Friday, October 16, 2009

Seen While Biking: Crosswalks for Vehicles

Every school day this is how it goes: parents and/or guardians drop off and pick up kids at San Francisco Day School (SFDS) on Golden Gate between Masonic and Central. The vehicular line-up often fills Golden Gate, extends up Central, and onto Turk Street. Many motorists are aware that they should not idle astride crosswalks, especially when the SFDS monitor stands at the corner. Others are apparently oblivious to the idea that they are waiting to pick up their own kids while blocking someone else's kids from safely crossing the street.

SFDS has improved the situation immensely during the last few years. The school instituted more vigilant monitoring of the line-up with crossing guards at the intersections, staggered times for kids leaving school, and reminding parents to be more considerate and more safety-minded. But the waiting motorists continue to block the bike lane and too often straddle the crosswalks. Pedestrians must walk into the street which is overly congested with the queue of waiting motorists. And bicyclists: forget the bike lane on that side of the block; its full of vehicles.

The situation is better than it was before, but if you're a parent, a kid, or even simply a neighbor who wants to cross the street using the crosswalk, "better" falls short of safe enough.

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