Archive for the ‘streets’ Category

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…

Word on the Street, Hayes Street Edition: THINK THAT YOU MIGHT BE WRONG

Monday, December 8th, 2014

As seen from the sidewalk on Hayes Street:

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The Beautiful Overhead Wires of the Inner Sunset – Wires are Energy, Communication, Transportation – Wires Are Life

Monday, November 10th, 2014

What do you see here? It’s a Rorschach test deal:

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There are some millionaires out there who think that we should take tax money, mostly from non-millionaires of course, and use it to get rid of all these cables and wires and whatnot and replace them with a more expensive approach.

I cry foul.

“Man Out Watching the Lunar Eclipse” – A Ten-Second Night Shot of Sutro Tower from Kite Hill

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

It’s yet another great photo from Trophygeek:

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