Archive for the ‘streets’ Category

Wild Wild West: What Happens When the Traffic Signals at Sloat and Great Highway Start Flashing Red

Friday, March 6th, 2015

This was the  the cause of a lot of the problems the other day – the light at Sloat and Great Highway flashing red. So traffic backed up into Lake Merced:

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In most towns, the cops would care about something like this, but in SF it’s up to the SFMTA to care, and it doesn’t really care, so bike riders heading north didn’t know where to go – they went all over, on the sand, on vegetation, on the sidewalks. and lane-splitting was an option as well:

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These guys heading south had to pick up their road bikes and carry them for a while after being forced into the sand:

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Speaking of which, this MUNI bus looked abandoned in the dunes. I think operators park them here to allow car drivers to use the traffic circle to get back to the intersection, cause, you know, its wheels are to big to get caught in a little sand, right? Well…

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…this ride here got totally stuck in a just a little sand. It was sad. (Photos altered to protect the embarrassed.) Help seemed to be far far away as cars behind got blocked in the circle:

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Do you need to hang a left to get a nice free parking space? Sure, what’s a few lanes of stalled traffic?

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And then there’s just your normal Great Highway, with horrible pedestrians in between crosswalks…

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…and improperly in crosswalks:

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And there’s the sand again, always the sand:

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Or no sand  – I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t dream of ever being on this side of the line, but perhaps that’s a quarter century of SF County living talking, IDK. So really, you don’t want to use that bike lane up there, or that other one to the right of you, huh? OK

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And the live aboard RVs – they’ll get hidden away come nighttime of course.

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That’s life out west, where every day is Do What You Feel Day.

SPUR, the Urban Renewal people, have a plan to “renew” this area. IDK, they’ve had a pretty bad record over the years and decades, right? And they seem to love SFGov’s current Willie Brown orientation.

Anyway, they have a roadshow to sell  people on their ideas. You should check it out sometime to see the promised Bright New Future, the promised New Gold Dream.

If San Francisco Had a City-County Border, This Would Be It

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Starting from the southeast, take Army/Cesar Chavez to Clipper and around Twin Peaks and up 7th Avenue and then jink over to like 11th Avenue (whatever it takes to get the dry rub chicken places of the Inner Sunset inside the City Limits – they seem pretty lively at night) and then up through GGP and the Richmond District up to the Presidio, where there’s a nice jag at 7th Avenue and then back east along West Pacific at the border and then up north along the Lyon Street Steps and then around Palace Drive all the way to the Bay and then you capture the waterfront all the way down to just north of Warm Water Cove:

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(Sorry.)

Oh, Divisadero doesn’t mean division, BTW.

SFGov’s Semi-Secret Abandoned Mattress Pickup Service, Seen Picking Up Bedding in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

As seen on Lincoln out west in San Francisco County:

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Somebody might have been using this mattress to sleep on in Golden Gate Park – I can’t tell.

This might be the RPD parks and recreation people – I can’t tell. (The Recology garbage monopoly people use hydraulics for a streetside summary execution of the box springs* they find.)

Another thing I can’t tell is the difference betwixt San Francisco’s legitimate mattress removal scheme vs. the process of simply wrestling your old bed** downstairs and throwing it down on the sidewalk in front of your door. I think you’re supposed to tell them your address and put the letters RMJ (Remove My Junk) on your unwanted booty.

I’ll look it up when and if the time comes…

*If you wanted to sell me** a box spring, I’d ask you what does it do and how am I going to eventually going to get rid of it. Oh, you say its job is to “support the mattress?” Uh, the same way the a hardwood floor might similarly “support” a mattress? And then people put a sheet of plywood in between the box spring and the mattress for “more support?” So I ask how does the mattress even know what’s under the plywood? Box springs are a scam, man!

**This is an option, a foam bed, on sale, from the Costco.com – SPONSORED LINK, SURPRISE! No, no, just kidding, Gentle Reader. I wouldn’t TBI you like that. Anyway, UPS delivers the box and you say, well, that’s a small box, and then you cut it open and the thing expands and unfolds like a US Navy life raft. Now some people say that foam mattresses are too warm at night, you know, for Frisco. YMMV

How the SFMTA Gave Up Its Experiment at the Deadly Intersection of Yorba and Sunset

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

I’ll tell you, our SFMTA is addicted to crazy new ideas. So like if you have an idea that’s untested, and it’s a little out there, you know, a little crazy, or crazy enough that it just might work, well our SFMTA would just loooooove to hear about it.

As it was at Yorba and Sunset. This place was a mess, with HAWK lights that never turned red – what was the point of having a pedestrian-activated light that never turned red? What other cities do things this way?

Here’s what things looked like last year:

 

And here’s how things look now, with a normal signal, one that’s much more effective than the SMART-whatever experiment that was going on before:

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So who was responsible for the HAWK beacon idea?

Nobody?

Oh, okay.

How the Magic Word “VisionZero” Has NOT Changed the SFMTA’s Half-Assed Approach to Transportation Safety: “Focus On The Five”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Here’s the SFMTA’s official six-figure-a-year spokesperson on the topic of when pedestrians can cross a street, from just last year:

“They can start whenever they want,” Rose said.”

Of course this is wrong, as even Paul Rose himself would admit now, after being corrected.

So, why did he say that? Because he, like his employer, has a half-assed approach to safety, and, one supposes, he, like his employer, is mired in politics.

Now do you suppose that Paul Rose was at all interested in examining why he told the peds of San Francisco that it was A-OK for them to violate CA state law? Oh no, not at all. And do you think he checked with anyone before he spouted off? Prolly not.

Like I say, a half-assed approach.

Now we’re in 2015, the era of SF VisionZero 2024, which has the goal, one that nobody actually believes in, but they have to pretend that they do believe in it, of having no more transportation deaths in San Francisco County starting in 2024 and continuing in perpetuity.

It’ll look a little something like this, supposedly:

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Now do you see the beauty in this? By the time SFGov fails to achieve this impossible goal, all the people who glibly made the promise will be out of office, right? How convenient.

The big problem with the approach that SFGov is taking is assuming that traffic deaths are a street design issue, as opposed to a human behavior issue. So most of the emphasis appears to be upon SFGov spending more money, which of course SFGov loves to do anyway.

And the part of VisionZero SF that’s focuses on behavior seems misplaced, for political reasons.

For example, there’s this:

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.”

So if the SFPD started handing out tickets for jaywalking, you know, in a big way, that would certainly help with traffic safety, over the long term, to at least a slight degree, but that would take the SFPD away from its “Focus On The Five” goal.

The problem with Focus On The Five is that it ignores Vehicle Code violations on behalf of pedestrians, one supposes for political reasons. In fact, the cause of most pedestrian and cyclist deaths last year in San Francisco was the behavior of the pedestrians and cyclists themselves.

And what’s this talk about “automated enforcement?” How about this, how about hooking up all of the SFMTA’s vehicles to an automated enforcement mechanism that would detect speed limit, stop sign and red light violations using on board sensors and GPS? Then, after Ed Reiskin parks his government-paid SFMTA car or an operator parks her bus, SFPD tickets would be issued, you know, daily. Whoo boy, what are the odds of something like that happening?

So that’s SF VisionZero 2024, a buzz-phrase that means absolutely nothing.

 

 

What It Looks Like When a Visit from President Barack Obama Shuts Down the California Street Cable Cars

Monday, February 16th, 2015

It looks like this:

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More Changes at Fell and Masonic: A New Mandatory Right Turn

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Here’s your clue to the changes, as seen at Hayes and Masonic:

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And here it is – you can no longer take Lane #3 on southbound Masonic across Fell. These days, the two left lanes go straight only and the two right lanes go right only:

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This could be temporary, IDK.

Last I heard, the SFMTA didn’t like the idea of having two lanes turning from outbound Masonic onto Fell due to the crosswalk on the west side of this intersection – they figured that it would be easier for peds to cross if there were cars parked in the slow lane most of the time.

Anyway, this current change doesn’t seem all that crazy, so let’s cheer the SFMTA for that.

And when it rains, we’ll have less of this, we’ll have less splashing of peds by the #43 Masonic…

A Virtual Speed Hump Created by a Home-Owning Graffiti Artist

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Sometimes, you need to turn vigilante to get stuff done in this town:

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(I’ll tell you, “speed hump” meant something different when I was a lad…)

Ah, the Sunset District: Home of Chain Stores, Unreliable Transit, and Oppressive Fog

Monday, February 16th, 2015

I used to live in the Sunset Part of the Sunset / Parkside

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Not much has changed.

Anyway, the Kragen Auto Parts is owned by a different chain these days..

Mother of All Double Parkers: The Super Pretzel Truck – Blocking Outbound Market Daily

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

If I were the Super Pretzel pushcart people on Market at the cable car turnaround, I’d push these carts somewhere else before the lengthy loading and unloading process:

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Just saying…

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But these people don’t care – on they go with lifting and the lowering, on they go as westbound traffic backs up behind them…