Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SFPD Park Station Cites 8 Motorists in Pedestrian Stings at Fell and Masonic, 6 at Stanyan and Parnassus

Green light for cyclists and pedestrians; not for motorists pushing through

Fell & Masonic: an intersection needing "bad rep" for frequent pedestrian stings

How many citations does it take for an intersection to get a bad reputation among motorists prone to invade the right-of-way of pedestrians and bicyclists? SFPD Park Station Captain Teresa Barrett admitted she didn't know the answer, but she is willing to get the count started. Last week a special SFPD Task Force -- plainclothes and motorcycle officers -- set up pedestrian stings at two intersections in the Park Station district and issued fourteen citations for the offense.

The special operation issued citations to eight motorists at Fell and Masonic and another six at Stanyan and Parnassus for the all-too-common occurrence in the city: not yielding to pedestrians, cutting in front of pedestrians, threatening to "push" slow-walking users of the crosswalk on their way. The two intersections are among several that are being targeted for both the failure-to-yield offense and red light running. The previous week Park Station officers issued another 14 citations to motorists running the red on Fell and ignoring the red for the left turn lane onto Masonic. The Task Force is a joint initiative with SFPD Northern Station to respond to mounting complaints about risky intersections. The Fell and Masonic location continues to see frequent hazardous driving.

The Fell and Masonic intersection will likely require far more than periodic stings and a few dozen citations to establish a law-abiding norm -- or simply fear of fines -- among motorists who rush the lights and push into the crosswalks. No one should hesitate to report dangerous incidents to SFPD; thank them for current enforcement while encouraging a regular, sustained focus. NOPA area residents can address Captain Barrett, or her representative, directly at the next NOPNA neighborhood meeting on March 18th.

To report crosswalk incidents or red light running:
call SFPD at (415) 553-0123 (for non-emergencies)
contact SFPD Park Station directly at (415) 242-3000

North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association (NOPNA)
Next general meeting:
Thursday, March 18th, 7 pm: meet and greet; 7:30 meeting begins and continues until 9 pm
Jannah Restaurant (arrive early for drinks or dinner)
1775 Fulton Street (between Central and Masonic, across from Lucky's)


  1. 8 citations? How long were they there? 10 minutes? I've never crossed that intersection without seeing at least 1 car violating the pedestrian / cyclist right of way.

    Oh, and can you delete that spam comment above me?

  2. @lyqwyd: The SFPD Captain is aware that violations occur frequently there. SFPD wants motorists to know that that specific intersection is under surveillance without providing the actual times of day and days of week officers will be out there. A new year-long, city-wide pedestrian safety program has also just been announced(check Streetsblog today or see tomorrow's post here).

  3. @Mike, I know, and I'm glad they are doing something, it's just frustrating to see such low numbers, knowing how long this has been going on and how dangerous that intersection is (and Fell and Masonic in general).

    I worry that this will be like most other operations where they focus on a certain area for a few weeks, get some press, and then disappear and everything goes back to the way it was.

  4. @lqqwd: I share the same concern; I think we all need to be vigilant in our support of what SFPD Park Station is doing and also in our push to keep it going until there is no need (and collisions become rare). Today I was there again and walked behind 10 cyclists crossing the lane; I was on foot; one driver started to push through, stopped, and when I told him he had a red light, he held up his hands like he didnt know -- and then continued thru after I passed with another driver following him -- both of them still against the red light. Let's chat more offline: .

  5. They needn't go any further than the driveway exiting the Park Branch of the police department to do a sting. I've never seen a vehicle stop appropriately (at the posted stop sign before the ped/bike path) coming out and have almost been hit many times.

  6. @Tom: please do call Park Station and alert them to this problem and I will do the same. (415)242-3000.