Archive for January, 2014

Oh No, a Segway Personal Transporter Stolen from the Financial District! Famous Alex Clemens Loses His Famous Ride

Friday, January 31st, 2014

So this is famous Alex Clemens on the job, wonking away about Ranked Choice Voting and politics:

And this is famous Alex Clemens getting to his job, on an old-school Segway Personal Transporter Classic:

You can see dude all over town on this thing. He’s been segwaying for a long time now

But no longer.

His trusty Segway was boosted last night in the Financial District. Here’s the Tweet to the SFPD about it:

Alex Clemens ‏@alexclemens12h “This is probably unusual. My Segway was stolen from the corner of Montgomery and Clay between 5:30 and 6p. So that happened.”
I’ll tell you, 165 years ago, felons were stealing horses off of Monty and now they’re stealing Segways. That’s progress for you…

Octavia Boulevard: What the Hell Were They Thinking? Congested in the Four Middle Lanes, Yet Somnolent in the Four Outer

Friday, January 31st, 2014

And three useless medians are in there as well.

This whole boulevard thing is a complete disaster.

Hey, do you think the side roads were made to be “unattractive to through traffic?” Well, yes they were!

Mission accomplished:

And check this insanity:

“Along Octavia Boulevard it is theoretically possible for a vehicle on a side road to make a U-turn back into the main road lanes, or to make a left turn across four lanes of main road traffic, all while the main road has a green light.”


They could have put up signs, but that would have marred the aesthetics, right?

We ought to Bring This Mother Down, shatter the lens and grind it into sand.

I’ll leave you with this: What is the Legacy of Octavia Boulevard?

“Octavia has severely impacted traffic on Laguna at all times, not just peak.”

Octavia is a mess for bicyclists and there are tons of vehicle accidents.”

What has Octavia taught us? Stopped cars/slow idling cars seem to pollute more.”

And what do the Yelpers have to say?

“Who’s the dip-shit that designed this Octavia Street nightmarebetween Market St and Fell St?”

“1) It’s a freeway offramp – slash – playground. Kids and cars!! Who’s the genius??
2) It doesn’t take you across Market Street but rather has you wait at the light — filling the above-mentioned park with your exhaust as you idle along.
3) The “local access” road is a perfect place to die while crossing the street, as some confused driver makes a right hand turn.
4) It got voted in after at least three failed initiatives. During the boom. When the population was more passionate than informed and theHayes Valley Merchant’s Association could sweet talk them with this park bullshit. ”I like parks not freeways! I’ll vote yes!” The old Fell Street offramp was ugly and the dark sidewalks underneath were full of pee. It’s been replaced by a classic San Francisco compromise that essentiallyworks well for no one but makes some smug mofos feel like they discouraged driving when all they really did was put more smog on the street. And now the sidewalks are sunny, but they’re still full of pee. I wonder why an offramp didn’t solve homelessness…?”

“The poster child for stupidity in San Francisco. STILL not finished after 25 or so years???

“Unsafe at any speed for:

OHMiGOD are you kidding?? Wow, I looked up this review expecting to see half a star and a lovely littering of ‘fuckity fuck motherFUCKER,’ wowwweee…everyone i talk to in person HATES this addition…

Why we hate the new Octavia Blvd:

1. It is confusing. What is with the extra mini-side lane next to the regular lane? Are you allowed to switch back and forth at liberty? What is the purpose of this mini lane?

2. Why are there traffic lights AND stop signs in front of the mini-lane? When there’s a traffic light and a stop sign, which one wins?

3. The traffic on Octavia Blvd, coming from the freeway, is always atrocious. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Something about it’s ingenious design allows it to remain backed up 24 hours a day.

4. If you don’t play your cards right, you WILL get forced onto the freeway. You just think you’re along for an innocent ride, and then , BAM, Octa-Nazi Blvd has you marching along in its gigantic oppressive middle lane and it wil NOT let you out, no matter how much you beg.

I don’t get it, I don’t get it! What’s going on with this street monster?”

“This is NOT the haven for cyclists and pedestrians the city touts it as being. Whose idea was it to build the off ramp at street level? It should be RAISED and go over Market or they should build some kind of blockade so that people coming east on Market absolutely can’t try to make a right onto the highway and clip pedestrians and cyclists. That single spot is a death trap.

It’s pretty and it’s great that it’s not a shithole anymore but this is seriously some urban planning gone awry. The shared bike/car lanes on the outside would be great if the cars that drove in them weren’t complete idiots. Sharrows mean it’s my lane too, buddy, so don’t honk at me and tell me to get on the sidewalk, don’t rev your engine behind me, and don’t speed up to 20 to squeeze by me. The middle lane is for fast driving of cars, not the outer lanes. Unfortunately people are unable to grasp this concept and choose to terrorize pedestrians and cyclists who are trying to enjoy the sections of the project supposedly designed to make things better for us.

And the light/stop sign combo… what the hell? It’s maddening. If this is supposed to benefit cyclists, why make it so difficult to make a left onto Market? One must cross Octavia and go onto the sidewalk then cross Market and make the left there, or cross Market then cross the on/off ramp via Market. That second option wouldn’t be so bad except for the fucktards coming down Market who don’t understand what NO RIGHT TURN means and repeatedly take out cyclists at the same spot as they try to turn onto the highway.”

And on it goes.


Friday, January 31st, 2014

Aww, I missed it!

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(You oughta take down this sign, DOG SHOW, COW PALACE or CBS or somebody, ’cause the dog people have split town by now.)

When we get around to making another animal palace, which species should we choose?

Driver and Writer CW Nevius Goes on a “Rant” Against the “Militant” Pedestrians of SF – Do They Have the Right to Jaywalk?

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Here’s the latest effort from CW Nevius, who’s taking a break from being spokesman for San Francisco’s right-side-of-the-aisle  political faction to go on a “bit of a rant” against local pedestrians. But what’s up with this?  

“Even when they are in the right, I worry about them. When the traffic light countdown gets to five or six, they step confidently into the crosswalk — which is their right…”

But pedestrians don’t have “the right” to do so. It’s agin CA law – check out V C Section 21456,* which is dealt with by Rule #3 of the Five Rules for Pedestrians.

Don’t you have an editor, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have an editor, and plus, editors cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a fact checker, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, you’re too old and experienced to have a fact checker, and plus, fact checkers cost money, that’s right.

But don’t you have a photographer, Nevius? Oh, that’s right, photographers cost money. So all your observations, we’ll just have to take your word about them. OK fine. BTW, [sarcasmmode ON] nice stock photo you’ve got there, Neve. “Cause a stock photo taken in the People’s Republic of China, you know, from more than a thousand li away, well, that really illustrates how “militant” and “freaking nuts” San Francisco peds are, huh? [sarcasmmode OFF]

And oh, BTW Neve, the peds of SF aren’t militant, not at all. Try to find a different word for what you mean.

Of course you’re new in town, I get that. Sure, welcome to San Francisco, Neve.

But you’re doing a half-assed job doing your half-time gig.

You need to try harder.

*”Walk, Wait, or Don t Walk

21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.

Amended Ch. 413, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.”

District Two Supervisor Mark Farrell Crows About Raising $200K for Re-Election

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Gentle Reader, did you have the foresight to be born in San Francisco? No? I thought not.

Well, that’s why your campaign to unseat incumbent Mark Farrell won’t work.

BTW, did you know that he’s a “native San Franciscan who grew up in District 2?” And now that you know, he’ll never let you forget it.

The news of the day:

“Supervisor Mark Farrell Reports Raising Over $200,000 for Re-Election Campaign

San Francisco – District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell announced he has raised over $200,000 in his campaign for re-election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  As of December 31, 2013 Supervisor Farrell reported raising $199,602 from more than 550 donors, representing a wide breadth of supporters from District 2, small business owners, labor leaders and a wide group of San Francisco residents.

 “As a native San Franciscan who grew up in District 2, it is an incredible honor to represent the neighborhoods and residents of District 2 on the Board of Supervisors,” stated Supervisor Farrell.  “I am excited about the success of our fundraising efforts, but I do not take anything for granted, and will continue to work hard and actively engage with the neighborhoods and residents of District 2 throughout the campaign and my tenure in office.” 

 “I am incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to my campaign, no matter how big or small their contributions, and I am humbled by the large number of constituents who have already signed up to support my re-election campaign,” continued Farrell. 

Approximately half of Supervisor Farrell’s contributors are District 2 residents.  Other notable contributors include local political leaders from Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom to Small Business Commission President Steven Adams, labor organizations including Firefighters Local 798 and Laborers Local 261, and civic leaders including Walter and Julia Haas and Diane Wilsey.

 “As we head toward the November election, I look forward to beginning our house party program and connecting in smaller settings with the residents of District 2, sharing ideas and concerns, and working together to make the neighborhoods of District 2 the most vibrant part of our City,” continued Farrell. “My campaign held over 100 house parties in 2010 and I look forward to 100 more in 2014.”

Supervisor Mark Farrell represents District 2 in San Francisco, which includes the Presidio, Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Anza Vista, Laurel Heights, Jordan Park, the Lake Street corridor, Sea Cliff and parts of Russian Hill.

First elected in November 2010, Supervisor Farrell currently serves as Chair of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, a founding member of the 2016-2017 Super Bowl Bid Committee, and also serves on eight other local and state Boards and Committees.

Supervisor Farrell’s legislative priorities include advancing policies and projects that boost local economic development, ensure neighborhood vitality, and enhance public safety and quality of life issues that affect all San Franciscans. For more information please visit

At Long Last, a Map That Clearly Shows That Part of San Francisco is in the East Bay on Alameda Island

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

O you can say that this map is wrong, but you can’t say that you don’t get the point, which is that that left piece of Alameda you can see on the wrong side of the line is part of the City and County of San Francisco:

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I should go visit sometime…

Carry on.

Sutro Tower – Above It All – The Cheese Stands Alone – Lonely Sentinel – Ever Watchful

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hey, the fog’s back:

Click to exoand

What San Francisco 49ers Fever Looked Like on the Race to the Super Bowl – Great Photo from the Civic Center Blog

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

This shot from Michael Strickland almost looks as if it were staged, but it wasn’t:

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See you next year, same time, same place!

Until then, enjoy this folk art now installed on Geary in the Inner Richmond District:

Uh Oh, Now There’s ANOTHER Lawsuit Against the City: Small Property Owners vs. the “Nonconforming Unit Ordinance”

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Man, San Francisco sure seems to be getting sued a lot by property owners a lot these days.

Get used to it, 2014’s going to be a bumpy ride.

To wit:

“January 29, 2014 


New Ordinance Would Discriminate Against Families Who Move Into Their Own Buildings 

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – Today, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a lawsuit challenging Supervisor John Avalos’ Nonconforming Unit Ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance violates state law and fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Nonconforming Unit Ordinance would legalize the practice of renovating and expanding “nonconforming units.” Nonconforming units are “grandfathered” residential units that exceed local zoning laws’ density limits. Controversially, the ordinance would also discriminate against nonconforming units that have been the subject of lawful “no-fault” evictions, which are allowed under state and local law. Such units would be denied building permits for up to 10 years following a lawful eviction – even for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Property owners would also be barred from rebuilding their units after a fire or earthquake.

“This legislation punishes families who move into their own buildings,” stated Noni Richen, president of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI). “It could cause thousands of lawful housing units to sit vacant while the City denies permits for basic upkeep. Given the current housing shortage, this is unconscionable.”

“As we have shown again and again, we will not allow the City to violate property rights with these illegal schemes,” stated Andrew M. Zacks, SPOSFI’s attorney. “The state’s Ellis Act prohibits this kind of discrimination against lawful evictions. Moreover, cities are required to evaluate a new ordinance’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This legislation was rushed through without proper review.”

Nonconforming units are different from “in-law” units, which are generally unpermitted and illegal. For example, a permitted third unit on a parcel zoned for two units is considered a nonconforming unit. The City Planning Department’s Information and Analysis Group estimates that approximately 52,000 units in the city are nonconforming, comprising some 14% of the city’s housing stock.

A copy of the Nonconforming Unit Ordinance is available at

The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (“SPOSFI”) is a California nonprofit corporation. SPOSFI advocates for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that works to promote and preserve home ownership in San Francisco. Its focus is to protect the rights of small property owners and foster opportunities for first-time home buyers. SPOSFI members range from young families to the elderly on fixed incomes, and its membership cuts across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic strata. Its members include San Francisco residents who own nonconforming residential units in San Francisco.

Zacks & Freedman, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of property owners. With experience and knowledge in rent control issues, zoning, permitting, transactional disputes and other real estate matters, Zacks & Freedman, P.C. has successfully advocated its clients’ positions before local administrative tribunals and at all levels of the State and Federal courts.