Archive for the ‘streets’ Category

How People Got Around Frisco BEFORE Lyft and UBER: The Secret Phone Numbers of Veteran’s Cab in SoMA

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Here it is: Gritty HARRISON 1500 –>, lovely COSTCO #144, and of course, the Italianate red/white/green of VETERAN’S CAB 502-1300 all down at 11th and Harrison in SoMA:

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I don’t know how things work now but back in the day if you were a regular / reliable customer, cab companies / drivers would give you secret phone numbers that would get you to Dispatch quicker than the public “sucker” lines that you’d see: in the phone book (yes, an actual book); painted on the sides of cars; or, in the case of Veteran’s, lit up in neon for tout le monde to see.

I can’t recall anything at all about 415 502-1300. I suppose it was ahead of my time. (Maybe it connects you to UCSF these days.) But I DO recall 415 552-1300 from the pre-UBER/Lyft era. At that time, if you gave that line a jingle ’cause you needed a taxi at, let’s say 7:00 PM on a Saturday night, you’d most likely get a busy signal, oh well.

Why? Well it’s ’cause there were <1000 taxi medallions in Frisco for the longest time. This shortage meant that cabbies could make bank, especially considering how cheap rents were Back Then compared with now. It was such a sweet job that former Mayor Willie Brown drove a taxi to pay his way through UC Hastings Law School back in the 1950’s. And in the 1980’s, Frisco was gaining a national reputation as a place where it was hard to find a cab. Read THE MAYOR, THE CABBIES and the 84 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION – Historical Essay by Rua Graffis, United Taxicab Workers, 1996 for the reason why.

Anywho, just think about what phone number cabbies would use to call in for a tow truck if a taxi broke down – they sure as Heck wouldn’t use the sucker line, right? They’d call a number where somebody would actually pick up. That’s the kind of number that you’d want to use.

What’s that, you lived out at 25th and Irving way out there in the Sunset? Well in that case, you might have had to wait / give up on getting a taxi, but at least an effort would be made. Or maybe a taxi driver heading in that general direction would drop off and then swing on by in 20 minutes or so.

I’m not saying that that was great, but all this attention paid by the taxi industry to those who knew how to get through meant there was less attention paid to some tourist / newcomer who didn’t know anything.

Of course, our Chamber of Commerce and our tourist industry HATED this situation, but then, in part due to the difficulty certain ballers (like Travis K) had finding a taxi in Frisco ’round about a decade ago, ALONG CAME UBER AND LYFT.

Now, any rube can get a ride, but traffic is much worse, and getting worser, so who knows which era you’d prefer.

Ah, mem’ries…

Shabby, Rusted Japantown – We’d All Have Been MUCH Better Off Without REDEVELOPMENT, Ch. CCLIX – Concrete And Clay And General Decay

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Our J-Town is sort of a mess, not that I’m complaining, not that I’m calling for a “Fix-It Team” to drop everything and work on the solitary issue, that I, the monomaniacal activist, care about, no not at all. Let me explain.

All this Redevelopment stuff, all this concrete put in in the 1960’s is not up to snuff earthquake-wise – the garage, the east mall, the west mall, just entire blocks of Redevelopment. How on Earth can you bring things up to 2017-era minimal standards without spending a metric shit-ton of (non-existent) money? Well IDK.

And if even if you had the money to spend, how long would it take? How many years? What they’ve been talking about, for years/decades is an entire redo, a Re-Redevelopment, which would entail kicking out all the shops and restaurants, the bustling successful ones along with those just scraping by, and have them go … go where exactly? How about excessively wide Webster Street? I’m talking about the actual street itself – take out a couple lanes and the median and set up temporary shops, you know, Hayes Valley-style. That was a proposal.

And then, tens of millions of dollars (and who knows, nine figures?) could be poured in to seismic up.

(And to pay for this, there would have been a $100k tax on condos, so good luck with that – do you want to build up Japantown with slivers filled up with 500-1000 new condo units? Well, that’s what some people wanted.

Anyway, the moral of the story is for SFGov to not be so goddamned confident with future projects. Kind of like, “Don’t Just Do Something, Just Stand There.” And maybe we should instead spend our money on fixing up our Mistakes From The Past.

JMO.

And now, Japantown, a land of Wind and Ghosts:

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And car break-ins, of course, for tourists and locals alike. The expensive signs make everything better though, some feel:

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So you want to build a bridge, young Designers and Architects and Planners, but you don’t want to maintain it, that’s Someone Else’s Problem? You want to get it on to Make the Baby, but you don’t have the Staying Power to take care of the Baby. It sure as Hell looks that way:

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But newish banners – that’s the solution, so far:

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In the meantime, Concrete and Clay. 

And General Decay

FIN

This Tall Palm Tree has a Secret Purpose – You’ll Never Guess What

Friday, August 11th, 2017

I guess somebody promised to put up a non-ugly cell phone tower and this is the result what looks like it was created by someone unfamiliar with what real trees look like:

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IDK…

Typical San Francisco Pedestrian, Starts Marching Across on a Yellow

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Now sometimes it’s hard, like when you’re at a place that doesn’t have countdown timers, like many places in Frisco that should have them but don’t, for some reason, but that’s not the case here:

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This isn’t the end of the world, I’m just saying Typical San Francisco Pedestrian, Starts Marching Across on a Yellow.

(Now there’s a movement afoot, it started in New Yawk, to change the obvious meaning of DON’T WALK to SURE, GO AHEAD AND WALK IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT. I don’t support this movement. FIN)

New Electronic Sign Literally Tells San Francisco Drivers to SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

See?

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At slower speeds, it tells you your speed.

I’m not sure what the limit is here. I was thinking that the sign might know WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT or if it could know the limit based upon the day of the week / month, but now I’m thinking, nah, it prolly doesn’t.

Other signs will flash your speed at you when you’re going too fast or change the numbers to red, but this one equates one over the limit with 30 by telling all speeders to

SLOW DOWN

SLOW DOWN

SLOW DOWN

Haight-Ashbury Sidewalk Hearts Honor London Breed for being a Part of the Summer of Love? – Somehow

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Here you go:

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It’s the 50th Anniversary, of course. Oh look, some of them have names:

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And look, London Calling:

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IDK.

Where in Frisco Does UPS Just Leave Your Delivery in Front of Your House? Presidio Heights, That’s Where

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

See? It’s like this place is Mayberry R.F.D.

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In my ‘hood, that box would be gone in a New York minute.

Disobedient WIFE

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

You see, ’cause you gotta have a bike to go on this side, no jogging allowed, but it’s much easier to jog with the bikes than all the other joggers and tourists clogging up the East Side

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Enforcement is lax on the West Side, so bring it on with your skateboards, large dogs and whathaveyou – it’s sort of the honor system here.

Chris Daly Warned Us

Monday, July 10th, 2017

He did, man.

As seen on Clement, quartier intérieur de Richemont

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At least they are doing this With Style…

Surprise! Newly Refurbished Baker-Barry “Five-Minute” Tunnel is 1) Bright; 2) Dry; and 3) Not Smelly, At All

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Here it is:

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Here’s how things used to be – dark, wet and smelly:

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Area Yelpers are not yet yelping about the improvements, but they will, someday, I’m sure:

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All the deets, from our feds:

Marin Headlands: Tunnel and Scenic Overlook Parking/Pull-Outs

Tunnel re-opened June 3, 2017

Updated June 6, 2017

The major phases of the Baker-Barry Tunnel preservation project are complete. Crews have addressed fissures and cracks in the tunnel wall, pumped polyurethane into the gaps around the tunnel lining, and installed a new, more energy-efficient lighting system. The historic tunnel is now preserved to bring the next generation of park visitors to the Marin Headlands.

Parking and pull-outs are now open to vehicles on Conzelman Road east of the McCullogh traffic circle.

For a summary of the work to date and photos inside the project, read this recent article in the Marin IJ.

 

About the Tunnel Preservation Project: Safer Surfaces. Better Lighting.

This project repaired the tunnel’s concrete structure. Repaired cracks and leaks resulted in a slippery film of sediment that created a safety hazard for vehicles and bicyclists.

A new tunnel LED light system will reduce energy use by an estimated 40% from what was the single largest energy user at Golden Gate National Recreation Area! The new lights also better illuminate the tunnel for vehicles and bicyclists.

We also replaced water and sewer lines mounted in the tunnel. The outdated water and sewer lines were subject to frequent breaks which resulted in tunnel closures.