Cyclists don’t want to share

the sidewalk.

From the San Francisco Chronicle

This isn't wide enough?

More bicycle crashes on Golden Gate Bridge

As cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge has grown in popularity, so have the perils.

There were a record 34 accidents involving bicycles on and around the tourist-packed span last year, 19 of which resulted in trips to the hospital, according to the Golden Gate Bridge district.

Back in the 1980s, when bike riding on the bridge was a rarity, so were accidents. Since 2000, however, there has been a steady increase in both the number and severity of cycling crashes – like the one last Monday in which a bicyclist slammed into a pedestrian near the South Tower and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Sixteen of last year’s pedal pileups – or almost half – took place on the narrow bridge sidewalks, which riders must share much of the time with pedestrians.

The other 18 were on approaches and nearby trails and roads, including Alexander Avenue heading into Sausalito.

The increase in accidents parallels the explosion of bike rental outfits around Fisherman’s Wharf. One owner told us his rental business has doubled each of the past two years – reaching upward of 1,500 bikes a day – with most of those renters going over the bridge.

The crash problem is especially acute on weekdays, when cyclists and walkers share the eastern sidewalk, keeping the west side free for work crews.

The tight fit has led to short tempers among some riders.

“They’re acting like Lance Armstrong and yelling at tourists,” one bridge employee who asked not to be named told us.

“They’ve even told me to f- off.”

5 replies
  1. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    “They’re acting like Lance Armstrong and yelling at tourists,” one bridge employee who asked not to be named told us. They’ve even told me to f- off.”

    Must be locals who don’t like the mindless pedestrian tourists getting in their way when riding. Looking at the pic provided, I can see there would not be a lot of room for sight-seeing pedestrians and tourist-cyclists mixed with anyone trying to bike at speed.

    Would these same (local) cyclists be screaming about how motorists don’t respect them, and how they shouldn’t have to get out of the way if they are on the road??

    “Pot — meet Kettle” ……..

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    I’m not at all surprised about the crash rate. I have ridden across the GG twice. It’s not the least bit fun. The first time was completely fogged in, making it absolutely nerve-racking. The second time was clear but still far more stressful than riding in auto traffic. The bridge has 2-way bicycle traffic, and in several places it is not wide enough for that. The tourists on rentals are squirrely as hell. They can’t handle their bikes, they’re in the wrong gear going uphill, swerving all over the place. Then there’s the local roadies flying past (yes, much like the impatient motorists we complain about). There are 30mph crosswinds trying to shove you around, as well. I’d happily pay the toll to ride on the road with the cars.

  3. Keri
    Keri says:

    Both trips over that bridge I’ve said, “next time I’m taking the ferry!”

    Next time will probably be next year, if we do Sierra to the Sea again.

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