Archive for the ‘bikes’ Category

Oh, the Urbanity! Incoming SF Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick is Looking for a 2-Bedroom Apartment for _Less_ than $3K per Month

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Wow, a person made a post trying to help out incoming San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Director Noah Budnick by getting the word out about an apartment hunt

And check it, the poster is just like me, as he doesn’t agree with with everything the SFBC does AND he thinks the SFBC is an effective advocacy group.

And here it is:

“While I don’t agree with everything SFBC does, it is certainly the most effective advocacy group I’ve ever belonged to. And here’s a way to help them: by finding  their new director, who is moving here from the east coast, an apartment in San Francisco. I know xx#xers care a lot about bicycle advocacy, and we all know that finding an apartment here is a bloodsport where knowing tenants and landlords is a definite advantage, hence this message.

Desired attributes:
• Close to a BART stop
• Two bedrooms
• Less than $3,000/month

If you have any leads, please email me and I’ll make the connection.”

The kicker is that NY Noah wants his crib to be in SF and he wants it to be close to a BART stop.

(IDK, these requirements rule out Crackton as an option.)

I think I’d advise young Noah to lower his expectations, but who knows – it’s in any event smart to get the word out.

This was the first of many replies:

“Awwwww, he’s adorable. I hear Daly City is nice…”

Ouch.

Now lately, the SFBC has stopped boasting of its increasing membership, because lately membership is way down – thousands of people have decided not to re-up. Now why is that?

Mmmm…

Now you tell me – which is a bigger problem to solve? Is it:

1. Finding a “nice” 2-bed close to BART for $2K-something in 2014; or

2. Finding 2K-something more people to join the SFBC AND then get them continue paying dues, year after year.

That’s a toughie.

What Should Be the Speed Limit for Bicycles on Golden Gate Bridge?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I don’t know. Some consultant came up with 10 MPH a few years back, but that idea wasn’t good for business, or something like that.

Now here’s a sign that tells you how fast you’re going, anyway:

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Sometimes, I just don’t know…

Ed Reiskin Refuses to Comply with the SFMTA Citizens Advisory Council, So Let’s Run a Trial on Masonic Ourselves

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Here’s the Citizens Advisory Council’s recommendation that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, has refused:

“Motion 140122.01 - The SFMTA CAC recommends that the peak hour restrictions be repealed on Masonic Avenue between Geary and Fell Streets, with the objective to measure traffic impacts on the 43 Masonic prior to the implementation of the Masonic Avenue street design project.”

Why did he do that? Well, because a “success” for him is the SFMTA spending the money it’s been given to spend. So why should he do anything to interfere with that when he’s in the red zone already?

Anywho, you can read what he has to say about a test-run after the jump.

In view of this, let’s run a Masonic “streetscape” trial of our own, shall we?

Let’s start here, northbound, on the 3000 foot stretch of Masonic that will soon be changed: 

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See the bus? It’s stopped at a bus stop, let’s imagine. That means that Masonic will be down to one lane inbound, you know, temporarily, during the morning drive. How will this affect traffic, do you suppose? How many minutes will it add to your commute each way, each day? Mmmm…

Since we’re imagining, imagine a large median filled with trees on either side of the double yellow line. Now is that for safety or for aesthetics? The answer is that it’s for aesthetics. Compare that with the SFMTA’s disastrous, expensive, deadly 105-foot-wide Octavia “Boulevard” / I-80 on ramp. Yes, it’s has a vegetated median as well. So, is “safety” the SFMTA’s “number one goal?” No, not at all. Its real goal is expanding its payroll and spending ever more money. If you pressure it to plant trees in the middle of the street, it will happily comply.

Will any commuters benefit from these soon-to-come “improvements?” No, not at all. These changes are going to slow the commute way down and that will impede people in cars and MUNI buses. Did the SFMTA do any “outreach” to / with commuters? Nope. It didn’t feel like it. The SFMTA prefers to host meetings packed with “urbanists” and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition employees and members. Do these people represent “the public?” No, not at all. Yet the SFMTA claims do have done public outreach.

How will these changes to Masonic, the Great Connector, affect the surrounding area? We’ll just have to wait and see. If you raise any issues with the SFMTA about the negative effects of all their changes, they’ll be all, well, expand our budget even more and we’ll redo the project again to fix this and that.

Of course, the way to run the trial run would be simply take away all the parking spaces for a day or so, right? So what you’d do is just simply shut down the slow lanes as a test. This alternative would satisfry (mmmm, Satisfries…. R.I.P) at least some of the objections that Ed Reiskin, operator of America’s slowest and least efficient big-city transit system, mentioned.

Would Ed Reiskin want to try this alternative trial? No, not at all. (See above.) Mr. R will be happy to ignore all the complaints only after the tens of millions of dollars have been spent.

Do I think that a bunch of people riding MUNI and driving cars every day, tens of thousands of people, are going say, wow, my commute has really slowed down now so I’m going to join the handful of souls on bicycles huffing and puffing up this big hill? Nope. Some might, of course, but it won’t be any kind of meaningful number.

And do I think it’s honest for SFMTA employees to tell higher authorities that’s there’s no public opposition to these changes? Nope. Oh well.

All right, that’s the thought experiment. It looks like this one’s going to go like a bunch of other SFMTA-created initiatives, you know, like the ideologically-driven traffic circles,  the absurdly-wide Octavia “Boulevard,” the crazy re-striping of the east end of JFK Drive – they’ll just look at them all and then pat themselves on the back and hand each other awards for these “accomplishments,” these “successes.”

[UPDATE: Oh yeah, a couple people asked me if I approve of this project. And like, I live a block away, but it won't really affect me, myself, I don't think. Seems selfish to think that way, anyway. What happened with Octavia is that they really biased the lights in favor of Octavia, so people have to wait to a long time to get across the whole 105 foot width. So maybe it'll be a 90-second wait to get across Masonic when all is said and done? IDK, it's hard to predict how much the SFMTA is going to mess things up with this arbor project. Then, what will the affects be? Will commuters abandon Masonic? How will they get around instead? IDK]

On It Goes…

Now, as promised, a note from Ed Reiskin, after the jump

(more…)

Compare and Contrast: Marin County’s Bicycle Movement vs. San Francisco’s – Point / Counterpoint with Marinite Dick Spostwood

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Check it out:

Dick Spotswood: Marin bike lobby’s political clout is slipping – Marin Independent Journal

1. Hey, SF County has a “powerful bicycle lobby” as well – so let’s take a look, paragraph by paragraph. I should say though, that if I were running things bike-wise in Marin, I prolly wouldn’t listen to Dick Spotswood at all.

2. I’ll bet you the Marin County real estate industry, for instance, has lobbyists more effective than the Marin County Bicycle Coalition’s, to keep things in perspective.

3. So DS is promoting a “silent majority” argument against a minority of a minority? OK fine, but it sounds like he’s mad at just a small number of bikers. And what’s this – “self-righteous on-the-road arrogance?” We have a bit of that on our side of The Bridge also.

4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Well, I didn’t know all that stuff. San Francisco County Supervisors don’t really have to worry about people coming after them for excessive bike advocacy, so this makes Marin seem a lot different than SF. I’ll tell you, riding through a smelly old train tunnel sounds like something worth trying, once or twice anyway. (I could go either way on whether opening these tunnels makes sense, cost benefit-wise – I don’t know much about them.)

9, 10. Charging people for walking or riding across the GGB is a real non-starter, like something that’s never going to happen ever again. (Actually, I wouldn’t mind if the state of CA rolled governance of the GGB into the BATA and then cast Golden Gate Transit out, leaving Marin County to pay for Marin County’s transit system. JMO.)

11. “Biker-anarchist Critical Mass” isn’t all that much these days and it doesn’t operate “most Fridays,” just some Fridays, just once a month, actually.

12. My understanding is that “bicycles are generally restricted from narrow, single-track trails” on Mt Tam, but perhaps some trails have been opened up recently? IDK.

13. What’s this, the  Marin bike movement was “hijacked by big-time developers and their regional alphabet agencies’ allies.” Wow, yes, the same thing happened in SF over the past quarter-century – this is the era of the “urbanst,” indeed.

14. We have a similar dynamic in SF, but it’d be hard to imagine bike advocacy ever being a “ballot box negative” down here.

15. Oh, at long last, the TO BE SURE graf! Finally, all the way at the bottom. Hurrah!

16, 17. Oh, and now come the bromides for the bike movement of Marin. IDK, if I had a lot of time and not much money, I’d get my buds to pack into political meetings as well.

All right, that’s it.

(Oh, I’ll add that the membership at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition appears to have dropped something close to 20% from the high of a few years back. The SFBC has been captured by SFGov, so  these days it pays more heed to whichever Mayor is in currently in office than its remaining membership. JMO.)

An Unlocked Bike Parked in the Costco #144 Parking Lot is Probably Safer Than a Locked Bike Parked in the Rest of SoMA

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Like this unlocked bike, for instance.

It didn’t get stolen from the trusting owner for at least an hour

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Click to expand

(Of course, this is the very same parking lot where that lady got carjacked and stuffed into the trunk of her large Infiniti sedan only to be released unharmed in the East Bay.)

The Horrible Pedestrians and Bike Riders of the So-Called Great Highway, Way Out There in the Sunset

Monday, December 8th, 2014

An overly-confident pedestrian is a dead pedestrian, sometimes:

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Oh, here’s the same scene a few blocks up the road:

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Oh, what’s that, jaywalking is merely a “legal construct” and “Vision Zero” 2024 is going to prevent all transportation-related deaths in San Francisco County within a decade?

OK fine.

How to Lock Up Your Bike in Golden Gate Park: Chain Lock, Cable Lock, Padlock, and a U-Lock

Monday, December 8th, 2014

This bike’s not going anywhere (but pieces of it might):

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Click to expand

The Train was Already Full, But Area Cyclist Manages to Squeeze in Anyway

Friday, December 5th, 2014

As seen on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park during RPD’s 85th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event:

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Whole Foods Stanyan Street in the Upper Haight: A Good Place to Shop, Perhaps, But a Bad Place to Park Your Bike

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Man, quick-release skewers ought to be banned for sale in San Francisco…

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A StreetsBlog Felony, an “Urbanist’s” Nightmare: SF Rec and Park Jungle Gym Teaches Kids to Love SUV’s

Monday, December 1st, 2014

It took me a while to figure this one out. OK, here’s the Children’s Quarter, aka the Koret something-or-other, in Golden Gate Park:

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See? It’s a Jeep SUV, complete with a steering wheel, horn button, headlights, trademark grill and a three-on-the-tree gear shift. You could actually use this thing to begin to teach somebody how to drive.

Oh, how I weep! You see, instead, this should be a bicycle simulator, complete with handlebars and Shimano Alivio shifters, right man?

I hope nobody from Park Slope ever sees this, man…