Would skirts have helped? From some accounts, the victim was hit by the side of the bus as it turned, and pushed under the wheel. That certainly sounds plausible; we personally witnessed, a few months ago, a bus at Mission/18th that took a turn rather sharply, causing the rear wheel to slide up against a bicyclist. The lady on the bike fell to the side, luckily, but her bike got caught under the encroaching wheel and did not survive.

So maybe fender skirts wouldn't be such a bad idea. A simple one could be constructed out of just a strip of metal, bolted to the side of the bus over the wheel well. Of course, we're not engineers, and we're totally pulling this suggestion out of thin air; so maybe the experts have an excellent argument against skirting. We'd be delighted to hear some further debate.

(A side note: The above examples of fender skirts are all from a bus manufacturer called Nabi. And all of their fender-skirt buses are intended to be used for Bus-Rapid-Transit -- that is, street lanes dedicated just to buses, rather than mixing buses with cars. Lately, San Francisco County Transit Authority's been pondering BRT lanes of our own on Geary and Van Ness. Getting rid of mixed bus-car sidewalk space would make more parking spots available; and it would speed up everyone's commute, since mixed traffic slows down the cars just as much as the buses. But it looks like it'll be several years before we'll get them, thanks in part to complaints from a lone kooky shampoo peddler in the Richmond who makes the insane claim that faster buses will put him out of business. But that's a story for another post.)