state. The insurance companies should be be lobbying for mandatory helmets to reduce injury’s the same way they did for motorcycles in the 90’s.
      To my way of thinking the state senate should first begin actively enforcing traffic laws on cyclists before enacting a bill to give them a safety bubble, if they did, perhaps in time they would discover that SB910 wasn’t needed at all.
      If a child breaks the rules you don’t change the rules so that the child has more freedom to continue. It’s time for many cyclists to put on big-boy pants, grow up and behave like citizens, not breaking traffic laws is a good start.
      I began a web site some time ago to address just these issues, there are so many bicycle groups in California that they have a lot of lobby power, while we motorists just sit back and let them run right over us, in the case of the woman in this article literally. Since the site began as more of a hobby for me I let it stall, mostly for lack of funding, but now that I see how many like minded people there are out there I’m reconsidering it. It’s called EqWheels (Equal Wheels), I’ll try to get it up and running soon. In the meantime if this forum will let me I’ll offer that you e-mail me at yahoo using the same “handle” if you’d like to share your thoughts or participate. Motorists in California need a voice too.

    • beststrollers

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      • gpb

        All Your Base Are Belong To Us

      • Dif it

        Beststrollers is illeterate and can’t spell. go back to school.

      • miranda

        Uh “illiterate” is not spelled with three “e”s btw

    • IMTreble

      The police do not want to go up against the SF Bicycle Coalition so they have allowed those riding bikes to come to believe they have the right of way over everyone else. It is time to make them accountable! Require all bikes to have a visible license plate so they can be identified as well as liability insurance! It is only right and fair!

    • miranda

      I believe the Embarcadero is a mixed use path. That said, cyclists should yield to pedestrians and go at a safe speed.

  • TedBike3000

    Wow! what’s that make it? 20,000 car/pedestrian accidents to 1 bike/ped?, stow away the hate, jethro.

    • JoMama

      I don’t hate, but I certainly don’t have any respect for bicyclists. Most are jerks and I do say most because I realize not all are jerks. By the way, who’s Jethro?

    • miranda

      The statistics are actually average 800 pedestrians hit a year by cars in SF with about 35 being fatal.

  • Mark

    The last paragraph should read “Every motorist in the city should be reminded each and every day that all the laws on the books apply to them too,” Esparza said. “They need to stop at every stop sign and every stop light.”

  • Trudy Sanders

    My car was hit m by a “cyclist” in the City – what a nightmare it turned out to be.. Sorry, no pity for bikers. They eat their young, as far as I can tell…

    • Luke Chung

      Every vehicle operator needs to pay attention to traffic, both pedestrian and on wheels…there’s no excuse for anybody driving to not pay attention to other people around their cars, motorcycles or bicycles. Driving while distracted is still a prosecutable offense!!!

  • Chuck R.

    Bicyclists are never going to stop at stop signs/stop lights until the police start issuing tickets. How about making license plates large enough so that cameras can capture their images just like on automobiles!

    • IMTreble

      AMEN TO THE LICENSE PLATES! They should also have to carry liability insurance!

  • Hate 'em all

    How about banning the s.o.b’s?

    • miranda

      Banning cars in SF? Sure!

    • FlexSF

      Republicans? Yes!

  • A Biker, Driver, and Ped

    As a biker AND pedestrian, I’ve gotta say, this is disappointing and saddening news. It’s irks me knowing that so many bikers (and cars) out there don’t abide by traffic laws. We have wheels, too, just like cars. But not enough of us realize it.

    My heart goes out to the victim and her family. And I hope that biker (and all other ignorant types) rides with much more care and consideration for the other people we share the roads with.

  • Brandon

    I ride my bike or drive on the Embarcadero almost every day. I’ve seen bikes fly through red lights, I’ve seen pedstrians walk in front of bikes when they shouldn’t be crossing the street, I’ve seen motorcycles in the bike lane, I’ve seen cars make last minute right hand turns without turn signals and not even looking at the bicyclist they almost killed and I’ve almost gotten into accidents with other bikes! It’s not JUST the pedestirans or JUST the bike or JUST the cars. It’s the idiots who don’t obey traffic laws. Traffic laws are there to make your behavior on the road pedictable so there are no accidents. Please direct your hate to idiots, not based on what vehicle they happen to be piloting at that time. Thanks.

    • Stewgee60


      You are spot on. I too am a bike rider and have to admit that I have run some red lights only when it was safe to do. Again, I admit may not be the smartest thing to do. However, I have almost crashed several times avoiding a pedestrian who crossed the street against a red light. I have seen this happen too often. In our hurried lives, we all need to slow down and pay attention. It’s better to get to our destination safely then to not get there at all!!!

  • Lexie

    I’ve never seen a cyclist respect a light or stop sign. When I am driving my car I make my legal stop and have to stop again in the middle because of the cyclists that just continue. This is not fair, we need a law so that they learn to respect the traffic signals and so that accidents like this one can be prevented. Whenever there’s a car and bike accident the driver from the car is at fault when sometimes it’s the cyclists fault. We all need to respect the laws.

    • Marker

      What we really need is for all the large butted drivers of over-sized, over-weighted, over-engineered death-traps to stop buzzing around the City at the drop of a hat. Cyclists dearly deserve to be given the breaks the Police Deptartment usually give them (although probably under duress!) We are the only only ones who come close to transporting ourselves more than a few blocks without massively polluting the atmosphere and the physical space of the City.

      While accidents are always tragic… DO NOT use this story as your venue to vent your pent-up frustration with bicyclists! Far, far, far more damage is done (in many ways) by your motor vehicles then by 30 pound bikes!

      • Chris

        I would pull you out of your car and beat you to a pulp. We are usually in much, much better shape.

      • Marker

        And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Dennis has honestly articulated the precise sentiment, held by more than a few drivers. After 15 years of daily commute cycling in the City, I have encountered more than a few Dennis’s. So if you ever find yourself, in a thoughtful mood, wondering “how do these cyclists get SO angry, so pushy?”… now you know.

        Cyclists WORK for their commute. We get from point A to point B in the City, generally faster than a car (and far faster than MUNI), without putting a single gram of pollution in the air and while taking up far less physical space. We also stay healthier for the physical exercise. THAT is the reason local government is, ploddingly, trying to make biking safer and more attractive. We may not be morally superior as human beings, but our mode of transportation (in a city at least) IS.

        But to Dennis, and the other bullies out there, I’ll say: bring it on. I cowered for a year or two when first faced wih a**holes trying to use their vehicles as weapons. Then I found some tactics of my own…

      • DW

        Here we have it ladies and gentleman; the definition of elitist bicycle rider, who thinks just because their bicycle makes less pollution, they are entitled to be an a-hole to anyone else they come across.

        So what about us pedestrians that work hard to get to our jobs too, Marker? Does that mean we should just stand back and let ourselves be terrorized by a-holes on bicycles because they aren’t polluting? I guarantee less pollution was created making my shoes than was your bicycle.

        As a pedestrian who walks to work, I’ve had more bicyclists nearly run me over by far than cars ever have. I’ve had to avoid maybe 1 car to every 30 bicyclists I’ve had to jump out of the way of when they blew a light or stop sign or were riding on the sidewalk.

      • Dennis

        “Far, far, far more damage is done (in many ways) by your motor vehicles then by 30 pound bikes!” , so very true. As a “large butted driver” myself, I can attest to the fact that your 30 pound toy will never stand a chance against my two-thousand pound “over-sized, over-weighted, over-engineered death-trap” if our paths should ever cross and I decide not to brake. If/when such an event were to occur, there is always the trusty “officer, it happened so fast I’m not sure what happened” claim. Works every time. Thank god for blind spots and sun glare.

      • Sundance

        So Marker I see you’re using this story as a venue to vent your pent-up frustration with over sized, over weighted, over engineered death traps as you call them. Heed your own advice
        But I do agree with you about the over sized vehicles you refer to,

  • FlexSF

    Poor woman, I hope she can get back everything she has lost. The bicyclist should get a chiropractic adjustment too. He may have suffered a subluxation in his spine. This is horrible for everyone.

    • DW

      The bicyclists should get a chiropractic adjustment from his cellmate…

  • JaneQPublic

    As a driver, I stay OUT of bike lanes and proactively keep an eye out for bicyclists because they aARE so vulnerable in a car/bike collision. Nonetheless, far too many of them ride like lawless a$$holes – weaving in and out of traffic, not signaling, and ESPECIALLY not stopping for red lights OR stop signs. They get soooo self-rightious about not driving a car that they act like they are EXEMPT from traffic laws.

    IF the bike rider in this present case is found at fault, he/she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He may have just KILLED someone – certainly the injured pedestrian has had HER life totally – and painfully – changed. Only full prosecution will make ANY impression on the jerks who endanger others with their two-wheeled recklessness.

  • D

    As a road cyclist and law enforcement officer who obeys traffic laws, I hate seeing these idiots blow right past me through red lights. Drivers are another story, and are more dangerous than bikes but seeing fools like this blow the image of cyclists who work hard to tie the motor and cycling community together. I hope he gets fully prosecuted allowed by law.

  • Andrew Prager

    No matter what bikers say, the percentage of bikers breaking traffic laws is MUCH higher than cars breaking traffic laws. The only reason why it seems more car drivers break law is simply because there are more of them. But I guarantee out of 100 cars only 1-2% of cars will totally blow (as in go in a middle of a red light) a complete red light in 1 day, but I bet you out of 100 bikers almost 75% of them will completely blow at least 1 red light in 1 day of biking.

    • matt

      bikies to cars. ratio wise there are way more cars. there are more people who speed in cars than bikes which last i looked is an offense and cars are required to stop fully as well. there are many cars that do the california roll. we are all guilty of not wanting to be held back. people just need to pay attention.

  • KC

    I use to ride a lot, got hit by a car running a stop sign..sort of changed my enjoyment with riding. Bicyclists aren’t allowed on many sidewalks, if going through a crosswalk they are suppose to walk their bikes; if on the road they are required to stop at stop signs at lights FULLY and they are required to signal, make turns from turn lanes.
    Just yesterday morning I came to a stop sign, stopped fully when a woman on a bike came along in a left turn lane and she did signal, but she blew right through that stop sign, not even a hint of slowing down.. lucky for her I didn’t hit the gas harder.. I was already in the intersection when she came upon it.

  • John

    The comments here are better than the news coverage. I would like to see more emphasis that bicyclists are required by law obey the California Motor Vehicle Code unless they are dismounted and walking their bikes. I’m a motorist and also a bicyclist, and it annoys me to see so many idiots on bicycles making us serious cyclists look bad, and endangering themselves and others by breaking the law of which they are completely ignorant.

  • zaq

    People who ride bikes are a danger to themsalves and the community.

  • bob

    Dang, you are stupid.”THEY WANT EQUAL USE OF ROADWAYS but PAY NOTHING AND ABUSE US ALL…” We all pay for roadways and cars tear them up. Too bad these mean ole bikers abuse you as you drive your metal coffin around.’

    • miranda

      Yep we pay nothing for our zero emissions. OH wait what do my taxes go for?

  • John C

    I think the city needs to rethink this bike thing. They take way parking spaces to make bike lanes. You are correct they don’t pay any fees for these bike lanes. I have yet to see one bike stop at any of the stop signs on Page St. between Divisadero and Octavia.

    I find it funny how almost every bike rider says “I don’t stop at red lights when it’s SAFE FOR ME”. What about Safe for the rest of us.

    I also find it funny how they almost always say a car ran into them. Okay If I’m driving down the road. You are in the bike lane. I pass you and see you at least 75 feet behind me in my rearview mirror put on my blinker to make a right turn, go to make my right turn have to stop for a person crossing the street what makes you think you should pass me on the right side? Once again the last time I checked you are not allowed to pass on the right side.

    I say TAX them. Make them get a license, insurance and registration.

    • Alex W

      Well said. The “Do as I say, don’t do as I do” mentality of the bicyclist in SF make me mental. If local law enforcement were to crack down on these people blowing red lights, stop signs and such and FINE them as actively as they do motor vehicles, the city would find itself a HUGE new source of revenue. (I have been struck 4 times this year alone by someone failing to stop, or even slow down as they blow a redlight/stop sign). just because it’s 30lbs doesn’t mean at speed you cant hurt or kill someone!

    • SF Cyclist

      This is probably the most common and infuriating situation for cyclists. Why not just stay behind the cyclist for that 75 feet, you idiot! How much time did you save by zooming past the cycle, only to be inevitably stopped at the intersection.

  • matt

    the video says she was 60. the article says 40’s. now it is gonna suck to ride for the next few days. everyone is gonna be on edge. but I wonder how many people die in car accidents each year, as opposed to bikes. its about riding smartly and looking where you are going. RIDE A FIXIE

    • Matt

      If that was your mom or sister, I doubt you’d be so cavalier, you jerk..

  • flinnte

    My car was hit by a bicyclist when the car was PARKED! It seems in my opinion that few bicyclists act as if they are a vehicle, which they are. This bicyclist hit my car, hurt herself and the police said would be at fault because she passed on the right.

    Things like critical mass give bicyclists some kind of special rights, which they don’t have in the law. I’m going to start a road rally in SF, once a month, let’s get all the cars in a caravan and drive around the city, not stop at lights, block intersections for 20 minutes, just to show everyone the power we have. Maybe we’ll get a police escort too?

    • SF Cyclist

      From your description, it seems that you were double-parked. You are a dope.

      • flinnte

        Sorry no, I was legally parked at a meter. A cab stopped to let someone out, the bike went around the cab on the right, misjudged the width and plowed into my LEGALLY PARKED car. Did about $2,500 in damage, not to mention her own medical bills, she went flying and yes, I called the ambulance for her.

    • gg1960

      Sounds like every evening in downtown SF. Good luck with that….

  • oldfart

    I got a dollar that says before the stupidvisor take any action to stop bikes from running red lights, they write an ordinance making cyclist a protective class free from getting tickets and obeying the law.

  • Daily Biker

    As a daily bike commuter on the Embarcadero I too have seen it all, bikes running red lights, cars not yielding to bikes in the bike lane, and of course the pedestrians, most of whom just got off a ferry, hurrying to work, oblivious to the traffic in front of them. At anytime somebody is not paying attention and abiding by the laws. It was a sad event and this news story certainly didn’t help in a productive manner, but rather added fuel to a fire.
    Personally, I ride on the sidewalk along the Embarcadero as I find it safer to be with pedestrians than with cars. From what I understand it is perfectly legal to do so since it is considered a Promenade, which is a shared path. The story said it was illegal to be on the sidewalk, but does that apply to this stretch? Anyone know the truth here? Mr. news reporter- can you get the facts straight?

    • D

      California CVC code states that a bicycle is a vehicle, and riding on a sidewalk is illegal. Of course, there’s common sense in riding on a sidewalk, riding in a slow and safe manner and not barging pedestrians out of your way, but that’s another issue.

      • miranda

        Actually D some paths and promenades are multi-use in San Francisco. BUT the cyclists should YIELD to pedestrians and not go at unsafe speeds.

  • David

    As someone who has had repeated experiences with negligent bicycle riders, I’m pretty much fed up with them and think they ought to be licensed and required to carry liability insurance. Once, when I nearly hit one of them who darted into the crosswalk out of nowhere, I was told that “pedestrains have the right of way”. I replied, “you moron, you are NOT a pedestrian.” They seem to have this system of rules and laws that rely on hearsay. The City needs to get serious about enforcing traffic laws for bicyclists. How about $500 fines for running stop signs and red lights, same as for automobiles?

  • Matthew

    People on bikes are jerks. Always have been, always will, I guess..

    • miranda

      Wow Matthew are you a racist too?

  • mikey

    I walk everywhere. Drivers of 4X4’s are much morre careful than bike riders.

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