SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Bicyclists in San Francisco are coming under the microscope when it comes to obeying the rules of the road after one hit and killed a pedestrian last month.

On the morning of July 15, Dionette Cherney, who was visiting from Washington D.C., was in the crosswalk at Mission Street and The Embarcadero when she was run over by a bicyclist.

KCBS’ Mike Sugerman Reports:

The 68-year-old died from her injuries earlier this month. Charles Jennings was at the scene and watched as Cherney flew through the air.

“A bicyclist passed right by me very fast. I saw the bicyclist and the minute he went past my passenger side, the first thing I thought is that’s not cool,” Jennings said. “(After she was hit) There was a pool of blood that was already coming out from behind her head and she had deep, heavy breathing.”

Jennings said it was an unfortunate incident that didn’t have to happen.

“Who gave him the right to go flying through the red light, seeing pedestrians in the crosswalk and then to just treat them like they were something in the road, not a person,” he said. “To be that careless and to take the life of that woman.”

The District Attorney’s Office now has the case, but the cyclist has yet to be charged.

Bike messenger Kelly Ray said he feels that more cyclists are trying to obey the rules since the incident, even though KCBS’ Mike Sugerman caught him running a red light.

“I don’t stop. I move and maneuver. I’m always constantly aware of open space,” Ray said. “I’m aware of people and am always looking. I have a very heightened sense of awareness.”

Ray said it goes both ways as there are far more incidents in which a pedestrian or cyclist gets run over by a vehicle.

“You don’t hear everyday in the news about how many people get hammered in a crosswalk by a vehicle and that happens all the time,” he said.

In fact, 800 times in the past year, cars hit pedestrians in San Francisco. That’s compared to an average of 35 times a year when a bicyclist hits a pedestrian.

You can hear Mike Sugerman’s About the Bay reports on Mondays at 6:40am, 7:40am and 8:40am on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Ben says:

    Cycling is the new skateboarding. The overwhelming numbers of people are furious over the chronic incivility and safety risks from cycling. Not to mention the disruption and disproportionate amount of public transportation money spent on accommodating a small number of cyclists.

  2. Equal Wheels says:

    The whole point is that the traffic laws are already in place. It’s simply that they are not being enforced. You don’t keep an employee from stealing from the register by looking the other way. Cyclists have learned this behavior is acceptable. Go to the Facebook Group page called Equal Wheels to hear more about this from both sides.

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