Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

A Few Issues with the New Traffic Signals on Masonic Paid for (and Influenced by?) Target Stores

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Get up to speed here and here.

I passed by O’Farrell and Masonic a couple times the other day, so I’m noting what I noticed.

This pedestrian appeared to become irate both at the unorthodox delay she had for the green and at the driver of the orange Scion car for turning left on a yellow:

If SFGov wanted to engage in pedestrian calming, it would adjust the left turn time for traffic on southbound Masonic.

Next up is this driver, who hung a U-turn on a red light since it looked like there was no traffic coming east on O’Farrell. There’s no way that’s legal:

Here’s the prize – the quite small lower level lot of City Target West:

Hey, I know that Target paid for a couple traffic signals on Masonic, but perhaps there could be some adjustments? Perhaps we could just eliminate U-turns on southbound Masonic at O’Farrell? I mean, northbound traffic on Masonic has no chance to getting to nearby Trader Joe’s, right? So why should we bend over backwards for people driving to Target?

Moving on, down the street to quiet Ewing Terrace, where the brand new lights have just been turned on. It seems that all traffic on Masonic has to stop at random times even though nobody wants to cross Masonic? Why is that?

In most places outside of SF, there’d be a pad to detect the presence of a car coming out of the cul-de-sac and buttons for peds. Shouldn’t we be doing it that way instead? Mmmmm… These red lights for no reason delay MUNI buses, right? I seen it. Perhaps in the near future this signal will be able to detect the approach of a bus and then not turn red for no reason? We’ll see…

Here She Is: Le Grand Doyenne de San Francisco – Cruising the Financh with Driving Gloves in a Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Saw this woman a couple years ago on Battery in the Financial – very striking, like something out of a movie.

Anyway, I just saw this ride parked on the street in a location that would make you say, “Well of course that’s where this lady lives.”

Click to expand

Look for the woody with JMG monogrammed on the door…

Driving Around the World in a Third-Generation New MINI Hatch (F56) – Sighted on Lombard – Next Stops: Germany, Japan

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Back in the 1990′s, Euros went Around The World via French House.

These days, they use tiny BMW’s:

“Around the World with a MINI F56 2014.
Start, 16. June 2014 in Germany.
7 countries, 2 months, 2 people, MINI takes the States, 22.000 km. Kick-off 16. June 2014″

Click to expand

It’s Around the World in 60 Days.

Bon Courage, you daft punks.

UPDATE: This just came in, FYI:

“MINI TAKES THE STATES Motors Across The Country With High-Flying Send-Off From Tony Hawk

MINI owners from around the world rally from San Francisco to Boston: 14 states, 18 cities in 15 days

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., July 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Motorers, start your engines!  MINI TAKES THE STATES (MTTS) 2014 is now underway. The rally kicked off early on July 27(th) with fellow MINI owner and partner, Tony Hawk, performing a MINI inspired skateboarding stunt to send off MINI owners itching to hit the road.

(more…)

Old BMW’s Never Die, They Just Retire to Daly City – Boxy Bimmers on the Hillside

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ah, BMW’s 528e – The Low Rev Modest Driving Machine

Boxy Bimmers on the hillside,
Boxy Bimmers made of ticky tacky
Boxy Bimmers on the hillside,
Boxy Bimmers all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

Hello Kitty Father, Hello Kitty Mother, Hello Kitty Son, Hello Kitty Daughter – Plus SF Giants Hello Kitty

Friday, July 25th, 2014

It’s a Hello Kitty nuclear family!

Complete with two Hello Kitty dogs:

Click to expand

Go Giants!

Good-bye, Kitties.

Changes are Coming to Sunset Boulevard Monday: “NEW SIGNALS TO BE ACTIVATED 7/28/2014″ – Near Wawona and Yorba

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Here are what these signs look like on Sunset Boulevard way out there in the Parkside / Sunset part of outer San Francisco County:

After the recent deaths in this area, SFGov appears to be highly motivated to make changes.

The signage around here is still a fucking mess, but one assumes that some of the older signals that are there might now be coming down this weekend when the new signals get turned on.

Here’s the tunnel view heading north as it stands now – how many signs and lights and banners has SFGov put up for drivers to look at here? I’m counting about three dozen and, actually, drivers can see even more further to the left and right of this scene, including an SFPD vehicle seemingly permanently parked on Yorba specifically for you bad drivers to see and react to.

IMO, the modified pedestrian-activated HAWK light experiment, signals that would flash yellow but never actually go red to stop traffic, is a massive failure.

IMO, SFGov continues to expect waaaaaay too much from its drivers (particularly elderly drivers, particularly those who shouldn’t be driving anymore) and its pedestrians (particularly elderly pedestrians).

IMO.

The Unpopular SFMTA Used to Poll Neighbors Before Permanently Installing Traffic Circles, But Not Anymore – Why’s That?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because the SFMTA dramatically overestimated its popularity and the popularity of traffic circles being plopped down in the middle of intersections.

Isn’t that pathetic? It held all these mini-elections and it lost every last one.

So these days, there are no more mini-elections and the SFMTA is free to spin however it wants.

Actually, this new one on Anza is more of a traffic oval:

Here we go:

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.”

See how that works? Instead of trying to win community support the way it did ten years ago, today’s SFMTA simply assumes whatever it does has “community support.” ‘Cause if the SFMTA had any more neighborhood plebiscites about traffic circles, it knows that it would lose once again.

The SFMTA lost those traffic circle votes of a decade ago by like about two to one or three to one. If it wants to say that the reason why it lost so badly had to do with aesthetics or “outreach,” well, that’s one viewpoint. But, gee, maybe the SFMTA simply had/has a bad idea?

The traffic circles the SFMTA installed on Page and Waller were simply horrible from a pedestrian’s perspective. You could hear a car coming from almost a block away, but you wouldn’t know how fast the driver would go through the intersection. You’d count on the driver seeing you and reacting as opposed to the driver knowing that a stop sign’s there and stopping / California stopping.

Traffic circles or rotaries or whatever you want to call them might work in some locations, but plopping them down onto random intersections SFMTA-style so that the SFMTA has yet another project to spend money on was and is a bad idea.

Hofmeister Kink: A Mid-40′s German in Ashbury Heights – Celebrating a Half-Century of BMW’s “Signature Design Element”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Hofmeister Kink, BMW 2002:

Click to expand

What’s Coming to San Francisco Next Week? “Crowdfunded Supercars” from Blancfleet.Com

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Sadly, most supercars you see in San Francisco aren’t properly registered in California. The reason mostly has to do with CA use tax, which comes due the second you start “using” your new ride by driving it around.

So some people end up paying $10, or $20, or $30 per mile during the short time  they own and drive a Ferrari, for example.

So other people simply dispense with paying CA use tax, because it’s so pricey.

Here’s an alternative – Blancfleet. They say they’re opening up next week in the Bay Area.

“Blancfleet is the world’s first supercar sharing platform where car enthusiasts crowdfund and timeshare the supercars they love. Timesharing allows car enthusiasts on Blancfleet to spread the cost of owning, operating, and insuring a supercar with other car enthusiasts. On Blancfleet, there are no annual membership fees, no refueling requirements, no car insurance requirements, no car maintenance fees, no car storage fees, and no security deposit requirements. Timesharing also allows members to enjoy supercars with unlimited miles”

More deets here and here.

Is this a good idea for you? IDK. But it will be refreshing to see valid CA license plates on these cars. And if you’re tempted to buy a car like one of these, consider that lots of times people just end up selling a few months later ala the Porsche GT2 that Paul Walker died in - that car traded hands many, many times before it was destroyed.

Maybe you don’t want to buy a car, maybe you just want to rent.

Maybe.

Heh: Incompetent SFMTA MUNI DPT Parking Control Officers are Repeatedly Citing Security Guard Cars at Our Chinese Consulate

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

So the guards at this troubled location have resorted to posting long messages in car windows.

“Attn DPT: Please do not ticket this vehicle…”

Click to expand

The current SFMTA position is that only security guards and cops can legally park at this location. This is a result, one supposes, of that Chinese citizen firebombing the front door of the place on Laguna not too long ago…