Friday News Roundup
News from San Francisco and around the Bay Area for Friday, August 5, 2016
TEEN SUSPECT RIDING DIRT BIKE ARRESTED AFTER COLLIDING WITH PATROL CAR
Police arrested a 14-year-old boy Thursday afternoon after he crashed his dirt bike into a police patrol car while attempting to flee from officers in San Francisco’s Bayview District, police said.
Around 4 p.m., patrol officers spotted a robbery suspect riding a dirt bike near Third Street and Yosemite Avenue, according to police.
As the teen suspect tried to flee from police, he maneuvered a wheelie, lifting the front wheel of the bike, police said.
The suspect somehow then collided into the front end of the patrol vehicle.
The teen was taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries and subsequently arrested, according to police.
FIRE BETWEEN MISSION APARTMENT BUILDINGS QUICKLY EXTINGUISHED THURSDAY
No injuries were reported Thursday afternoon after a fire broke out in-between two apartment buildings near San Francisco’s Mission Dolores Park.
The fire was first reported at 1:48 p.m. at 3806 18th St., according to San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Baxter.
Upon arrival, firefighters located a fire inside a lightwell in between two buildings, Baxter said. Firefighters quickly got it under control.
It was not immediately clear if any residents were displaced. A cause for the fire has not yet been determined. However, the blaze does not appear suspicious, Baxter said.
MAYOR ANNOUNCES STEPPED UP SAFETY EFFORTS IN WAKE OF BICYCLIST DEATHS
Responding to recent bicyclist and pedestrian deaths, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today issued an executive directive committing to accelerated safety improvements to the city’s streets and bike network over the next nine months.
The directive includes a commitment to safety improvements in the South of Market neighborhood and in Golden Gate Park, where two bicyclists were killed within hours of each other on a single day in June, over the next six to nine months.
“Recently, we have had tragedies on our streets as a result of criminal behavior on behalf of motorists,” said Mayor Lee. “While we cannot control the criminal behavior of a few, we can make our streets safer through engineering, education and enforcement.”
San Francisco publicly committed to a Vision Zero policy in 2014 calling for traffic deaths to be reduced to zero by 2024.
However, Lee has been the subject of public pressure from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to step up efforts to increase bicycle safety since the June 22 deaths of bicyclists Katherine Slattery, 26, and Heather Miller, 41.
Both women were riding legally when they were struck by hit and run drivers, hours apart, in the city’s South of Market neighborhood and in Golden Gate Park. Suspects have been arrested and charged in both of those incidents.
Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier today praised the executive directive as a “bold commitment demonstrating the city’s resolve to eliminate traffic deaths.”
“There is nothing that can bring back the lives of two people died biking in San Francisco on June 22,” Wiedenmeier said. “We still feel their losses and can only imagine what their family and friends have gone through.”
The directive calls for safety improvements on Seventh and Eighth streets to be made over the next nine months and changes that will reduce speeds and vehicular through-traffic on John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park within the next six months.
In addition, it calls for the launch of a study of traffic calming and traffic restrictions in Golden Gate Park within the next three months, a commitment to continued advocacy for the legalization of automated speed enforcement cameras at the state level, the implementation of a “Vision Zero” awareness campaign within the next 30 days and the implementation of safety features on city fleet and contracted vehicles include telematics tracking devices by January 2017.
It also commits the San Francisco Police Department to meeting its enforcement goals targeting dangerous driver behaviors, and all involved departments, including police, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Recreation and Parks, to tracking and regularly reporting on their
According to the bicycle coalition, at least 20 people have died on San Francisco streets this year, 10 of them seniors and three of them bicyclists.
Nicole Ferrara, executive director of pedestrian advocacy group Walk SF, said the city has yet to achieve reductions in serious and fatal pedestrian injuries and must “go farther and work faster to build a safe transportation system.”
“Every 18 hours in San Francisco, someone is killed or seriously injured on our streets,” Ferrara said. “And low-income communities, communities of color, seniors and people with disabilities are twice as likely as others to suffer that fate.”
JUDGE RULES LAWSUIT AGAINST SF PRIDE FOR 2015 SHOOTING CAN PROCEED
A judge has ruled that a lawsuit against San Francisco Pride celebration organizers filed by a man injured in a shooting at the event last year can proceed.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer on Wednesday denied a motion by lawyers for the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee seeking to have the complaint dismissed.
The lawsuit, filed in May by attorney Ryan Lapine on behalf of San Francisco resident Freddy Atton, alleges that Atton was injured and disabled in a June 27, 2015 shooting due to insufficient security measures at the Civic Center Pride Celebration.
Attorneys for the Pride committee sought to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it violated their free speech rights, but Ulmer found that Atton’s lawsuit was not based on free speech but on a lack of security.
Lapine, who also filed a second lawsuit on behalf of two brothers injured at the Pride Celebration in 2013, sought an injunction seeking to force the Pride committee to increase security, but that motion was denied on June 16.
Pride officials argued they could not afford to make the security changes called for in the injunction, especially given the short time before the celebration
Days later, however, in response to a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida at a gay nightclub, Pride and city officials announced increased security precautions. Those precautions included security screenings at the Civic Center celebrations of the type sought in the injunction, as well as a sharply increased police presence.