Kirk Janes

San Francisco, d. 21.May.2008, killed in traffic on the job

Kirk JanesIf anyone couldn't make it to, or didn't hear about, Kirk's memorial last night, a very nice memorial of flowers, candles, stickers, pictures, and chalk art was left at the northwest corner of Fulton and Steiner. I submitted a request to the dpw that it be left intact for a while so that friends and family would have a chance to see it. So if you want to stop by and pay tribute to Kirk, hopefully everything will still be there.

Also, I talked to Fergus about a memorial ride next weekend (5/31, 6/1). I'm not sure if an exact date and time has been set as of yet,
but I will post here with details as I learn them. Everyone and anyone will be welcome and encouraged to attend.

Sean O'Toole

Kirk Janes--RIP, Kirk Janes, a fencer from San Francisco, was killed in a bike accident yesterday morning while working as a bike messenger. Kirk worked hard at his job and was also a filmmaker and sabre fencer at CCSF and HFC. Our most sincere condolences go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.


Cyclist Killed in San Francisco on Ride of Silence Day.
From San Francisco Citizen (click for photo of their ride)

memorialBike messenger Kirk Janes was killed yesterday morning in a collision with a truck at Fulton and Steiner in Alamo Square. San Francisco’s Ride of Silence, already planned for yesterday evening, was then hastily altered to start at this intersection.

The Ride of Silence occurs on the third Wednesday in May in almost 300 cities around the world. It’s a bicycle ride to commemorate cyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads. It helps to raise awareness among motorists of the dangers they pose to cyclists. Unlike a Critical Mass event, Ride of Silence rides are not designed to stall traffic or create conflict with motorists.

A KTVU channel 2 news crew spoke with riders as they assembled.

Kirk JanesSF bike messenger killed by pickup truck
Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

(05-21) 04:00 PDT San Francisco -- A bicycle messenger who had recently started his own delivery business was killed today when he was hit by a pickup next to Alamo Square, San Francisco police said.

Kirk Janes, 35, was killed at 10:55 a.m. at Fulton and Steiner streets at the northeast corner of the square. Janes had recently co-founded the business American Flyer and was also known as an artist, filmmaker, photographer and fencing enthusiast.

Janes was heading east on Fulton toward downtown in a bike lane when the pickup driver, headed north on Steiner, struck him in the intersection. Police Department spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said it is unclear who had the right of way at the intersection, which is controlled by signal lights.

Friends said Janes, who still smoked despite surgery on his throat, kept riding even after a recent injury to his hip. He spoke with a raspy voice.
Janes had broken his hip while riding on Second Street last year and could have gone on disability from the state. Instead, he quit Speedway Delivery last year, and, after a brief break to recover, started his own business.

kirkles"He could have gone on disability, but he decided it would not be the right thing, knowing he was not going to go back to Speedway. He passed up a lot of money, just on principle," said Ryan Akers, a friend and fellow messenger.

Janes had been recently talking about going on vacation and had traveled extensively in Europe, said Akers, who had been on a bowling team with him in Daly City dubbed the "The Strike Messengers."

Mike Donofrio, a former co-worker at Speedway Delivery, said Janes was popular in the community. "He was a really hard worker - he always had everybody's back," Donofrio said.

Fergus Tanaka, president of the San Francisco Bicycle Messengers Association, said Janes was active in the close-knit messenger network in the city. "He was a good guy, a real strong member of the community and someone who was of great support to his friends," Tanaka said. Tanaka said being a messenger is a risky career, given the traffic in the city. He said that while injuries related to accidents are not uncommon, this was the first messenger fatality in recent memory. "It's a shame when something like this happens - outsiders may tend to blame the messenger first, but that is not the only case. It's dangerous, a small slipup or miscalculation can lead to something tragic."

Top photo from Kirk's CCSF Fencing profile; Middle Right: Kirk's memorial at Speedway, photo by Ryan Akers; Bottom photo: Kirk with his photography from Velocity art show and Kirk (left) at the SF Eagle, photos by America