A bicyclist who apparently crossed traffic to turn left on a red arrow suffered non-life-threatening injuries Thursday when he collided with a San Francisco Municipal Railway light rail vehicle.
The cyclist was traveling in the bike lane, heading the same direction as the train on the Embarcadero when, at about 3:40 p.m., he apparently made a left out of the bike lane to turn onto Bryant Street, police spokeswoman Maria Oropeza said. The left turn arrow was red for traffic to make way for the approaching train, and as the cyclist crossed the lanes he collided with the front right corner of the train car, police said.
The crash comes on the heels of another incident Wednesday, in which a woman on foot who was apparently trying to flag down a Muni bus entered Market Street against the light, hit the side of a moving no. 71 bus and was run over by the rear wheels. That woman suffered two broken legs.
Muni spokeswoman Maggie Lynch said Friday that chips embedded in the train tracks control the traffic lights on the Embarcadero. When the chip, known as a V-tag, senses a train coming, it keeps the red arrow red until the train moves through the intersection, “so there can’t accidentally be a green arrow and then the train’s there.”
The cyclist suffered wounds to his face and head and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital. He was not wearing his helmet, Oropeza said, and had headphones on at the time of the accident.
The driver of the light rail vehicle is on non-driving status, which Lynch said is standard procedure following a collision. The driver will be back behind the wheel after Muni conducts its investigation into the incident.