Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

Our Inefficient, Money-Hungry SFMTA Wants to Start Issuing Speeding Tickets, But Somehow “They Would Not Be Moving Violations?!”

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Oh, this one’s easy  – we’re going to go from zero to Orwellian in ten seconds.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines:

SFMTA Pushing For Speed Cameras In San Francisco To Improve Pedestrian Safety by Cate Cauguiran

And here’s your nut graf:

“SFMTA plans to present their proposal to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority later this week. The agency says the citations would not be moving violations, and therefore not reportable to the DMV.”

Now let’s review – Papa Homer, what’s a “moving violation?

A moving violation is a violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. The term “motion” distinguishes it from other motor vehicle violations, such as paperwork violations (which include violations involving automobile insurance, registration and inspection), parking violations, or equipment violations.”

So, if the parking ticket agency gives a ticket for speeding, it’s issuing moving violations, right? Now tell us more, Wiki:

While some violations, like parking violations, are civil matters involving a vehicle’s owner, moving violations are charged against the actual driver.

Yep. And then there’s this:

The most commonly enforced moving violation, and the overwhelmingly most frequent reason for a vehicle pullover, are violations of the speed limit.

And what’s the motivation for the SFMTA to float this balloon?

Sometimes tickets are used in a speed trap as a form of fundraising

I don’t use the term “speed trap” myself, but, yes, our SFMTA is obsessed with “fundraising,” certainly.

And lastly:

Examples of moving violations: speeding, which can be exceeding a limit or simply driving an unsafe speed…

Thanks Wiki! And actually, a speeding ticket is the prototypical moving violation, in Frisco and everywhere else too.

Now I’ll tell you, I was surprised earlier this year to see the SFMTA issuing “block the box” tickets, because sometimes the SFMTA DPT shows up at an intersection during rush hour to unblock the box, not to make money from block boxing. And yet, here you go:

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This is a DPT PCO in the middle of the intersection of Bush and Sansome shooting fish in a barrel – busting three vehicles, and then she was Gone In 60 Seconds.

And I thought, well, I suppose the drivers here are parked since they’re idling away, motionless, for a long time, so sure, ticket away, SFMTA, even though you’ve timed the lights to exacerbate this situation, but anyway, sure, these are parking tickets, fine.

But if you want to start issuing moving violation tickets, you shouldn’t lie about it. (I’ll tell you, sometimes I can’t tell if the SFMTA lies on purpose or if it just doesn’t know what it’s doing.)

Now, here’s my MODEST PROPOSAL - traffic cameras for pedestrians, mounted over crosswalks. The cameras would record all the peds who jump the light by starting across a second or two early and then a ticket for $100 would get mailed to the offenders after facial recognition ID’s the peds. (Gentle Reader, did you know that most ped deaths last year on the Streets of San Francisco were the fault of the peds themselves? It’s sort of a secret. It wasn’t a blowout or anything, the peds “won” this competition by 50-something percent, vs. the drivers’ 40-something percent, but isn’t it ironic, dont’cha think, that enforcing the vehicle code upon peds, as unpopular as this might be, could reduce traffic deaths more than how SFGov has handled matters up ’til now? Anyway, I’m talking about how the SFPD apportioned ped deaths in SF in 2014. But don’t talk about it, oh no – that might get you transferred to the Airport Detail, srsly. And bonus! Our new ped cams could “also help us as an investigative tool if someone is committing a crime somewhere nearby.” Moving on…)

Of course, the reason why SFGov wants to go Full Orwell is that paying sworn officers to issue tickets is inefficient and expensive. OTOH, an automatic system, backed up by an appeals mechanism to make everything constitutional, could generate tons of money for the SFMTA, like almost as much as its Household Transit Tax fantasy that it would impose on you, Gentle Reader, in a New York minute, if it could. (It’s what Ed Reiskin dreams of at night – your transit tax would be added to your tax returns, easy peasy, what a dream!)

Anyway, I think saying that a moving violation isn’t is worthy of five Orwells, on a scale of zero to five Orwells:

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All the way to the bottom, Maggie SFMTA – you’ve made it!

Drivers Still Haven’t Gotten Used to the Unique Left-Turn Setup at Fell and Masonic

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

And I don’t think they ever will.

In this case, the driver of the blue Toyota SUV was trying to turn left to southbound Masonic from Fell. The problem was that this lane is straight-only, so the driver of the larger white SUV laid on the horn for more than ten seconds:

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Then the green arrow for the left turn lane came on, so the green Ford pickup made the lega turn and the offending driver followed, illegally from the wrong lane:

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Perhaps the offending driver thought s/he was in the right, IDK.

This isn’t how I’d set things up here, but anyway…

Parking On The Lawn, Frisco-Style, Special Western Addition Gentrifier Edition, Complete with a Volvo Wagon

Monday, May 18th, 2015

I think a Smart Car could actually fit in this “parking space” in the Western Addition and I also think that this Volvo overhangs the public sidewalk on a daily basis, you know, for the past few years:

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Verdict: Yellow Card. This is a clever solution for saving money, but not executed 100% properly.

The “Innovation Capital of the World” Uses Old-School Tech: Leaning Over with a Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick

Friday, May 15th, 2015

There are pros and cons, of course, to using a stick to chalk-mark car tyres and then coming back two or three hours later to see if the car has moved away, in accordance with the 415’s infamous Residential Parking Permit Program.

Here’s what it looks like:

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An actual world capital of innovation would employ GPS and license plate scanners, these days, right?

Anyway, on the pro side, this method works, sort of. What some people do to stick it to the man is to rub off the chalk marks to buy a few more hours of free parking, until the next round of SFMTA marking and checking, but that’s agin the rules – you could get in trouble for that, one supposes.

On the con side, our PCO’s are routinely Bending Over with Piece of Chalk at the End of a Stick. The reason why it costs our SFMTA an excessive amount of money to run the RPP program is because there’s no market discipline at work here, there’s no incentive for the SFMTA to save money because of how CA state law works, oh well.

Anyway, just because your Interim Mayor says that your town is the “Innovation Capital of the World” doesn’t necessarily mean that your town is actually the “Innovation Capital of the World”

Baby Got Back: The Aging Mercedes Benzeses of the 94123 – W114 250C – Strich Acht = Slash Eight

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

As seen at the IHOP parking lot on Lombard, a very nice 250C:

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Lexus Owner Wants Us All to Visualize Whirled Peas

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

I got the joke without the license plate holder hint – I’m sure you would’ve too:

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What This, Church Goers Regularly Illegally Double-Park ALL DAY LONG on Bush Street, with the Blessing of the SFMTA and SFGov?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

This is where this ride was parked on the left side of Bush in the Western Addition on a Saturday morning, around brunch time:

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And here it is, after being moved forward a couple car lengths, on the same day, around dinner time (Early Bird dinner time, anyway):

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I’d always wondered about how long people double park on San Francisco’s Major Eastbound Substitute Freeway and now I have my answer. People aren’t just popping in for a service, they’re blocking traffic all the live-long day.

A few notes:

1. Jesus Christ! I mean, WWJD? Or WWJP, WHERE WOULD JESUS PARK? ‘Cause I sure as Hell don’t think He’d illegally double-park his chariot like this all day all day.

2. Let’s talk about Time, Place, and Manner: I myself double-park, but not on fucking Bush, which is half of the Bush-Pine Corridor, which has one-way streets and 30 MPH speed limits for a reason.

3. I myself double-park, but not for eight fucking hours at a stretch.

4. I myself double-park, but not two fucking feet from an intersection, ’cause when Parishioners do that they force the hundreds and hundreds of cars that get stalled over the course of a day into an intersection, and that’s not good, right?

5. Obviously, this double-parking behavior has become institutionalized by San Francisco gov’mint, so perhaps these pious Prius owners don’t realize how much they’ve been sinning. But let’s check it, from Katrina Schwartz of KQED:

Why Doesn’t San Francisco Enforce Double Parking on Sundays?

Now she’s talking about Sundays and I’m talking about Saturdays, but it’s the same deal, right?

Oh, and check out this bon mot, Gentle Reader:

“Are you seeing the contradiction here? Double parking is still illegal on Sundays, but the SFMTA has rules for how churches should manage their double parking.”

Indeed.

6. Our SFMTA, operator of MUNI, America’s Slowest Big City Transit System, might be working on a fix, a fix that might actually earn some money for the SFMTA to boot, but this fix could take years, so the current course is to say, oh, give us more money, oh, we can’t afford to enforce traffic laws on the weekends, oh we’ve let a bunch of Work Rules build up over the decades, so we’re inefficient as all get out, so, oh give us more money. SFGov is basically saying, “So sue us.” Like with “Mount” Davidson, the highest point in town – there was a Christian Cross on public land for decades and SFGov told San Franciscans to Go To Hell if they didn’t like it. (I myself wondered how this sitch could possibly be constitutional when I first came here.) So the upshot was that, finally, somebody sued SFGov, and won, and now that land aint private anymo’. The same thing with calling cell phone taxes “fees” to be able to generate ever more revenue for SFGov without troubling to get permission – somebody sued SFGov and now our cell phone taxes are properly called cell phone taxes. Simply, SFGov is in denial over this issue because it doesn’t want to get sued.

7. And hey, speaking of churches in the Western Addition, Jim Jones had a church on Geary a few blocks down the hill and he had SFGov wrapped around his finger. Here’s a snip:

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I’m not suggesting that Mayor Willie Brown is failing us now as much as he was back in the 1970’s when he was in the Assembly, but this is yet another example of a failure of San Francisco democracy.

Anyway, this is How We Live in 2015.

The Only Time I’ve Seen Rainbow Grocery Without a Line of Idling Cars Double-Parked Out Front

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Hippies love cars. Did you know that?

These cars are legally parked – I’m used to seeing another row of cars queuing up, parked in the slow lane, all the live-long day…

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BTW, these days there are more vehicles registered in San Francisco County than ever before.

And let’s not talk about all the extra unregistered vehicles we have, like owned by people who move here from a different state and never get CA plates, like for years and years.

Anyway, maybe I caught RG on a slow day, but Trader Joe’s #100 up on Masonic fixed its similar issue, more or less, years ago, so why can’t Rainbow?

The Street-Legal Golf Carts of Pacific Heights – An $11,000 GEM e4 Neighborhood Electric Vehicle – Is This The Future?

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

How some people are living in the 94115:

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IDK, I think I’d rather have a Nissan Versa, which of course would not make a good golf cart

The Frisco Version of Parking On The Front Lawn – Except There’s No Lawn Anymore

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

And whats’ that, your Mercedes hangs over the sidewalk sometimes, but that’s OK ’cause your wheels are all on private propertah?

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OK fine!