Scofflaw drivers, beware. The San Francisco Police Department’s traffic division has stepped up enforcement along the Embarcadero for the summer.
And although SFPD spokespeople said the enforcement decision was not made because of a recent collision there, the motorcycle cops ticketing along the waterfront are doing so where an unknown driver struck and injured a pedicab operator, Kevin Manning, in late June.
SFPD spokesperson Grace Gatpandan attributed the increased traffic enforcement to the increase in people visiting The City’s waterfront in summer months.
But, referring to the pedicab collision, she added, “that incident is obviously on our mind.”
On June 27 a gold Honda Civic swerved in and out of traffic and struck a pedicab (essentially a bike-run taxi) that was ferrying a family of two. Though the family was released from a city hospital, the pedicab operator, Manning, sustained critical injuries and remains hospitalized.
Since that collision cyclists have publicly called out the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Port of San Francisco for lagging on enacting protected bikeway plans. Those agencies missed key deadlines, according to public documents reviewed by the San Francisco Examiner.
However a Port of San Francisco spokesperson has asserted the Port is not the lead agency, and argued that legally the responsibility to enact the bicycle safety changes falls to the SFMTA.
A two-way bikeway concept on the waterfront side of The Embarcadero is the lead option to protect cyclists, SFMTA spokesperson Ben Jose told the Examiner. The conceptual design phase will be complete this fall, after which the SFMTA will move the project into envrionmental review, he said.
SFMTA will then also be “evaluating funding options” to support engineering studies, design and construction of the bikeway, Jose added.
In the meantime, the SFPD has called on the public to help it identify the driver who struck Manning. A GoFundMe page started to support Manning’s hospital bills has already raised $26,066 to help him in just seven days.
Mimosa André, co-owner of Cabrio Taxi Pedicabs, said Manning is making “very, very slow progress.” Manning is being kept sedated while he heals, she said, but “he has small positive changes every day.”
The full extent of his injuries is not yet known, she added.