Archive for the ‘streets’ Category

How SFGov Profits from Human Nature: Hundreds of Dollars of Street Sweeping Tickets Issued on One Short Block

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Our SFMTA issued st least three tickets on this short block the other day, you know, to punish people for blocking a street cleaning machine.

Here’s the Before, with an ugly, ugly trash-strewn street…

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…and here’s the After, with the newly-beautiful* street:

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What a difference!

Hurray! Hurray for SFGov.

(IRL, this is SFGov reacting to market discipline. If it made this much money per minute rehabbing addicts, it would spend a lot more time and effort rehabbing addicts…)

*Actually, this short block, and this one only, was recently repaved, a few years back, right before an election, and it happens to be the block where a long-time leader of a long-time community group just happens to reside, and I thought, where are we, Chicago West? That’s just what I thought, I don’t know why this block got repaved before others in the Western Addition. As I said, it’s kind of random….

The Good and the Bad of Our SFMTA’s Recent Rejiggering of Oak Street Near Horrible Octavia “Boulevard”

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

What’s this? Well, it’s traffic backing up on Oak from failed Octavia Boulevard all the way up to the top of Alamo Heights, like Fillmore.

Why? Let’s hear about the SFMTA’s 2014 to-do list from Rose Garrett of Hoodline:

Restriping Oak between Octavia and Laguna and reconfiguring parking so that two full right turn-only lanes would stretch the entire block of Oak and two additional lanes would continue straight

What’s happened is a change of driving culture so that nowadays, drivers feel less like suckers when they queue up in the right lane of Oak and there’s less line-jumping to the right between Laguna and Octavia:

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None Shall Pass! over this newly painted solid line:

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Some still do of course, but this happens less than before:

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Now’s not the time to get into why the 100% perfectly earthquake safe Central Freeway was ash-canned for this deadly Octavia Boulevard monstrosity. But now, apparently, is the time to try to fix things, you know, a decade later.

Already, those wishing to stay in Frisco now have a clearer shot of escaping this mess by using the left lanes. New construction with $3000-something per month non-rent controlled studios will dominate the north side of this block. We’ll see how this one goes.

It’s hard for a needlessly prideful political animal like the SFMTA to admit that it made a mistake constructing this “vision” of the New Boulevard Movement or whatever the Hell it was called backed when the failed Boulevard Movement was in full swing. But now, after some Berkeley prof has gotten all that money in consulting fees and basked in the glory of those award ceremonies, our SFMTA is less possessive of its creation – it’s more willing to admit its mistakes, if not through a press release, but at least by trying to fix things.

Now, is it good for traffic to back up a half-mile on a regular weekend afternoon? No, but this is an improvement nevertheless.

Appalling Corner Cutting from the Vaunted SFMTA: Newly-Installed Clean-Sheet Traffic Signal Poles on Masonic

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

[All right, a little background. Who’s been in charge of the crosswalk in front of City Hall on Polk? IDK, somebody in SFGov, like the SFMTA, or an agency from before the SFMTA, or DPW, or, no matter, somebody in SFGov, anyway, right? And these people know that driver compliance rates with whatever half-assed “smart” control scheme they installed is a lot lower than the compliance rate with simple red-yellow-green signals. But then, with regular dumb traffic lights, pedestrians would have to wait, at least part of the time, to cross the street to get to the Great Hall of The People and we can’t have that, right? So when a tour bus driver runs over an SFGov worker going back to the office, it’s all the tour bus driver’s fault, right? Well, yes and no. The BOS can vote 11-0 to regulate tour bus operators, but that ignores its own responsibility, non? Oh what’s that, you were going to get around to installing a traffic signal there, but you just hadn’t gotten around to it? And what’s that, you can’t figure out how to do it with the money we already give you, so we need to give you more more more? All right, fine, but that means you’re a part of the safety problem, not the solution, SFTMA / SFGov, at least in this case. Moving on…]

What the Hell is this, this brand new aluminum(?) light pole above Masonic betwixt the Golden Gate and Turk “high injury* corridors.” Believe it or not, you’re looking at signal lights for northbound Masonic traffic at Golden Gate AND ALSO, on the other side, for southbound Masonic at Turk:

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Here’s how things look up the hill heading southbound – no problems here:

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But this is what you see going north, you see a red light on the left and green light on the right, and the farther away you are, the more it looks like one intersection with contradictory signals:

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I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere in the world.

This is appallingly poor design, IMO.

So, what, give you more money and you’ll put in another pole, SFMTA? IDK, you can see that they spent money on three new poles, so why did they cheap out with this half-assed creation?

Tree branches? So, the SFMTADPW wants to cut down hundreds of “diseased” trees** on this 3000-foot stretch of Masonic, but it can’t trim a couple trees in the name of Safety?

OK fine.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Why did the deciders decide on this half-assed design? This one will write itself.

*Are there any low injury corridors in San Francisco? No there are not. So the phrase “high-injury corridor,” as used over and over again, recently, in SF, is meaningless. Oh what’s that, there are no accidents on Willard Street North, for example. Except that WSN aint a corridor, it’s a just a little street. So “high injury corridor” simply means corridor, which simply means, of course, “a (generally linear) tract of land in which at least one main line for some mode of transport has been built.”

**This is how SFGov works:

I wanted the trees gone, but knew I’d face stiff resistance both from homeless advocates and tree supporters. We brought in a tree expert and wouldn’t you know it, some of the trees had a blight. I issued an emergency order, and that night park workers moved in and dug up and bagged the trees. By the time the TV cameras arrived the next morning the trees were on their way to a tree hospital, never to return.”

Arguably, this occurred a while ago, but, arguably, Willie Brown is still the Mayor, so there you go.

Here They Are, Our Brand-New “Beautiful. Functional. Rain Gardens” on Fell – Like Parklets, But for Weeds, Not People

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Our PUC writes in tell about how I’m confusing them with the CAPUC, the same way, one supposes that Mssrs. Matier and Ross got “confused” when calling them the PUC here. But take their tour if you want – see Comments.]

Remember the revival of “Victory Gardens?” I do. It peaked in 2009. But the new thang in urban gardening is upon us.

As seen on Fell, looking inbound:

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(Oh, and the microfences already indicate that no bike parking is allowed. So what’s the PUC going to do? Ticket your ride? Cut off your lock and impound your bike?)

On Fell, looking outbound:

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And look, clobblestones!

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Are these real cobblestones? One can’t tell. Should they be? One doesn’t know.

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All right, that was the windup, and now here’s the pitch, from the SFPUC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PG&E:

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Are these realtor-backed parklets “beautiful?” I don’t think so. Will they “improve safety?” I don’t see how. And actually, spending tax and fee payer money on “streetscape” “beauty” instead of safety is the opposite of  “improving safety,” PUC. Oh, and PUC, if you ever want to talk about how best to “manage” California’s water resources for the benefit of all Californians, look me up, cause you’re doing it wrong…

All the deets:

Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project

Picture of Bulbout Area

Learn More About the Project

Check out SFMTA’s project website to learn more!

Improving Traffic Safety and Enhancing Stormwater Collection

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is teaming up with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on the Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project to integrate stormwater management with their traffic calming project.

In response to strong public feedback for more greenery and planting for the project, we’ve added rain gardens to the bulbouts along Oak and Fell Streets. A rain garden is a stormwater management technique which infiltrates stormwater into the soil, diverting water from going into the sewer. This addition to the project will benefit community members; not only will the project make residents and travelers safer, the rain gardens will add beauty and character to the intersections. Our partnership with the SFMTA will extend the improvements already underway. While the addition of green infrastructure will not result in any additional parking losses beyond what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in May 2012, four of the bulbouts will be larger than initially proposed. Originally scheduled for construction in late 2013, the project is slated to begin construction in early summer 2014.

Contact:

For construction inquiries, please contact:

Dadisi Najib – SFDPW
Email: Dadisi.Najib@sfdpw.org

Luis Montoya – SFMTA
Email: luis.montoya@sfmta.com

Ari Frink – SFPUC
Email: afrink@sfwater.org

For more project information, visit SFMTA’s site here.

Does San Francisco Really Have a “French Quarter?” Not Really, Despite What Microsoft Says

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Well, here it is, from the Bing Maps:

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(IDK, this is less offensive than “Uptown Tenderloin,” one supposes, you know, coming from San Francisco’s non-profit profiteers.)

French Quarter sounds a bit, grandiose?

Here’s the cure, as usual, from wilds of the Internet:

Ha. No one here knows by that name. There’s not a distinct boundary for the collection of French-serving restaurants and businesses near the French Consulate, the church and school of Notre Dame des Victoires on Bush Street. But apparently it’s been dubbed by some hotel marketing person as the “French Quarter.” Belden Alley and Claude Alley intersect with Bush Street, and each have some French cafes. On Bush/Grant Ave. is the Cafe de la Presse — a coffee house with French and international newspapers, and restaurant. There’s Cafe Claude on Claude and some other bistros. Plouf! is an excellent mussel house on Belden…”

All right, keep on Binging, Microsoft.

Discarded Pablo Sandoval Panda Heads Put to Practical Use on the Streets of San Francisco

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Keeping warm on the streets near the Fell DMV, 2015:

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If Pablo doesn’t want to live and work in the bay area, that’s OK, right?

OMG, What’s This, a “GOING TO GOLDEN GATE PARK” Parklet / Bulb Out on 9th Ave in the Inner Sunset?

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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Here’s the Word on the Street:

“Attached you can find a PDF with Jadwin’s emails about the project, and I have attached a few JPEGs for your convenience.

It is unbelievably stupid to move these N Judah stops (especially given how important these loading spots are for restaurants, etc.), but this “Streetscaping” in an “activity zone” is over the top idiotic.

You can find more information here:

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=inner+sunset+tep+streetscape&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

It is completely wrong that this “parklet” is being maintained where passengers will be disembarking.

Even worse is that Michael Rieger failed to reach out to the businesses and residents living here before making plans and setting up a bogus online “survey.”

Jadwin is just the worst. She led the charge to close down the HANC Recycling Center.  :(“

So that’s all I know on this proposal.

IMO, SFGov should strive to attain competence at its core missions, so I don’t get this kind of “streetscape” “activation” focus.

Sorry.

Looks Like They’re Done Working on Fell and Masonic – How Long Will “DOUBLE RIGHT TURN” Last?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

This was yesterday morning, with the crew packing up, after weeks of work:

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And this was yesterday evening – it looks like they’re done?

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So what’s the deal here? Are they going to pull up the tape on the intersection what forces cars in the right lane to turn right and then lay down some permanent lines, or are they going to go back to the way it was before, back when you had the option of going straight or right?

Maybe that’s what the orange on the signs means, that these changes were only temporary? Or maybe the orange means, “Hey look, here is the new rule?”

I can’t tell.

But if all they were doing was fixing up that corner of the intersection, then what did they do? It looks exactly the same to me. And why did it take weeks?

On It Goes…

San Francisco’s “Night Ministry” Ventures Out in the Daytime

Monday, March 16th, 2015

As seen in Civic Center:

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I’ve never seen this.

Once Again, the “Respect The Neighborhood” Millionaire Homeowners of the Western Addition Get It Wrong: “POST NO SIGNS…”

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Here you go, a RESPECT THE NEIGHBORHOOD notice in the Western Addition.

This isn’t a named part of the Western Addition I don’t think – it’s a bit east of the NoPA and the Alamo Square, but the NIMBY mentality is just the same as in those microhoods of the WA.

Legally, this is WRONG WRONG WRONG:

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And now it’s time for IRL

The public may post information on some utility poles if the postings follow regulations outlined in Article 5.6 of the Public Works Code. The law was adopted to ensure that flyers posted on public property do not contribute to litter or blight. Illegal postings in the public right of way may be removed by DPW’s Bureau of Street Environmental Services and are subject to fines from $100 to $500.  Call 311 to report.

Signs are defined as any card, decoration, poster, campaign sign, or any object containing or bearing writing that is affixed, posted or fastened to a utility or light pole that is permanently attached to the street or sidewalk.  Signs do not include handbills, banners or A-Frame boards. Bulletin boards designed for neighborhood postings are exempt from this regulation.

Signs attached to buildings and on private property are regulated by Part II Chapter I of the Building Code and violationsshould be reported to the Department of City Planning’s Code Enforcement or call 311 to report.

Tips for Legally Posting Signs on Public Property

To legally place a sign on a utility pole, it must:

Be less than 11 inches in height

No higher than 12 feet from the ground

Conform to the shape of the pole

Be attached with tape or other non-adhesive material such as twine, string or other non-metal banding material

Include a legible posting date in the lower right hand corner

Be removed after 10 days, if the sign is promoting a date specific event

Be removed within 70 days of the posting date

Not be installed on historic street light poles*, traffic signal poles or traffic directional sign poles.

* Historic street light poles are on these streets:

Market Street from 1 Market to 2490 Market

Mission Street from 16th Street to 24th Street

Grant Avenue from Bush Street to Broadway Street

The Embarcadero from King Street to Jefferson Street

Lamp Posts on Fisherman’s Wharf from Hyde to Powell

Howard Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street

Lamp Posts within Union Square

Mason Street from Market to Sutter

Sutter Street from Mason to Kearny

Kearny Street from Bush to Market”