Sunday, August 30, 2015

SF Carnicle Reports 19,000 Bicyclist Inflicted Deaths; City Panics & Internet Explodes

A San Francisco Carnicle article sent shock-waves across the Internet, and brought along a barrage of outrage from the SF community, all the way to City Hall.  The news week started off like most, until one after another, articles depicting horrendous bike destruction swept across the Bay Area.  At least a dozen bike inflicted injuries were reported in less than one week.  They included:

Aug 22: The San Francisco Police Department is seeking witnesses to a Mission Street hit-and-run that critically injured a 24-year-old woman.  The biker kept going north on Mission following the collision, an SFPD spokesperson says. Neither the biker nor the bike have been identified or found as of Monday morning.

Aug 24: A pedestrian was critically injured from a hit-and-run biker in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood Saturday night.

Aug 26: An elderly man was hit Tuesday morning by a speeding biker and then run over as the biker reportedly tried to flee before being stopped by a crowd of onlookers on 6th Street, according to witnesses.  That same day a San Francisco motorcycle police officer was struck by a silver bike on his way to help out the previous accident about two blocks away.  The two bike induced collisions happened within 10 minutes of each other.

Aug 27: A fire started Santa Clara as investigators found that a bike struck the gas line on the north side of the strip mall and fled the scene.

Just one of many tragedies reported, caused by reckless bikers in one week.
image found here
The Carnicle discovered this was just the tip of the iceberg.  A report from the National Safety Council reported that nearly 19,000 people were killed as a result of bicycle related crashes between January and June of 2015, nearly 100 deaths caused by bikers each day.  In addition to the astronomical amount of biker inflicted deaths, there were nearly 2.3 million “serious injuries."  The estimated costs of these bike related crashes, including medical expenses, wage and productivity losses and property damage, topped $152 billion.  California alone had a share of at least 700 pedestrians losing their lives due to bicyclists in 2014.

The Internet exploded over this new, "horrendous", news.

"I always knew those ENTITLED bikers with those killing machines would eventually lead to this.  It's high time we crack down and ban bikes from the road completely"

"This is what you get when you start devoting space to bicycles.  Time to rethink if we really want these destructive vehicles on our roads anymore."

"If these casulaties aren't a wake-up call, then I don't know what is.  How can we as a society, in good conscience, let these reckless cyclists continue their murderous rampage through our city?  We have vulnerable children and elderly that need protection.  One life is one too many."

Thousands of citizens not willing to wait for the government to stop the "bike pandemic that's sweeping the nation"
image found here
Several groups of people took it upon themselves to rip out bike bike racks and paint over the few bike sharrows scattered across the city.  Hundreds flocked outside the San Francisco Bike Coalition asking them disband completely or they would burn down the building "for the good of humanity."

When Mayor Lee heard of the news, he issued an executive order to halt construction of the two bike lanes in the city, and tear up the dozen that already exist.  In an emergency town hall, Lee spoke to hundreds of panicked citizens, "We can't sit idly by when dozen's of people will lose their lives to reckless biking each year.  We must take bold, drastic steps to curb this threat to public safety immediately."  Lee also demanded that the SFPD devote as much time and resources as possible to prevent the "tragic and senseless consequences of reckless bike behavior."

"The death and destruction caused by bikes will not be tolerated, even if it takes putting every one of those godforsaken, bloodthirsty bikers behind bars."
image found here
Hatred and anger for bikers reverberated throughout the city, until the following week, when the Carnicle issued a retraction on the last page of their paper:

"We apologize for last week's error.  We inadvertently replaced "motor vehicle" with "bicycle" in last week's stories.  The high injury and death count was nothing more than typical vehicle "accidents".  We deeply regret the alarm and distress we may have caused by this error.  We repeat, there is no epidemic and there is no cause for alarm."

As the news slowly spread through the Internet, panic and worry subsided.  Mayor Lee, in a statement, said "we can all breath a collective sigh of relief knowing that our reasons for panicking were unmerited."  San Francisco residents rejoiced and left their houses again, flush with the knowledge their city was exactly how it should be.  The SFPD said they would continue to crack down on bicyclists "just in case".

"We'll put this back in, someday"
image found here.

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