Archive for the ‘parks’ Category

The First Rule of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle? THOU SHALT NOT SLACKLINE

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

And yet:

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AFFIXING ITEMS TO TREES, they call it.

If You Think This Rec & Park Pickup Moved a Foot and a Half in These Two Photos, Then It Was Speeding in GGP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Is there a 5 MPH speed limit for RPD vehicles on paved paths in the parks of SF?

I think so.

All right, here are the two photos – they were taken at least a sixth of a second apart, you kids do the math:

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Oh wait, Gentle Reader, I’ll do the math and I’ll do it without Roman numerals. Today’s lesson is brought to you by the numbers Nine, Five and Six:

Nine feet per second > Five miles per hour, right? [Trust me, Gentle Reader.]

And my aging SLR camera takes shots at Six frames per second maximum.

So Nine feet per second divided by Six frames per second equals one point five feet of movement per frame, exactly.

See how that works? If this truck can be seen to be moving more than 1.5 feet per frame then that means it was moving more than 9 feet per second and that means it was moving more than 5 MPH and that means that it was speeding per RPD policy, right?

I’ll note that this is the Panhandle “bike path,” which some people don’t even consider a part of Golden Gate Park – perhaps the rules are different here? IDK.

And perhaps “GPS records” would indicate that this truck was merely going 3 MPH. If that were the case, then I’d know that RPD was mistaken. Or lying. Again.

Your pick, Gentle Reader.

Of course, nobody died here and it’s not like this truck was going 15 MPH down the Panhandle bike path on a rainy night. But RPD workers violate RPD rules all the time, right? So, what to do?

Some race car drivers have a speed limiter button to use while pitting. As long as it’s engaged, then a racecar can’t go more than, say, 15 MPH or something, you know, for crew safety, even though the gas pedal is mashed all the way down. Could something like this work for the speeding workers of the RPD? IDK. Implementing a program like this would be expensive, but, of course, letting RPD workers speed along has been expensive and problematic and tragic (in many ways, in many ways) up ’til now, right?

Our Long Parochial Nightmare is Over: The Vandalized Slides at Panhandle Playground 94117 have been Replaced by RPD

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Well the slides at the Panhandle Playground have been replaced after three months of absence.

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1. Perhaps the RPD spokesmodel meant that the entire slide complex was being repaired, as opposed to the $2000 plastic slide itself. I don’t think it would have made sense to repair the slide itself, due to liability issues for starters. This is a brand-new slide, one that’s similar enough to the original.

2. So some wealthy, non-profit people came by with clipboards to say that this particular playground currently earns a “D” grade? Well, OK fine, but if you talk to the people who actually use the place, they, more or less, give it an “A” grade, you know, except for the slide that wasn’t there all summer long. Mmmmm… What’s up with that?

3. Supervisor London Breed’s office was unresponsive to the email contact sent by a group of concerned parents, apparently. So she gets an “F,” or an Incomplete perhaps. (I’ve worked at two similar offices, with about ten or one hundred times as many constituents, and if the elected in charge found out about something like this then there’d be a 20-minute yell-fest and/or a passive aggressive note sent to a (lower-case “s”) supervisor to “fix this.”) So, obvs, a “communication issue” occurred, I just don’t know how common this is with her office.

4. RPD has a policy to not repair anything in a playground if it’s due to be revamped in the next two years? That’s my understanding. Does that mean that this playground won’t get revamped anytime soon? That’s my understanding. Why’s that? Read on, Gentle Reader.

5. What RPD really wants is area parents to get together to raise something on the order of [bites right pinkie finger] one million dollars, you know, the way they do things in rich areas of SF, like Sea Cliff (ala the new Mountain Lake) and Presidio Heights. Only then will RPD put your playground at the top of the fix-it list? OK fine. The funny thing is that most of the money that gets used to refurbish existing playgrounds is paid for by the non-rich, from some bond. But all this doesn’t matter for the playground at hand, because:

6. The slide vandalized in May 2014 has been replaced in September 2014 and the users are now satisfied. No $5,000,000 modernization from the RPD is needed, frankly. [Oh what's that, RPD - this old-school playground costs you a lot of coin to maintain? Well, then why don't you fix it up, RPD, you know, using the money we give you?]

And that’s the end of this story.

The Goofy-Looking Blue and Green Fire Hydrants of the Remote Outer Richmond District

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Or I suppose they’re really called “suction” hydrants:

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The Avenue Drive: Recalling the Time When You Could Drive Right Through the Middle of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Here’s the east end, with the McKinley Statue surrounded by traffic:

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SF’s Rec & Park Dept Has Eight Beefs Against You, The Public – Here are the New Signs in the Panhandle to Prove It

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Of course the taggers are having a field day with these new signs in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle.*

And look at the goofy colors (are they plum red and plum purple?) that don’t match anything else:

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I suppose the big news here is the midnight closing time.** And I suppose the bit about “affixing items to trees” might have to do with the popularity of slacklining these days. And I suppose the reference to “service roads” has to do with the recent hit-and-run death involving an RPD maintenance worker.*** (Do people call up 311 to complain about workers driving on the “bike path?” People do, apparently.)

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IMO, the GGP Panhandle is more of a commuter corridor than anything else, so it’s sort of funny to see RPD describe something like somebody taking a Diet Coke across Fell Street as “pack[ing] it in,” but anyway.

IMO, RPD is entirely too obsessed with the concerns of wealthy white homeowners (but that sort of make sense since RPD is basically run by wealthy white homeowners.)

IMO, RPD should have left the harmless Panhandle Bandshell where it was, near Oak and Clayton.

IMO, RPD should have been able to fix the slides at the Panhandle Playground by now, since they got damaged back in May, but oh well. An RPD spokesmodel said, months ago, that the slide assembly “now is undergoing repair” but that was months ago, so I’m forced to assume that that was yet another lie from the ineffectual and money-hungry RPD.

IMO.

*Is the Panhandle part of Golden Gate Park? Well, is the Oklahoma Panhandle part of Oklahoma? Indeed it is, Gentle Reader.

**The signs put up earlier tell you what time the park is closed, so I suppose these new signs are more “welcoming.” 

***The SFPD is free to drive wherever it wants, but I’d be super-nervous about driving my Crown Vic over an urban camper at night if I were a cop. And rear wheel drive grandpa cars aren’t really good on muddy grass anyway, as this photo shows:

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YOLO, 94117 – I’d Feel Self-Conscious Jogging in Golden Gate Park Without a Shirt Like This, But, You Know, YOLO

Friday, July 25th, 2014

YOLO:

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(And Bay to Breakers 2015 is a full 296 days away – there’s plenty of time left to get prepared.)

YOLO!

Rec and Park Employee Busted by a Google Maps Car in Golden Gate Park

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Reader JR sent this one in. Read his words below.

If you want to see for yourself, take a look at the Streets View of JFK Drive near the Rose Garden, a little west of “425 JFK Drive, SF”

I think the bigger crime here is being oblivious to the big old honking Google Maps car going down JFK, but anyway.

Hey, is that Phil Ginsburg? (I can’t tell, but check out those sideburns. Does he wear a watch? Not that I know of.)

Anyway:

“I stumbled across your website. I was reading through the pages. 

I was disturbed by the recklessness of a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Employee killing a person (1). I looked  further online into that.

 I continued reading your website clicking through the pages. I was interested about the re-stripping of JFK DR in Golden Gate Park. (2) I clicked the link for public radio. I did a Google street view of JFK Dr and found what appears to be a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Employee Driving while talking on the phone. See attachment. According to Google’s photo taken was Dec. 2013. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department vehicle identification number 651-6035. 

Can You Name the Extreme Points of San Francisco – North, South, East, and West? It’s Hard!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

[UPDATE: Oh, man, you people are clever:

1. So what about SFO airport as southernmost? Well, that place is “owned and policed by the City and County of San Francisco, but is located in and entirely surrounded by adjacent San Mateo County.” So that’s why the San Mateo County Coroner was involved in the SFFD’s bungled handling of the Asiana 214 crash landing. Another situation would be with San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam up in Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite - a murder on top of that dam would be prosecuted by the Tuolumne County DA (or maybe the Feds – you all might be right, IDK), not by the SFDA. Don’t ask me about which DA would handle a stabbing at San Francisco Jails #5 or #6 down in San Bruno, San Mateo County. (Perhaps the counties have an agreement over prosecution? IDK.) OTOH, a crime on the western tip of Alameda Island would be handled by the SFDA.

2. And Candlestick Point (and the entire southern border of mainland SF)? It’s ever just ever north of the southernmost part of the Farallones – that’s a real close call.)

This is hard, this game of identifying the northernmost, southernmost, westernmost, and easternmost points of San Francisco.

If you guess, you’re going to make mistakes.

All right, in no particular order, here are the answers:

Seal Rock, aka Saddle Rock

Red Rock

North Farallon Islands

Alameda Island 

I’m srsly.

1. Northermost: Red Rock Island. It’s about eight miles north of Fisherman’s Wharf. Seems as if it’s always for sale. You can get there by kayak and then hike to the top if you want – put that on your bucket list.

As seen from the mainland of San Francisco. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge and East Brother Island are in the background:

Red Rock at 600mm on a very clear day. Don’t try this with your iPhone camera – your shot might not come out so hot.

2. Southernmost: Seal Rock, South Farallon Islands. It’s south of Southeast Farallon Island. It can be seen on the left side here.

And here it is as seen from Twin Peaks:

840mm, on a very clear day.

3. Westernmost: North Farallon Islands.

Actually, it’s this islet in the upper left here, seen with North Farallon Island and St. James Island in the lower right. (I’m surprised that this unnamed rock hasn’t yet been named for a longtime local political strongman like Willie Brown or Rose Pak):

4, Easternmost: Alameda Island. Surprise! Work out your denial issues here.

As seen from the (old) Bay Bridge, the eastern span, the one that was never named for a local political strongman, like Willie Brown or Rose Pak: 

Here are the four points, underlined, to sum up:

Oh, even better is if you let Google Maps highlight the county line in red. (If you zoom in on the linked page, you can also see a couple of places on Angel Island that Google similarly correctly ID’ed as parts of San Francisco.)

Thanks for playing!

Know Better Your Obscure Public Parks: The Two-Star-Rated Cow Hollow Playground – It Looks Like Somebody’s Backyard

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Here it is, at Miley and Baker near Greenwich, San Francisco, CA 94123 - Marina/Cow Hollow.

Here’s the review:

“Place is hidden & small. Typically overcrowded (mainly due to size), but also a nice oasis in the sea of the city.”

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Now you Know Better Your Obscure Public Parks.