Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

The Empire Strikes Back: Comments on Yelp from the More Rabid Elements of the StreetsBlog Mob Stricken – Drs. Hiura on Polk

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: Oh, Peter Lawrence Kane asked Yelp about these matters just this morning, so that prolly played a big role in Yelp’s very fast response.]

Oh, it’s all good – all the recent negative reviews for Drs. Hiura & Hiura Optometrists have been shuffled down the memory hole as of lunchtime today.

I’m a little surprised at the speed of the deletions.

From what I learned about Yelp from the famous SoMA Legacy Lunchtime Restaurants vs. New School Food Trucks Battle of a few years ago, it can take a long time for demonstrably false or self-serving Yelp postings to come down, if ever.

And I distinguish between reviewers who have brand-new accounts with just one review vs. reviewers with longer histories, and I thought Yelp sort of did as well, but no, they’re all gone.

Oh, here they are, right here, at the bottom of this page.

So I suppose that the penalty for speaking out against the plans of the SFMTA has just dropped, by a whole bunch.

So, Yelp wins once again…

Here’s Why the 1960’s are Better Than the 1950’s or the 1970’s: DMV’s “California Legacy License Plate Program”

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Here are the deets from last year about the “California Legacy License Plate Program.”

Well, now it’s 2015 and The People Have Spoken – only yellow-on-black, 1960’s-style retro-style license plates will be issued by the DMV, so sorry to you, fans of the 1950’s-style black-on-yellow and 1970’s-style yellow-on-blue plates. You’ll just have to bide your time.

1960_banner

Here are all the deets from your California Department of Motor Vehicles:

“Legislation introduced the California Legacy License Plate program offering vehicle owners the opportunity to purchase replicas of California license plates similar to those issued in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Only the 1960’s plate reached the required 7,500 orders before January 1, 2015, and will be the only one implemented. The 1950’s and 1970’s plates did not achieve the required 7,500 minimum orders. 

Legacy License plates can be ordered for any year model automobile, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer. The Legacy License Plate Program will not replace the current Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program.

The DMV is accepting pre-orders, for the 1960 Legacy plate, until the plates are ready to be manufactured. A pre-order form California Legacy License Plate Pre–Order Form (REG 17L) (PDF) is available for these plates. The completed form and $50 payment must be mailed to the address provided on the form. Payment can only be made by check, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to Department of Motor Vehicles. Pre–orders will NOT be processed at DMV Field offices or Auto Club offices.

California Legacy Plate Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

California Legacy Plate Pre–Order Form (REG 17L) (PDF)

PAYMENT: Check, Money Order, or Cashier’s Check ONLY.
Payable to: DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES.

Mail REG 17L WITH a $50 PAYMENT to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Legacy License Plates
Customer Service/Operations Support, MS D405
PO Box 825393
Sacramento, CA 94232–5393

PRE–ORDERS WILL NOT BE PROCESSED AT DMV OFFICES or AUTO CLUB OFFICES

REFUNDS: Refunds for the 1950’s and 1970’s plate orders will be processed for refund in January and February 2015. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for receipt. 

Changing your 1950’s or 1970’s plate order to a 1960’s plate requires a new application and new payment. California Legacy Plate Pre–Order Form (REG 17L) (PDF)

To cancel your 1960’s plate PRE–ORDER, mail an Application for Refund (ADM 399) to the address shown above. The refund request must clearly indicate that the refund is for a pre–ordered Legacy License plate and include the personalized configuration ordered, or state if a sequential plate was ordered. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number in case we need to contact you.

NO REFUND will be issued after the program begins and your plate number reservation has been made.

One Reason Why You Shouldn’t Speak Out Against Any Big Plan the SFMTA Wants To Do: The Risk to Your Yelp Rating

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: The offending posts have already been TWEP – terminated with extreme prejudice. And, inevitably, fans of the Hiuras are now chipping in with five-star reviews…]

Drs. Hiura & Hiura Optometrists have done very well on the Yelp, but our ineffective and meretricious SFMTA’s recent push for the Polk Street Streetscape parking space removal project is not good their business.

Not good at all!

Check it, from the past few days:

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So, what will end up happening is your hard-earned, hard-to-get 5 star rating will come down a notch or two, or three, if you sign your John Hancocks to a letter like this – the blowback will be a brace of one star reviews from noncustomers.

The Grand Battle of Polk Gulch is well and truly joined.

Brace yourselves for March 3, 2015

Here’s What Bus Drivers, Bike Riders, and Pedestrians Think of the New DOUBLE RIGHT TURN at Fell and Masonic

Friday, February 27th, 2015

This MUNI operator used to be able to pick up at Hayes and Masonic southbound and then easily continue straight on Masonic towards Haight. But now #43 Masonic drivers need to get into the #2 lane as the #3 lane is now a mandatory right turn onto Fell. So click click goes the left turn signal as the bus driver begs the stalled traffic for a little help:

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And if you’re coming from inbound Hayes to southbound Masonic on a bike, you now have two lanes to jink across if you wish to continue on along Masonic:

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This is why some, including those at the SFMTA/SFBC disfavor DOUBLE RIGHT TURNS. Note also the driver who’s improperly cutting across from lane #3 to lane #2.

And of course, now more drivers are blocking the box / sitting on the crosswalk:

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On it goes at Fell and Masonic.

Someday I’ll figure out what the SFMTA is going for here.

Someday.

MTB Legend Gary Fisher Calls for Ouster of Ed Lee – The Mayor’s Misstep on Polk Street – Small Biz vs. Big Urbanism

Friday, February 27th, 2015

[UPDATE: It begins. The lily-white urbanists vent against Asian-American optometrists on Yelp. JUST ONE STAR FOR YOU, DR HIURA! GOOD DAY TO YOU, SIR!]

Let’s see if I can pay off on the headline here.

Here’s MounTain Biking (MTB) legend Gary Fisher on appointed Mayor Ed Lee:

“OUT! This guy can not get away with this, are we this stupid?”

And here’s what GF was riffing on:

SFMTA Cuts Block of Polk Bike Lane Fought by Visionless Mayor’s Optometrist

Now mind you, this is from an “urbanism” advocacy outfit straight outta Park Slope, so I’m sort of wondering why the Mayor’s handlers even let him make off-the-cuff remarks on this topic. Here’s the offending graf, which one assumes is properly transcribed:

“I’ve heard from many different groups,” Lee told Streetsblog. “I know we want to make the streets safer, make it bike-friendly, small businesses don’t want to lose parking for their constituents… I can’t have a particular position on it except to endorse the most balanced approach that they have because there’s issues that should not be in conflict. We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety over pedestrian safety over cars and parking. I think they’re all going to be important.”

First of all, why would you even have your executive speaking directly with activists in the first place? It’s like sending President Nixon out to the Lincoln Memorial at 4:00 AM to talk with the hippies about the Vietnam War. Second of all, Ed Lee can’t even handle a little Question Time at the Board of Supervisors without having the questions submitted in advance and without having an underling type up a reply for him to read into the record, so why would you have him give the bad news to the activists themselves? The StreetsBlog isn’t an SFGov-funded non-profit like the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition or the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, right?

And Ed Lee thinks he’s playing it safe with all this talk of a “balanced” approach, but look at what he says – he’s literally saying, “We shouldn’t promote bicycle safety…” Now that sounds like a complete sentence if you quote only that part. But the Mayor’s talking about cyclist safety vs. ped safety, so I’m not sure what he’s talking about. I was thinking the design of the SFMTA-designed “bulbout” at the deadly southwest corner of 6th and Folsom could be an example of this, but I don’t think this was on Ed Lee’s mind. Frankly, I don’t know what the Heck he was talking about.

So all that leaves Mr. Mayor wide-open for castigation. I’m not sure how much pull any one particular optometrist has on the SFMTA (check out this doc – it’s amazing*), but this coincidence allows a reference to SF’s VisionZero 2024 to come into the headline. Ed Lee ends up seeming like an out-of-touch Mr. Magoo:

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I don’t know, if you’re pushing a “balanced” approach, but you don’t have an exec who can talk right, because he’s out of practice, because he was appointed to his position so he never really needed to get into practice, it seems foolish to afford advocacy journalists a chance at actual journalism.

But that’s what happened here, on the topic of Polk Street.

Wow.

*Wow, these people with bidnesses in Polk Gulch are mostly American millionaires, but look how they self-describe: 

gffhgg

Click to expand

And what about the poor guy who can only describe himself as “European?” Poor little feller.

And I’ll tell you, I’m shocked at the amount of time SFMTA chief Ed Reiskin has spent on the back-and-forth about a single solitary block of SF when his primary mission should be sweating the details of getting MUNI up to par…

Does YOUR Church Offer Valet Parking Service? CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Fillmore Street, Pacific Heights

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

As seen on a Sunday morning:

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“We Welcome Everyone. Really”

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News for Urbanists: “U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show” – Also, More Cars in SF

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

So yeah, I think I know what you mean when you urbanists tell me, “Young people aren’t driving anymore,” or “Young people don’t even want a driver license anymore.”

But, IRL, vehicles registered in San Francisco, per the latest stats from our DMV, are up up up the past ten years – currently it’s around 477K. Compare that with 2003.

And you urbanists are telling me that the Great Recession has nothing to do with the decrease in the growth of driving, well that’s turning out to be wrong as well.

Who knows what the future will bring, is what I’m saying.

Enjoy:

“FHWA 12-15
Monday, February 23, 2015
Contact: Doug Hecox
(202) 366-0660

U.S. Driving at Highest Level Since 2007, New Data Show – Nearly Three Trillion Miles Traveled in 2013 Underscores Call for Greater Transportation Investment

WASHINGTON – New data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles in 2013, the highest level in six years, confirming estimates released last year and supporting calls for greater investment in roads, bridges, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to accommodate growing traffic volumes…

“According to FHWA’s “Highway Statistics,” an annual compilation of data from state Departments of Transportation, drivers traveled 2.99 trillion miles in 2013, the highest annual total since 2007 and the fourth-highest since such recordkeeping began in 1936.

The new data also show the number of U.S. vehicles increased to 255.9 million from 253.6 million the previous year, the biggest single-year increase since 2011…

Uh Oh, the SFPD’s Vaunted “Focus on the Five” Enforcement Program Focuses on the Wrong Five

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Work with me here, people.

Here you go:

“Focus on the Five – Using multi-year collision data, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is focusing on enforcing the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. The goal is to have half their traffic citations be for these five violations.”

All right, well let’s look at the stats for last year, via Heather Knight / the District 5 Diary.

And then let’s extract all the five-digit CVC section numbers cited in the official SFPD report, plus let’s also throw in a CVC number for the pedestrian who died last year after getting hit by a MUNI bus on Geary around Baker.

(And let’s ignore all the the lower-case subsections like 21950(b) and the like, treating 21950(a) and 21950(b) as the same violation, for example.)

And then lets throw all the extracted numbers into Excel for a Sorting.

And then let’s eyeball the numbers to separate them out:

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So those are your top “five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking (and bicycle riding, but I don’t think that affects the numbers too much.)

Here they are, in order of frequency:

21950

22350

21456

21954

21955

So how does that compare with this list from politicians?

“Focus on the 23 Five” campaign to target the top five causal factors of pedestrian crashes – running red lights 24 (California Vehicle Code 21453(a)), running stop signs (California Vehicle Code 22450(a)), violating pedestrian right-of-way (California Vehicle Code 21950(a)), failing to yield while 2 turning (California Vehicle Code 21801 (a), and speeding (California Vehicle Code 22350)…

See how that works? 21950 and 22350 are in there, but CVC violations on the part of pedestrians, like 21456, 21954, and 21955 have been omitted from the list.

Is the official “Focus on the Five” about pedestrian safety or “pedestrian rights?”

I’m thinking it’s about pedestrian rights, like the right to jaywalk, that kind of thing.

Is SFGov serious about SF Vision Zero 2024, a “program” that has the goal of ending all transportation deaths in San Francisco long after all the pols who voted for it have termed out?

Well, how can it be if it’s afraid to enforce traffic laws for political reasons?

If you want safety for pedestrians, wouldn’t you want them to be afraid of getting cited for jaywalking?

No? All right, well then keep on doing what you’re doing, but you’ll never ever achieve Vision Zero 2024 the way you’re going about it, SFGov.

Heartless SFMTA Meter Maids Cite Poor Woman’s Car Day After Day for a Single Crosswalk Violation

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

SFMTA PCO’s seem to like citing this car daily, to the tune of $103 a day for the crime of parking too near a crosswalk:

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Presumably, the owner has left it there for a few days, not realizing her mistake.

So, what’s stopping the SFMTA from citing this car every hour for the same violation? There must be some internal policy, one that I’m not aware of.

Mmmm….

What if the rest of the SFMTA operated as effectively as the Parking Control Officer division?

I wonder what that would look like…

Despite Its “Transit First” Policy, the SFMTA Will Vote to Make Parking Easier for Western Addition Residents on March 3rd – “Area Q”

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Perversely, the less efficient our dull-witted SFMTA becomes, the more money it gets. Case in point is the new Area Q Residential Parking Permit area for the NoPA / Alamo Square part of the Western Addition – the MTA will approve its establishment on March 3rd, 2015.

It’ll go a little something like this:

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Supposedly, the SFMTA doesn’t care about this issue, since it’s “revenue-neutral” for it, but IRL, the SFMTA just loves this idea. The SFMTA wants to “manage” more and more and more always always always, despite its demonstrated incompetence at performing its core function, which is moving people around.

SFMTA “work rules” make the SFMTA inefficient. (I wonder if they have a list of all these rules.) So the less efficient it becomes, the more money it gets, perversely, in annual RPP revenue. (If the SFMTA operated a McDonalds, a Big Mac would cost $20 and take a half-hour to prepare, cause you know, cost-plus pricing, and you know, “work rules.”)

Anyway, the SFMTA wants to makes things easier for certain people to keep cars on the streets of San Francisco, so that’s a big clue on how it’ll vote come March.

What it actually wants is an annual household SFMTA tax levied on everybody, but this will have to do until that time comes…