Archives for January 2013

San Francisco’s Most Dangerous Intersection

Danger at the Corner of Octavia and Market

Danger at the Corner of Octavia and Market

In 2005, the city of San Francisco tore down a 1.2 mile stretch of the Central Freeway and replaced it with Octavia Boulevard, a bucolic ground level roadway lined with trees and quiet neighborhoods. In the last three years, though, the intersection of Octavia and Market Street has become one of the city’s most heavily traveled and dangerous intersections. Since 2009, there have been more than 30 accidents on the corner. In 2011, there were 13 collisions that resulted in personal injury, with nine of them involving bicycles and bicyclists. Of the 56 accidents at the corner since it was opened, four have involved fatalities. Authorities point to the large numbers of vehicles entering and leaving Highway 101, as well as the heavily used bike lane.

Based on these statistics, city and county officials admit that the intersection may need to be redesigned or reconfigured. With traffic counts in excess of 63,000 per day (getting on and off the freeway), streets in the neighborhood are packed with vehicles most of the day.

Allan Jacobs, a renowned urban planning designer from UC-Berkeley, contends that the project achieved its objective of replacing the freeway with a street that moves vehicles while still creating street life. He attributes some of the challenges people are currently facing to the fact that many measures that would have slowed traffic through the intersection were left out of the project due to compromises with the California Department of Transportation and with the City of San Francisco. He points specifically to plans to narrow the lanes coming off the freeway, and to build a slight uphill approach, both of which were eliminated as the project moved forward.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a personal injury. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.

Help! I Was in an Accident… Now What?

What to Do After You Have Been in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Injured in an Accident

When you have been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, the impact on every aspect of your life can be daunting. You may be uncertain what you need to do to best protect your interests. Here are some of the most important things to remember:

  • Protect your health — Often, the best thing to do regarding your health is wait until emergency medical professionals arrive on the scene. You may think you are fine to move under your own power, but can be in shock, or can have injuries that may not immediately be apparent. You should call 911 immediately, and let police and medical personnel take charge at the scene. If you leave the scene under your own power, you should immediately travel to the hospital or a clinic, or should schedule an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. When you seek medical treatment, be sure to tell doctors and nurses about anything that seems out of the ordinary. Don’t limit your discussion to the obvious injuries you have suffered.
  • Stay calm — Turn off your vehicle and turn on any emergency lights. It is preferable to leave your vehicle exactly where it stopped, as that makes investigation of the accident easier.
  • Gather all necessary information from other drivers and witnesses — Get name, address, phone number and insurance information from anyone involved in the accident, as well as all witnesses. Do not rely on police officers to gather this information for you.
  • Take pictures of the scene, of any damage to your car, and of any visible injuries you have suffered — If your cell phone has a camera, use it. These pictures can be critical if your case goes to trial
  • Notify your insurance company — Contact your insurance provider in a timely manner and tell them you have been in an accident. If you have insurance information from other drivers, you can provide that to your insurer.
  • Call an experienced lawyer — Before you enter into any agreement with any insurance company, you should consult an attorney. Insurers have a vested interest in paying you as little as possible.

Contact the Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a personal injury. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.

8th Street Buffered Bike Lane—Does SoMa Feel Safe?

New Buffered Bike Lane on 8th Street in SoMa – Do Bicyclists Feel Safe?

Bicycle Lane

For years, 8th Street in the South of Market district has been a bane to bicyclists. Until recently, a skinny bike lane alongside four speed-inducing lanes made bicycle travel on 8th Street treacherous. The bike lane was recently reconfigured, widening the bike lane and removing bicyclists from the door zone. The upgrade came about after bike advocates and D6 Supervisor Jane Kim urged reconfiguration as a way to slow down motor vehicle traffic, reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, and create a safer and more comfortable space for bicycles and bicyclists.

Kim acknowledges that the 8th Street project received priority because of its history of pedestrian injuries, but notes that the changes will offer significant benefit to bicyclists as well. She also believes that the changes will make it easier and safer for people to walk or ride bikes for short trips, further reducing congestion in the area.

Leah Shahum, executive director of the SF Bicycle Coalition, stressed that the original proposal for 8th Street was to provide more room for motor vehicles and less for bicycles. However, due to successful lobbying by pedestrian and cycling interests, the area now offers safer passage for un-motorized traffic. Shahum notes, however, that the new configuration is far from ideal. She concedes that the traffic still moves at a pretty rapid pace for a neighborhood street, and that motorists often drive in the bike lane. In addition, public transit vehicles must cross the bike lane and parking lane to get to bus stops.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a personal injury, including people hurt in a bicycle accident. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.

 
 
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