Driver Takes Stupid Pills

Kendall Willets photo via SFist.

Kendall Willets photo via SFist.

We get that driving an automobile in San Francisco is not easy, but c’mon!

From our friends at SFist comes this photo taken last Thursday by Kendall Willets. Willets reports that the driver of the SUV tried an illegal left turn from the right lane from westbound Market onto southbound Tenth Street.  No injuries, no damage to the streetcar, which has been back on the road.

As San Franciscans know, left turns off Market throughout downtown (except onto Drumm Street) have been banned for decades for any vehicles except Muni. Even though every intersection is well-signed in this regard, we still regularly see dumb (or scofflaw) drivers hanging lefties in front of oncoming traffic (largely Muni buses and streetcars and bicyclists these days) that aren’t expecting that. Nor are pedestrians who aren’t looking for left-turning drivers.  A recipe for danger.

Market Street Railway is one of many transit, bicycle, and pedestrian advocacy groups supporting SFMTA’s plan to ban automobiles from Market outright between Third and Tenth Streets, for safety reasons.

It’s supposed to start in August.  Wish it were in effect already.

[Okay, transit nerd content: one city famous for streetcars actually has a rule of the road for automobiles that requires them to pull to the curb lane to turn across traffic.  It’s so they won’t block the streetcars, er, trams. It’s Melbourne, Australia, and it’s an unnerving practice to see, but Melburnians understand the rule, and it seems to work. There.  Not here.]


Comments: 3

  1. That turn in Melbourne is called a “Hook Turn”. It’s interesting to see in action and requires a low-volume turn. There is also a fair bit of warning about the turn upstream to get cars ready to be in the correct lane.

  2. I occasionally see autos turning left from a right hand lane at intersections that have raised platform stops for the streetcars (24th and Church specifically). You never know what is going on in the driver’s mind or perhaps they’ve been distracted by their cell phones but it certainly is dangerous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *