The SFMTA Renames Lower Haight as “The Wiggle Community” – Calls for SFPD Crackdown on Bikes, Return of Hated Traffic Circles

[UPDATE: Now let's hear from famous Jim Ross:

"I lived on Scott Street, between Oak & Fell during the last traffic circle experiment. Was nearly hit four or five times walking to Haight Street for coffee. That is a very residential neighborhood, one reason it is good to bike through. But also, a bunch of pedestrians should not have risk life and limb to cross the street…"

Indeed, Jimbo! Pedestrians wanting to cross Page would hear a car coming from a half-block away. What should they do? Would the drivers slow down? The peds wouldn't know. Very bad!  All this so that Page could eventually become a "Bicycle Boulevard?" All this so that cyclists wouldn't have to worry about getting tickets for California stopping? Ridiculoso!]

Here it is, from our incompetent SFMTA:

Wiggle Community Open House

You know what, SFMTA, do you know what you should be “passionate” about? Do you know what your primary function is? It’s to operate the fucking transit system.

So how well do you think you are you doing, SFMTA? Do you think you all are doing a spectacular job? Really?

So why not this, why not say, “We’re the SFMTA, we’re MUNI and we don’t do a very good job these days but we have a pot of money to spend on the Lower Haight and we think this kind of project would be a good use of taxpayer money.” You know, as an introduction, to build credibility with your audience.

Anyway, let’s get to a few of the more glaring issues with the so-called “Wiggle Community,” fka the Lower Haight.

Oh, here we go:

Click to expand

Let’s read the boxes here:

“With intersecting bike routes and heavy vehicle volumes, this intersection  is confusing for everyone”

OMFG, SFMTA, WTF? The intersection of Page and Scott doesn’t have “heavy” vehicle volumes. NOT AT ALL. Also, it’s a simple four way stop. It’s not “confusing for everyone.” WTF are you smoking, you SFMTA hippies?

“Heavy vehicle congestion from drivers using Scott as a cut-through to Fell and Oak.”

OK, as stated, Scott Street just doesn’t have heavy vehicle congestion. Hey, SFMTA! Do you know about the ongoing, daily disaster you all created called Octavia “Boulevard?’ Well guess what. It has “heavy” vehicle congestion. As does Oak, which routinely backs up going all the way up to freaking Alamo Heights. As do other streets intersecting with Octavia due to how the lights are timed. What color is the sky in your world, SFMTA? And what’s a “cut-through?” Is it street? I think it is? How about this, SFMTA, you all name me a street and then I’ll make a up a name for the surrounding area and I’ll call it a “community.” How about the “Ashbury Southern Heights (ASH) Community?” Then, I’ll critercise all those mofos who use the southern part of Ashbury Street to “cut-through” my made-up “community.” And then I’ll blame ALL “congestion” on people who don’t live in the “community.” That’s what you’re trying to do here, SFMTA. Every street in SF is a “cut-through,” using the phrase the way you all use it.

“Haight Street has buses and commercial activity, and is less comfortable for biking.”

Biking isn’t necessarily “comfortable,” SFMTA. And it never will be. I know you all are addicted to spending money, but this rationale is exceptionally weak. It’s right up there with using “transit justice” to justify the wasteful nine-figure Central Subway subway to nowhere project in Chinatown.

“Bicyclists don’t yield to pedestrians, particularly in the downhill direction”

Well, yeah, that’s right. Like Haight and Pierce, for example. I’ll tell you, I’m surprised the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition branch of the SFMTA would allow a publication to come out what talks about enforcement actions and what has a photo of an SFPD officer. I guess this is the SFMTA throwing a bone to the peds?

Anyway, read through the whole seven pages for more SFMTA boners.

Speaking of which, the SFMTA is back with the traffic circles.

All right,about a decade ago, the very same SFMTA was dead-set on putting traffic circles in the Haights, specifically on Page and Waller. The SFMTA said it had numerous studies praising traffic circles. The SFMTA said that “the community” wanted traffic circles. The SFMTA was wrong. The SFMTA had a vote by the neighbors and it lost by about a three to one margin – all 11 proposed traffic circles got voted down. Anyway, the plan was to have them become gardens or whatnot. So, for the SFMTA to list unsightliness as the first reason for the SFMTA’s failure, well, that’s a little disingenuous, IMO. So the reason the SFMTA can now claim it has “installed traffic circles with success and community support” in the Richmond District recently is that the SFMTA didn’t allow a vote. If the SFMTA allowed a vote on any particular traffic circle, the SFMTA would lose. So, no more voting, bingo bango.

This is horse doody:

“Traffic Circles Then & Now
In 2003, the SFMTA experimented with removing stop signs and installing traffic circles at several locations along Page Street. Many residents complained that the circles were unsightly and deprioritized pedestrians, and they were removed. However, in recent years the SFMTA has installed traffic circles with success and  community support, using improved outreach, design, and signage.

Are there places in the Wiggle where you’d like to see traffic circles today?”

Is the SFMTA saying that it has “improved” the design of traffic circles the past ten years? Perhaps they’ve done research on the number pi? Perhaps they’re thinking traffic ovals? Traffic ovoids? IDK.

Anyway, just because you lie about stuff, that doesn’t mean people will necessarily believe you, SFMTA.

Ah, mem’ries:

“Subject: Page St. Traffic Circle Hearing TOMORROW
From: joshua@sfbike.org
Date: March 17, 2004 1:30:06 PM PST

“Dear SF bicyclist,

The 9-month long Page and Waller Traffic Circle Pilot program is coming to a
close, and the Department of Parking and Traffic is holding a public hearing
TOMORROW, THURSDAY MARCH 18TH to hear from residents and users of the
street. This is your chance to voice ideas, concerns, and opinions about
this traffic calming experiment. Each of the 11 proposed circles will be
voted on by residents living within a block, and voting will conclude March
25th. The circle receiving the highest percentage of votes (over 50%) will
be installed on a permanent basis, with consideration for others that also
receive 50% or more of the vote.

The meeting will be held:

6:30pm-8pm this Thursday, March 18th
Park Branch Library
1833 Page St. at Cole

The SFBC supports the concept of the traffic calming circles, but shares the
concerns of many other residents and neighborhood groups, including Walk SF
and the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council, that:

1) there was not sufficient neighborhood outreach or involvement prior to
circle installation

2) more education and public outreach is needed to users of the street to
convey safe and legal behavior at the circles

3) pedestrian right-of-way is being compromised with the current circle
design

Although we don’t think the current design is perfect, we are encouraging
our members and other residents living along the Page and Waller corridor to
VOTE YES to give the circles a chance to be improved upon.

BICYCLE BOULEVARDS

Given the right education, signage, and enforcement, we believe the circles
will benefit the neighborhood and cyclists by being the first step toward a
true bicycle boulevard on Page St.

A bike boulevard is an innovative bicycle facility that is often applied to
residential streets that parallel major arterials. It consists of three
design elements:

1. stop signs placed only on side streets to give priority to the boulevard

2. traffic circles installed in at least some of the intersections to slow
cars down to 10-15mph while allowing bikes to maintain momentum

3. diverters, barriers or forced turns that prohibit automobile through
access on the bike boulevard while continuing to allow cyclists,
pedestrians, and emergency vehicles through.

A bicycle boulevard treatment applied to Page St. could dramatically reduce
the volume and speed of traffic, and reduce or eliminate stop signs, making
bicycling along Page much easier, safer, more efficient and pleasant. It
would not “close” the street to cars- drivers would still be able to access
every point along Page, but using this neighborhood street as an auto cut
through would be a thing of the past.

Although the DPT is not considering a full bicycle boulevard currently,
Thursday’s meeting will be a good chance to voice your support for this
concept, and build support among local residents.

You can find out more about bicycle boulevards at:
http://www.odot.state.or.us/techserv/bikewalk/planimag/ii1e.htm

DPT’s web page on the circles is at
http://www.sfgov.org/site/dpt_index.asp?id=13573

Because of vocal opposition to the circles, it is particularly important for
people to come and speak at the hearing about the benefits of traffic
calming and a bicycle boulevard along Page St. For more information,
contact me (using the information at the bottom of this e-mail).

TALKING POINTS FOR THURSDAY’S MEETING

- There are problems with the implementation of the circles, but the concept
is good. We need better signage (yield to peds pop-up signs, and stops
where appropriate)

- A full bicycle boulevard (including side street stop signs, circles, and
diverters) will dramatically reduce car traffic on this residential street,
prioritizing the street for cyclists and pedestrians.

- Vote yes on the circles!

Thank you for supporting YOUR Bicycle Coalition and an improved bike
network!”

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2 Responses to “The SFMTA Renames Lower Haight as “The Wiggle Community” – Calls for SFPD Crackdown on Bikes, Return of Hated Traffic Circles”

  1. Jim Ross says:

    I lived on Scott Street, between Oak & Fell during the last traffic circle experiment. Was nearly hit four or five times walking to Haight Street for coffee. That is a very residential neiborhood, one reason it is good to bike through. But also a bunch of pedestrians who should not have risk life and limb to cross the street…

  2. Rob Anderson says:

    The people of Page Street voted to reject the city’s traffic circles in 2004. The city won’t make that mistake again, which is why people in the neighborhoods won’t get a chance to vote on the Masonic Avenue bike lanes or the Polk Street bike lanes. Too much democracy can be bad for special interests like the Bicycle Coalition.

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