San Francisco Bike Traffic and COVID-19
The past few months have been unlike any other in modern history as the United States faces the COVID-19 pandemic. As the summer months approach, it is expected that many will begin to resume typical summer activities, albeit at a hopefully with appropriate precautions. One of the ways that many people, especially in San Francisco, will enjoy being outdoors following the quarantine from Coronavirus will be by biking on the streets. Additionally, with gyms having closed doors or decreased hours, many residents of San Francisco have turned to cycling amid the shutdown of the city.
Many bike shops throughout San Francisco are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand for new bicycles. Several bicycle shops such as American Cyclery, Valencia Cyclery and Wiggle Bicycles are experiencing increases in business due to interest in cycling as a form of exercise and transportation. Bike shops were added to California’s listing of essential businesses in recognition of those residents throughout the state who used bicycles for essential travel purposes.
Along with wanting to get exercise outdoors, many residents of San Francisco following the quarantine will be unwilling to participate in public transportation. Many forms of public transportation involved standing or sitting in close quarters with other people. While certain businesses and life may begin to open up slightly, it is expected that many people will still be very wary of coming into close contact with others. This desire to avoid riding BART or Muni makes for a further motivation to bike. As a result, many workers are considering biking to work or to social activities, as well as for their own personal exercise.
With continued shelter-in-place orders, many people expect that people will continue to ride bicycles on city streets in order to not only get exercise, but get to their destinations while being saved from crowded mass transit. Additionally, many of San Francisco’s popular bike routes are now completely closed to motor vehicles, allowing cyclists and pedestrians some breathing room. For example thoroughfares in John McLaren Park Twin Peaks Boulevard, and Golden Gate Park along with the Great Highway are closed to vehicles. A network of streets in neighborhoods are also closed, such as Page Street in the upper and lower Haight. While these streets probably will eventually open back up, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is advocating that certain roads within San Francisco remain permanently closed in order to give additional support to bicyclists throughout the city.
While it may seem that more bicyclists on the roadways would be safer overall, the presence of additional bicyclists as well as pedestrians during the global pandemic has actually clogged the streets, crosswalks, and sidewalks with additional traffic and congestion. San Francisco is already home to some very dangerous intersections for cyclists, more traffic on the streets can mean more of an opportunity to have accidents with motorists leading to catastrophic injuries or even death of bicyclists. While there are lists of safety precautions for bicyclists, ultimately, statistically the more bicyclists there are on the roadways, the more chance there are for accidents with vehicles.
Those who use a bicycle for transportation within the city of San Francisco typically develop strong safety habits as they maneuver around Motor Vehicles. However, with the exponential increase in sales and usage of bicycles throughout the city continues, as the nation opens up after the COVID-19 viral pandemic, those newer, less experienced bicyclists will be on the road with less experience which can result in serious accidents. Accidents involving motor vehicles and bicyclists can result in traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, aortic dissection, broken or fractured bones, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, disfigurement, skin abrasions, or even death.
If you have been injured in an accident on a bicycle due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the legal right to receive compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages. As statute of limitations laws are quite strict in California, it is important to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Callaway & Wolf who can get you the largest settlement possible that you are owed for your injury. Call our compassionate legal team today at 415-541-0300 to schedule a free personal consultation in our San Francisco office. Or, if you prefer, send us a confidential message on our contact notepad, and you will receive a prompt response.
Boone Callaway is a personal injury & medical malpractice lawyer in San Francisco who has been working with clients in the Bay Area for over 25 years. Mr. Callaway is one of only a few personal injury litigators in San Francisco who is a Super Lawyer, AV Rated and is also a member of ABOTA – American Board of Trial Advocates.