Masonic Avenue Speedrun: From Anza to the Panhandle in About 75 Seconds – SFMTA Says This is Impossible

What’s our horrible SFMTA, the people who bring you (sort of, sometimes) MUNI, crowing about these days? It’s the recent rejiggering of the traffic signals on Masonic to change driver behavior. Check it:

“With the change in timing, motorists travelling south from Geary to Fell will find generally that when they exceed the 25 speed limit, they’ll get more red lights.”

Mmmm. I guess how many red lights you get depends on whether you start traveling “south from Geary” from southbound Masonic or eastbound or westbound Geary. So let’s test SFMTA’s claims from the next intersection, the one at Anza and Masonic in Mervyn’s Heights.

Let’s see how many red lights you get as punishment for exceeding 25 MPH, shall we? The answer is zero, none, no red lights, ningunas luces rojas, mi amiga. You’ll get a green at Turk, Golden Gate, Fulton, Grove, Hayes and then Fell. See?


So that’s strike one. (I’ll tell you, taxi drivers and Sunset District denizens and late-night MUNI bus drivers would just looooove to transition betwixt the Bush/Pine corridor and the Fell/Oak corridor by using the Masonic corridor at an even 25 MPH.)

(I’m thinking if cab drivers would have anything to complain about, it would be hitting a red light at Anza after coming down Masonic through the green at Geary. The light at Anza used to favor southbound traffic coming from the Trader Joe’s area and now it does not. But that has nothing to do with whether you drive at 15 or 25 or 35 – these days, you’ll hit a red at Anza irregardless.)

Here’s strike two:

“Only the southbound signals have been adjusted since two-way traffic, as on Masonic, poses too many traffic engineering problems to make bi-directional adjustments.”

Now, how on Gaia’s Tierra Verde can you adjust the southbound signals without adjusting the northbound signals? Helloooo, McFly!

All the way to the bottom, Maggie. You made it!

And let’s see here, how can we get a strike-out? Oh, the SFMTA conducted a poll of people who showed up to the let’s-plant-more-trees-on-Masonic meeting and then asked them, hey, do you think we should plant trees on Masonic with Other People’s Money, with money that fell from the sky? Well, guess what? Most of the people who showed at the let’s-plant-more-trees-on-Masonic meeting at the Rich White Kids private school supported the idea of  planting of more trees on Masonic. Surprise, surprise.

That’s strike three.

Now of course the SFMTA has the power to make changes to take out parking spaces to improve the safety situation on Masonic right now, but the people in charge over there feel that that would lower the chances of getting approval to spend eight figures of OPM and years and years to plant trees on Masonic and move existing trees or cut them down or narrow the sidewalks or take out some parking spaces to improve safety

For some reason the SFMTA has a strong focus on aesthetics.

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