Stodgy Stanley Roberts Not Stoked with Separated Bike Lanes

We gotta admit: we're not particularly stoked on the new separated bike lanes along JFK in Golden Gate Park either.  We love the fact the city is trying new things, and separated lanes have typically worked well in other cities, but they aren't really panning out in Golden Gate Park.  People park their cars in the lanes, use the lanes as sidewalks, have made the approach to stop signs difficult, and people clearly have no idea how to park in the new spots.  That's not to say the idea should be dismissed entirely—not at all.  The city could put up new signage explaining the situation, install a curb between the bike lanes and the parking spaces, or actually stripe out specific spaces for people to park.  You know, address the problems.

But KRON's Stanley Roberts!  Fuck!  People are Behaving Badly, you see, and those people are the government experimenting with improving our transportation.  Grrrrrrrrr, Stanley mad!

Naturally, Stanley took his amazing voice and the camcorder he bought off eBay with all the milk money he's been saving up and interviewed a couple of angry (grrrrrrrr) dumb-dumbs in minivans about the problem.  And guess what?  They hate bicyclists!  “Where should bikers be a bikin'?”  In the middle of traffic, where they've always been biking.  Obviously!

I don't know what my favorite part of the video is: when some green thing claims her door will now get sideswiped when she opens it (because, that's not already a problem on roads without bike lanes.  Plus, she wants the American Privilege of opening her door into cyclists, not traffic) or when Stanley doesn't interview a single cyclist, urban planner, or someone who might actually be in favor of the lanes.

Watch below:

[Thanks for the tip, Tuffy! | Photo by SF Bike Coalition]

Comments (35)

I dont like stan, but I really dont like the new bike setup in the park. so crazy.

Does anyone else thing that maybe the character, Perd Hapley, is based on SF’s own Stanley Roberts? They’re style of talk and demeanor is pretty similar.

I don’t like those lanes either. They seem really dangerous because if pedestrians enter the bike lane suddenly the cyclist isn’t going to really have any option other to hit them as they’ve got curb on one side and traffic on the other. It seems to me that you’ve got more options when the bike lane is on the other side of the parked cars.

It’s a great idea but absolutely piss poor execution. People seem capable of figuring out muni stops in the middle of the street - this is the same concept.

I’ve been writing so much about these awful and dangerous lanes. What more can I say? Sewer drainage grates on the right side with steep access plantes in the middle of the lane. Completely unpredictable pedestrians getting in and out of their cars unloading baby strollers into the bike lane. And then there is the myth of separation. Bikes and cars are not separated. Rather bikes are hidden from motorists until the intersections when bikers suddenly appear from behind parked cars, just as motorists on the left are making a right turn across the bike lane to leave the Park. How much more dangerous can it be? I rode in this lane only a few times. Once I was nearly hit at the intersection of 8th/JFK. The motorist did not expect to see me on his right side. My wife also had a close call nearly hitting a jogger who jumped onto the path right in front of her. Now, I just avoid JFK and use Cabrillo unless it is after hours. Hopefully SFMTA will remove these lanes and put JFK back the way it was BEFORE NOT AFTER someone is killed or badly injured.

I sure hope not. They are safer for bikers, safer for peds, and much more efficient for drivers, too. It’s a win-win-win.

They’re certainly better than NON-separated bike lanes, but there are still some problems. As Kevin points out, there should be a curb or some of those flippy plastic cylinders to indicate to the more retarded of parkers that the bike lane is not where they are allowed to park.

As a daily user of them, I can’t disagree more, also everyone in my office who uses them to commute think they are far more dangerous than what was there before. You used to have an escape route and a way to pass slower cyclists, who far to often want to ride two abreast. Now to avoid any obstacle you can stop, if that is not an option, jump the curb, no real other choices. Plus on top of it, there is absolutely ZERO signage.

I rose my bike there at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday and it felt perfectly fine, but maybe that’s because there weren’t enough cars and cyclist for me to see the limitations. You make an interesting point.

Flippy plastic cylinders are a great idea! As well as more or better signage instructing people on where/how to park, that the buffer zone, and not the street, is for loading strollers and elderly (as mentioned by the huffy tourists in the video who obviously aren’t cyclists) and to watch for bikes before crossing, just as people crossing a roadway would watch for cars before crossing. Once drivers and pedestrians are educated on how to navigate this new system, everything will be just fine and we can all go back to bitching about a legitimate problem, like fencing in children at DP.


Tell me how does one pass those two guys in the photo? What about when a dog runs out of a car? This is a solution looking for a problem, or like most everything the SFBC does, something simply to make cyclists feel “special”, so they will cut more checks for the SFBC. Sadly “special” does not mean “safer”.

How do you pass those guys? You ring your bell, blow your whistle or yell “On your left!” The same way you would pass them anywhere. What’s so hard to grasp?

I don’t think a dog running out of a car is going to make a difference wherever you are. If you were still on the other side you’d have the choice of swerving into a car or swerving into traffic – both options equally as threatening as the dreaded scenario you have outlined in the new bike lane.

I think this is a good start but, again, pretty poor implementation but I don’t think it’s as horrible as some are making it out to be.

See now, I don’t have to get up close and ring my bell and hope they get out of the way, then make a tight pass. I do a head check, and change lanes, pass them and get back into the bike lane, That is much much easier (and safer).

My biggest fear is that the bike lane is gonna be the new “sidewalk” in car people(what do they call themselves?)minds…as in “hey bike, get on the sidewalk!,roads are for cars” I hear this about once a month(and its prob WHY some riders take the sidewalk) this is the same misinformation that I fear will come soon. soon, The way I read the laws,we have to stay as safetly to the right in most cirumstanceses, but if a bike lane is present we must use that lane.. this presents a lot of problems in a park setting when the commuters/lifecyclist are trying to get home,or work. And not just out on a leasuirly trip or vacation pace. when we seperate bike lanes we no longer have a slowing effect on traffic that the city desires….Traffic calming. I fear this wil reverse the safety trends we have been seeing.

You’ve got it right. These lanes are more about SFBC boasting than safety for cyclists. Leah Shahum and the SFMTA are putting bike lanes everywhere they can, regardless of whether it is safe or sensible. Eventually someone is going to get killed and then we will see people scrambling for cover.

Another problem is that emergency vehicles cannot access the park. On 420 I observed a horrific traffic mess. The eastbound lane was completely stopped from 10th to Stanyan. A fire truck had entered the park at Stanyan but could not get down JFK. This new design does not have any room for motorists to pull to the right. Like duhhh.


the real problem here is that people are more used to checking for bikers on the non curbed side.

saw someone get doored this weekend when someone on the passenger side doored someone a few bikes ahead of me.

With that buffer zone? Hmm…

Also the passenger side’s mirrors are not adjusted for the people sitting on that side of the vehicle.

Used to checking for bikers. Ha. You’re funny.

When the Berkeley Hit/Run happened, I tweeted the link to Stodgy Stanley and he tweeted back asking for any details I had because they were running it. He’s an all right bean in my book.

They will be soon. Or as “soon” as things can possibly happen in SF… so probably next year. It’s part of the plan for The Green Lane Project to separate cars and bikes on Oak. If you’re interested, Google Project Green Lane / Bikes Belong.

You mean the bloodbath plan? Sorry this is going to result in a route that is less safe than the one that is currently there. The most dangerous part of that whole trip to Golden Gate Park is the intersection of Masonic and the Panhandle. This is a statistical fact from the SFMTA, as that is the 6th most dangerous intersection in the city (and yet things that could be done to make it safer, such as a big “No Turn on Red Arrow” sign, and changing the color of the bicycle signal from green to white still haven’t been done). The current plan will create at least 4 more such crossings, except there will not be lights at any of them, so expect to see ambulances more often on Fell Street.

Jeremy: Well said, as I pointed out, separated bike lanes are inherently safer for everyone involved: Bikers, Drivers, AND Pedestrians.

They are not safer, there are plenty of studies which show them to be far more dangerous. Statistically there are very few injuries on Fell from Scott to Baker ( look at the Bay Citizen bike accident map there are 2 accidents listed, all at intersections, which separated bike lanes make more dangerous).

I wonder where the reporter lives? IN SF?

It’s interesting, in civilized countries like Denmark this configuration is the norm. It works really well there. Typically, the sidewalk and bike lane are raised, so there’s still a curb for cars to park next to. Maybe it’s because they have a shit ton more bike riders than we do, but pedestrians and cars know what’s what.

I wonder which came first, the configuration or the shit ton more bikers.. I know what my guess is..

What came first was horse drawn buggys and carts. Who cares which came first – the city planners adapted and made everything better for car, bikes and pedestrians!

1) This may not be better for cyclists who like to go-real-fast but these change aren’t for you. It’s for folks who aren’t that strong on the bike yet. It’s a park. We should be creating bike facilities that help out the newbie/challenged riders. Not the fast folks who are already comfortable. Stay in the auto lane if you want to go faster.

2) Change is hard. Give it some time. Let’s see how it’s working in 6 months after folks have some time to adjust. Because…. it’s paint. It can get changed back if it doesn’t work.

3) Absolutely more education and more enforcement is needed for proper car parking. I have no idea why these streetscape changes are just thrown in and seemingly no thought given to tell people what to do.

4) Point #1 again. It’s a park. I now see kids biking on the street where I’ve seen none before. That’s a good thing.

The city of SF has set itself up for a lawsuit with these new bike lanes in GGP. Once someone gets injured killed we will see who is at fault for this latest of SFMTA stupidities. I tried out the new parking tonight with my two young children. To be safe I just opened all my car doors and left them all open until we were all safely to the sidewalk. It is so dangerous for people with kids that I think next time I will place a few flares out in the street and in the bike lane as well.

You are the one opening yourself up to a lawsuit. You are responsable for your car, and its actions( such as opening a door) if u door someone,its ur fault. To just leave all your doors open , is just a dick move.. Smile, your life will be over before u know it,and u will be wondering why u wasted so much time getting sooo upset about nothing. Happy May 5th!

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