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. 


Kinda insulting to veterans, no?

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 6:06 am


Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 11:24 am

for those brave soldiers who die fighting for our freedom.

And not for some affluent, privileged white male tech worker and gentrifier who gets killed while running a stop light in his $2,000 racing bike wearing brightly-colored lycra.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 11:47 am

Your comment VERITABLY REEKS of the privilege of the living

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

"Check your privilege" or "Talking truth to power".

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

I thought "fallen" was reserved for women who've lost their virtue.

Posted by guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

Your comment was very TRIGGERING to vicious womyn

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

None of those killed fit your description. You are not a real Vet and have no business speaking for us or any of our fallen. Traitor.

Posted by RealVet on May. 28, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

Just as does any other movement.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

even the most basic traffic laws.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:21 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

And keep pushing for better bike infrastructure.

Posted by Rocket on May. 24, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

worse infrastructure for the 97% of people who do not commute by bike.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 8:08 am

For instance a few bike-sized tunnels could be dug for bicyclists use; like a parallel bore to the Sunset Tunnel under Buena Vista Park to expedite eliminate bike traffic which currently goes through "The Wiggle." Considering the amount of money being squandered on the Central Subway, this isn't in the least part unreasonable.

Also, just as pedestrian overpasses are built to provide non-motorist access across major thoroughfares, bicyclist underpasses can be dug in stategic locations. (Underpasses work best for bicyclists because inertia gained through downward travel is preserved due to the innecessity of stopping at the bottom unlike the way overpasses require energy to climb which is typically wasted in braking afterward.)

Anyhow, the most fundamental of bike infrastructure--the prosecution of drivers who kill bicyclists through negligence--can be made to pay for itself.

We already have a DA; he's just not doing the job he's paid to do.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 8:43 am

I was talking about existing infrastructure and, if you give more of it to one class of road user, you must necessarily give less to other classes of road user.

The bike lobby are a group of mostly affluent white yuppies who know how to work the system and get more than their fair share of resources. That doesn't help seniors, children and the disabled who cannot ride a bike on public streets and probably cannot afford a car either.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 9:01 am

simply doing his job would represent a vast improvement in bicycle infrastructure without inconveniencing others--except for the negligent homicidal types, anyhow.

As for tunnel bores for bicyclists, I pointed out how money being squandered elsewhere might otherwise serve for the purpose, but I also have a strong hunch that the costs of boring go up geometrically with increased size due to the costs of the devices* and the nature of the inverse-square law.

(*in the case of the smaller bores needed for two-way bicycle traffic, the boring devices would easily fit in roadways and would not require being abandoned underground or having buildings demolished for their extraction; they could be reused over and over again.)

Anyhow, my main point is about the failure of the DA to prosecute killers, but tunnels and underpasses for bicyclists are something to think about.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 9:38 am

bikes running stop signs, riding on the sidewalks, and riding the wrong way on one-way streets, then you have my full support.

But I'm guessing that you want the DA to give cyclists a pass, and that is where your bias is given away.

Tunnels are probably the most expensive way to add infrastructure, and it is doubtful the funds would be available when it only benefits one small class of road user. If it is segregation of traffic that you seek, then you presumably love freeways because they do a perfect job of segregating cars and bikes.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 9:54 am

to use the streets; the DA should enforce laws maximally where they have the maximum effect of protecting lives and promoting bicycle use. When the streets are made safer, then there will be less impetus for bicyclists to take to the sidewalk--which, in any case, they may do in certain situations without causing any inconvenience to pedestrians*.

As for freeways, I've never been a fan of them being torn down; in every case it seems that anti-car sentiment has been exploited by land developers hungry to see their investments appreciate dramatically. Rather than tear down the 280 extension as Ed Lee and his buddies want, I'd see it repurposed first as a bicycle thorofare.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 11:24 am

Didn't you admit to visiting right-wing websites just to argue?

Pot, meet kettle.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 10:26 am

WIngers rarely have the facts on their side and so must resort to censorship in order to avoid being visibly beaten. Their habitual censorship though the duplicitous flagging of comments results in truth-tellers having their commentary erased and their accounts closed.

The strongly right-leading San Francisco "Comical" maintains a forum which is particularly suited for such manipulation and that is why I gave up on it. Rather I invest my time addressing the problem at its source by attempting to enlighten the readers of a popular right wing site how they are being played as rubes; all too easy since the right wing memes peddled on such sites are so often grossly self-contradictory.

Thanks for bringing it up, though.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 11:33 am
Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

Didn't the BG wipe out your stupid ass "troll bumper" posts too? But I guess this site is right-wing and hates free speech too, huh? And you were banned because you were a pompous asshole who insulted anyone who disagreed with you.

At least you stopped saying that it was all a conspiracy against you and how you were so dangerous that the Chronicle specifically targeted you and wiped out all your previous posts (even though they do that for all accounts that get banned). But don't let that stop you from feeling all importanty and persecuted.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

this is simply a troll barrier

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into reactionary hyperbole and/or petty, mean spirited, personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by one responsible for only two or three of these on May. 25, 2014 @ 12:39 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

Lemme get this straight Lilli. You first complain about someone else using the "Guest" handle (Lucretia) on another thread and then proceed to come here to put up your spam Troll Barrier bullshit under the handle of "Guest". And you still can't fathom why people consider you the biggest troll around.

The only possible way you could be an even bigger asshat would be if you were to refer to yourself in the third person. Oh wait...

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

We'll hear about him on the 6 o'clock news one day.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

Thereby making him the definitive troll, hence his constant accusing others of trolling - projection.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

Especially pedestrians. I have shown you the study many times, but you are apparently too dense to be able to read it.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on May. 28, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

To get a criminal conviction, Gascon has to have a case he can prove in court "beyond a reasonable doubt." He would probably like to to do it, but he can't bring charges against someone just to please the bike lobby.

Posted by Rob Anderson on May. 25, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

for what would look like most people to be only an accident.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

Vehicular manslaughter doesn't require criminal intent, only negligence. 

Posted by steven on May. 27, 2014 @ 9:49 am

By the way, as the designated anti-Christ of the bike movement here in Progressive Land, I remember some of these bike accidents. The collision with a Muni bus that killed Derek Allen was apparently Allen's fault. I bet a lot of the many fatalities mourned here were also the fault of the cyclists. Any such death is a tragedy, but the pretense that these folks are somehow martyrs to something or other is, well, nothing but a pretense---and an excuse for self-pity by cyclists.

Posted by Rob Anderson on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

Something cyclists routinely claim the right to do in defiance of the law, and yet they want the law on their side when they do that and get creamed.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

--not to mention that of the crypto-rightist rag cited--the claim that Allen was responsible for his own death is highly unimpressive.

Rember that Amelie Le Moullac was blamed for her own death until the SFPD was led by their reluctant noses to the contrary video evidence.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

Or... he was just an asshole who thought he could cut in front of the bus who ended up being wrong and paid for it with his life.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

Even when, as in two cases recently, they killed a SF pedestrian.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

when they claimed that they'd tried to find video evidence which might have exonerated Amelie from any responsibility. That evidence was located through the actions of complete amateur investigators less than 24 hours before it otherwise would have been erased on a weekly schedule.

Furthermore, the SFPD strangely held back releasing the report of their investigation--the very report which would have revealed their failure to secure such available video evidence--to the victim's family in the week before they were led reluctantly by the nose to it.

In view of the gross failure of the SFPD in the case of Le Moullac, placing any credence in their past assessments would be the height of folly.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

So in other words you have no actual evidence to rebut the fact that the death of Derek Allen was due to his arrogance and illegal riding behavior except your bias against the SFPD and your hatred of the Chronicle for banning you for being a pompous, insulting dickhole.

Posted by Guest on May. 25, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

I've seen the video and it is grainy and inconclusive. SFPD probably realized that any footage from that distance and angle was useless to the DA, and so it proved to be.

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

the anonymous commenter is engaged in wishfulness and--as has been pointed out repeatedly--*certainly* has never seen the video.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 25, 2014 @ 7:35 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 6:46 am

that his office must beyond reasonable doubt be able to prove an accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

In the past, his office has been willing to engage in highly speculative and aggressive prosecution even in the face of extremely credible doubt; ostensibly because there was an overriding public interest in such.

There is an overriding public interest in promoting a proper awareness of the law with regard to right turns and merging with the bike lane. The public, and in particular the bicycle-riding public, was not served by the DA's failure to bring this case.

The troll(s) here has not seen the video. On the other hand, when the police were faced with the video that others found for them, they recommended that charges be brought against the driver.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 7:18 am

You missed that and yet claim you know better about what it shows than those of us who have watched it.

I hope you are never on a jury.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 8:49 am

Shorter lilli:

"Just because the DA can't get a conviction is no reason not to torment the driver by prosecuting him anyway, forcing him to incur huge legal bills defending himself."

Imagine how lilli would scream if the DA applied that reasoning to someone lilli likes.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 9:33 am

you had to falsify that the DA had reason to feel absolutely sure he could not get a conviction rather than just some hypothetical "reasonable doubt" he couldn't--which in any case does not jibe with what the S.F.P.D. recommended once confronted with the video evidence.

When the civil case is brought the true facts will come to light, and the DA's failure to seize this opportunity to promote the safety of innocent bicyclists will face further examination. I will stand behind my statements in this regard: you will fade into the guestly shadows.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 10:28 am

case would have succeeded, because the burden of proof is much, much lower in a civil case.

If you recall, OJ was acquitted at his criminal trial but found liable for the "murder" at the ensuing civil trial. So the civil trial piggybacks onto a criminal trial but not vice versa.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 11:47 am

will demonstrate that the DA's office failed to properly judge the merits of the case.

O.J. Simpson's trial is great example. He lost in civil court *after* being charged and tried in criminal court.

The DA's judgement will face further examination once the results of the civil case are known. Right now it looks as though he failed in his mission of protecting citizens while playing to his conservative anti-bike constituency.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 26, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

But you need a 99.9% case to win in criminal court.

The civil case will be paid by insurance and so is not so much a finding of fault and more the way of resolving an insurance claim that cannot be settled by mediation or arbitration.

Insurance companies will almost always pay out in an accident claim unless it can be shown that the victim was 100% fault for the accident, which probably is not the case here.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

A win in a criminal case makes it certain that you will win a civil case because the burden of proof is so much less.

The opposite is not true because there are many cases where blame is between 51% and 99%.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

"what the S.F.P.D. recommended once confronted with the video evidence."

Earth to lilli: prosecutors decline to prosecute offenses that the police recommend all the time. Prosecutors have to make the case before a jury - the cops don't.

Come on, you're usually so proud of the fact that it is really hard to get a San Francisco jury to convict someone of a criminal offense. And yet you scream when the DA makes decisions fully cognizant of that fact.

Posted by Guest on May. 26, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

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