Castro neighbors complain of frequent bicycle accidents

People who live along 17th street in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood say they are seeing bicycle accidents almost weekly and they're calling on the city to do something to improve the safety in the area.

City officials have scheduled a meeting with neighbors next week.

Neighbors say 17th Street between Church and Sanchez is a short block with a long history of bicycle accidents.

John Entwistle showed KTVU video he's captured of four accidents with surveillance cameras mounted in front of his home.

He says the most egregious is a video showing a mother riding a bicycle with her two children behind her.

She maneuvers around a car that's double parked and falls. "This is a trap. These people are not to blame," says Entwistle.

He says the trap is the Muni train tracks that cause the bicycle tires to get stuck. And the problem is exacerbated by drivers double parking.

Entwistle says less than a week after the mother's accident, his cameras recorded another bicyclist falling.
"It's been steadily going up and worse than will continue. Not only to go up , it will continue. Somebody has to fix this problem," says Entwistle.
One woman tells us she experienced the problem first hand.
"I was making a left hand turn. My back tire slipped into the tracks I kind of went Superman face forward flew off my bike. Thankfully, I was wearing my helmet, " says Lauren Nazario who lives in the nearby and says she rides along 17th Street daily.
Another neighbor says the most recent bike accident he witnessed was just a week ago.
"I personally called 911 for an engine and an ambulance," says Jiro Yamamoto.
Neighbors say San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), the agency that oversees Muni. has been slow to respond.
"We want to make sure when we do meet, everyone can come there with real solutions , real ideas to make sure we can eliminate these crashes in this area," says Paul Rose, Muni spokesman.

Rose says potential changes that have been studied include removing the tracks, making the street one way , removing parking to add a protected bike path and increased enforcement of double parking.
"Getting rid of double parking would be a huge improvement because that is probably the single greatest cause of crashes, says Yamamoto.
SFMTA plans to hold a community meeting at the Mission District police station next Wednesday night at 6:30.