Can we get an amen?

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OPINION Senior and Disability Action recently learned of the outcome of the case of the elder who was killed in a collision with a bicyclist in the city's Castro District. The victim, 71 year old Sutchi Hui, was walking across the intersection of Castro and Market Streets with his wife when he was struck by 34 year old Chris Bucchere, a self-described "entrepreneur, software developer, founder and CEO of Social Collective Inc."

Our organization has been involved in the issue of pedestrian safety, advocating for improvements on the city streets, corridors and areas that pose safety risks for seniors, people with disabilities and the public in general. The tragic incident that took Mr. Hui's life emphasizes the need for better pedestrian safety and the need to hold bicyclists accountable for their actions.

Seniors have related stories of being run over or in near misses with bicycles speeding through crosswalks or sidewalks. One member of SDA recalls an incident at Critical Mass where a senior was driving a car with 2 kids in the backseat. The biker repeatedly kicked the elder's car, verbally berating him and frightening the children.

Senior and Disability Action was dismayed by the breezy attitude of the cyclist, who, after the collision that claimed Mr. Hui's life, lamented the loss of his bike helmet in a blog:

"In closing, I want to dedicate this story to my late helmet. She died in heroic fashion today as my head slammed into the tarmac...may she die knowing that because she committed the ultimate sacrifice, her rider can live and ride one. Can I get an amen? Amen"

Really? The cyclist was travelling in excess of 35 miles an hour. Witnesses saw him go through three red lights. It was announced that Mr. Bucchere's punishment will be 3 years probation and 1000 hours of community service. This was the second fatality involving a cyclist in a year. The cyclist in the other fatality was sentenced to 500 hours of community service—at the Bike Coalition. Where will Mr. Bucchere do his community service? Will he have to look an elder in the face, or come into contact with a community of color, or a community of elders? Or will he use his race and class privilege to sacrifice somehow to a community that has lost much in the way of housing and services—from communities that have subsidized the lives of folks such as himself?

We all must adhere to the rules of the road; the rules apply to both motorists as well as cyclists. We recognize that there are cyclists that follow the rules of the road. But this case was egregious, not only in the loss of life, but in the arrogance of the cyclist, who was using an app that gauged his speed and overall performance on the road, offering a prize as an incentive. The metaphors are striking—plowing through an area as if one has the God-given right and too bad if you happen to be in my way. Mr. Bucchere's actions in the aftermath is evincive of the race and class privilege that has permeated the city, where some lives are evidently worth more than others.

Can we get an amen?

 

Editor's Note: On Aug. 15, Bucchere was formally sentenced to 1000 hours of community service and three years probation.

Comments

That the SF bike lobby are a bunch of self-absorbed, entitled, arrogant, almost exclusively white folks with almost no regard for the rules of the road or the safety of others.

They constantly whine about cars while demonstrating far less respect for and adherence to the laws of the road.

Bucchere dodged a bullet here but in a way he has done us all a favour, by bring to the forefront one of the most aggressive and inconsiderate lobby groups in the city.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:16 am

Steven would like to have a word with you.

"We all must adhere to the rules of the road; the rules apply to both motorists as well as cyclists."

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 6:23 am

to obey any road rules that they think shouldn't apply, or that they don't agree with?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 7:23 am

That's not exactly what I said, but I always welcome other perspectives than mine. Hit me up if you want to share yours in an op-Ed.

Posted by Steven T. Jones on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 7:46 am

Can we get an amen? No, mine are reserved for all prayers for the pedestrians and cyclists killed by motorists who receive nothing in the means of punishment.

https://www.baycitizen.org/news/transportation/bay-area-drivers-who-kill...

Were Bucchere's actions horrible? Absolutely. The difference is that he was actually prosecuted, something which rarely happens when motorists kill.

You cyclist-haters can hate all you want, but you're ignoring the truth that's right in front of your eyes. Maybe if you stop treating us like second-class citizens and take it seriously when cyclists and pedestrians are killed by motorists and common-sense rules like the Idaho-stop rule are implemented, then you'll have a leg to stand on.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 10:52 am

There are some bad drivers and there are some bad cyclists. There are also good examples of both.

But you appear to be polluted by a fierce bias against cars and in favour of bikes and, as such, you cannot reasonably expect anyone to seriously regard you as objective.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 11:05 am

I'm in no way anti-car, but I am against double standards. To rail against cyclists while ignoring the fact that motorists kill many more people each year (this is a fact, there's literally no way you can deny this) is placing priorities and anger in the wrong place. As the article I linked to described the majority of motorists who were found to be AT FAULT still faced no prosecution. Again, this is a fact. So far, cyclists in SF who have been determined to be at fault in the death of pedestrians have both been charged and prosecuted. I think the police and prosecutors need to get more serious about treating motorists the same way.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

are more cars than bikes or horses. Per mile travelled, the stats are very different and almost everyone I know who rides a bike has been in an accident.

Posted by anon on Aug. 21, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

Per mile traveled, cars kill over ten times as many people as bicycles. Per hour of travel, the disparity is even greater.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 10:33 am

I cannot take my family to Yosemite with a ton of camping gear on a bike.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 11:02 am

Sure there are times and places cars can't really be beat, though I don't think your example is really one of them. No one is proposing outlawing cars, just discouraging their use.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 7:40 am

We need them all and, for convenience, nothing beats a car.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 8:40 am

Bikes travel faster than cars on average?

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 6:39 am

Read his post again.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 8:39 am

I'm an idiot.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 9:46 am

This different is a cyclist may damage the paint on your car and lose his own life if he gets it wrong. If a motorist gets it wrong, they damage the paint on their own car and take the life of someone else.

Posted by Phil on Aug. 22, 2013 @ 3:46 am

years, so the potential for harm is clearly a lot more than some scratched paint.

Posted by anon on Aug. 22, 2013 @ 6:28 am

For some reason city agencies appear to be fueling the anger that is growing between extreme bikers and the rest of us, instead of calming it.
This story about the death at the hands of a cyclist is running in the same paper as the story about the SF Bike Coalition's Memorial to a biker hit by a truck on Folsom Street. Does no one else see the irony in this?
We need someone at City Hall to put a stop to the growing war between extreme bikers and the rest of us.
With the closure of the Bay Bridge and the possible BART strike we need a reasonable balanced transit approach that does not cater to any one group.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 10:06 am

Dear Mayor Lee,

I am the Executive Director of a special interest bicycle lobby and we are demanding our special rights. Cyclists are increasingly at the mercy of motor vehicles and we demand that you take action. Last week, someone was killed while bicycling on Folsom Street near 6th Street. Evidence would suggest that the cyclist was struck while attempting to outrun a moving truck that was making a LEGAL right hand turn. We don’t really care about the facts behind this accident because motorists are clearly responsible for ALL collisions on city streets. As the Executive Director of a Special Interest group it is my job to demand special rights for our very special members.

Every time a cyclist ignores the traffic laws and engages in negligent behavior that causes them bodily harm we must fault the driver of the motor vehicle. The cyclist was the third resident to be killed on a bike in San Francisco this year, all in or near SoMa. Each victim was killed because cyclists and pedestrians are NOT responsible for their own safety. Cyclists who break the law — placing themselves and others in danger must be silently tolerated because people who drive death monsters are evil and cyclists are holy. It is our God given right to cut in an out of traffic, roll through stop signs, and update our Facebook page at busy intersections.

Last week I was cycling down Folsom while playing candy crush on my smart phone and I nearly was hit by a reckless motorist who was obeying ALL of the traffic laws. These types of tragedies can be prevented by spending a few million dollars to redesign Folsom street.

Don’t you see Mayor Lee, we are in the Wild West of road sharing and the rules of the road do not apply cyclists. We need separated bike lanes because we really don’t want share the streets with motor vehicles and pedestrians. Trucks should be retrofitted with convex mirrors so drivers can more easily see vulnerable Twitter users. And the City should require that large vehicle operators take training courses in how to avoid collisions with Tweeting cyclists.

It’s a bloodbath out there Mayor Lee and you have the tools, the power (and the
checkbook) to prevent more tragedy on our streets. It is not acceptable to sit
by while San Franciscans are killed on SoMa streets when you have the power to
prevent these deaths. As per our usual arrangement you should cut the SF Bike lobby a check for a couple hundred thou so that we can do outreach to the bicycling community.

Posted by Reckless Cyclist on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

Dear Mayor Lee,

I am the Executive Director of a special interest bicycle lobby and we are demanding our special rights. Cyclists are increasingly at the mercy of motor vehicles and we demand that you take action. Last week, someone was killed while bicycling on Folsom Street near 6th Street. Evidence would suggest that the cyclist was struck while attempting to outrun a moving truck that was making a LEGAL right hand turn. We don’t really care about the facts behind this accident because motorists are clearly responsible for ALL collisions on city streets. As the Executive Director of a Special Interest group it is my job to demand special rights for our very special members.

Every time a cyclist ignores the traffic laws and engages in negligent behavior that causes them bodily harm we must fault the driver of the motor vehicle. The cyclist was the third resident to be killed on a bike in San Francisco this year, all in or near SoMa. Each victim was killed because cyclists and pedestrians are NOT responsible for their own safety. Cyclists who break the law — placing themselves and others in danger must be silently tolerated because people who drive death monsters are evil and cyclists are holy. It is our God given right to cut in an out of traffic, roll through stop signs, and update our Facebook page at busy intersections.

Last week I was cycling down Folsom while playing candy crush on my smart phone and I nearly was hit by a reckless motorist who was obeying ALL of the traffic laws. These types of tragedies can be prevented by spending a few million dollars to redesign Folsom street.

Don’t you see Mayor Lee, we are in the Wild West of road sharing and the rules of the road do not apply cyclists. We need separated bike lanes because we really don’t want share the streets with motor vehicles and pedestrians. Trucks should be retrofitted with convex mirrors so drivers can more easily see vulnerable Twitter users. And the City should require that large vehicle operators take training courses in how to avoid collisions with Tweeting cyclists.

It’s a bloodbath out there Mayor Lee and you have the tools, the power (and the
checkbook) to prevent more tragedy on our streets. It is not acceptable to sit
by while San Franciscans are killed on SoMa streets when you have the power to
prevent these deaths. As per our usual arrangement you should cut the SF Bike lobby a check for a couple hundred thou so that we can do outreach to the bicycling community.

Posted by Reckless Cyclist on Aug. 26, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

i willing to bet this troll tony robles never rants against motorists who kill way more pedestrians and bicyclists than the other way around...whatever...what is this doing in the bay guardian??

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 10:19 am

I'd say it's Op Truth too.

Even SFBG.com's lowest troll anon has been trained to not attempt the claim that bicycle-caused pedestrian fatalities in so many years. Semi-sfgate nonsense.

Posted by lillipublicans on Aug. 27, 2013 @ 10:48 am

That is an interesting question, I am not sure what to say!

Posted by Bavaria 36 on Feb. 10, 2014 @ 1:34 am

Maybe we will get it, but it is not so easy, at least that is my opinion!

Posted by Felix on Feb. 25, 2014 @ 1:26 am

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