SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – An elderly man was critically hurt crossing the street near the intersection of Castro and Market after a bicyclist ran a red light, San Francisco police said.

The light had just changed as a 73-year-old man stepped into the crosswalk and the bicyclist entered the intersection traveling downhill fast on the southbound side of Castro Street, said San Francisco Police Department Capt. Al Casciato.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Casciato said the pedestrian was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and the male cyclist also had injuries that required hospitalization.

Early Thursday afternoon, police issued a statement saying the elderly pedestrian was in a non-life threatening condition.

“The bicyclist, we know, has some type of injuries to the shoulder and possibly head. I don’t know if he had a helmet on at the time,” Casciato said.

Both were taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital.

The crash was reported to authorities at 8:09 a.m.


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(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (41)
  1. MK says:

    Bikers in SF routinely ignore traffic laws. Red lights mean nothing to them.

    1. neil hart says:

      Ray V. was too generous on tonight’s news cast by saying most bicyclists follow traffic laws. It is totally a wrong statement. Most bicylists dont follow traffic rules. They run stop lights and stop signs. Until the police start enforcing traffic regulations for bicylists this will not change. They need to be given tickets. The bicycle coalition needs to support this initiative or else the culture will never change. I walk everywhere and I find bikers on sidewalks, cross walks and running lights and stop signs all the time. When I drive I am amazed by bikers that don’t wear helmets, dress in black, have bikes without reflectors or lights. This culture has to stop and the Bike Coalition has to suppor this educational inititative. The Bike Coalition won bike lanes, but bikers now feel empowered to break the law. Tonight’s unfortunate accident is not an odd incident. It will become part of a trend. A friend returned from LA and told me the bikers stop at lights and signs. I have images from Germany and the Netherlands where bikers stop at lights without traffic in any direction. They obey traffic laws over there. My Dutch friends told me if they dont they will receive a 70 Euro fine. The biker culture in SF has to change

    2. Kaleb says:

      Agreed. I know CBS5 doesn’t want to call out SF bicyclists, but it’s completely untrue that most abide by traffic laws.

      CBS5 needs to do an undercover report where they watch bicyclists at an intersection. I guarantee over 80% will not obey red lights/stop signs.

  2. prinzrob says:

    Although it may be the case, I don’t see anything in this article about the cyclist running a red light. It is just as likely that the pedestrian stepped into traffic without looking, which also happens constantly in the city.

    1. kiddo young says:

      Are you kidding me? What article did YOU read (or not read), because it’s stated in the very first paragraph.

      “An elderly man was critically injured crossing the street near the intersection of Castro and Market after a bicyclist ran a red light, San Francisco police said.”

      How did you miss that?

      1. prinzrob says:

        Looks like the article was updated at 10:01am with that information. When I posted before 10am the article did not include those details.

    2. Ken Howard says:

      Of course let’s blame the pedestrian. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been nearly run over while IN THE CROSSWALK. Let’s not even mention how many bikes are STILL on the sidewalks in clear violation of the law.

      1. Prinzrob says:

        I suggested no such thing. I simply believe I reserving judgement until the facts are in. Crazy, I know…

      2. Ken Howard says:

        Seems pretty clear to me – the uncaring cyclist ran ove some old guy in the crosswalk AND ran the red light because he did not want to stop.

        Can’t get any clearer. No excuses for this cyclist.

      3. Prinzrob says:

        Please read the comments just above your own before replying. The original comment I made, that you responded to, was posted before any of the details regarding fault were added to the story. At the time I first commented, the only information provided was that a bike/ped collision happened near Market and Castro, nothing else.

        As far as I can tell from the most recent updates, the red-light running aspect of the crash was provided by witnesses, but still has not been confirmed by the SFPD, so there are still plenty of good reasons to stay neutral on this story.

      4. Ken Howard says:

        You were not (and are not) neutral. Your opinions supported the bicyclist at every turn.

      5. Prinzrob says:

        Citation please?

        Sometimes one’s own bias makes a neutral position appear to favor one side or the other. Again, I reserve judgement on this case until the police issue an official statement. I don’t know what else you can call that.

      6. Ken Howard says:

        If you follow the news you would have noted that the fine for riding a bicycle (or skateboard for that matter) has been raised to $100.00. I will not do your homework for you. Look it up.

      7. prinzrob says:

        I assume you are talking about the recently raised fine for sidewalk cycling, which I wasn’t referring to but it is worth mentioning that before voting or it even the SFMTA board members questioned whether violations were enough of a problem to warrant the increase.

        My “citation please” comment was in reference to a perceived lack of neutrality, as you had previously accused me of taking sides in this case and I assert that I have specifically avoided doing so.

  3. cynicalpeaches says:

    CBS San Francisco news articles are often updated after the first reader comments are posted. Unfortunately, that isn’t something which people are likely to notice, and I’ve seen abusive replies on this site which wouldn’t have been written if readers had looked at the time stamps.

    All children, teenagers and adults should be alert to these details and continue to develop their critical thinking skills. We can’t be well informed unless we know how to use our heads.

  4. Aged Whiskey says:

    I ride bicycles and I do not appreciate many riders lack of regard for the rules and or common sense!! That being said, pedestrians are terrible!! They have a responsibility, too!! Just because you have the right of way, doesn’t mean you can’t use some common decency in certain situations and be an active factor in your own safety!! You can be “dead right”, but what difference is that going to make?

    1. Stan says:

      Aged Whiskey you sound like a motorist. Fact is the pedestrian did not hit the bike. Bikes, like cars, must head to pedestrians regardless. There is no compromise.

    2. Ken Howard says:

      It is going to make a great deal of difference when you bike riders start getting sued for the injuries you cause. If a pedestrian has the right of way that means YOU DON’T. So you have to stop and wait til the pedestrian clears the crosswalk. Deal with it. It is the law.

  5. Pal says:

    These idiots run red lights and stop signs more than idiot car drivers! Plus advantage bike dude with helmet not innocent pedistrian.

  6. TheZip says:

    You may be in the right “from here to eternity”, but that doesn’t mean if you don’t want to get hurt or dead you don’t have to pay attention to what is going on around you.

    I may have all the green lights in word but if I’m on foot, or bike or a car I’m not going to enter an intersection if a tractor trailer is blowing the red light. And I AM GOING to check. I’m not interested in waking up dead.

    People have this really bad habit of claiming “I have the right of way”. In fact that is NEVER true. Read the vehicle code. It only states who “MUST YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY”. And even if it did give the right of way that won’t prevent you from waking up dead.

  7. NoHateSF says:

    Best place to count bikers running stop signs: Waller and Steiner Streets. Amazing how many times they nearly hit, and still manage to “filp-off” each other, not to mention pedestrians or cars!

  8. NoHateSF says:

    I actually saw two bikers BOTH running stop signs at theWaller and Steiner intersection collide and go down! Talk about karma! Yes, it brought a smile to my face, having to navigate this intersection repeatedly all day to get home.

  9. Gorgar says:

    This “reporting” is garbage. Believe me, if you are going to walk into intersections without looking , you’re a lot more likely to be crushed by a motor vehicle than a bicycle. Happens every day. And as bad as bicycle riders in the city are, they only seriously injure someone about twice a year. Keep things in perspective and quit so much petty hating. Learn to ride your bike safely.

  10. proud_bay_man says:

    You want to see how bicyclists are, stand at Duboce and Sanchez Streets for ten minutes. I’ll be surprised if you see 1 stop at the stop sign that entire time. Heck, stand there for an hour, and your still might see the same 1 stop.

  11. JaneQPublic says:

    SFPD needs to START ISSUING HEFTY CITATIONS to bicyclists who break traffic laws! AND cofiscate their damn bikes! I USED to be sympathetic to bicyclists but not after seeing MOST – not some, but MOST – of them riding on sidewalks, weaving in and out of traffic ( especially with NO signal or a way-too-short signal), totally ignoring stop signs, red lights and plain courtesy. These guys are HAZARDOUS to pedestrians, vehicular traffic AND themselves.


    1. Matt says:

      Jane: Absolutely…

      But remember – the cyclists in this town are considered a “constituency” come election time, so we wouldn’t want to make them too angry, would we ?

  12. BG says:

    If bicycles are considered vehicles and SF grants them the same rights to the roads as motor vehicles, Adult Bicyclists (18 years and over) should be required to register their vehicles, carry vehicular insurance for property damage and personal liability like other vehicle owners and operators.
    If hit and injured or smashed into what other protections does anyone have?

    1. Prinzrob says:

      Bicycles are not considered vehicles in the CVC, but cyclists are considered drivers. This means that all of the laws apply except in places where the CVC calls out motor vehicles, like for requirements such as windshield wipers. And by the way, this bicyclist-as-driver stipulation was only enacted to make it possible to ban bikes from the sidewalk in certain cities/jurisdiction, and because most cities don’t want to bother with building safe, extensive, and well designed bicycle infrastructure. Instead they just say “bike in the street like a car” without bothering to educate both the car drivers and the cyclists on what they need to do to be safe around each other.

      In the vast majority of bike collisions the injured party is the cyclist, so while it might be reasonable for a cyclist to choose to carry insurance, bike-caused injuries to pedestrians are still such a statistically insignificant occurrence that nobody is scrambling to enact legislation and expensive infrastructure to protect people from such a rare event.

      As for bike registration, this requirement used to be a lot more common but most police departments around the country have decided to end their programs over time because they were determined to be a money-sink with no tangible benefit to the community. If we were to start one up again in SF we would have to figure out both how to pay for and implement the program, determine if it would even be legal, and then spend a lot more money cracking down on the bike theft problem in the city. I think that most of the people asking for this would also scoff at the amount of money required to implement it, especially with so little social return on the investment.

  13. Ken Howard says:

    Course he won’t see any charges – like the other one on the Embarcadero, he got off way too light. Bout time the riders in this city learn that they are not protected and coddled and have the same responsibilities as the car drivers they so vehemently flip off. That means stay off the damned sidewalks, obey traffic laws. Definitely SFPD should be making it a priority to ticket these fools, and with multiple violations confiscate the bikes. Make them pay registration fees. Learn responsibility – just because the Bicycle Coalition seems to think it wags the dog in this city does not mean it actually does. Maybe if someone of consequence is injured or killed these pampered people might end up paying for their actions.

    1. Prinzrob says:

      Randolph Ang received significant community service and probation in lieu of jail time based on the specific request of the family of the deceased, in part because he took responsibility for his actions and showed significant remorse. The original sentence that was considered did include significant jail time. If you compare this to so many other fatalities caused by car drivers who either leave the scene (about 1/4 are hit and runs), were intoxicated or using a phone illegally, refuse to take responsibility or show any remorse, or are repeat offenders, but still receive no jail time and retain their licenses to drive, I don’t think we can logically come to the conclusion that cyclists are getting off any easier.

      I am all for increasing penalties across the board for both motorists and cyclists found responsible for injury collisions or fatalities, and to make losing one’s drivers license a legal possibility in many of these cases. Most judges are not cyclists so they are more likely to be biased against them without realizing it, which is the same reason why this and other stories about cyclist-caused injuries and fatalities get so much attention in the media while most of the more common motorist-caused ones are swept under the rug, unnoticed.

      1. Ken Howard says:

        Oh please. Some community service and probation for KILLING SOMEONE? The only reason the family agreed is to put it behind them, not because the rider did a tears for the cameras moment. Sorry to break your bubble, but unless it’s a first offense, most hit and runs, DUI deaths, etc. are given significant jail time. Texting while driving is becoming the same thing, zero tolerance.

        The cyclist groups are who are sweeping things under the rug, always quick to blame the pedestrian or motorist for the accident. These people need to learn and fast that they do not rule the roads.

      2. Prinzrob says:

        “unless it’s a first offense, most hit and runs, DUI deaths, etc. are given significant jail time”
        I’m sorry, but this is a popularly-believed myth, one that I’ve become all too familiar with after following the results of traffic fatality and injury cases for years. Violence when caused behind the wheel of a car consistently receives lighter sentences than similar violence caused by any other means. That’s where the legal joke “If you want to kill someone make sure you do it with a car” comes from. It seems that car drivers are regularly given every excuse in the book to be resolved of guilt or have their sentences lightened.

        Also, since the Embarcadero fatality was Randolph Ang’s first offense then are you saying that his sentence was appropriate by your supposed standards for car drivers?

      3. Ken Howard says:

        Work in the law do you? I’m a paralegal with over 10 years experience. That experience gives me the chops to call BS on yorur comment.

        Fatalities, even with a first offense, are not given short shrift for automobile drivers. Sorry to again burst yer bubble.

        DUI deaths get jail time. Lots of jail time. So do hit and run deaths. Get facts befure you spread your BS.

      4. Prinzrob says:

        “The cyclist groups are who are sweeping things under the rug”

        There were 13 pedestrian fatalities in SF in 2011, one of them caused by a cyclist. Do we remember anything about the other 12? Cyclist groups are the only ones doing anything about bike safety education in this city, I think they can hardly be blamed for not caring about collisions and the reinforcement of negative stereotypes.

        And yes, it is append that you work in law based on your selective interpretation of my previous comments to fit your own narrative.

      5. Ken Howard says:

        Cyclists are doing nothing relative to pedestrian/bike safety other than to tell pedestrians to get out of their way, even if they are legally in a crosswalk. Of course there is also the yelling, flipping us off, etc. they do as well. The other “safety” things they are doing relative to education is to assume that they own the roads, all traffic should yield to a bicycle, no matter what the rider is doing. Nice. At least your viewpoint is now clear.

  14. Joan says:

    I used to cross Folsom St at 4th Street and both Folsom and 4th have green WALK signs at the same time, but the lights are red. Cyclists invariably would cross 4th Street on the green walk sign, which means they were going against the traffic lights. How many times did they almost run into me while I was in the crosswalk? I contacted SFPD but of course never heard back. If a car went thru the red light as the bicycle did, it WOULD hit a pedestrian. I also see stupid pedestrians crossing against the red light when there are 11 seconds left. My life is worth the 11 second wait for a green light or walk signal. You don’t know when a car will come around a corner when you thought it was clear. It’s just stupid to not abide by the traffic signals. They are there for a reason.

  15. John says:

    Bikes, cars are no different. You see a yellow light – you floor it to pass and hope it’s not red. What you really are supposed to do is STOP. The fool was speeding and needs to be thrown in jail for plowing through a bunch of pedestrials in the crosswalk. Last time I read the driving law books – the pedestrial has the right of way – even if they are j walking. Any fool knows that. He needs to do jail time.

  16. Linda f says:

    Filbert & Grant, Union & Grant
    Everyday cyclist go against the one way traffic from the top of Grant Ave at Greenwich St, barreling down Grant Ave, disregarding all traffic signs. It is dangerous for pedestrians as well as drivers.

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