Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

The Plan to Speed Up Divisadero Begins: Say Good-Bye to Left Turns Off of McAllister, Hayes – During Rush Hour

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

See?

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Of course, I’m dubulous of the recent and coming changes on / to Divis and, soon enough, Scott Street but oh well.

Note also the coming Evening Drive tow-away zone betwixt Fell and Oak.

It’s all on page 5 here and at the Hoodline.

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?

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Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.

Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco  intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.

And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!

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(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)

(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)

Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.

And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.

Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.

I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?

*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain. 

**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!

Wow, SFPD Enforcement Action at Oak and Masonic – Massive Number of Luxury / Electric Cars Pulled Over, Over and Over

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Here’s what it looks like – an SFPD enforcement action, this latest one at Oak and Masonic. (Note modern-looking SFPD Kawasaki Concours 14P (which looks to me like a CHP BMW) juxtaposed with the ancient Harley Davidsons what make up most of the Motor Patrol.)

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This action meant that every driver who commited some infraction turning left from inbound Oak onto northbound Masonic got pulled over at the Masonic Chevron.

One supposes that the new left turn arrow phase at this intersection was the instigation for the enforcement action. (Back in the day, traffic didn’t back up during the Morning Drive due to the Double Left Turn that’s no longer there, owing to concerns over ped safety, one supposes.)

All right, here’s your money shot, here’s your scene at Fell and Masonic with a brace of drivers, drivers who “know” they’re special, so fucking special, you know, your Prius hybrid drivers, your Range Rover drivers, and your new funky BMW i3 (with absurdly tall, absurdly narrow Conestoga wagon wheels) electric car drivers:

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That was the scene I initialy came upon and this is the same area as I left. Note the all-black Mercedes Benz, Audi and Lexus. It’s not a coincidence that the drivers of all these cars got pulled over at the same time, just saying:

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Of course, the SFPD will also pull you over if they notice you doing something wrong going the other way, but the funny thing was that the two cars I saw getting pulled over heading south on Masonic, against the current, heading towards the Financial, were normal ones, like VW Golfs. (I’ll ask you, should you ever be proud of your car? The answer is that no you shouldn’t be, because Pride Goeth Before The Painful Traffic Ticket What’s Going to End Up Costing Your Four Figures. JMO.)

Moving on, to this – peds coming up to chat up the cops to cheer them on.

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Now I’ll tell you, I didn’t see any driver run a red during the time I was at these intersection taking photos of the enforcement action, but I was paying more attention to the cops as opposed to the drivers. And I’ll note that sometimes the traffic lights would cycle red green red green red green without anyone getting pulled over.

I’ll leave you with this, my misfocused shot of a ped giving a black power salute to the SFPD to thank them for this latest enforcement action:

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If You Want to Park for Free on the Sidewalks of Market Street, Simply Put BART Posters in All Your Car Windows

Friday, March 20th, 2015

North, south, east, and west – the windows facing all directions had these big BART logos affixed:

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All the windows – so it’s like, oh, I’m going to park on the yellow brown brick road of Market, so time to start taping posters up?

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So who’s this, BART or a BART contractor?

Donuts Served Up Hot in the Western Addition / Alamo Square Historic District

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Mmmm… donuts:

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And on the next block:

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And so on…

Thank goodness these skid marks are black and not some other flavor…

Vaunted BMW i8 Hybrid on the Streets of San Francisco – Tacky “Keigwins Safety Car” Blocks the Box in the Financh

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think? It’s like rain on your wedding day, in’nt? (Actually, it’s not at all like rain on your wedding day – that’s what makes it ironic.)

If you embarrass easily, this isn’t the ride for you:

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Hey, how many cylinders in the engine? You’ll never guess.

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How about three? Three cylinders.

Apparently, that’s good enough to allow this hybrid the carpool lane.

In conclusion, meh.

The Difference Between a Serious Safety Organization Like the NTSB and Our SFMTA – “Toward Zero” vs. “Vision Zero”

Monday, March 16th, 2015

(Remember Gavin Newsom’s Vision from 2004 of Zero homeless people on the Streets of San Francisco by 2014? How did that work out? Oh, there are more now? Oh

So now we have a New Vision Zero – SFGov has banned all transportation-related deaths and injuries in San Francisco starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

Compare that with our NTSB, which is a serious safety organization. It wants us to move Toward Zero. See?

See the difference? One goal is attainable and the other is pie-in-the-sky from the get-go.

Hey, what’s the SFMTA’s record of turning tax and feepayer money into transportation safety? Not so hot, right? The SFMTA is good at creating more “work rules” for its employees, but it’s not so hot on its actual core functions.

And how is the SFMTA going to change to do better, to “achieve” its impossible to achieve goal?

Nothing. It’s planning on doing the same old same old, a “streetscape” project here and another streetscape project there, political district by political district.

Hey, does the NTSB have politics? Yes, yes it does, unfortunately. But it’s not mired in le politique the way our SFMTA is.

And here’s a bonus – the chances of any particular NTSB worker killing me on the streets of San Francisco are remarkably low. Compare that with the chances of me getting killed by an SFMTA employee are what, 20-30%, you know, assuming I get killed on the streets of San Francisco.

So why not this, SFMTA? Why not take Vision Zero 2024 SF and start with SFGov employees, starting now?

You see, SFMTA, transportation safety isn’t a problem with the lack of “safe” streets, it’s a problem with the behavior of people.

The way you’re trying to do affect the behavior of people is the most convoluted imaginable. Sorry.

Anyway, if you changed your project’s name to Toward Zero, you’d have a chance at success.

If not, then you don’t.

The High Cost of Free Parking: Federal Housing Project + Reserved Space for a CL600 V-12 Mercedes Benz = ???

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Oh my, I’m guessing maintenance for this high-maintenance V12 monster (which cost, I’m guessing here, and let’s throw in license and reg and whatnot, NORTH OF FREAKING $130K, back in the aughts) costs more than rent:

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Imagine that in San Francisco…

SFGov Puts a Pedestrian “Bulb-Out” at an Intersection Where Peds Already Behave Very Poorly

Friday, March 13th, 2015

I’ll tell you, pedestrian safety means pedestrian safety.

But “pedestrian rights” means the opposite, it means letting peds go around willy-nilly and getting themselves killed.

Anyway, if you want to see peds jumping the green and standing around in intersections, head on over to McAllister and Hyde. Before it was bad enough, but now, peds will have a shorter distance to jaywalk?

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The last thing you want to do is embolden* the already-emboldened, right?

On It Goes

*BTW, there were peds improperly in the intersection at the time Chris Bucchere collided with Sutchi Hui. Perhaps all the peds in the intersection had jumped the gun. That intersection offers a very short path for peds – in some ways that’s a good thing, but in others that’s a bad thing, particularly at the intersection of 17th, Castro, and Market. Of course, Bucchere couldn’t have “entered the intersection legally” cause the limit there is 25 MPH. And of course, he made no effort to slow down once he recognized the problem. So of course, there’s enough blame to go around.

ONLY IN MARIN: Bridgeway Gas Station in Sausalito Charging $8 Per Gallon? Highest Prices in America

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Things were bad before, but I think we’re entering performance art territory here, up in Marin County.

Via Yelper Eddie H:

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The Yelpers, they are not happy.

Suffer Deb:

“I feel like I just got mugged. They are charging $6.97 for regular (other yelpers posted pics). The average price for gas in northern California is $3.43. I will never EVER go here again even though it’s on my way home from work, FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS GO TO BRIDGEWAY GAS.”

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Send somebody, anybody up there to ask, “Hey, what’s the deal with the $8 gas?” Before that, buy a few gallons to see what the experience is like. Also, check for the purported dirtiness. Like “can you believe this is the bathroom of a gas station what charges* $200 to fill your** tank?!” And then you say, hey, I gots to fill up my right rear with air, and then see if Dude makes you pay for the privilege – well that’s agin the law, right? (But don’t send CW Nevius – he’d find a way to get rejected on this slam dunk, like he’d tell this story from the poor gas station owner’s ‘sperective, something like that. SPROOOOING off the rim, that’s what I’m talking about.) Anyway, engage, make it so.

*And call your economist buddy and ask about elasticities of demand for low-margin bidnesses. So let’s say the Shell down the street only makes a few pennies per gallon (and possibly makes more money selling high-margin snacks, you know, the way movie theaters do it), well, maybe it makes sense to cut your business by 95% if you can increase your margins by 10,000%, that kind of deal. Who knows, maybe Dude makes money some other way off of the property…

**I can remember the first time I paid $20 for a tank of gas. It was back in the 1990’s for a rusty Audi 5000 I bought from a doctor in Manoa Valley. And then back in the aughts, I remember paying $100 to fill the tank of a Land Cruiser up in, you guessed it, Marin County. I’ll remember the $200 threshold too, if and when I ever achieve it. (And if I filled up at Bridgeway today, I think I could almost, just almost make it to $200.)