When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
The bill would prohibit, with specified exceptions, the driver of the motor vehicle
that is overtaking or passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a
highway from passing at a distance of less than 3 feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. (emphasis added)
This is yet another iteration of the so-called "three-foot passing law." And, yes, we have
been here before.
Consider the fate of Senate Bill 910, which would have required drivers to maintain "a minimum clearance of 3 feet" when sidling by cyclists from behind.
October 2011: vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Then there was Senate Bill 1464. Minding the governor's previous objection, any
language requiring drivers to slow down in addition to maintaining safe distance when
passing cyclists was struck. Leaner and more flexible than its legislative antecedent, 1464
just asked for the three feet.
Alas, September 2012: vetoed again.
According to text of the veto itself, Brown didn't object to the three-foot rule in and of
itself ("I applaud the author's continuing work to improve bicycle safety," he wrote), but
to a provision in the bill allowing drivers to edge over a double yellow line, if needed to
preserve the yard-wide bike buffer.
"Crossing a double yellow line is an inherently dangerous act," wrote the governor
before sending the bill back to the legislature. "When a collision occurs, it will result
in a lawsuit where the state is likely to be sued."
Perhaps the law could have been written in such a way that would have put the onus
to safely cross over a double yellow (say, not right before a blind turn) squarely
on the driver. Perhaps, that's what Bradford has in mind. We won't know for a little while yet; Bradford's office says they aren't quite ready to talk details.
Either way, this year's version of the three-foot passing law has been referred to
committee. So, here we go again. Assembly Bill 1371: Pass Safe with a Vengeance.
I should say that, at least in my capacity as a frequent rider of bikes, I am a pretty lucky
guy. I have never been in a serious accident while on my bike and of the few bumps
and scrapes I've received along the way, the only party that has ever been involved or at
fault has been me. (On that note: it's raining this weekend, so watch those slippery Muni
But as someone who has been in enough near-misses, my overriding response to a law like this is an emphatic why not?
To put a little statutory breathing space between cyclists and the steel-girded internal
combustion engines that whiz by them on the road? Why not? To further codify the right
of bicyclists to take up as much lane space as we might need to feel safe? Why not? To
remind certain drivers that while being forced to wait until the other lane clears before
passing may not be the worst thing in the world?
That said, "why not?" is hardly a rousing endorsement. Certainly, a law requiring drivers
to give cyclists a three-foot berth when passing would be nice. Drivers actually giving us
those three feet in practice would be a whole lot nicer.
In 2010, Maryland passed its own three-foot passing law (Maryland is one of 24
states, plus the District of Columbia, that has a "defined distance standard," says the League of American Bicyclists). In an assessment of that law published two years after its passage, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that 15 percent of the surveyed passes still swiped by within a yard.
This is not so surprising. Mandatory passing distance laws, like so many rules of the road,
tend to be followed selectively. Cyclists, as you will learn from any comment thread
on any article about bicyclists posted anywhere on the Internet, will sometimes breeze
through stop signs or red lights. Some drivers, as I've pointed out in previous posts,
treat bike lanes like personal (double) parking spaces.
This is perhaps due to a lack of enforcement. But wanton lawlessness aside, there is, I think, a pervasive misunderstanding of road rules. Earlier this week, a driver saddled up next to me as I was riding home from the grocery store. As she passed, well within three feet, she glared at me and mouthed something that looked a lot like "get the fuck out of my lane." The fact that I had the right to ride there was, evidently, totally lost on this driver.
And so while it's certainly frustrating that we, as a state, are going to have to have
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"