Demonstration in San Francisco to push for safer, protected bike lanes
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Cyclists in San Francisco are taking safety into their own hands, creating a human shield to protect one of the city's bike lanes.
The corner the group gathered on is where Kate Slattery was killed almost two years ago.
At the height of the evening commute, members of people protected bike lane created a wall of humanity, stretching down Howard street, protecting the cyclists in the bike lane and reminding drivers to share the road.
"Our goal is to create safe spaces for people who want to use a bicycle or scooter to be able to do so on the streets safely, " said Matt Brezina from People Protected Bike Lanes.
Organizers want to see more bike lanes like the one on 7th Street, with the bike lane hugging the sidewalk and the parked cars creating a barrier between cyclists and passing vehicles.
To raise awareness, people protected bike lanes creating this human barricade to make sure drivers don't swerve into or double park in the cycling lane.
"You will see delivery trucks in the bike lanes, you will see Uber’s personal cars in the bike lane, even someone who is parking has to stop in the bike lane and backing in," said Brezina
Some of the city's roads have become notorious for cyclists who say they have to be on guard all the time.
"In a normal place without a bike lane, or in the old fashioned bike lanes, I've had a lot of cars almost hit me trying to turn right, and they're very aggressive about turning right," said cyclist Jamie Prim.
The corner of 7th and Howard streets is where a driver ran a red light, struck and killed Kate Slattery in June 2016, then took off. Police arrested Farrukh Mushtaq and prosecutors charged him with felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.
Cyclists who regularly ride these streets say they're constantly watching for cars, even in bike lanes. "I'm trying to be as cautious as possible. " said cyclist Lucya Koroleva.
Organizers say they're planning similar human walls throughout the city in the days and weeks to come.