San Franciscans join international Ride of Silence to honor fallen cyclists

First stop on the Ride of Silence as at 11th and Division streets, where 78-year-old Cheng Jin Lai was killed in November.
Steven T. Jones

Nearly 100 San Francisco bicyclists joined thousands of pedal-powered citizens from more than 300 cities around the world yesterday [Wed/21] evening for the Ride of Silence, honoring cyclists killed by motorists by riding to the collision spots to leave flowers and signs noting their deaths.

The event started in Dallas in 2003 and it has grown into a global phenomenon in an age when global warming, air pollution, and a mounting death toll have done little to change the dynamics on city streets, where bad design, impatient attitudes, and biased law enforcment continue to give a pass to dangerous, automobile-centered conditions.

San Francisco’s ride came at a particularly poignant moment following a year when a modern record-tying four cyclists were killed by drivers in San Francisco last year: Dylan Mitchell, Diana Sullivan, Cheng Jin Lai, and Amelie Le Moullac. None of their killers faced criminal charges, with the District Attorney’s Office deciding just last week not to charge the delivery truck driver who ran over 24-year-old Le Moullac, despite high-profile attention on the case and a recommendation of criminal charges by the San Francisco Police Department.

Local Ride of Silence organizers Devon Warner and Robin Wheelwright called for greater public awareness of cyclists on the roadways and for drivers to slow down and drive carefully — particularly the commercial vehicle drivers who are responsible for 66 percent of the 34 cyclist fatalities in San Francisco since 2007.

“These are precious humans who are no longer with us, and we want to advocate for change,” Wheelwright said during a pre-ride presentation in the basement at Sports Basement.  

Also speaking at the event was Karen Allen, the mother of Derek Allen, a 22-year-old San Franciscan who was run over and killed by a Muni bus on Oct. 7, 2010. “I’m so honored to be here tonight. I’m honored by the people who put this together,” Allen said.

Escorted by a phalanx of 15 SFPD motorcycle cops, who Wheelwright told us had been tasked for the occasion by an officer who supports cyclists and had heard about the event, the mass of cyclists rode through SoMa, the Mission District, and the mid-Market area to make more than a half-dozen stops honoring fallen cyclists, including some where memorial bicycles or other signage already marked what had happened there. 


killed pedestrians in SF in the last three years?

Those two cases were much more clear and winnable than the Amelie accident.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

If you want to claim I was "screaming" against those prosecutions in these pages, you ought to be able to actually cite a comment of mine to that effect--but you can't. On the other hand, I have been universally in favor of prosecution of motor vehicle drivers who cause by far the greater number of deaths and injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians on The City's streets.

Bucchere was almost certainly riding too fast--and to be sure his post-accident commentary put him in a bad light--but he might have actually entered the intersection while he still had a green light.

In both cases the DA agreed to plea bargains rather than press for convictions on the original charges.

It appears the DA is slanted towards prosecuting bicyclists and away from going after deadly motor vehicle drivers.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

He never said you were screaming AGAINST those prosecutions. He said you were never screaming FOR them in the same way that you are with Amelie.

Which is weird because the case against those two cyclists was much stronger than against the driver who hit Amelie.

But of course you don't really care about justice. You care about your side winning.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

You and your ilk were strongly in favor of those prosecutions even though they were remarkable inasmuch as most vehicle-pedestrian collisions are called "tragic accidents" and not prosecuted.

The case against the driver who hit Amelie Le Moullac will become clear when it is tried in civil court. The result of the civil trial will open the DA's behavior to further examination.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

civil and criminal court. It's pathetic.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

criminal cases?

Easy to see why Lilli has no success, power, or wealth.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 11:48 am

It's sad that lilli is using his White Privilege to advocate that a colored person of color be railroaded for a nonexistent crime, purely to satisfy lilli's bloodlust.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 10:32 am

it helps him further one of his prejudices.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 11:50 am

No wife or girlfriend
No kids
Rents a ratty flat and clings to his rent control
No friends
Trolls 24/7 and has been banned from multiple websites

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2014 @ 4:56 am

"impressive" than you do. And of course they actually saw the evidence, while you did not, and therefore do not know what you are talking about.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 3:29 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

You are just speculating wildly with no evidence to back it up?

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

You held up needed infrastructure. I hope you lay up at night feeling remorse for the lives lost due to your lawsuit.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 28, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

The Chronicle has an article that says that last night a cyclist ran a stop sign and plowed into an SUV. The cyclist was taken to SF Gen with life-threatening injuries. Lilli's going to claim that this is all a conspiracy by the SFPD and the Chron to put the blame on the cyclist and protect the evil SUV driver who lives in Pac Heights.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

cannot be measured. His prejudice and bias would ensure his not being selected.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 3:17 pm

Anything is possible. Bikes run can into SUVs--and they might even be in the wrong--but the "report" from the police is that the bicyclist was injured on Sunday after colliding with a sport utility vehicle as the woman was pulling into her garage.

Perhaps the woman did nothing wrong and the bicyclist actually did run a stop sign and plow into her; but nonetheless it occurs to me to wonder if she isn't one of the many idiot drivers who for no good reason swings in the opposite direction just before turning, thus giving misleading "body language" to other road users.

Yes, perhaps the woman did nothing wrong, but the fact is that at least 10 percent of the drivers on the road are incompetent and it is the incompetent ones behind the wheels of large vehicles that are most likely to take others' lives.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

based on nothing other than the fact that you think 10% of drivers do not drive the way you think they should?

And you haven't even seen the video, which I have.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

but in regard to the accident actually being discussed in this sub-thread--the one that happened yesterday at Laguna and Broadway--it is worth noting that though the Chronicle story does not identify which way the bicyclist was going and which way the SUV driver turned in front of him, a possibly illuminating guess can be made.

There are only two driveways close enough to that intersection which might figure in a left-turn collision where a bicyclist was reported to have run a stop sign.

The intersection is a four-way stop with Broadway having two lanes in each direction and generally being level, and Laguna being one lane each way while sloping down sharply to the north on both sides of it

Of the two driveways, one is on the north-east corner on Laguna about fifty feet downhill from the intersection, and the other is on the south-east corner on Broadway at the very corner of the cornermost building.

So, one possibility is that the SUV driver was driving up the hill on Laguna and turned left in front of a bicyclist who had not been visible to her until he came over the top of the hill and after he had crossed four lanes of roadway and the additional fifty feet to the driveway.

I've made that very left turn or ones exactly like it on adjacent blocks in the past and such maneuvers are difficult to do safely because of the lack of visibilty of oncoming traffic.

Whether or not a vehicle traveling down Laguna had come to a stop at Broadway couldn't figure much into the cause of the accident, though speeding might play a part in it; same with a bike or a car.

But that's not what I would bet happened.

The far more dangerous driveway and likely suspect in this collision is the one that is the south side of Broadway right at the corner of Laguna.

Did the SUV driver approach to within 10 feet of the stop sign there and then cut left into her driveway? That seems like a maneuver which can be expected to cause accidents whether it is around bicyclists or typical motor vehicle drivers who can't prudently be expected to come to a complete stop each time.

Was the SUV driver less aware of the bicyclist in that situation than they would have been for driver of a vehicle massing the same as them?

This may indeed be a case where the bicyclist must shoulder significant responsibility for the outcome, but in view of recent news, a police report isn't the sort of thing I'd find conclusive--nor a Chronicle story.

The police and DA don't seem to be doing an adequate job of promoting respect for the lives of bicyclists, who may on occasion be in the wrong but shouldn't have to so regularly risk dying from it.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

Why not just say that you hate cars and leave it at that?

Posted by Guest on May. 27, 2014 @ 4:54 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.