As most of you now by now, 21-year-old Nils Linke died while riding his bike southbound on Masonic Avenue near Turk Street on Friday night. He was hit by a car. His body smeared across Masonic, with pieces his bike "strewn about half a block with pieces of shattered wheel under the car," and his shredded bits of clothes found scattered down the street. The driver of the car, who fled the scene after colliding with Linke, was arrested and booked for vehicular manslaughter. It's a tragic and trying tale for all parties involved, but especially for Linkne and his family. What's more, as many of you also know, Masonic and Fell is one of San Francisco more troubled spots when it comes to the tissue-thin relationship between cyclists and drivers.
What's wrong, exactly? Well, according to Bike NOPA, a site about "bicycling and livability in the City's North Panhandle/Western Addition neighborhood:
[T]here are "always terrible accidents at the Turk and Masonic intersection." During a June 15th community meeting about traffic calming for Masonic Avenue, MTA staff presented collision data for the Masonic corridor. Between 2004-2009, 11 collisions involving motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians occurred at Masonic and Turk.
Some issues in need of attention for Masonic? Well, for starters, speeding in a residential area, yellow light running, crashes, reckless driving in curb lanes, red light running, and failure to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Just to name a few.
SFist asked Bike NOPA editor Michael Helquist for his thoughts on what, if anything, could be done to this dangerous stretch of street. Helquist writes to us explaining: